The wintry months for Jamaicans in Toronto can be very dreary especially after the yuletide season. “Man,” as soon as the Christmas Trees and the twinkling pepper bulb lights are taken down life becomes “miserable” for all of us. (Yes-man! hall a wi.) The antagonizing cold temperature of winter then nips, tremor and freezes even our secluded body parts and there is nothing, absolutely nothing to keep us nice and warm, except of course for a little under the cover frolic.
Those who have recently return from their Xmas holidays vex “noh rhatid” that they couldn’t have stayed any longer, and those who didn’t make the trip wish now that they were “back a yard.” Winter time no “yardy” really wants to be abroad, even birds fly south “gone warm sunshine han dem adda people dat can afford it.”
It can be so damn blasted cold that we will only leave our residence to do groceries or “to-go- do Backra ole bend back dutty wuck,” and if it wasn’t for the bills, to hell with the latter! Not even the corner of “Ma-sah” blue eyes could catch a glimpse of anyone of us dry “black” head back. (No sah! nuh fe me.)
During winter not a “gad almighty soul” dare venture outside to tryout one of them people “yah” winter sports. Even after umpteen years in this bone chilling climate none of us can perfect our walk on snow, let alone to go skate on ice. (Y’u think a lickle time snow fling dung mi baxside a roadside.) Not a “Jackman yah or Mary Jane” brave enough to put on a tight fitted spandex and fly like Speedy Gonzalez off a snow covered mountain. (Everybody fraid dem may go drop han then tree stumps go lick out them lining)
Yet in 1988 a Bobsled Team of Jamaicans (and let me hastily point out four from yard) participated in the Canadian hosted World Winter Olympics … Perhaps four “madman” too, that, who could really doubt? Anyways, although they were the laughing jackass of the entire Olympics they did give us some memorable moments of nationhood pride and optimism. “Yes Braba! Sinting fe wi really proud bout” But put fun and joke aside, did you really think we’d expect them to win a medal? Hell no! Whoever sends them really took them for “pappy show. ” Just imagine it for a second, Jamaicans participating in Winter Olympics. (Wha nex, skydiving and bungee jumping?)
Nonetheless the bobsled’s team courage and bravado far outshone their run as anyone by now can imagine, but guess what? (The man dem ton big superstar.) They got a movie deal and their Olympic moments chronicled in the Hollywood Movie, “Cool Runnings.” Now who laugh last certainly laughs best. Today they are everlastingly blessed with notoriety and fame and not to mention a hefty bank account. Yet, despite all that, none of us here in Toronto will ever try tobogganing, skiing or hockey, not for a million dollar will we even attempt to make Frosty the snowman much less try our hands at ice carving. (Ha! Y’u see how money mek unnu change uunu mind… unnu too damn lickey lickey.. noh wandah some a unnu hav wanga gut.)
Winter times and in particular Saturday mornings we Jamaicans normally tune our radios to the local “Black” Stations and listen to some conscious reggae music. Some ‘Yard women’ use this time to dust, clean and tidy their places of abode, jigging and singing in the process, while other “Yardies” get ready for the barbers, hair parlors or West Indian Grocery Stores.
“Star,” winter here is bitter, it wicked and dreadful “fe real” but we bare it out. Now its summer, bar-b-que time and jump-up time, cricket, domino and soccer, girls in short shorts and halter top time. Now say after me, Hip! Hip! Hooray! again, Hip! Hip! Hooray! Alright, alright that’s enough now… “Nuh worry go kin poopah lick han sprain unnu neck.” Soon it will be Caribana and Jamaica Day. Have fun and enjoy “unnu self.” Wishing you all a happy and injury free summer… seen… “One love mi brethrens.”
NB. By the way, a who y’u pick to win the worl cup? Mi lov Argentina but Brazil looks unbeatable