National Culture

satiricus was so happy he could barely contain himself. After 50 years of Independence, his native land was finally getting “culture”. “Why couldn’t it have come just three weeks before on Independence Day?” he moaned to his friend Cappo as they bent their elbows at the Back Street Bar?”
“A wha’ yuh ah talk about, Sato?” replied Cappo in muffled tones as he swallowed the mouthful of beer he’d just swigged. “ Wha’ shoulda come?”
“I’m talking about the Steinway Grand Piano the Government just bought for the National Cultural Centre!” replied Satiricus in reverential tones. “If this had come in during Jubilee Week, all those snotty Guyanese from foreign would’ve seen we have culture!”
“Me see de piana in de pay-pa,” said Cappo doubtfully. “How da mek abee get cul-cha?”
“First of all, Cappo, that is THE top-of-the-line Steinway – and it cost more than US0,000!!” replied Satiricus, with his eyes round like saucers.
“ million fuh wan piana?” said Cappo, suitably impressed after doing a quick mental arithmetic. “But how da mek abee get cul-cha?” he repeated.
“Cappo…Cappo…Cappo,” said Satiricus as he ruefully shook his head. “A country only has REAL culture when you can play music like Beethoven Moonlight Sonata on a piano?”
“Beet who?” asked Cappo with a puzzled look. “Who mek dat law?”
“It’s not a LAW, Cappo,” said Satiricus in patient tones. “It’s just the way high culture works in England, Europe and New York for the rich and famous.”
“Suh w’en Jones and ‘em bais play dem steel-band an me play me shak-shak, da na cul-cha?” asked Cappo.
“No, Cappo!” replied Satiricus firmly. “Now that we have one piano at the Music School and a Steinway Grand at the Cultural Centre, real culture will begin at last.”
“But me bin t’ink now abee independent, abee woulda mek abee own cul-cha,” said Cappo plaintively. “Me like fuh sing Sitira Gyaal and Bangalee Baboo and knock pan table!”
“That’s exactly the point, Cappo! Burnt Ham tried to encourage that kind of culture back in the day,” said Satiricus. “But if his own successors buying million Steinways, who are you to say otherwise?”