This Heat is a Crime

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Alicia Chamely
By Alicia Chamely

ERLA! I want to report an assault! The victims of this heinous act of aggression? Myself and 1.29 plus other Trinis!

The perpetrator? This (expletive deleted) sun!

The level of heat that has been radiating down on us over the last week can be considered a war crime. Every fan, every AC in my household is working overtime at full speed just for us to exist in some level of comfort. Pretty soon I’m going to choose whether I want to pay my exorbitant electricity bill or feed my family.

And the laundry! Lord have mercy! Cause you know in this heat you must change your drawers and other garments regularly. So, it’s load after load of sweat-soaked clothes.

Neil Transport Services

I’m over it. My white flag is raised in the air.

The Meteorological Office of Trinidad and Tobago (TTMS) put out a Hot Spell bulletin yesterday, which in my opinion was about a week too late. Thanks, but we figured it out on our own.

Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) has decided to show its contempt for the population by going extra time on its overhead powerline maintenance, meaning every day some cursed area is without electricity from 7 am to 4 pm to power their life-saving fans and cooling devices.

You can’t even depend on the breeze to cool you down. The cool Caribbean breezes that writers and poets love to muse about, have turned into the breaths of dragons. The breeze is hot… not warm… hot!

The heat seems to be getting to the Government as well. For them, it was so unpleasant they needed to go on a retreat just days after the opening of Parliament.

We know the heat was getting to both Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds, as both men exhibited some out-of-character behaviour.

After the opening of Parliament, Dr Rowley was asked to rate the performance of both Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood Christopher and National Security Minister Hinds in response to our worsening crime situation, which now includes a meth lab… that’s right we got our own Walter White.

Now regularly our PM would use this opportunity to defend his chosen team (as all politicians do… especially if the public opinion is against them). But Dr Rowley instead shrugged and chose to neither rate nor defend them.

This sent alarm bells ringing. His failure to aggressively defend and praise them was unusual and hinted that perhaps our PM had lost his confidence in the crime-fighting duo. In a strange way, this made me feel a little hopeful. Was he seeing what we his people are seeing? Had he come to terms with the reality that the current crime-fighting tactics of our Ministry of National Security and Police Service were failing? Could this be a sign of change to come?

Then came the rumors of a Cabinet reshuffle. When questioned about the possibility of a reshuffle the usually self-assured Fitzgerald Hinds didn’t puff up his chest and express his confidence that he would be safe and cosy in his ministerial position. Rather, he just said his fate was in the hands of Dr Rowley. He didn’t add any “I am confident Dr Rowley sees me as an asset yada yada yada”. He seemed oddly deflated.

The heat, it was the heat. Had to be. Because after cooling down at the government retreat and newly invigorated Dr Rowley announced at Thursday’s post-cabinet press conference that despite the speculative blather there would be no Cabinet reshuffle, and all was good in the hood.

Neil Transport Services

Regarding crime, Dr Rowley said after much discussion, the painful decision was made to invite the Opposition to engage in crime talks.

I know I am not the only one who pictured the opposition rolling into that meeting all dressed in cowboy costumes, shooting pop cap guns and bawling, “LOAD DE MATIC!”

I don’t have faith.

Perhaps the heat will get to the criminals too and they will decide to go on ocean-side retreats… but then again maybe not.

In the meantime, please do me a favour and use sunscreen! No one is immune to sunburn and skin damage, not even my most melanin-blessed brothers and sisters.

Until the sun is tried and convicted, please do Freckles over here a favour and slather on that SPF, drink plenty of liquids, and stay in the shade. As I have just illustrated, this heat will affect your brain.


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