[ Note: TGIF is the name of a column that has appeared in a variety of Trinidadian newspapers, today was to be the last appearance of the column in it`s current incarnation at the Trinidad Guardian but was not published. I have reproduced the email i received here in it`s entirety for you reading pleasure.]

Folks

This is the column that should have appeared in the Guardian today. The paper refused to publish it. Please do send it along to anyone you know who might be a reader of Thank God It`s Friday, with my apologies and the assurance that, if it were up to me, Guardian readers of Thank God It`s Friday would never have had the column disappear without at least a goodbye.

take care

BC

THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY for 28 May 2004

Headline: Goodbye Guardian

THIS IS THE last column I shall be writing for the Trinidad Guardian. My editor sent me an email on Monday saying “We have been doing a review of our content and…. have decided to bring your column Thank God It`s Friday to an end, effective 28th May, 2004.”

It may be a Freudian slip, of course, but the Guardian can’t actually bring my column to an end; it can only bring its own publication of same to an end. However, I imagine there are indeed many people, not just my present/erstwhile editors, who would like to bring Thank God It’s Friday (or its author) to an end; and I can even understand them. I’ve always understood just what a pain in the ass I am to many truly important people. The more millions in your bank account, the more contemptuous you are likely to be of these thousand words. The higher up the management/social ladder you climb, the greater the likelihood you look down on me. And some Trinidadians just don’t “ketch”. So, yes, there may be quite a few who would celebrate the departure from these (or any) pages of Thank God It’s Friday.

My fond — perhaps foolish — hope is, there are many more who would like it to continue. From the response I’ve had over the last 16 years the column has appeared, I reckon the ratio to be about 20-to-one in my favour. My problem has always been that the one in the 20 usually sits in a boardroom while the other 19 sit at bars, in the back of the bus, or under a coconut tree at the beach.

When I return to Trinidad permanently eight days from now, I will be able to say whether the column will go elsewhere. It may be that there may be only a very short or no break at all in its appearance in a newspaper on a Friday; which would please me, since a substantial part of my local readership is not online.

Until that is sorted, though, TGIF will appear on the internet at www.skettel.com, where The Pires Zone, a collection of these columns, is hosted. It will also appear online, at least temporarily, at www.cre-ole.com, since I happen to be sleeping with the proprietor of that website. (She’s my wife, and the publisher of Cré Olé magazine, the Guide to Dining & Nightlife in Trinidad & Tobago, and an internet site worth visiting in itself, especially if you have a few bucks to blow on lunch or dinner – look at that: my last free plug of a worthwhile venture in the Guardian – unless, of course, I can find some clever way of working in the new jointpop or Orange Sky album, Battimamzelle, Irie Bites, the Pelican, Don’s rumshop at Crystal Stream or 51 Degrees; I know I can also happily recommend Abel clay blocks and tiles, which might help.) Seriously, though, TGIF will also appear on www.cre-ole.com from next Friday until further notice; and I hope it doesn’t put you off your food.

(Look at that: nearly a whole paragraph in brackets. One day, this entire column will appear in parentheses; just like my professional life. Haha. Little self-denigrating humour there. Always a good idea to take a potshot at yuhelf now and again. Keep the knucks een for the real targets.)

So, once more, as I have done at least three times before – including once in this very space – I have to come up with some potentially famous last words, a particularly difficult ask when all their two million predecessors have rather tended towards infamy. And, too besides, as they say in Parliament, this time may well be the last, in truth.

What I could tell you?

If you never read me in Trinidad newspapers again, please remember that, even though I labour against the dehumanizing effects of religious doctrine, I endorse all aspects of religion God would approve of, like hymns and bhajans and Carnival. I don’t buy that God will be pleased if you fly a plane into a tall building or irate if you don’t eat fish on a Friday. And I especially don’t buy that God thinks the sex he himself created is so sacred (or so sinful), he must chinks it out through dubiously licensed or franchised ministers of religion. If that were so, there would be monkey, donkey and pothound priests; and amoebae would have devised ordination before binary fission.

Beyond that, only two things more.

One, all children are precious, not just those of the rich.

And, two.

The only point of living is to be truly useful, in some way, to your community, the community of living things. Bill Gates makes himself useful by aiming to put a computer on every desk. (Of course, he crashes several million times a day.) Greenpeace saves the dolphins. Monsanto meddles with genes to help the rapeseed. Bunji Galin makes us jump, wave and think.

This job of writing for you is the best I could imagine. I would do it for free. I would pay to do it (indeed, have already paid heavily). But I could only ever approach it with the respect befitting my Father’s work, and demand it be well-paid and well-treated. Or it would mean nothing to you; and would be torture for me. I leave you, temporarily, I hope, with the words of Janis Joplin, who died drunk, broke and lonely in the Seventies, but gave us all the definitive white-girl cover of “Summertime” and this timely, timeless advice: “Don’t compromise yourself; you’re all you’ve got”.

BC Pires is! You can email your please stays or firetruck offs to him at bc@wow.net

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