For a small place, Trinidad & Tobago is never short of wonder. Its amazing that what passes for comedy in this land is nothing more than a pedantic pantomime of bad accents and poor taste, when there is an abundance of material to work with. Case in point, the recent episode involving the honourable (yes, I have used the lower case 'h' on purpose) Prime Minister and a pensioner, cum freedom fighter, by the name of Percy Villafana in San Juan.
As the report goes, the PM was on one of his weekly walkabouts when upon arriving at a house he was greeted by a pensioner whose arms were upraised in an 'X' - a gesture often used by exorcists to ward off evil. The PM, as he is wont to do in all other aspects of his public life, chose to ignore the elderly gentleman and his protests, and brushing him aside entered his property. This video puts the whole scenario to music.
What has transpired since that fateful Monday afternoon is the stuff of legend. The national outcry was only doused by the general 'doh!' when on the following Friday, and in Parliament, the PM decided not to apologize or to justify his obvious trespass, but instead to vilify Mr Villafana by casting him as a foreigner - a mere guest in a nation of fans. And when that side of the illogic took on more water than the Titanic (Foreigner or not Mr PM, the gentleman is a) the owner of the property and b) did not want you there!), the PM decided to train his guns on the media and alleged a link between the fourth estate and drug barons who wanted to get rid of him (or as he elaborated, they want a PNM Government but not with Manning as the PM). Sigh.
In the meantime, Percy Villafana - retired public servant and former PNM supporter - has become a national hero (see here: http://guardian.co.tt/commentary/letters/2010/03/23/villafana-now-national-hero ) and the incident has become a modern day Boston Tea Party. With over three thousand fans on his Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Percy-Villafana-Citizen-Supreme/106164356073223?ref=ts) and growing, is this incident to be remembered in the future as the Mother of all Gaffes - the final straw that broke the camel's back?
As for my original assertion - this is the stuff that comedy writers and traditional calypsonians dream about. In my own (amateur) mind, I have an idea that this would make for a great song - possible road march in the next general election - and a dance of its own:
"Raise yuh arms like a X in the Air,
And wine yuh a$$ like yuh just don't care
Every woman and every man
Everybody doin the Percy Dance."
Who calling for an encore?
PS There is an irony between the PM's assertion that Percy V is a Canadian who visits Trinidad regularly and the well known fact that his 'ally' Hart Vader is a Canadian-born resident of this country. Given the tone and temerity of his 'allegation' in parliament is one to assume that as a 'foreigner' Percy had no right to the house that he owns let alone to accost and deny the PM? Or would Percy (as CH has no doubt done time and time again), have to display his undying affection and allegiance to the PM before being conferred the constitutionally enshrined rights of ownership of property and privacy?