Tag Archives: Humour

That darned Cynthia Edward…I should never have trusted her!

Here’s an email I received.  I am shocked! I truly thought Cynthia was my friend.  I guess I misjudged her character.

Change of Ownership Alert

Attn; I’m Hon. William James, the Chief Director of Finance Officer of the Ministry of Finance. We wish to urgently confirm from you if actually you know one Mrs. Cynthia Edward who claims to be your business associate/partner.

Kindly reconfirm this application put in by Mrs. Cynthia Edward – she submitted the under listed bank account information supposedly sent by you to receive the funds on your behalf.

The bank information she applied with are stated thus:

Account Name: Cynthia Edward
Bank name: Citi Bank NA
Bank address: #1230 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
Account Number: 013439887655
Routing Number: 2771722
Swift Code: CITIUS30

The said Mrs. Cynthia Edward has claimed to this office that you are dead and have Instructed that all relevant documentation/Information regarding your Payment/Transfer, be changed to her as the beneficiary of the payment short-listed among the foreign beneficiaries entitled to receive their payment.

For your Information, this Government has approved the total amount of EIGHT MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY, in your favor, prior to the Federal Government instructions/mandate to offset all outstanding payments to the various legal foreign beneficiaries around the world and your payment file was affected. We need to confirm from you if it’s really true that you are dead as made mention by your Associate.

You should note that, if we do not hear from you, we automatically assume that you are actually dead and the information passed to us by Mrs. Cynthia Edward is correct. Hence, you are hereby requested to reply this Email immediately for confirmation, before we proceed with this payment and for us to know the true position of things with you so that we won’t make any mistakes/errors in remitting your out-standing payment to a wrong person/account. Lastly, you are advice to reply back this email and reconfirm the details of this message if truly you’re alive.

Full name………………………………

Direct telephone number………………….

Address………………………………..

Age……………………………………

Occupation……………………………..

Country………………………………..

Bank name………………………………

Bank address……………………………

Bank account……………………………

Account type……………………………

Your quick response will help us a lot.

Email:fgn1500@9.cn

Yours, Sincerely,
Hon.William James.

People google the darndest things: “Why Don’t Jamaicans like frogs???”

As I’ve shared before, people do in fact Google the darndest things. Recently, someone found my blog when they googled (or more accurately, asked Jeeves) “Why don’t Jamaicans like frogs?”


Click to see I’m not making this up!

Ooooh! Ooooh! I can answer that one! Pick me! Pick me!

Thank you. Ahem.

Now then, the answer is simple. Frogs are disgusting.

As I think about all the various creatures one could encounter growing up in Jamaica, frogs probably rank highest in overall “revulsion factor.” The revulsion factor, in case you’re not aware, is comprised of three components: outdoors, low-dwelling & slimy.

The more of these criteria a particular creature meets, the greater the revulsion factor. So, based on the above, you can see that even rats and roaches don’t rank as high (or low) as frogs do. Rats are dry. Even lizards, of which I have a personal and unmitigated distaste, don’t rank as high (or low) as frogs. Lizards are tree and wall-dwellers.

Of course, if you’re a child growing up in the “country” as I did, then you’d only see frogs come out at night, and it’s a terrifying experience to have to use an outhouse in the late evening, and step on a low-dwelling, slimy, squishy frog. So, there’s also the fear factor too. That’s why Jamaicans don’t like frogs.

Now then, in case you’re wondering, and in anticipation of anyone asking: we also don’t like dogs. Okay, that may be a bit harsh, but for Jamaicans, dogs are outdoor animals. Dogs don’t belong in the house. Dogs don’t belong in your bed. Dogs don’t belong in your bathtub. Dogs don’t belong anywhere near your face. Period. This is how I was raised. So, imagine my absolute horror and trauma, when–as a child–upon arriving in the US and seeing television commercials and situation comedies with dogs in the house, in the bed, in the bathtub, and horror of horrors, licking people’s faces!!!! Egad! Sharing spit with a dog??? I won’t even drink from the same soda bottle as my best friend!! (Do you know where that tongue has been!!!???)


For Jamaicans, pets are functional. Jamaicans don’t buy food for pets. Dogs and cats earn our tolerance and their sustenance–table scraps, bones, and leftovers–by performing necessary tasks for the good of the household. Dogs bark at intruders. Cats catch mice. Got it? Good. Now you can stay. Outside.

If you have any Jamaican friends, you’ve no doubt observed that yes, Jamaicans will own fancy tail guppies and goldfish as pets, but even fish in an aquarium are not exempt from the JPFR (Jamaican Pet Functionality Requirement). Fish serve the function of beautifying the home. And even though we’ll buy food for them, we make that allowance because the food that fish require is not that expensive, and, last but not least, we don’t actually have to touch them. In other words, fish in a bowl are sort of like furniture. They are beautifying, observable, rearrangeable pets–the best type.

In any event, there’s your answer. Have a great day.

Vote for Mitt Romney….Until the Real Thing Comes Along!

The Jamaican in China gets political!

It was the perfect storm. A dangerous combination. Too much time on my hands. The humor of the Rachel Maddow Show. The Republican campaign….and Mitt Romney. I couldn’t help it.

I’m watching the March 30th Rachel Maddow show segment entitled “Friends with Detriments” where she highlights the numerous dubious endorsements Mitt Romney has gotten from various Republican politicians.

Mitt’s friends in high places all seem to endorse him while at the same time, acknowledging quite publicly that Mitt’s not quite the candidate the party had hoped for. In other words, Rachel suggested, “He’s not the best, but vote for Mitt in the meantime….” and immediately, the lyrics “…until the real thing comes along” popped into my head!

Trust me, I fought it. I gave myself a thousand reasons NOT to do this. I’m not into politics. I’m just a humble author and writer. I’m just a non-political Jamaican enjoying my freedom traveling the world. The last thing I want to do is get involved in the political debate. Not to mention, I happen to like the Billie Holiday version of that song.

So many questions. How will this affect my brand? Should I do this under a secret identity? Will I forever ruin people’s association with this beautiful song? Should I use the Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin version instead?

Ultimately, my creativity (i.e. my ego) got the better of me. Quite honestly, I couldn’t be the only one who had the same thought last night. And quite frankly, I didn’t want someone else creating this and getting a million hits on Youtube. After all, Billie Holiday took time out of her busy afterlife to inspire me, and I’ve always dreamt of having a Youtube video go viral.

So, brand be damned. Pishaw to Political correctness! I must do this. All publicity is good publicity, anyway. Just spell my name right.

So, with appropriate and heartfelt apologies to the estate and memory of Billie Holiday, I present to you a campaign ad with my suggestion for Mitt Romney’s new election slogan: “Elect Mitt Romney. Until the Real Thing Comes Along.” Click below to watch it or or visit youtube directly by clicking here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6zYWORufmE

Mommy, the other kids are laughing at my phone!

SCENE 1:

“Oh, my heavens! Walt, what’s THAT?”

“Um, what do you mean?”

“Is that a phone???”

“Um, yes?”

“Wow! Does it work?

“Of course it works! What do you mean?”

“Well, it’s just that…well, I didn’t know they still made those. Hey, honey [to her husband], come look at Walt’s phone! Check this out…It’s even got a little antenna! That’s so cute!”

 

SCENE 2:

ME: [whips out phone thinking he’s cool]

SHE: [incredulous stare]

ME: “Kim, what’s wrong?”

SHE: [shakes her head to snap herself back into reality] “um, do you mind if I take a picture of that?”

ME: “picture of what?”

SHE: “That.”

ME: “You mean my phone?”

SHE: [pulls out her smartphone and snaps a photo]

ME: [hides the phone and looks around nervously if anyone is looking]


my phone


“Yes, it works, dammit!”

Yep. This is my phone. It’s not a Blackberry™. It’s not an iPhone®. (In fact, it’s not really that smart at all.)  Whenever I travel to New York, after I land, I whip out my Boostmobile phone, purchase a SIM card and I’m ready to rock and roll! Well, at least I THOUGHT I was rockin’ and rollin’. According to my friends, it’s not rock and roll, it’s more like music from an ancient banjo with missing strings.

According to Consumer Reports: A smart phone can typically handle multiple e-mail accounts (including corporate types), has a sophisticated organizer, and can handle Office documents. Some allow you to create and edit spreadsheets and documents, and they usually support Microsoft Exchange. Their touch-screen displays are larger, and their cameras are more advanced than those on conventional phones. And they typically have Wi-Fi, and support higher mobile wireless data speeds that facilitate better Web browsing and streaming media. Their advanced operating systems give them access to a host of applications: productivity tools, shopping, multimedia, games, travel, news, weather, social, finance, references, etc.

Nope, my phone does none of these things. I find that I don’t feel the need to shuffle Office documents while I’m on a beach on Saipan. But my phone does, in fact, do something amazing that just 20 years ago was unheard of: it makes phone calls, and allows me to talk to someone else while I’m out walking around outside without having to use a land line. Imagine that!


I don’t care WHAT you say, flip phones are still cool! I feel like I’m Captain Kirk.”Beam me up, Scotty, the aliens are laughing at me.” [Taken on Oct 17, 2011 with Kim’s fancy shmancy smartphone and sent to me in an email entitled “Walt on his fossil”]

Along with Facebook, the smart phone revolution sort of goes forward without me. That’s what can happen when you’re living on a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific. When I take the subway here in New York, I’m practically the only one who hasn’t assumed “the position:” head bowed, ear-piece inserted , elbows close to the body, forearms extended, thumbs working, eyes glued to a screen. No one makes eye contact. They look up just briefly enough to see what station they’ve reached, and if it’s time, they snap the phone shut and speed out. (“Lady, wait! You forgot your kid!”)

Assume the position! [courtesy of asiagoans.com]

Sigh. I think I missed the memo. 

The Jamaican in China’s “Best of China!” Travel Rhyme

As a *guest travel blogger for ChinaTravel.net (sounds glamorous, doesn’t it?), I’ve been asked to do a special post summarizing my time in China. By the terms of our unique *exclusivity agreement (sounds official, doesn’t it?), the post is only available on THEIR site.

For the benefit of those who wish to do the same thing, I’ve consulted with my *crack legal team (sounds impressive, doesn’t it?) and shall herewith present: THE INTRICATE LEGAL DETAILS OF ESTABLISHING A GUEST BLOGGER EXCLUSIVITY AGREEMENT: (Take notes. This gets a little complicated.)

STEP 1. Ahem. Basically, I emailed Aimee Groom at ChinaTravel.net and begged her to let me write for them, and she emailed back and said….”Okay.”

(um, allright, allright. Her exact words were: “Okay. Don’t beg. It’s not attractive. Now, get up off your knees….”)

(..and I really don’t have a legal “team” per se. It’s really just two, okay, okay, more like 1 person….an advisor, or more like a voice, (sigh) okay, if you must know…it’s actually my voice…in my own head. But, I do listen when it speaks. And I never interrupt.)

So, with that said, click on the image or link below to read what I’ve coined  a “TRAVEL RHYME!”

Click here to go to ChinaTravel.net to read the Travel Rhyme

Encyclopedia Goodridge presents Unfinished Business: Harvey The Rat returns with a vengeance!

If you recall from page 74 of Jamaican on Saipan, I had a little run-in with a rat while I was living in Chalan Kiya. I thought that that sordid episode had ended. Well it seems that “Harvey” didn’t think so. He’s back……and he’s pissed. But let me start at the beginning.

A few nights ago, I returned from a night out at the Liberation Day festivities here on Saipan to find this:


A hole in the bottom of the screen door to my bedroom balcony with a paper towel sticking out. (Crime scene recreated for the benefit of the investigation.)

I know why it happened. Without getting into too much detail, I use coconut oil for massages. (For more, see I want to date a Jamaican in China (“Don’t speculate! Ja-Make-A-Date!”)

In any event, while I was out that night, I had left a little measuring cup of coconut oil and an oil-soaked sheet of paper towel on the floor by the bed. (Neatness has never been my strong suit).

Harvey must have caught the aroma of sweet oil as he was making his nightly rounds, and decided to take a souvenir home with him. My measuring cup was gone and the paper towel, as I mentioned, was stuck halfway through a hole in the mesh at the bottom of the sliding screen door. It’s the sort of mesh screen that keeps out mosquitoes, but was never designed for determined, committed, goal-oriented rats.

So, just so we’re clear: “Yes, officer, a rat broke into my apartment from the balcony, stole my plastic measuring cup, came back, and was halfway through his second incident of breaking and entering and first degree theft, when my return scared him away.”

The next morning, I measured my screen door, then went to Ace Hardware and got some higher/stronger gauge screen, some screws, bolts and washers to construct a rodent barrier!

I had the mesh cut about two feet high, as the sales rep at the hardware store and I both agreed that the rats wouldn’t climb up the mesh to get to the weaker mesh above. I took my purchase home. (I felt like Wile E. Coyote with a new contraption from ACME, or Elmer Fudd)

I attached the higher gauge screen to the smaller gauge.


I’ll stop you yet, you wascally wodent!


I was so proud of my handiwork

Well it seems the hardware rep and I were wrong. I went to bed thinking that all was right with the world. However, at 4:00am this morning, I was awakened by the sound of some scratching. I opened my eyes and found myself staring at the underbelly, and into the glowing yellow eyes of a rodent, two feet off the ground, perched on the top of the high gauge mesh, still outside, but about to begin his toothy assault on the smaller gauge mesh to gain another entry into my apartment.


Re-enactment featuring professional rat actor paid rodent scale. No animals were harmed in the making of this.

A few milliseconds later, a thought entered my mind: “Excuse me, you’re lying on a bed two feet off the ground and you’re staring at eye level at the furry underbelly of a rat hanging from a mesh screen, suspended in the air two feet above the ground about to gnaw his way into your apartment. Hello?”

 At that point I sat up, and my quick movement scared him away.

Ah! yes! I love a battle of wits and will! (even if it’s with a rodent!) Bring it on! I lay in bed staring at the ceiling and spent the next few minutes figuring out my retaliatory (or would that be “defensive”) strategy. Would I have to use high gauge mesh on the entire screen door? Would I have to keep my glass door shut at all times (unacceptable, since I don’t believe in or use air conditioning, and  prefer to have a breeze flowing through my apartment). Think, man! Think!!! Poison? Rat trap? No good. I don’t believe in  killing–not even ants–plus, a dead Harvey the Rat would simply be replaced by another, angrier friend or family member. I’d have to launch what would eventually become known as “The Great Jamaican Rat Massacre of Saipan!” I’d have to sleep with a shotgun. Frankly, I don’t have the resources.

And then, as I stared at the mesh, and the sliding door picturing the rat climbing up, it hit me! I think I found the solution!

Encyclopedia Goodridge and the Mystery of the Bypassed Barricade

I’ll pay homage to Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective, one of my favorite series of children’s books growing up, and ask: “What did Encyclopedia Goodridge realize that could make all the difference in the world to keeping the unwelcome rat outside the apartment?”  If you think you know the answer (or if you simply want to make a suggestion), email me (walt@jamaicaninchina.com) enter, and then click the link below for the answer!

CLICK HERE to learn the answer!

Diabolical, don’t you think? Well, I’ll let you know how it works out…..stay tuned!

Moral: If you run away to a tropical island to escape the rat race, beware, the rats might not be too far behind!

 

“Nobody Canna (cannot) Cross it!” Jamaican Translation and Lyrics

If you haven’t heard about the latest viral hit to reach youtube, it’s a new genre of infotainment called a “News Remix” by Jamaica’s DJ Powa! Here’s a little background, plus the lyrics for those of you who need a little help deciphering exactly what’s being said.

Certain parts of the island of Jamaica (specifically, the parish of St. Thomas) were experiencing some flooding recently…A news report was produced highlighting the situation. A creative Jamaican DJ deftly edited the report and added a musical track and, word has it, it’s such a catchy hit that it’s even being played in the clubs in Jamaica! Here is that “remix” of the news report  that puts the situation into musical perspective! I love my countrymen!

Click on the image or link to watch it on Youtube. (Opens in a new window, so you can keep the lyrics handy.)

 

DOWNLOAD video

Lyrics to “Nobody Canna Cross it”
(Nobody Cannot Cross it)
A News Remix by DJ Powa

  • Note 1: This is my Listener’s Guide, modified from mscdubya’s youtube comment.
  • Note 2: As a Jamaican, I can tell you that Clifton is saying “Nobody cannot cross it.” (We’ll forgive him for the double negative)
  • Note 3: $250 Jamaican dollars is about $3US.
    NEWSCASTER: “Three miles down the road is the Yallahs River. Residents were forced to pay between $250JA and $500JA dollars to cross, as transportation was restricted to either a heavy-duty vehicle or being lifted across.Right now, nobody cannot cross it
    It’s only who can understan’ it cross it
    Nobody cannot cross it
    It’s only a fisherman and a fisherwoman, trust me!

    Nobody cannot cross it
    It’s only who can manage (handle/negotiate) the water
    It’s only so (that way) they (can) come over
    Or if we(‘re) around to help them.

    Nobody can swim
    ‘Cause if you cannot swim, you cannot cross it.
    Nobody cannot cross it (Unless) If we around to help them over
    Fisherman can cross it
    And a fisherwoman could cross it
    Cannot swim? Trust me.. You gone (you’ll be carried out by the current) to St. Thomas pond!


    Chorus:

    Nobody cannot cross it
    It’s only who understan’ it, cross it
    Nobody cannot cross it
    It’s only (a) fisherman and a fisherwoman, trust me!
    Nobody cannot cross it
    It’s only who can manage (handle/negotiate) the water
    It’s only so (that way) they (can) come over
    Or if we(‘re) around to help them.

    Not all the vehicles – can cross it
    This vehicle – cannot cross it
    We’re locked away in the wilderness
    Nobody cross it. (CROSS!)

    Yesterday, the bus just come in from town… A bus load of people
    It was just the mercy of God why the bus don’t go over (capsize)
    The bus can swim! The bus can swim! The bus can swim!
    Believe it or not, the bus can swim!

    Yesterday, the bus just come in from town
    The bus can cross it
    The last time, (we had a) hurricane, we had to bury up the top (not sure about this line-W)
    Nobody nuh fi walk (Nobody should walk)
    The bus can swim
    Nobody nuh fi walk (Nobody should walk)
    The bus can cross it

    Chorus:
    Nobody cannot cross it
    It’s only who can understand it, cross it
    Nobody cannot cross it
    It’s only  fisherman and a fisherwoman, trust me!
    Nobody cannot cross it
    It’s only who can manage (handle/negotiate) the water
    It’s only so (that way) they (can) come over
    Or if we(‘re) around to help them.

    I’m very concerned; very concerned
    Because nobody cannot cross it
    Not even the kids dem* can go to school, trust me!
    Because nobody cannot cross it
    Fisherman and a fisherwoman can cross it.
    Like, them understan’ it
    Cannot swim? Trust me: You’re going to dead up (you’re going to be dead up there)

    Chorus:
    Nobody cannot cross it
    It’s only who can understan’ it, cross it
    Nobody cannot cross it
    It’s only fisherman and a fisherwoman, trust me!
    Nobody cannot cross it
    It’s only who can manage (handle/negotiate) the water
    It’s only so (that way) they (can) come over
    Or if we around to help them.

    Nobody cannot cross it! Nobody could cross it
    It’s only who can swim (can) cross it
    Cr cr cross it (CROSS!) No no no no no..body cross it!!!!

    COMMENTATOR: “Dara Smith, TVJ News”

    *dem (them) can be used to make a noun plural (“Di bwoy dem a play football”). However, it can also serve in what is a uniquely Jamaican secondary pluralization of an already plural noun. So, “the kids dem” might best be translated, for instance, as “the kids–all of them–cannot cross it.” However, it also serves as a term of endearment that has the effect of humanizing or evoking empathy for the shared experience of the group or animals being referred to. You wouldn’t typically use “dem” when referring to inanimate objects. However, you might typically say “The people dem start to riot caw dem can’t get no food!” (the new double plural noun is “people dem”); Or, you might say “Di dog dem start to bark when the fire start!” (The new double plural noun is “dog dem.”)–a cultural note from Walt Goodridge, Jamaican in China

     


    YAAD STYLE (NO TRANSLATION!)

    NEWSCASTER: “Three miles down the road is the Yallahs River. Residents were forced to pay between 250 and 500 dollars to cross, as transportation was restricted to either a heavy-duty vehicle or being lifted across.

    Right now, nobody cannot cross it
    Is only who can understan’ it cross it
    Nobody cannot cross it
    Is only fisherman and a fisherwoman, trust me!

    Nobody cannot cross it
    Is only who can manage the water
    Is only so dem c’n come over
    Or if we around to help them.

    Nobody can swim
    ‘Cause if you cannot swim, you cannot cross it.
    Nobody cannot cross it. If we around to help them over
    Fisherman can cross it
    And a fisherwoman could cross it, cross it
    Cannot swim? Trust me.. Yuh gone to St. Thomas pond!

    Chorus:
    Nobody cannot cross it
    Is only who understan’ it, cross it
    Nobody cannot cross it
    Is only fisherman and a fisherwoman, trust me!
    Nobody cannot cross it
    Is only who can manage the water
    Is only so dem c’n come over
    Or if we around to help them.

    Not all the vehicles – can cross it
    This vehicle – cannot cross it
    We lock away in the wilderness
    Nobody cross it! (CROSS!)

    Yesterday, the bus just come in from town… A bus load of people
    Is just the mercy of God why the bus don’t go over
    The bus can swim! The bus can swim! The bus can swim!
    Believe it or not, the bus can swim!

    Yesterday, the bus just come in from town
    The bus can cross it
    The last time, hurricane, we had to bury up the top (not sure about this line-W)
    Nobody nuh fi walk
    The bus can swim
    Nobody nuh fi walk
    The bus can cross it

    Chorus:
    Nobody cannot cross it
    Is only who can understan’ it, cross it
    Nobody cannot cross it
    Is only  fisherman and a fisherwoman, trust me!
    Nobody cannot cross it
    Is only who can manage the water
    Is only so dem c’n come over
    Or if we around to help them.

    I’m very concerned; very concerned
    Because nobody cannot cross it
    Not even the kids dem can go to school, trust me!
    Because nobody cannot cross it
    Fisherman and a fisherwoman can cross it.
    Like them understan’ it
    Cannot swim? Trust me: You’re going to dead up!

    Chorus:
    Nobody cannot cross it
    Is only who can understan’ it, cross it
    Nobody cannot cross it
    Is only fisherman and a fisherwoman, trust me!
    Nobody cannot cross it
    Is only who can manage the water
    Is only so dem c’n come over
    Or if we around to help them.

    Nobody cannot cross it! Nobody could cross it
    Is only who can swim cross it
    Cr-cr-cross it! (CROSS!) No no no no no..body cross it!!!!

    COMMENTATOR: “Dara Smith, TVJ News”

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Friends in High Places…skewing the distribution

URGENT MEMO TO ALL AFFECTED PARTIES:

 Somewhere in the western Pacific there exists a little island of 46.5 square miles in total size. A mere thirteen miles long by an average of 5 miles wide, Saipan, CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) is home to an indigenous population of Chamorros and Carolinians, as well as Filipinos, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans, Australians, Americans, Russians, Canadians, Yapese, Chukese, Palauans, and other Pacific islanders. The total population of Saipan is approximately 40,000–but varies depending on whom you talk with.

 8,794.6 miles away in the Caribbean Sea, exists another island of 4,411 square miles. 146 miles long by 51 miles wide, Jamaica is home to an indigenous population of Arawaks, as well as displaced Africans, Maroons, South Asian Indians, Chinese Americans and Brits who all proudly call themselves “Jamaican.” The total population of Jamaica is approximately 2.5 million.

 Jamaicans can be found in every corner of the planet. This is by design. It is our job to integrate the global community to make everyone aware of our greatness. In fact, the JPDPD (Jamaican Person Dispersal Prime Directive) requires an even distribution of Jamaicans across all latitudes and longitudes and on all continents. We’ve been given the task of holding key positions in politics (Colin Powell), music (Bob Marley), sports (Patrick Ewing), revolutionary thought (Marcus Garvey), etc., and of occupying the full range of professions and industries. So it should come as no surprise that there is at least one Jamaican on the tiny, remote island of Saipan. The plan demands it.

 According to said plan–the details of which remain closely guarded on a “need to know” basis– there should be at least 1 JPPM (Jamaican Person Per Million) people in every population.

 However, it appears that somewhere in the Jamaican Person Dispersal Prime Directive Personnel Department [that would be the JPDPDPD], there was a miscommunication, a misdirected memo, or some type of clerical error. For on April 9, 2011, on the tiny, remote island of Saipan, CNMI, with its population of only 40,000 people, there were not the minimum requirement of one, not two, but THREE Jamaicans, all clustered in the same room!!! Furthermore, if that weren’t bad enough, TWO of them held the coveted position of airline pilot! TWO!! (We’re not quite sure about the occupation of the third one, but our investigation is continuing).

 This is not an “even distribution,” people!!

 Somewhere on the planet, there’s a population missing a Jamaican!! I don’t need to remind you about the ramifications of this! I want a full report on my desk by 5:00pm!

 Heads will roll!


Winston Delroy Trevor Courtney Bogle, III
Policy Director, Jamaican Person Dispersal Prime Directive Personnel Department
[That would be the PD of the JPDPDPD]


(click on image to enlarge)
Friends in High Places. Ben, Ron McFarlane, Walt, Cardiff and Chris. Japanese, Jamaican, Jamaican, Jamaican, Japane–Waitaminit! What the—???? Quick, get me a camera! Better yet, get me the PD of the JPDPDPD! There are more Jamaicans per capita on Saipan than, well, even in Jamaica!!

The Singapore Seating Puzzle

Now, you know I’m not one to cause trouble, but I need a little help with something I saw while I was Jamaican in Singapore.

As an enlightened, ever-advancing global society, we’ve all agreed that there are people with severe disadvantages and life situations who require our sympathy, and pity, and furthermore, as a public show of our condescending attitude towards such individuals, we offer them a tiny seat on a bus or congested subway system so they can at least be comfortable (and clearly identifiable with a big arrow pointing towards them) while they wallow in their obvious, understandable and pitiable misery at being different from the rest of us normal people. I support this.

So, with that said, this is a reserved seating sign on a train in Singapore.

Singapore seating puzzle
Reserved seating sign on Singapore MRT

You with me? So far so good.

Now, here is the same sign upon closer examination.
Singapore seating puzzle
Reserved seating sign on Singapore MRT; the plot thickens

Additionally, as the afore-mentioned advanced society, rather than waste valuable ink using words and sentences to describe the types of people we want to put in the “look at me I’m different, debilitated, or otherwise dependent or desirous of special consideration” seating, we use graphic  icons.

These icons are cleverly designed to be universally self-explanatory–given our increasingly global, multi-lingual and culturally diverse society–and I’m proud to say, being the intelligent and sophisticated world traveler I am, I’ve been able to figure out most of them. They’re rather easy, really.

Singapore seating puzzle
Please give your seat to men with
argyle socks, carrying dinner trays
(Don’t YOU prefer to sit if you have to eat on the subway?)

Singapore seating puzzle
Please give your seat to men with
ill-fitting dresses, or women who are obviously
hiding stolen items beneath their skirts.
(presumably so the Singapore police can
easily locate and deal with both these types of social deviants)
Note: I also support caning.

Singapore seating puzzle
Please give your seat to men
with ventriloquist dummies
on their laps, or to Mike Myers
and “mini me” should they happen to visit Singapore.
(we must make our artists and celebrities comfortable)

See? Like I said, fairly simple. However, here’s where I’m a little perplexed. I seem to be having a little trouble with the next icon, and this is where I need your help.

Singapore seating puzzle

Could you tell me what exactly is that, um, thing that appears to be originating, protruding and hanging out from this man’s crotch area that’s causing him to be noticeably pulled forward?

Like I said, I’m not one to cause trouble, but IF I’ve deciphered this icon correctly–being a Jamaican man, you understand–I’ve always considered such a condition to be rather advantageous rather than debilitating to tell you the truth….

However, had I known before leaving that such a condition would guarantee me a seat whenever I’m in Singapore….