For many Jamaicans living aboard, keeping in touch with the latest happenings back home means reading online among other websites, The Jamaica-Gleaner. At times, information from a “whistling bird” received on a phone call from “back a yard” spreads like those computerized worm infested e-mails to every yardy ears, or perhaps in similarity to ” love spreading like wildfire all over the world” as recorded in song by the late prince of reggae, Dennis Brown....
Jamaica Magazine

Y’u noh hear wha gwaan dung a Yaad?

For many Jamaicans living aboard, keeping in touch with the latest happenings back home means reading online among other websites, The Jamaica-Gleaner. At times, information from a “whistling bird” received on a phone call from “back a yard” spreads like those computerized worm infested e-mails to every yardy ears, or perhaps in similarity to ” love spreading like wildfire all over the world” as recorded in song by the late prince of reggae, Dennis Brown.

In the October 7th, 2005 edition of the Jamaica-Gleaner the article entitled “An ill wind at KC” detailed the dilemma of six boys caned by their teachers for failing to disclose who among them had passed Flatus-(wind from the stomach or bowels) has surely blew the wind out of me (pun intended) and has prompted the question as to why the teachers reacted in such manner. I am as sure as the falling leaves of autumn that it is likewise a natural act of communality to ease one’s self. The boys’ parents have since threatened legal action for the punishment inflicted on their sons and justifiable so.

Well, if a kiss is a valid proof that “Two heads are better than one,” then what would be “An ill wind that blows nobody any good?” (Proverbs from the First Aid in English book) A whirlwind! No sir, I don’t think so; I’d say a fart. How about you? For those who may think that the usage of this word is impolite “Fart” as defined by Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary is: to expel intestinal gas from the anus-usually consider vulgar; hence, I presumed the word isn’t impolite to use, but committing the act probably is; as in the case of one of those boys.

I must candidly ask though, why would one not expect that amongst a classroom full of teenage boys? (K.C. is an all boys’ school.) Youthful mischief is just apart of growing whether you’re in a classroom or at a church service or even at the dinner table. It is common play among boys in Jamaica to willfully drop an object in the hope that when his/her peer is about to pick it up, unknowing to the Good Samaritan flatulence is released at the upcoming head. Adults too indulge in such an act. However disgusting or immature it may seem, to others and presuming a good amount of people, this is only just blissful provocation.

The indicted boys were interrogated to find the guilty one, but little did the teachers knew that there is a bond of camaraderie and fraternity amongst students present and past and that often times in a case like this, there is an oath of silence, “the casonastra” as the Italian godfathers called it. Instead of caning it is rather baffling to me as to why the teachers didn’t summon the services of the canine unit to sniff out “bums” as they do for bomb explosives at the Island Airports.

It is also a long held belief of students that whenever a teacher pulls a chair it’s nothing than a camouflage for stifling the sound of escaping air from his/her rectum. Presuming this is true, I’d like to know what would be the reaction of those teachers accused now should a member of their association miss the timing and pull the chair too soon. Would those teachers now rage wrath upon the guilty teacher for “blasting” out their modus vivendi?

For the teachers not to restore normality after the stench had passed but to rather seek to detect and punish the guilty has led me to believe that perhaps vultures had circled the campus at Elletson Road attracted to a perceived stench of rotten corpse.

To let off “one” is nothing new; we all do it, don’t you? Be it squeezed or aloud and possesses the same “deadly” effect and especially after a meal of bulla and pear or turkey necks and boil dumplings. Oh boy! This surely resurrects boyhood memories. Classic examples of the cultural fables concerning flatulence within Jamaican society are the tale of Mary Lee and the lyrics of top-notch DJ Professor Nuts. Years ago in a hit song titled, “In na de bus” Professor Nuts hilariously tells the story of a Dread that “pass wind” and when accused, asked the accusers to search themselves for they had bottom too, for the one that did that must do-dooed, cause uunu poop all de while han seh anoh uunu.

During my third form year on a quiet afternoon while the religious study teacher himself a former K.C. student was writing on the blackboard, a long, loud, ripping sound with intermitting stoppages echoed through the aluminum chair on which one of my fellow classmate was seated. In an instant the culprit fined himself alone undisguised as the suspect for those around him quickly fled in perpetual laughter, while covering their nostrils from the stomach sickening foul stinking odor.

Hearing the explosion and the commotion that followed and without a doubt smelling it too, the teacher turned around and asked, “Who just did that?” The question of course intensified and magnified the laughter into a boisterous state, but soon the class calmed down and a firm response was offered. “It is I and I herewith beg pardon” again laughter erupted, and all the teacher did was cautioned the student that next time he should toned down the decibel of his release. Again laughter ensued but in a minute we were back to our learning.

On another occasion a teacher at K.C. gave her students an essay to write with the captioned, “A Cricket match I have attended.” One Smart-Alic ruled up his paper, inserted the date, his name and his form and under the title this is what he wrote, “Rain fall no play.” The teacher didn’t loose her cool and all she did was to write in bright red ink, “Well if there is no play then there is no score” and place a big fat zero at the top of the page. The student later appealed and was given even a prize at the college annual prize giving ceremony for his innovation.

“Fortis Cadere Cedere Non Potest”…The brave may fall but never yield… the translated Latin motto of K.C. perhaps can be amended to read “ The brave may Fart but never yield” which may very well hold the key as to why each student is affectionately referred to as a “For-tis.”

About the author

Kharl Daley