The Incredible Hulk Wednesday Ramblings

Stabroek News
November 19, 2003

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The Incredible

Health Minister

Dr Leslie Ramsammy yawned as he looked in his bathroom mirror. Did he look younger? he wondered. It would set a good example as a Minister of Health, but this morning his skin also had a strange pallor, almost a green tinge below the surface...He shrugged it off and went down for breakfast.

Driving himself to work (the awkward issue of the driver's salary had him playing safe and anyway it made him look virtuous) he detected again how vital, how alive he felt. It was exhilarating and a welcome change in a year that had him drained. The embarrassing incident as to whether or not he had resigned still lingered. He could see it in the eyes of the reporters. He knew they wanted to know what really happened but they never would. He would carry that secret to his grave. Then there was the disaster of the caesium units and the letter from Dr Bacchus, the headlines... He could feel his blood boiling. His collar suddenly felt a little tight so he loosened his tie. Strange, how his neck muscles seemed to be bulging. Hs triceps, biceps, quadriceps, every cep in his body seemed to be throbbing, rippling with a strange energy. It must be true what they said on the back of that ginseng packet, although he was never one for alternative medicines.

He positively wrenched the steering wheel to the right as he entered the ministry compound and how on earth did he pull the brake handle out of its socket. He tossed it in the backseat and a few minutes later he was settled in his office chair, as his secretary went over the day's schedule. He picked up a copy of Stabroek News and browsed through it, his eyes settling on the letters page and one particular letter entitled "Ramsammy should resign" signed 'name provided'. His heart began to throb violently, his head pulsed, his grip on the newspaper became stronger as he read on and on. "...the delays in the cancer centre... Somatie Singh.... allowances..." and then it happened: a button burst on his shirt front, then another, his cuff links went flying across the room as his shirt tore down the back in one violent wrench, an uncontrollable anger engulfed him. His fingers thickened to twice their size, his pants seemed to have shrunk drastically until they were pinching his crotch. My God what was happening to him! He leapt from his chair and now three times his size, this bright green monster picked up the desk and threw it out of the window crashing into the Region 3 health officer's car. Ramsammy, or the monster he had become, grabbed the newspaper and tore it into shreds before stamping on it with his size 22 feet.

He bounded from the building and ran down Brickdam, picking up cars with Herculean strength and tossing them away as if they were toys. A fire engine blocked his way and with one swipe he sent it scuttling into GT&T Telephone House sending the building bursting into Hollywood flames. He turned and charged back down Brickdam uprooting Independence Arch along the way. He had always hated those steel rods. Then he was before the statue of Cuffy, preposterous, phallic from some viewpoints. His deranged mind almost made him attack it but instead he bounded along Vlissengen Road and up North Road, making sure to crush the four by four of the late PNCR leader on the way. He was headed to Stabroek News to find out who had written that letter...

News spread fast of the green monster, and the citizenry were in a panic. Except for one man, Professor Kissoon the maverick lonely genius of the seawall. When he had heard via cell phone, he deduced immediately that Ramsammy had been near the leaking caesium units only the day before and that in a noble bid to save his hospital director, Michael Khan and his television, he had thrown his whole body over the unit. "Run, Michael Run!" he had screamed, "it's going to blow!" A jolt, like really bad static, had convulsed Ramsammy's body.

"My multicultural Gods!" Kissoon thought. How could he save the minister and the country he had sacrificed what would have been a stellar academic life overseas for?

He drove back in his late model CVR to the UG chemistry lab, sadly closed down due to massive budget cuts.

Picking up a solution of simple sodium chloride he combined it in a reverse centrifuge with utaminyllysylhistidylprolylthreonylisoleucylprolylisoleucylglycylleucylleucyl stirring rapidly at Gas Mark 4 adding a touch of gharam masala and two cloves of finely diced garlic. Hey presto the solution bubbled a ghoulish blue. He slipped the vial in his shirjac pocket and rushed back to town, but not before stopping to warn a wealthy landowner not to dump tree cuttings on the seawall.

Meanwhile Leslie the Hulk was in sight of Freedom House. He could have destroyed it. After all they had always treated him as an outsider. What radioactive rage he had right now to destroy that den of Marxists! He could destroy everyone who had ever said a bad word against him! Could this city be saved?

Now he was poised over the newspaper's office, tearing off the roof to reveal reporters with notepads in hand chronicling his every move. He briefly marvelled at their professionalism but he was in search of the letters editor. There he was, crouched over his desk his concentration so intense not even a superhuman monster could distract him. The Hulk hoisted him up and bellowed, "Who wrote that letter?" The editor was unmoved. His principles would not let him reveal the writer's identity but the Hulk was free to reply to the accusations, if he so desired. This enraged the Hulk more and he got ready to hurl him half a mile into the Demerara river. But then a voice: "Wait! Leslie it's me, Professor Freddie... you need help. You have a sickness."

The Hulk, in mid-throw, turned gently and asked,

"What? Procrastination?"

"Yes, but not that right now, the radiation from the mothballed caesium units has invaded your body. Drink this."

And Professor Freddie offered up the vial. The Hulk looked at it with suspicion but drank it and only seconds later began to shrink and shrink and shrink until he was so small he was standing in the palm of the editor's hand.

Oh no, Professor Freddie had made the potion too strong. He pulled out an anti antidote and sure enough the Minister of Health was restored to health. The crowds cheered. Even the cancer patients waiting for treatment overseas waved weakly from their beds.

The End


Urine Town

In the War on Bad Manners jingle, men are urged not to "use the posts to urine". It does seem some men are chronic public urinators and like Alaskan wolves seem to be rationing their emissions so they can mark their territory as wide as possible. But imagine you are an itinerant vendor selling steering wheel covers or a tray of peanuts while walking the streets of Georgetown all day. Where in heaven are you meant to go! Where are the public toilets and even then what condition are they in that you would dare to step foot in them wearing a pair of sandals. Once again the failure of the authorities to provide basic infrastructure that meets a very real and biological need is thrown back in the face of the public as being men's fault for not having bladders like horses.

Creole politics

In its bid to give authentic coverage to the political dialogue, SN has decided to faithfully record politicians' statements in Creolese so as to fully capture the spirit of their message. Take last week's announcement by Moses Nagamatoo:

This is what he really said:

"I was wanting to say dis for a lang time now, but I intend fo run fo de PPP Presidential namination. Plenty people like me believe dat de party not doing a good job running de country and dat new leadership is needed. With me and meh new LLB degree, me could mek farmers get better pay, me gon clean up Georgetown, and all dem business people gon mek mo money.

I gon eradicate bad health care and make better de security. Never mine dis announcement might not be popular, but I could tell yuh dat it ain't personal neither. I jus love Guyana and dis country a meh utmost concern. Tanks"

Going down the drain

Hold on hold on!!! Blind people donated 66 manhole covers to City Hall so they won't have to tumble into the drains. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Better yet they were made for free by prisoners. This is like DIY government.