Ok. Sorry folks. I’ve had a writing block this week, so I could not make myself write for a good laugh. So yesterday I asked my humor friend to help me paint something funny. Then I realized I didn’t have to rock my brain to hard when Gando came to mind.
Yes, Gando’s real name was Idovia, and she was my maternal grand-mother. She is the old lady with the large wood spoon, about to slap the crap out of her husband. Well, from what I recalled, she did not beat him, but she sure had not problem slapping others who played with her money. That old lady was a business woman, shipping plaintans and coffee all over Haiti. But, for as long as I can remember, she was always grinding coffee beans, which although she sold, but I think she probably drunk most of it. I’m not talking about the American coffee either. My grandmother coffee was like the Cuban expresso which she drunk probably six LARGE WHITE FULL cup per day. I had no problem helping her out, and I think I was five.
The tall young/old man in the painting is her husband. Yes, my grand-father was like a giant. He always held a machete, and for the life of me, he must have lived inside the banana plantation. I don’t recalled seeing him anywhere else. The first time I saw her, I thought he had just arrived from Africa.
And the river in the back, do I need to say more? It was like a paradise!!!
Yes, the little girl with the light blue dress standing by the river, way in the back of Gando’s house, is ME!
Enjoy – Waiting for your feedback!
Father Pierre pleasantly answered, “Good morning! And good morning to you both! But what is going on between you two again?”
Sister Morte held both of her hands together, as if she was about to say a prayer, she promptly answered, “Father, I highly recommend we transfer this troubled child to a more suitable school.” And I strongly recommend some major penance for her, or I fear she will be a lost case.”
Then I also placed both of my hands together, as if I was about to say a prayer, before I said: “Father Bald head, I think you should return Dracula’s wife back to him. If not, Sister Morte will suck all the children blood from this school!”
“Who is Sister Morte?” Father answered, as he refrained himself from laughing.
“Dracula’s wife Father. Don’t you know, all the children are complaining about her. We all refer to her as the “Nasty Unpleasant Nature” Nun.”
“Oh my child!” Exclaimed Father Bald Head. “You must not speak so unpleasantly of the servant of our Lord. She is considered to be the spouse of our Lord. Whatever misunderstanding between you two, I’m sure with prayer, it can be resolved. Don’t’ you think so little angel?”
“Little Angel?” Sister Marie, I mean Sister Morte yelled. Immediately after she took a deep breath, she said, “Father, this child is far from being an angel. I’m afraid she is as stubborn as a mule, and she’s the enemies’ offspring, therefore all the prayers of the Saints couldn’t possibly transport her soul back into the light.”
” I was so infuriated by her statement, I decided to take matters into my own hands, so I yelled back: “Well at least I’m still a child, and only had my first communion so far. There’s still hope for me!!! But I bet you had your six sacraments, and.“
“Ok, both of you, in- MY – OFFICE!” Father Bald Head said impatiently.
So both of us folded our arms almost simultaneously. When we realized we had the same habit, we both dropped them as fast as possible. We suddenly attempted to walk forward, but accidently bumped to each other. So, there I was standing in front of her, with my head up, staring at her. I felt like a tiny aunt crawling on a giant tree. Father stood there with his hand crossed, as if he wanted us to realize how much we had in common. Sister Morte finally raised her chin, then turned around, as quickly as she could, and started to walk toward the direction of Father’s office. Then, I refolded my arms, as I followed her. Father remained behind us.
As we entered his office, he instructed us to take a sit, as he pulled a book from the shelf.
“You sit there child!” Sister Morte said.
“No, you sit there, I want to sit in front of Father.” I answered her.
So Father silently got up, pulled both chairs, and placed his chair in the center. Now we were all sitting behind his desk, next to Father.
“Please read this passage.” As he pointed his finger on a particular paragraph, he gave the book to Sister Morte.
It reads: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”
Then Father instructed her to: Give the book to Angel, so she can read the following sentence. So, I gladly grabbed the book from Sister Morte, then read:
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Immediately I raised my head and turned toward Sister Morte and yelled “You see, I knew you were salty, even the book said it Sister Morte. With a smile I said, “But I’m a light, and.”
Father interrupted “The PURPOSE of this reading was not meant for you both to pass judgment on each other! As he lowered his tone, “But rather for a reflection on self.” Let me read the third sentence.”
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
After he was finished, we both remained silent. Almost speechless, as if we were ashamed. And to justify the shame and the guilt which evidently prickled my heart, I slowly whispered:
“Well she is the salty one!”
Sister Morte turned to look at me, but did not say a word. Then as Father closed the book, he said “With that being said, I have an assignment for you both to complete together.”
“TOGETHER?” We both yelled. “BUT THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!!!”
To be continued.
I love Catholic schools. I think their academic standards are excellent, although I still question some of their religious beliefs. Yes, I respect their worldwide excellence in contributing not only on an academic level, but charitable as well. Furthermore, I have to admit, while my siblings went to Catholic school during most of their academic training, I on the other hands went there, during some of my academic years. Honestly, one day I could not stop myself. I felt obliged to squeeze the wrath out of one particular nun. That’s when I asked her the following question:
“Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?”
Yap! She was one of my elementary school teacher. Her name Was Sister Marie, but I called her “Sister Morte,” which meant in French “Sister Dead”
“What did you say?” She answered me. So I repeated:
“Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed THIS MORNING?”
“Venez ici – Petite impertinente!” Meaning “Come here you little impertinent!”
I did not budge. “Come here – I said!” As she slightly raised her voice.
“Not with that ruler in your hand Sister! Remember, last time you hit me so hard, the palm of my hand turned as red as a plum tomatoe. Yes, it was swollen for two days, just because I wore a blue SOCK instead of WHITE!”
So, as she proudly raised her chin, she said: “The prowwww-per uniform code is “Whittt’e shirt. Naaaa-vy blue skirt. AND “white,” Yes “WHITTT’E Sock!” But, you were wearing BLUE sock, and today, you are still wearing a BLUE SOCK!”
So I answered her in the same tone: “Well Sister MORTE, do you remember that I Aaaaaam a chiiiiiiii-ld and, this is what the sorcière (meaning witch) caring for ME, gave ME to wear this morning? For all I know, you both are probably sisters!”
“Young lady, you must not call your mother a witch.” By then she was trying to grab me by my ear.
So I started playing jump rope between the chairs, so she could not catch me, while I answered her: “For your information, I was not referring to my mother, because she lives in New York, while Im here in Haïti, with another hateful woman. I BET you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you? “Since you are stuck between these four walls, like you were in jail, where you deserve to be!”
“Ok young lady, I’m taking you to the principal office!”
“Good! Because I don’t want to be in your class anyway!” Then, I ran out of the class before she could catch me.
She took a short cut and met with me near the garden where I was standing admiring the flowers. As soon as she saw me, she straightened her posture, raised her chin in the air, made her look like a flat iron board, as she walked passed me. She occasionally turned back to stare at me, by then I was hoping on one leg, while I held the other leg with my hand. By the look she gave me, I could read in her mind; “as if she thought of me as the child from hell. But couldn’t bring herself to say it, for fear she would see a reflection of herself.” So I kept on hopping. Annoyed, she finally turned toward me to say in a calm voice:
“Young girls must not hop like this, so walk properly!”
So I replied “And dead nun should not walk with their chin up, a fly may come and hide inside their nose!”
So I kept on hoping. Then I saw another bush of pink roses. They were so beautiful, I felt compelled to at least touch them. While I admired them, I also cut a handful to make a bouquet for Sister Claire. She was my favorite nun, and she was not only beautiful but pleasant as well. But when sister Morte noticed I was cutting the flowers, she yelled, “Leave the flowers alone!” So I turned to her and said:
“Because they are not here for you to cut, but to beautify the school yard – Petite impertinente!”
“Excuse me Sister Morte, but If you were a true nun, you would understand that God created these gorgeous flowers not only to beautify the schoolyard, but for me to give them to my favorite sister, and it’s not for you either! And I bet you will never get some flowers because you are too mean!”
Just as I was shaking my little head, with my butt pointing behind, I sensed a presence. When I turned, it was my favorite priest, standing with his arm crossed over his fat stomach. Then he said: “Another feud between you two?”
“Good morning Father Bald head!” I shouted with a smile.
But she greeted him without a smile “Good morning father Pierre.”
Father Pierre pleasantly answered, “Good morning! And good morning to you both! But what is going on between you two again?”
As she held both of her hands together, as if she was about to say a prayer, she promptly answered, “Father, I highly recommend we transfer this troubled child to a more suitable school.” Furthermore, I strongly recommend some major penance for her as well, or I’m afraid she will be a lost case.”
Father Pierre turned to me with a questionable stare, awaiting an answer. Thankfully I had just watched the movie Dracula for the first time, so I had a whole bucket full of new expression. I held both of my hands together just as she did, like I was about to saymy prayer. Then I answered him:
“Father Bald head, I think you should return Dracula’s wife back to him. If not, Sister Morte will suck all the children blood from this school!”
To be continued
It was the custom of the old folks in my family to leave a cup of coffee on the side for our ancestors. They believed if they continued to feed our ancestors, they would remained strengthened, since the chief family members were somehow ordained to protect those who were still alive. Looking back, I was about two years old, when I started drinking their coffee. In fact, I also thought they would need help with the large plate of food reserved for them as well. Eventually both, my grandmother and my aunt found out about my innocent venture, so they thought they needed to teach me a valuable lesson. But from what I heard, they were the one who were left intrigued.
I’m told I was four years old when this incident happened. Apparently, for three consecutive days, I was enjoying myself while feasting on the ancestor’s food. Afterward, I would walk outside to yell to the old folks: “Mm-Mm! Gran Do, the spirit said the food was good!” “Gran Do, who was my grandmother thought something was strange. “This is strange!” She said. “The ancestors sure ate that food fast – They usually would send a visitor, or a beggar to ask for some food, or the food would remain till completely dried out.”
Of course, I was too young to understand my grandmother’s concern, so I just kept on eating. But after three consecutive day, my grandmother cooked a dish named “Chaka,” which was a blend of corns, beans, squash, coconut, you name it – it had it! On that day however, while I was eating the bowl of Chaka, I fell asleep, with the bowl right on top of my chubby stomach. So Gran Do who happened to walk inside the house, saw me snoring my heart out. The bowl of Chaka spilled all over my body, my whole face, and my hands were bathed in Chaka. Now Gran Do who didn’t know what to think, decided to call her older sister.
“Now, don’t know what to think of this Sis – You think the child has been eating the spirits food?” She asked auntie.
“Don’t know Sis – Don’t know! But she’s been telling me she ain’t hungry for dinner. I was going to give her a laxative on Saturday!”
We need to find out, before those spirits get angry at the child.” Gran Do said.
“Well! She is family, sure they won’t hurt her, but we can still test her to see if she’s the one eating them food. She loves fish you know, so let’s make some fish tomorrow and place it on the ancestors table again.”
But Gran Do answered: “I will make some fish all right, but will teach her a lesson. Will put all the pepper and the salt I can put my finger on, in that fish – “Have to teach her a hard lesson, or this child is doomed to be too much for us to handle later on.”
“Well, what do you expect Sis. Both on her mamma and Papa side are Moses – Didn’t you hear what the priest said in church? That Moses man from the Big book opened the ocean with his little finger, and killed all the Gyptians? That’s a lot of power for one man. For all we know, he’s probably the one eating all the food through that poor child – The child is unusual, must say!”
“Well – don’t care sis. After I’m done with her, some of that power should leak through her tongue, nose, even her ears, because she’ll be screaming “HOT through her butthole!”
So Gran Do and her sister did as they had planned. In fact, the fish was seasoned with so much hot pepper, that tears dropped from their eyes as they were cooking. Finally, after they served the ancestors the large fish, which they placed on their special table, the old folks sit outside waiting. About half an hour later, I ran out of the house, with the plate of fish, screaming my heart out: “Gan Do, THE SPIRIT SAID THE FISH IS TOOOOOOO HOT – HOT – HOT – HOT!!!”
Both Ma Do and auntie dropped themselves on the floor, as they could not stop laughing. However, since they had already prepared some cold lemonade, they decided to show me some mercy, so they both rushed toward the lake, the direction they saw me take off. But when they arrived there, they were shocked to see my whole body lying flat on the ground, with my head toward the lake, under the water, while the plate of fish was still next to me. When I eventually lifted up my head, it was just to grab another bite, then to dip my whole head under the water again. I continued the same process, till I ate the whole fish. After I was completely done, I sunked my whole body under the water while I rinsed the wood plate which held the fish. The old folks stood at a distance while watching me in action. I finally walked toward them, and when I noticed them, I handed the plate back to then, and said:
“Mm-Mm! Gran Do and auntie, the spirit love the fish, but was a bit too spicy. The spirit said, you can make some more tomorrow!”
“Auntie shook her head in disbelief, then turned to Gran Do to say: “Sis, is she an angel, or a demon? I think we need to place her in a box, send her back to her papa, and have Jonas write a note: “Return to Papa!”
“Ma Do answered, “Are you crazy? The child has enough fire in her to destroy Satan and hell three times over. Besides, whether she’s an angel or demon, with her on our side, should guarantee us a good post in heaven, or hell. “So I say she ain’t going nowhere!!!”
Auntie answered: “You sure right Sis. – You sure right! In this case, let’s make her some more fish tomorrow, she sure liked it!”
“She sure did – But with just a little pepper!”
But tomorrow after I ate the fish, I said “Did you old folks forgot how to cook? The spirit said “Not enough pepper!”
I knew a woman who despised her own daughter. When she told the love of her life she was pregnant with his second child, she was told he was getting married to another woman.” However, if the baby was to carry the father’s last name, the law required for him to marry after the baby was born. So, at the father’s request, the wedding was postponed till July, after the baby’s birth. Of course, his fiancé was not pleased as well. So the poor child, even prior to her birth, had managed to anger two women, who would eventually despised her.
The pregnant woman was furious of course. In despair to get rid of the baby, she drunk every tea known in her custom to prevent the fetus from surviving, but that little fighter kept on living anyway. She had previously expressed her intention to give the baby away after birth, but her mother warned her: “You will not do such a thing, and I better don’t hear anything happened to that baby either!” So, past the midpoint of her pregnancy, after drinking multiple cups of tea daily, when the woman realized the remedies were hopeless, she decided to have an abortion which was performed in secret back then.
One early morning after she left her house, while no one knew where she went. On her way to the doctor’s office, she noticed a dark tall man starring at her. In fact, he came and sit right next to her on the bus. After a couple minutes of silence, he finally asked her:
“Why are you about to commit this heinous act?”
Somehow, she was not surprised she said. She thought he was a seer. So she answered: “My body is mine to do as I’m pleased.”
He said:” You are about to have a special baby girl, a gift which you should cherish.”
She was furious by then, so she answered: “I don’t’ care! And, even if she’s to become the Queen of this country, I still don’t want her!”
His answer: “Go ahead, do as you’ve planned; “If you can!!!”
The woman claimed, as they both walked out of the bus, the man had disappeared. And later on, she was shocked to feel, just when about the time for the doctor to proceed with the abortion, the baby leaped in her womb, afterward kept on kicking. Finally, the doctor shook his head and said, “I cannot proceed with this procedure Mme. This baby is vividly alive, and constantly playing soccer in your womb. Besides, you would risk losing not only the baby, but your life as well, if I proceed.” She was furious of course. And when she went back home, she said she had one goal: “One way or the other, I will get rid of this baby.”
She continued her quest, she drunk several cups of tea daily. By her house was an unfinished wall, tall enough for her to jump off every morning. But, that little soccer player not only lived full term, she was also overdue. By then, the baby’s grandmother who closely monitored her pregnancy, had a dream one night. She saw a beautiful woman with a blue shawl, sprinkled with gold stars, came to tell her: “Be aware Idovia – the baby will be born tomorrow, and it will be a girl.” Immediately the old lady woke up, and sent news ahead: “Go tell that witch, who is my daughter, “The baby will be born today, and I’m on my way, and I better don’t see a scratch on her when I get there!” As the old lady heard in the dream, it was so. On the same day, while the woman was drinking her last cup of murder tea, she went into labor, and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. But she still wanted no part of her. Thankfully, the old lady was there to grab the baby from the woman. Then the old lady chose one of her best friend, to be the girl’s God-Mother, who also loved her dearly. Her father continued to care for her, although he married the other woman, a couple months later.
The little girl was special indeed. She had a heart full of love and compassion for everyone around her, particularly for the poor. Quite often, she had vision, and vivid dreams about her surrounding and the future. She was loved by everyone, with the exception of her mother. Unfortunately, the woman’s heart was so hardened against the child that she would never learn to love her daughter. But, the Almighty’s sense of humor should never be questioned. For He gave the little girl a gift of genuineness, which was enough to drive her mother insane!
- At three she would tell her mother whom she called auntie: “I can see angel’s auntie, but you will see demons because you are not nice to me.”
- At four, she would not drink tea, instead she will answer: “Drunk enough tea from auntie’s stomach, now am immune to poison.”
- At five after a butt whooping, she would tell her: “You are too mean, and God don’t like evil, so don’t blame me if He calls you home today.” (Thank God, her grandmother kept her away for a couple weeks.)
- At five, when the milk lady came to collect her money, and when her brother told the lady: “Mom is not here, and she forgot to leave the milk money.” The little girl answered, “Why are you lying? Mom is right behind the door lady, think she was waiting for you, since she saw you coming!”
- At six, after she dreamed her mother was leaving in a plane, she ran toward her mother with excitement to tell her:
“A man with long hair just told me “You see that plane up there, your mother will soon get in that plane, for she wil travel to a faraway land.” The mother who was talking to a friend slapped the girl on her lips. When the girl asked her “Why did you slapped me for? It’s the truth” The mother replied:” Because you are talking about my damn business”. The girl then said: “If it was only your damn business, the old man wouldn’t have told me about it!”
“You say one more word, and I will cut off that smart tongue of yours. Go head, just one more word!” The mother said out of anger.
The girl remained quiet for a moment, then she walked back toward her bed to lay down. The mother yelled, “Why did you go back to bed? It’s time to get up!”
The young girl answered: “I know. But I went back to bed to see if I can go back to sleep, because I forgot to ask the old man something.”
“What did you forget to ask him? Get off the bed I said.”
The girl answered: I forgot to ask him if you were coming back after you left iin that plane? “If so, could he use his magic to make sure you never come back!”
The end of the story: “Let say it was a good thing the little girl was able to run at the speed of lightning to the church next door!” LOL
My father owned a convenient store in Haïti, a small town, about forty-five minutes from Port-Au-Prince; the Capital of Haïti. During the summer, our family often spent a few days vacationing there, since there was also a house right behind the store. But I recalled one particular weekend, my aunt and I went up there alone, since her mom (Aunt Sawsaw” was the one in charge of the store. I was probably 13, while she was 18 years old.
That Saturday morning, when aunt Sawsaw had to run some errands, she left my aunt and I alone in the store. But, since she knew how much we loved sardine, she gave us a long lecture before she left.
“You see that box of sardine on the shelf up there?”
After we looked up, we said: “Yes Aunt Sawsaw.”
“Now, whenever I come back, if I don’t see it right at the same spot, I better find the money in the cash register. “Do you hear me?”
“Yes!” We both humbly answered.
Immediately after aunt Sawsaw left, we climbed on a high chair and grabbed the last box of sardine. After we seasoned it with some lime and hot pepper, we ate it with some fresh bread, and avocado. In fact, we even had some cookies for dessert, plus some soda to seal the deal. “If we were going to get in trouble, it might as well be all worth it.”
Well, to be honest, this was not my reasoning. Because, even at thirteen, I was still very gullible. In fact, everyone knew I could not lie for a million $$$. So my aunt being aware of this fact, and out of fear that I would end up telling her mother the truth, made it her mission to rehearse the whole scenario with me prior to her mother’s arrival. Yes, we spent the whole day rehearsing.
“Listen to me! ” She said. “I know you don’t know how to lie, but you must try to remember what I’m about to tell you, or we’re both in deep trouble! “Whenever my mother ask you about the box of sardine, even if she waits till next year or five years from now, you must always give her the same answer: “We sold the box of sardine right after she left.”
I answered, “Yes auntie.”
“Again, if she says, “Where is the box of sardine?” You are to answer:
“We sold it and placed the money in the cash register drawer.”
If she says “What did you girls ate while I was away?” You must answer:
“We ate some peanut butter and bread, and had some lemonade.”
Two hours later when aunt Sawsaw finally arrived, her first glimpse was the high shelf. Of course the sardine was gone. Then she said “Oh! I see the box of sardine is gone?”
I promptly replied, “Yes auntie, we sold it to a fat lady with a red dress, and the money is right in the cash register.”
She said: “I see. Mm-Mm!”
A couple minutes later, when my aunt came to greet her, she said: “So you girls ate the sardine?”
My aunt answered “No mom, we sold it to a young girl, right after you left, and the money is in the cash register drawer.
Aunt Sawsaw said: “I see. Mm-Mm!”
About four hours later, right before bed time, aunt Sawsaw called me: “Nadège, grab the comb, come and scratch my scalp so I can tell you some tales.” (It was common in our Country at night to listen to the old folks sotries prior to bedtime.”
“Ok aunt Sawsaw!”
I rushed toward the room with great anticipation because I loved to listen to her old stories. But, just about fifteen minutes later, in the midst one of her story she stopped, then after she stretched her arms, closed her eyes as if she was falling asleep, then said,
“So, with what did you girls ate the sardine again? Did you girls broiled some plantains and had some lemonade?”
I answered: “No aunt Sawsaw. “We ate it with some bread, had some cold soda, and some cookies for dessert right after you left!”
“Idovia” was my maternal grandmother’s name, but we called her “Dodo.” I must admit, she was a unique character. One thing for sure, she didn’t bargain with nonsense, and her tongue was as sharp as a two-edged swords. Furthermore, her fearsome stares were like murder attempts, so everyone knew not to piss her off whenever she was having a bad day.
After reading this story, you should pretty much sum up my Grandmother’s character. Enjoy!
“Now, Dodo what is it I heard you cursed the priest during your confession?” She was asked by one of my great uncles.
As she pulled her donkey toward the gigantic mango tree, she did not even bother to turn her head back while she murmured, “Is it your damn business whether I cursed the priest or the angels?”
Her cousin replied, “You think you’re a tough old lady, but one of these days, the Good Old Lord will bargain with you couzin!”
After she tied the donkey, she slowly walks back toward him. Her bow legs were notable, which made her look even shorter standing next to him, but she was always fearless. She then placed both hands on her hip,
Yes, I’m as tough and raw as a steak, and stubborn as a mule. The Good Old Lord created me just like that, you have a proble with that? “Besides, that damn priest was asking me about my grand-daughter; had nothing to do with my confession!”
“Now cousin, he was just asking you about Angel, he probably missed the child since she’s been gone, what’s wrong with that?”
“Oh please, he’s not about to find out from me! Why the hell he wants to know anyway?”
The old man felt annoyed by her behavior, slightly raised his voice. “Now Dodo, you went to confession, instead, you end up sinning even more. So why even bother?”
“Oh please! Lived to be one hundred one years – Seen all the shit and neat in this life, cursing a priest won’t make any difference.”
After she rushed to grab a large piece of wood, she said “Now, don’t you raise your crocodile voice on me either, or I will bust every dry bone in your body.”
Since he knew he was tramping on thin ice, he started walking away. Standing at at distant from her, he said,
“Can’t imagine what could have gone so wrong so early in the morning; just five in the mornin’ cousin.”
She yelled, “Your face is what’s wrong cousin! “It’s bad enough you’re drinking my coffee at five o’clock in the mornin’ – but you show up here with your shirt looking like dirt buying filth to talk about my damn business!”
He yelled back, “Your coffee? Couzin this is not your coffee! Remember, I planted, harvested and even grilled the coffee beans before I gave them to you.”
After she snatched the cup from him she said, “AND? Still wasn’t no damn coffee till I broiled the water and add the sugar. Then I had to serve you in my damn cup too! Plus, while you’re sitting here farting on my chair, I have to stare at your face, looking like a bee nest.”
“You’re sure one mean woman – don’t know how the hell you got married!” He said.
“What can I say couzin? “Been in training here in hell since I was a little girl, and just about to transition to heaven now; away from you. Ain’t an easy task either!”
“Heaven?” Her cousin answered. “ If I were the Good Old Lord, I wouldn’t let you live one million miles from me; you’ll probably take over!”
“Damn right I will! – After I marry Him! Now get off my land before I bust your lips!”
HEAVEN CAN WAIT!
The story I’m about to tell you is about a little girl, who believed in honesty at all costs. Of course, a blend of true and friction. So enjoy.
During my visit to my great auntie’s, I heard a few stories dated back from my childhood. I was trying to see, how far back my memory would serve me. So, I asked her to share them with me.
“If you knew Mamma?” She answered me. “You were Mama’s little friend, before she passed away. In fact, you were the last one who saw her alive. You were a tiny little thing too. Chubby, light skinned girl. Pretty little girl indeed!
That morning, you ran out of mamma’s room screaming, from the top of your little lungs: “Give me some lemonade and lots of ice! Great auntie is going away. And, where she’s going is very ho!”
“Now, I know Mamma wasn’t going anywhere. At least, she hadn’t told me anything yet. So I answered the pretty thing, “Mamma not going nowhere my girl; so where you got that from?” After you puffed up your lips, with your hands on your hip, you answered me: “Yes, Great auntie is going to hell!”
“Now my girl, you stop talking nonsense, you hear me!” True enough, as I walked back to the house to Mamma. OMG! Don’t you know when I called Mamma, she was dead. I realized then, Mamma’s journey had ended, here on this side. It was a shock to everyone. But I think you blamed yourself for not giving Mamma her last glass of lemonade. Because, you kept on yelling: “I told you Great Auntie was going to hell, now she left without the cold lemonade.”
The poor girl refused to eat or say anything else, till the day of the funeral, when she heard Father Big-Ear saying:
“Now, we don’t need to be sad at Make-a-Choice departure. Because she’s in a much better place than us. She’s in heaven with the Lord!”
You immediately jumped on your foot, and stepped up the bench. With your tiny hands on your hip, you happened to pull up one side of your dress, to reveal the little ruffles you had sewn on your pantie earlier, so your butt can look big. They were all hanging behind your chubby little legs. Everyone was wondering “What is that hanging behind Here-I-Am daughter’s legs, under her dress? But, you did not care. You walked straight on the Altar to ask Father Big-Ear permission to speak.
“Sure Angel! Go head!” Father answered you.
So you said:
“Great auntie, does not like when people lie on her. So, I have to tell you what happened. Because, she sure would not be happy to hear she went to heaven. NO. She told me, she did not want to go to heaven.”
How I know that? It’s because that same morning, I was laying down on her fat tommy, right after we ate some good, spicy fish together. So I said to Great Auntie, “I dreamed you were going on a long trip. You were packing all your stuff. When I asked you “Can I come with you?” You answered: “Not now my girl, you are much too young!” So after auntie heard my dream, auntie said. “My time is up my girl!”
“What’s that mean auntie?” I asked her.
“It means, I’m getting ready to live this earth.”
“You’re going to heaven?”
“Oh no honey, I don’t want to go to heaven, it’s too cold up there.” My legs always hurting me from ism illness (Rheumatism) because of the cold. You see all the white cloud from up there in heaven, my girl? They are as cold as ice. And, being from the Island, I would rather go somewhere hot.”
“But Father always said, the only place hot, is in hell great auntie!”
“Then, I rather go there!”
“But your butt is going to be on fire Great auntie!”
“Child, I’ve been good, so I’m sure God will turn it to paradise for me.”
“So let me run and get you some cold lemonade, so you won’t feel the heat then!”
“Ok my girl!”
So, I ran out to tell Auntie, “Auntie Make-A-choice is going to hell, so we need to make her some lemonade with lots of ice! “But nobody believed me! “And, when auntie went back in the room with me, auntie Make-A-choice was gone. She left home without the cold lemonade. Mm-Mm! So please don’t lie on auntie again.”
Everybody had a great laugh that day. We had forgotten it was a funeral. The priest wanting to encourage us to attend Mass, interpret Angel’s dream as a form of warning from the Lord. But I still prayed for Mamma every day since her burial, although I did not know where mamma’s soul went.
But one year later, after we had a mass for Mamma, I was seating right here under this mango tree. I must have dosed off to sleep, when I saw Mamma standing in front of me all sweating. I forgot she was dead, so I said to her:
“Mamma, you seem mighty hot dear, sweating all over the place, do you want some lemonade and ice?” She answered me:
“My butt is constantly on fire, and you think a cup of lemonade could help me out???”
That’s when I realized my girl was telling the truth. Lord have mercy – The girl sure was RIGHT! Mm!!! Since that day, Dodo and I went to church every Sunday. Then we started going to confession every week as well.
But on our first confession, Dodo sure cursed the poor priest. When Father Big-Ear asked her, “By any chance, are you related to angel? He was referring to my girl, for that’s how they called her at the church. So Dodo answered him.
“What is it to you if she’s related to me or not. That’s none of your damn business! I’m only here because I don’t want to go to hell. So, why the hell do you want to know, who the hell is my family?”
Then the priest answered: “Well, it seems to me, you’ve already made your acquaintance with hell. So why the hell are you running from hell, by coming here for confession?”
Then Dodo answered him: “Since misery loves company, I came to drag you with me!”
So when I heard the commotion between them two, I had to rush and drag my sister from there, because knowing her, I knew she was ready to strangle the poor priest.
When I kindly asked the priest to forgive her. “My sister always had a smart mouth.” I told him. But he just answered:
“I’m used to it my child. I know smart mouth runs in the family my child. Because Angel was here every day, confessing on behalf of her family!
To Be Continued.
“But you know what? I have to thank the big tall lady standing right in the ocean. Her name is Hattan.”
“Papy looking puzzled, then said: Who?”
“You don’t know her Gineer? You lived in the strange land, and you don’t’ know the Mother of the land? She’s a tall, green lady. And, she’s holding some fire in her hand!”
“Oh! You mean in “MAN “HATTAN?”
“Now Gineer, when I went to see her, she did not look like a “Man,” they even said she was a woman!”
“She’s in Manhattan, I said!”
“No Gineer, (Meaning engineer) she’s in the strange land. Auntie took me to see her before I came back here! I remember that morning as crystal clear, when she told me:
“Now I know you have a smart head on your shoulder, because since you were four years old, you would cry like a baby for your Mamma to let you pump her breast milk. But’ we found out two years later, after you bought your first set of goat, you were actually selling your mamma’s breast milk, to the dry breast mamma’s, so they can feed their newborn baby.”
“Really? I don’t remember that auntie.”
“Yes you did! In fact, when we asked you: “Where did you get all that money Girl?” You answered: “You guys thought I was retarded when I was pumping Mamma’s milk! “But, I was taking care of my business! “So that’s when we changed your name to “Smart-Girl”
“So what was your name before then?” My sister asked her.
“I just said it. My name was “Girl” before that! – My Mamma had nine boys before she finally had a girl, so she called me “Girl!” Like I was saying. Auntie said:
“I’m taking you to see another Smart girl, and she’s the mother of this strange land. You can talk to her, whenever we get there.”
When I got there, OMG! No wonder she’s called the mother of the land? She was a giant! But when I saw people walking in and out of her, I thought that was too disrespectful. Instead, I stood outside all day talking to her. So I said:
“Beautiful Smart Lady, my name is Smartgirl, and I’m from Haïti. It’s and Island down there on earth. “I see how you take care of your children, they have nice house and food all over the place. I’ve even spent hours picking up some quata and thyme (quarter and dime) from the ground since I’ve been here, and I have a few buckets filled with them now. I came to your country because back home they always said, anyone name American will never have to live in poverty. “You see, I would stay here because auntie is going to get me the green paper the Igration (Immigration) asked for, but I don’t want to stay. “It’s too damn cold in here! “Oh! I’m sorry for cursing front of you too! “So I want to go back home, but I want to live just like your children when I get there. So, I’m changing my name to Americannow, so you can help me too. Now, I have to tell you folks, and that’s an honest confession: “The moment I was done talking to her, this thought came to mind: “Why not go back to Haïti, and turn my people to Americannow too!
So I went back home with a plan. My mager friend had already told me I could send stuff to Haiti by boat. So, I started shipping the boxes of coins to papa, and all the empty spaghetti sauce, and alcohol bottles I had collected from all the stupid Haitian. I sent a message to auntie: “Heaven came down! Sale all the bottles, and help the poor. Save the rest, coming back home soon!” Do you remember what else I sent you auntie?
Auntie answered: You sent that thing that make the strange sound “tra-tra-tac, and “
Oh yes! I sent a typewriter, a camera, and the big light machine. I can even make a copy of my hand with it. I don’t remember what it’s called.”
Papy answered: “Are you referring to copy machine?”
“Gineer, you are a smart Man. How did you know? This is exactly what they call them too! “But I thank God I did that, because the day the tall blue eyes men came to the house, to ask me for the green paper; I only had a chance to get my money from under the mattress. But at the airport, when I walked through that machine, they had to pull me aside to ask me:
“What do you have on you?”
I answered them: “None of your damn business!
“They said: “Do you have over $10,000.00 on you?!”
So I answered them: “And why would I want to share this information with you – so you can have the Mafia come and rob me? I saw that on your TV one day, so don’t’ think I don’t I know what’s going on!!!”
After that, they placed me in a room, almost turned me upside down, in order to shake me like a yoyo. After they made me angry, “I took my bra off, and you know what else. After I bent over, I asked them:
“Do you want to see more?”
They all ran out of the room and told me: “Get dress! Get dress PLEASE!”
I looked at them and said “You Dumbo! It’s a good thing I’m getting a free ticket back home from you guys. I could have given you the green paper you asked for, instead I choose to give you a white piece of paper so you can sheep me back home for FREE!”
Then one of the guy who held my passport said: “Your name is Smartgirl, but you should have been called: “Smart mouth too!”
So I answered him: “No! For your info, that’s my little cousin’s nickname! “Even the angels call her by that name!” As she turned to me to say:
“Foufoune, I was talking about you!”
After we all laughed our heart out, my father finally asked her:
“But, how much money could you have saved in three years?”
“Hihihi! Papa was shipping me some mangoes and plantains, which I sold to the stupid Haïtian who lived there.” So between my three panties and my two bras, I had $25,741.03!!!”
Then she turned to auntie to say: “Auntie, did I tell you I saw “Richboy” working in a store there? He had a blue uniform on, and had to stand aaaall day on his feet. “So when I asked him:
“How much are you getting paid to stand on your precious feet for sooo long Richboy? He answered something like “A minus wave!” (Minimum wage)
“So I cursed him out, auntie – I sure did! “Why would you come in the strange land to freeze your butt off, while working for a minus something, when you have over twenty acres of land full of chicken, goat, plantain and shit?” “Anything with the sound of minus, can’t be profiting you that much?” He must have been embarrassed because he kept on looking on the floor. “That’s when I knew, I would rather save my money, in order to get the hell out of that strange land, before I freeze my but off, and go coucou like all the stupid Haïtian who lived there. “You know, most of them had to work two jobs just to pay the bills. And, whenever I saw them, they always look like a needle pen wrapped in a comforter. Honestly I could never understand what they were saying to me; They will say:
“How-how-how R-R-R You-hu-hu-hu?” Because their butt was freezing!” I would answer:
“Am-am N’ot Fa- ah- ah – ine! Because my but was freezing too.”
“So what type of business do you have American?” I curiously asked her.
“Hihihi! My name is not American, It’s “AmericanNOW!” “When I first came back to Haïti, I just place a sign in front of my front door: “DO YOU WANT TO BE AMERICANNOW?” The same day, I had over 400 people in front of my door. In fact I had to hire some helpers right away!
“But what do you do?” I asked her again.
“Wait! I’m telling you. “When they came in, I told them: “I just came back from the strange land, it’s not worth going up there, unless you want to go to school. “Told them about Richboy working for $5.00 an hour. Everybody said: “What? Now heaven is shitting!”
So after my speech, told them “The only way we can break this poverty spell off our Country, we will have to do the followings:
- First, let’s add Americannow to our name, we will be living just like the American, the only exception, “Our butt won’t be freezing like them.”
- We have to be willing to change our mentality – work together, in unify there is power.
- Let’s find a way to market our resources, the other Islands are already doing that, even though they are selling nothing but CRAP!
So for those who agreed, I only charged them $100.00 for the paper work. I gave them a green piece of paper with their picture on it. I also teach them how to speak their new language for free. But I call it “Frenchglish,” since there are many words I couldn’t even pronounce! We all had lands full of plantation, plus cow, chicken, goats… you name it. So we decided to open an “AmericanNOW Supermarket” just like in the strange land. With cool air and everything.
“You mean the Supermarkets in the City are for you guys?”
“Of course! We have four of them now. Finally coming to the Country side now! Have you noticed the “Rich People Freezer” near the back? I know you guys like your escargot, which we pick up for free around here. But only one thing, we don’t deal with foolishness. Anyone who refuse to let the country progress, we will blow their heads off! This is how we deal with the robbers. First, they must ask them these three questions:
- Are you hungry or homeless?
“If they are hungry, feed them. If they are homeless, send them to the shelter. “Give them this address for a job offer.”
“Then tell them: “Next time we will blow your head off!
- Is your child, your mamma or papa sick in the hospital?
“If they answered yes, send them to bill care.”
“If they said: “What the hell are you talking about? “Blow their heads off.”
- Do you or your child, or your younger brother, or sister want to go to school, perhaps you don’t have the money to pay …?
“If they say “yes” sent them to school care.
“If they answered: “Why the hell do I want to go to school for? “Blow – their -heads – off!!!”
The Americannow entreponor (entrepreneur) have zero tolerance for bull shit! After over 200 years of independence, Haïti must move forward!”
“Excuse me again for my bad language, Mr. & Ms. Gineer, auntie and the children! “Sometimes it’s only fitting to say a good “Shit!” Learn that from the Strange Land too!!!”
Is that my Foufoune I see?”
‘OMG! It is you Auntie Mango tree! Me said you always wore white, so I always didn’t stop.”
“Who is Me? And yes, I always wear white!”
“You have a blue dress on auntie?
“I do? You sure it’s not white?”
“Auntie, you don’t know who “ME” is? We saw him on our way here, he said he was my uncle!”
“Oh! You must mean Mama’s neighbor. But his name is “Put-ME-Down” my girl! “It’s a long story, first come and give me a hug! Cant’s see too well, but can tell, seven of you are standing in front of me?”
“Yes, Auntie. My sisters and bro are here with Papy.”
“Gineer is here too? Oh my! Now I understand what Titletales was saying. She rushed here like a storm, to say “Heaven came down! Heaven came down! “Kill the white goat, wash the mangoes, we need some coffee and bread. “I will go fetch the buckets for the shit and pi!”
“So I answered who is coming?”
“Don’t know auntie, but must be very important people!!! “I’m Just the messenger – Ain’t telling no tales either!”
I gave auntie a big kiss and a hug. As she held and kissed me, she said: “OMG! Just skin and bones – Now Gineer, hope you don’t think you’re leaving today, got to take care of my girl before she leaves.”
Then she asked me: “Foufoune, have you had your laxative this year? Bet you haven’t – Titletales, bring here the coffee, the mango and bread, and go fetch me some herbs and the oil for the laxative. My girl needs cleansing, she’s nothing but skin and bones!”
“Yes auntie!” Answered the young girl.
“Bring the buckets here too, just in case those City folks need to shit and pi!”
“Yes auntie, washing them now!”
We all sit down, as coffee and bread were being served to us. A young man carried two large bags of mango, and placed them before us. After auntie was informed about my school grades, she said.
“Now Gineer, thought you were in the strange land, don’t live there no more?”
“Papy looking puzzled, “Strange land?”
“Yeah! You know, where money is falling all over the ground! Then she turned back to ask Titletales who was sitting on the floor, not too far from her.
“Titletales, what’s Smart-girl new name again? She just came from the strange land.”
“Oh! Her name is American-Now auntie!”
“Exactly! American-Now was sent back here, because she didn’t show the green paper they asked her for.”
“Green paper? You mean the green card?” Papy said.
“I don’t know Gineer! “Where is she anyway? Let me have her tell you her story. Oh! Here she is!”
“Oui auntie. Good afternoon everyone! “She kissed everyone of us, went on to kiss auntie as well.”
“Come and tell these folks why the tall white men sent you back from the white people’s country – You know she’s a business woman now! “Tell them about your business too!”
Amerian-Now was wearing an American Flag top with a jean. She laughed then said:
“I went to the strange land up there three years ago. After the plane dropped us, I saw the cloud, (snow) I realized I did not want to stay there because it was too cold. “You see aallll those clouds up above our heads, they are heading straight to that strange land. It gets so cold over there that, even when I was wearing ten panties, and three stockings, my butt was still freezing. Couldn’t feel my nose one day, and thought I was dying. “Hell! How was I supposed to breathe without a nose? I thought to myself.
While I lived there, I saved auntie Coucou over $100.00 in electronic bill. (Electric bill). “After I told her one day: “Now, why do you need to pay that extra bill for the fridge, when you have a freezer right outside your door and your backyard?”
“Auntie said, “Now we can’t use outside to keep our food freezing?”
“Why not? Leave everything up to me auntie, and I promise you, your electronic bill won’t be so high by next Month.” So I kept all the meat and the juice right under the cloud that fell in the front porch, and they were never spoiled either. “Even when I made my lemonade, I just went and grabbed some cloud, blend it in my juice, and it was so cold, had to soak my teeth in some warm water afterward. Damn! Oh! Excuse me you all for cursing. “I learned a few curse words while I lived there.”
As she turned toward auntie Good-Mercy, she said:
“Auntie, I forgot to tell you that too. “People curse over there like rain falling. They fart and burp on people like crazy too! And, nobody will say a damn thing to them. Oh, excuse me again for cursing.
So one day, I was seating on the train, when that woman kept on burping and farting right next to me. It was so loud, everyone could hear her. So the last “Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr,” she did, I turned to her, and said:
“Didn’t your mamma taught you some manners? “You don’t “Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” on people like that, and don’t even say “excuse me!” Then she looked at me as if I was crazy. So I said: “Keep on looking at me like am crazy, I will turn you into a cow. You already sound like one anyway!” So that’s when a pretty white lady said to me:
“Which accent is that from?” I answered her:
“Do you see me cooking? Besides, even when am cooking, I don’t use any of the accents you white folks use here; they no good for you. Sometimes, I may use a tiny piece of Maggi, but that’s about it!”
Then she looked at me as if she didn’t understand, one word I said. So another tall black man said: “Oh, she was not referring to the accent, as in seasoning, she wanted to know where you were from?”
“Then why didn’t she just asked me that? Even If I told her we season our meat with lime, and hot pepper, she still wouldn’t know where I was from! Well, I’m from Haïti. It’s on the ground, down there. You guys are up here in the sky, but we are an Island from down there. Everybody started to look at me funny. Finally, I heard one voice asking me: “Did you say, you were from Haïti?”
“Yes I Am Mam!” I answered her.
“And did you just say you were going to turn that woman into a fat cow?”
“Yes I did. If she doesn’t stop “Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr on people!”
OMG! Auntie, everybody started running to the next section of the train. I had the whole space to myself!
“When I realized it was because they were afraid of me, I laughed and thought to myself: “Shuut! If I had that much power, I would have turned them into $1,000.00 bill, not a cow!”
After she laughed herself to tears, she continued: “And people from the strange land talk very different from us too. One day a guy asked me “What’s up?” I turned and looked at him. “What’s up?” You asking me? You should tell me what’s up. You are the one from the strange land up in the cloud, aren’t you? I’m from the Islands, way down there!”
That was the day, I was on my way to the store to buy some oil to cook for auntie. When I got there, guess what I saw? Some yam, and some mango, plantain and avocado for sale. But those damn things were so expensive, they were asking over $1.00 for one mango.
“You mean, a whole green Dollar? I would never eat a mango again!” Screamed auntie. “We sell these things for two pennies, and the strange people are – “Oh! Maybe it’s because they have to plant them in the cloud. Do they taste the same as ours?”
No Auntie, they get them from Jamaica. I don’t think they know how to plant them in the strange land. The avocado was even more expensive. So I took one, and went to the lady who was doing the ringring with the little machine in front of her, then asked her: “Are you crazy? Why are you charging a dollar for each mango? That’s too expensive. In my country, I shit and pi on those stuffs. I can even get you some for free, but you guys will have to pay for the plane ticket for them.” Suddenly, everybody started laughing. I didn’t know what was so funny either. So, the pretty white girl answered me:
“Please go speak to the Mager, at custom service.”
Then Papy said: “You mean “the Manager, at the Customer service?”
She answered as if it did not matter:
“I guess so Gineer, but I said what I heard. So when I went to custom and asked for the Mager, they answered: “Who?”
I answered, “I want to speak the the Mager, at custom service!”
But, thank God, he was standing right there. He turned and looked at me. Then, heaven came down!” I could hear my heart beating;“Bip-Bip-Bip,” and almost fell out of my chest too. “Never seen a good looking white boy like him before. But, he had a strange name. His name was John. So after he kept on saying, “Can I help you?” I finally came back to myself. Because I was already thinking of all the cute children we could have together. So she turned toward auntie to say:
“Now, auntie I know you taught us to keep it sealed till we get married, but I tell you auntie, I wouldn’t wait till I get married with him.”
“I can see why? Because when he came down here to check our lands, at first I thought he was God, and I’m not interested in no man either.” Auntie answered while laughing.
“He came to Haiti?” My father asked.
American-Now answered “That’s what I’m trying to tell you all, Am a business woman now! But first, let me tell you what I told him about the mango when I finally answered him. I said “Now sir, my name is Smart-Girl. I cannot understand for the life of me, why are you asking me to pay so much for these mangoes? In my country, we have over 20 acres full of them. In fact I use to shit and pi on them, when I was a little girl. And my little cousins are still running butt naked all over our land, shitting and piing on them too. Then, I squeezed the mango right in front of him and said: “And those mangoes are not even good quality either. No-no! For god’s sake, where are you getting these crap from?” So when I was done talking, the Mager was staring and smiling at me. My heart went “Bib-bib-Bib” again. Then he said, “You seem to know what you are talking about. Where are you from?”
“I was embarrassed to say I was from Haiti. I didn’t want him to start running like the others did in the train. “So he said: “Are you from Haiti by any chance? “I have a good friend who’s from there as well!”
“Yes, I sure am!” I answered him smiling. While in strange land, they called what I was doing “Flirting.” Because I really, really liked him.”
“Well, they ship them from Jamaica.” He said.
“Are you serious?” I yelled at him. Those things are shit and neat quality, they no good! “In that case why don’t you buy them from Haïti – from my family?”
He smiled, then he said, “Here’s my card, let me check the head something, gelation and custom, and I will get back to you. So please leave me your phone number so I can all you.”
Pappy interrupted her again to say: You mean “Regulation and custom.”
“That’s probably what he said. But, he said something about a head too. I didn’t know what he meant by that. Was it a cow or chicken head? I thought the white man didn’t believe in voodoo? So that was my only concern about the cute Mager.
So Papy answered, “No. He was referring to Voodoo. He meant he had to follow up with upper Management.”
“ I still gave him my aunties phone number and address.” And when I walked away, I realized my but was shaking : “Vip – Pip – Vip- Pip, Boum – Boum!” I turned to look at him, because I was embarrass. But, he was still looking at me! Hihiho!”
“You all know the end of the story. “He came down with another fat looking white man to buy some land from us. Now we ship some stuff back to them, including some coffee. But you know what? I have to thank the big tall lady standing right in the ocean. Her name is Hattan.”
“Papy looking puzzled, then said: Who?”
“You don’t know her Gineer? You lived in the strange land, and you don’t’ know the Mother of the strange land? She’s a tall, green lady standing in the ocean She’s holding some fire in her hand!”
“Oh! You mean in MANHATTAN?”
“Now Gineer, when I went to see her, she didn’t look like a MAN to me. And the people from there even said she was a woman, not a man!
To be continued