Satiricus had worked himself up into a lather of outrage as he walked to the Back Street Bar. How dare this foreign NYTimes journalist come into his country for a two-day visit and then pontificate so conclusively – and negatively – on local conditions! Who the hell did he think he was? Winston Churchill covering the second Boer War of 1899 in Transvaal? Guyana was independent for fifty years, for goodness’ sake!!
“Well, even the Business Association has condemned that Yankee journalist!” exploded Satiricus to his friends at the Back Street Bar. “How come you fellas are staying quiet?”
“Bec’ase me t’ink wha’ de maan ‘rite a true?” said Bungi.
“True?!” Satiricus practically shrieked. “What you talking about?”
“Tek am easy, Sato,” advised Cappo. “Tell abee wha’ lie de maan tell pan abee po’ Guyana.”
“Well, let me just say what the Business Association pointed out,” said Satiricus. “The new colonialist wrote we had only three paved highways!!”
“And how many paved highways do you think we have, Sato?” asked Hari mildly.
“Well, MORE than three!!” said Satiricus indignantly. “Corentyne, East Coast, East Bank, West Coast, Linden and Essequibo!”
“Sato, ole fr’en, yuh know wha’ wan highway?” asked Cappo, who had backtracked to New York for a year.
“Well of course I do!” said Satiricus in outrage.
“Wan highway mus’ gat two 20-foot lane wha’ guh both way – AN’ wan 10-foot shoulda!” pointed out Cappo.
“Oh!” replied Satiricus, in surprise. “But why he wrote Georgetown and other towns are full with “clapboard” houses?”
“A wha’ a clapboard?” asked Bungi.
“A long, thin, flat piece of wood with edges horizontally overlapping in series, used to cover the outer walls of buildings,” said Hari, struggling to control a smile.
“Na da wha’ abee a call “lap-edge?” asked Bungi, in surprise. “An’ most a dem house in abee Tong mek wid da!”
“Wha’ else dem business people seh?” asked Cappo as Satiricus struggled to absorb the information.
“Let’s talk about young Hetemyer’s century!” Satiricus suggested, as he lifted his beer bottle for an all-round clink.