EASTER: A NAME CALLING EXCURSION

EASTER:  A NAME CALLING EXCURSION                                                                                   04 05 2012

BY EWALT AINSWORTH

The Belfield Litchfield corridor, scores of people earned their false names; some names were complete sentences…literally and metaphorically because today, 40/50 years after the fact. The names handed down, have passed on to the children of the original gangsters intact and in a complete sentence.  In Victoria, for example, one Good Friday during the announcements portion of the service, Big-Chatter declared:  “Today being good Friday, there will be no Sunday school; later we would have an open air meeting in the vestry; black ties only.”  Would you believe someone turned up not wearing any clothes and just tie and spectacles only.

In the West Coast Berbice area, a man ends up with a false name…SPRING CURASS.

Both you and I know that is only poor people used to eat shrimps, sheriga-crab, crecketeh and Curass.  You had to be really down and out….. more down than out to have that meal.  As a matter of fact, if crab or crecketeh was cooked, it was bush cook or entertainment cook after a proper meal.  Some parents if you use the pot to cook anything like that, is you and the pot getting dash-way.  

Anyhow, after Lent on a good-good Good Friday, a man serves to his fiancée dried curass head broth.  With two slices of homemade bread to the side.  The woman eat the two slices a bread, drink a cup of water and when the man was not paying attention, she run out the house with she Graphic grip.  She walk and talk and tell everybody about eh curass head soup he boil and serve in a calabash.  Up to day like today, the man is called CURASS. In North America, we put a handle on the name and now calling him   SPRING CURASS because as he get older he getting to look like and resemble a real real curass.  I know the man, you know the man; all ahwee know the man.

Another Good Friday, some years later, there was a man who had just married a nurse-girl from the village Victoria and lived in the building popularly known as o CHO KAI after the original Chinese owners.  As all of us know, it is tantamount to a cardinal sin to eat or do business on Good Friday in those days.  People used to talk in whispers and very penitent and the men who drank, would mould up and haul up in a corner watching and waiting for the evening hour of 6.00 pm to resume where they had left off.  Cars too did not work on that day and foot pedestrians were literally unheard of.

Anyway, in the silence and reverence to that Good Friday, this Married-Man took a perch at his window and was casually looking out when suddenly he heard screeching tyres and a loud impact as if someone was struck and presumably killed. Immediately people came screaming from all around in grave concern as to find out who on such a sanctimonious day would be hit down by vehicular traffic?

To this day, 40 years later, I do not know the correct name of the only eye witness to the accident.
As people rushed and came out to see what had happened, by this time he had made a leap and a jump into the roadway and started shaking his hands and shouting people not to be too concerned.  His call to action was to go back home and “put on water,”

It was a big pig that immediately gave birth to 23 piglets at the side of the road after impact.  All the piglets survived but the folks took his advice, slaughtered the pig and put on water to clean and distribute the pork.  The name PUT ON WATER has stuck with that family.

As part of the research for this piece, I was informed that PUT-ON-WATER died a few short years ago by motor-cycle accident on the Soesdyke/Linden highway.  His wife, Aileen Charles, still works as a nurse manager at the bauxite mining town hospital.

Changing gears.  On the East Coast of Demerara, the most vehicular traffic is not Christmas as some people may think.  It is Easter and two years ago, a countryman from Victoria took home his trophy wife who originally hails from Anns Grove.  He arrived like the Thursday night and rented a car from the airport and was driving himself around.  Remember, he is from Victoria and she hails from Anns Grove and so after a dinner and shower at the hotel in Georgetown, they both decided to visit with his mom and family at Victoria.

Oh boy.  They were so pleased to see them both and the family welcomed them and they had a few drinks and Chinese food ordered in and they ganged and remembered all the stories and so on and so.  Fore-day morning, they said goodbye and hopped into the car and he attempted to turn left to return to Georgetown and the wife accused him of being selfish.  She told him “is not you alone got family; me family live quite up the road” and in the interest of peace, he swung around in a rate and floored the MAZDA.

Speeding thru Victoria in the wee hours of the morning, he struck a pig in the roadway.  By the time he stopped and back up all he heard in the darkness that Good Friday morning, was a pig squealing at the top of its lungs.  He did not see it but an examination of the car revealed hairs and a very slight indent.  They made it eventually to her family and stayed the rest of the day until late that evening.

Fast forward.  When they came back to Brooklyn after the three week vacation, they got a ticket in the mail for leaving the scene of an accident and failing to file a report.  The guy contacted the police on Empire Boulevard and they denied knowledge of the incident.  He then called overseas to Cove and John which has jurisdiction over Victoria.  He spoke to an Assistant Commissioner named Persaud who told him too, that “THEY HAD NO SUCH NOTICE ISSUED”.  Persaud suggested to him that perhaps “the pig squealed” and hence the ticket in the mail.  The wife and children have re-christened him “SQUEAKY-SQUEALY.  Enjoy your Easter.

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One response to this post.

  1. Enjoyable read.

    We Guyanese are so creative with false names that I’ve started a collection of these names.

    Reply

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