Thursday, December 20, 2012

Family and the wild life in Florida.



I am visitin' them immigrants, that is, my family, in Florider, and as usual on a Sunday morning, everything start out sweet 'n' civilised, like bread and jam and tea.

Sunshine is chilling in a cool wind while in the house everybody's talkin' their own thing all at once.

I'm on the phone with Cousin Lis who live in the boondocks far from Miami, which, as we all know from watching tee vee, is the center of action in America.

According to Cousin Lis, noooo thing don't happen in the boondocks.  To get there, you got to yawn your way through Alligator Alley, past hay an' ponds an' men with baggy pants dropping down their bums. Cousin Lis does work in a' academic institution'til night, she don't see daylight much, po' thing. To give she a li'l taste o' life, I paint descriptions of the goings-on around me.

All around me, domesticity is co-operating for this special day. Sister is preparing food for my birthday, December 16, which, in case nobody ain't know, is Beethoven birthday. And Noel Coward. Mammy is cutting veggies, kuuchuuup-kuuuchup, at the kitchen table. Long-tall, cool, 15 year-old nephew nicknamed Imu, is Swiffer-mopping the dining-room, and brother-in-law is dusting and tidying.

13 year-old nephew, nicknamed Shasho, slide open the glass-door in the dining-room, step out to the patio to check on school egg-speriment. Eggs in covered, see-through plastic cups half-full with plain soda or cola. The egg-shell was cracked, proving that not all things sweet is good. Sister yell instructions and somewhere in she hollering  you hear notes and photos. The boy nod and ignore.

Suddenly, domesticity crack like Shasho egg-shell in de soda. 

"Look, a goose out there." Mammy who been peeping through the other glass-door behind she, hollar out. 

"That ain't no goose," I say. "Thaz a duck...two ducks! Ohmegosh, yes, look, a goose!"

The trio's a-picking and a-digging in de garden, thiefin' them worms that Shasho fatten with food scraps.

Somebody holler, Take pictures, and Shasho run in for a camera. 

Cousin Lis on de phone in de boondocks perk up. "Ketch it and curry it," she instruct.

(Don't worry enviro'ment people, that is a family joke about how we coolie people like to curry everything).

I call across de kitchen to brother-in-law. "Hey, A., you know how to make meat hallal?"

Hallal or as the Jews say, Kosher, we answer to a Higher Authority. You got to say a prayer to bless the meat, cut the animal neck a certain way then let the blood bleed out.

Brother-in-law mumble, and sister announce, "Shasho know how."

Like a' army general, the goose turn to face me nephew with the camera. 

No, not to pose.

The goose stiffen he neck. He eye and he face take on a certain look. As we-the-people Back Home would say, Warrish.

Lemme tell you. I know all about goose attacking people. Mammy regale we with plenty tales from she childhood, she's regaling again as we gaze at de goose.

"Run, Shasho," I holler.

"Ohhhhh me Lawd, it gon attack," mammy cry out. Then continue regaling.

"The only thing about goose is that they too fatty," Cousin Lis is saying into the phone in a tone like we's at a' artsy-fartsy party discussing French food.

My sister, in great excitment, cry out, Waggawagulywah. Brother-in-law repeat it backwards, Hawylugawaggaw.

Shasho pick up he heels and giddyup like a horsie at Kentucky Derby. Po' boy, he forget about the step-up by the glass-door. Whops, he hit he foot.

"Look at Imu," I say to Cousin Lis who can't see through the phone...we ain't that evolved as yet to have phones that transmit pictures as we talk.

Imu is leaning on the Swiffer stick, he lips curl from end to end in amusement, he huge, dark eyes full-up with merriment, and he shirtless shoulders is shaking with silent laughs.

Baapa and Ma, me nephews' other grandparents arrive for lunch, and we tell them about the goose. Suddenly, Brother-in-law remember. "The goose takes care of the ducks, he's always with them, they live by the lake..."

Well, thaz the next odd thing about Miami. Them developers dig big ponds near housing communities, and they call the ponds "lakes"  to fancy them up. Then they let the geese and the 'gators loose.

But never mind them, I'm having fun with the fambly. Only trouble is, we's going to let loose in the boondocks with mo' cousins and spouses and mo' chil'ren this weekend. Them po' neighbours there might well think the world is ending then... 

1 comment:

Guyana-Gyal said...

I stupidly deleted ALL wonderful comments by mistake. They were quite hilarious, the comments were.