Only in “Sweet, Sweet T&T”

In my neighbourhood, you can see a classic example of a “small man” in action.

The unnamed parlour sprung up almost overnight to challenge the monopoly of the legitimate neighbourhood shop (i.e. that place has a liquor license).  Conveniently located opposite the community’s poorly maintained recreational area (check out some of my earlier posts) and across the street from its competitor, the shop offers a variety of fresh produce (fruits and vegetables). The “small man” supplements his trade with the sale of another kind of agricultural product – “de herb,” as is evidenced by the no longer unusual presence of the young, unkempt, white, wannabe rasta, with other miscellaneous limers.

The “parlour man” carries on his commercial activity relatively unimpeded by the authorities.  As far as I can tell (on my unavoidable daily drives past his place of business):

Town & Country Planning has not paid him a visit for squatting (given the length of time that he has been there, regularisation must be just around the corner). His home and parlour are adjoined and made of cheap bricks, board, chicken wire and galvanize, which have been haphazardly tacked together (dangerous to be around in gusty winds). He seems to be collecting metal scrap for some purpose and his rusty car, which is a repair work in progress, has taken up a permanent spot in the narrow road.

The electricity company (T&TEC) has allowed him to keep his illegal connection as his television can easily be seen from the roadway and always seems to be on.

Social Services has not been called in to address the issue of the toddlers (his children?) in varying states of dress, seen hanging out on the pavement outside his parlour, at all hours of the day or night, without adequate adult supervision. I fear that one day I will hear that one of those toddlers  ran out into the nearby road and was “bounced down.”

Only on the rare occasion do the Police break their usual habit of stopping by for a friendly chat, or cheerily tooting their horns as they drive by, to intervene in some loud domestic dispute that usually involves what looks like “cuss-bud granny in her nightie” and a “baby mama.”  That is, a dispute louder than the musical selections of dancehall and rap that he, his family and clients like to share with the rest of the neighbourhood. 

The “small man’s” business continues to prosper.  In fact, things just might get better with the opening up of a new million-dollar, residential, hill-side development that his parlour and home serendipitously lie at the base of.  In preparation for this, the enterprising “small man” has repainted his “property” to match that of the development.

Only in “sweet, sweet T&T.”

Mango

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~ by mangoandmosquitoblog on February 26, 2008.

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