By Jamil Matar
I think that most people who are known by nicknames were christened with their monikers during their primary school days. This morning, Sunday December 15, a long-time acquaintance whom people in the Louisiana Area of town call “Head and Shoulders,” came to see me in relation to my article in The Guardian last week. “Head” works for an accounting firm, and his main interest in the Trial and Error technique favored by the infamous PUP contractor, Mr. Big Lindo, is to wonder what business format would such contractor use to submit a tender or an invoice to the Caribbean Development Bank? Would Mr. Lindo quote separately for each failed trial and error? I hate to flog a dead horse here, or to bore you, but “Head” has a good point and I would like to have a little deeper discourse on the man’s perspective.
Readers will have noted from the Channel 7 interview that even before Mr. Lindo has been able to complete a Band-Aid contract on a decaying bridge, he has proclaimed that the cost of a new bridge over the Haulover Creek is about $12 million (which represents a discount of almost $35 million below the lowest tender). He made this proclamation without even having reviewed the bridge’s specifications or its environment. “Head” is curious to know how Lindo would arrange his spreadsheet to the CDB; would there be separate projected expenditures entered for each individual trial and error during construction? The political question is: was Mayor Wagner being dishonest with constituents when he told viewers that Mr. Lindo was a certified engineer? Hope not, maybe just ignorant. Anyway, if my intuition prevails, let us not lose any sleep over our safety on that bridge, since I think that the odds of Mr. Lindo getting that contract is projected at being between zero and nil. Not that I have any say in the matter, mind you, since, like Big Lindo, I am just guessing here, people.
Because I am scribing this opinion on a Sunday as against my regular last minute Wednesday evening rush, I find myself needing to fill space, so, with your permission, I want to take a radical shift from politics and precarious bridges to theology, if you don’t mind. A former primary school principal here in OWT forwarded me a sermon from an evangelical pastor, a Mr. Jesse Duplantis, out of New Orleans, Louisiana. A synopsis of the sermon is that the black race is the only lineage of people who, even after enduring the chronicles of slavery, burnings, lynching, dragging, summary executions, and all forms of prejudices, have never blamed God for their tribulations. In fact, says Duplantis, blacks have faced these cruelties while singing “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art”. The pastor claims that after Satan saw that white on black violence did not sway the black people’s faith in the Lord, he is now coordinating and escalating black on black violence. I do not know if this is a solid theological thesis, or an attempt at white contrition.
Theological discussions usually trigger emotive reactions so I had better stay safe and stick to politics. Hence, my final thought for this column; I understand that massive crowds greeted Hon. Vega last week in San Luis, Douglas and San Jose. The Reds are coming back in droves to their former tent, shouting, “Gapi di come, Monchies!”
By Jamil Matar