Carnival Monday started with the usual intelligence-led policing exercise, aka roadblock, on the highway as we tried to make our way to meet the Tribe shuttle.

When we got to Stanmore Avenue we bounced up the band “Rogue” which appeared to be a real muscle man and puffed-up, Chee Zees pack muscle man band. You know what I mean, there were the men who were way too big and veiny and those I would describe as fat-strong (plenty chest and belly).

We caught up to the band as it was heading west on Tragarete Road just after Mario’s on the corner of Cipriani Boulevard.

First things first, one of the drink options was Gordon’s gin which, along with the tonic water, lasted the entire day. Well done Tribe.

As we’re walking ladies were telling each other how much they love their hair or their outfit. You would never see men saying to each other “OMG! I love your muscles and your abs are fantastic!”.

The band continued to Roxy and through St. James where the natives were well behaved for the most part. Probably because it was still daylight. We all know how grimy the James gets after nightfall. Also probably because Gary had officers on almost every corner.

When we got to Mucurapo Road one masquerader attempted to commit suicide. He had to be a foreigner because while everyone else knew to stay away from the mosque, this daredevil decided it was a good time to approach the perimeter walls.

Tribe security managed to grab him just in time to pull him back and explain to him the thumping he was almost certain to receive. One bloke on the compound was smiling in disbelief and looked like he was gearing up to deal with this miscreant most brutally.

After we passed the mosque we saw Machel Montano rolling through the crowd with his new bride and level security. Imagine an international superstar like Usain Bolt parties and moves through crowds like a normal person while even the former President of the Republic, Anthony Carmona could be seen chipping in the crowd without any fanfare. I guess neither of them have ever given the public cake.

Rain started to fall just before lunch and took the vibes up a few notches. Well except for the ladies and pseudo ladies who were afraid of melting or getting their weaves wet.

We made our way to the lunch rest stop and there was a mad rush for blankets and spots with shelter. There was a variety of food options including a number of vegetarian lunches. I had the veggie lasagna followed by a power nap.

It was during that nap that the wife met and took selfies with Problem Child and our long time friend Shal Marshall. I don’t know what Shal was encouraging. I asked her if she checked for her wallet after meeting Problem because you know he looks kind of rough.

The band left the lunch park and proceeded to the Avenue and that’s when things got frowsy. I don’t know if it was the people or the street but the Avenue smelled like it needed to follow the lyrics of the Noydie Glo song and “use the air freshener”. It smelled like a latrine.

When we got to the Avenue judging point the DJ played Conch Shell. What happened next was unfortunate but I’m not sorry. Upon hearing the said song I looked up and voiced my disapproval to my friend (a Tribe official) on top of a Tribe truck. Just as I was telling him how much tripe that song was I noticed a certain DJ from back-in-the-day and seller of mix cassettes (dub 27) watching me. He did not look pleased.

For a while I thought the fix was on again this year as we only heard Stage Gone Bad once, early in the day while going through St. James. I thought something was up from the time I saw the ads all over Tribe trucks for Machel’s new cruise in 2021 called Mele. Double M was also on a truck performing at the judging point. At one point I even thought Truck #2 was playing Machel Montano’s greatest hits.

When we got to the Savannah I was ready to launch into a full-on, expletive rich, diatribe of epic proportions if they didn’t play Stage Gone Bad when we were crossing the stage. However, I knew I could count on Stephenson Shal Marshall to do the right thing.

I almost missed it though because we were at the front of the band and for some inexplicable reason, I don’t know if it was the heat earlier in the day, the alcohol or the magnitude of the occasion but this DJ called Back to Basics decided to play Lyrikal’s Rukshun for people to cross the stage to. Not this red man!

We walked back into the section behind with Shal’s truck but somehow got caught in some parallel vortex between the line of “rope people” and Tribe security. After explaining that we were trapped in some alternate dimension, the rope people allowed us back into the section with Shal’s truck for us to go on stage and “mash it up, shell it down and tun it over”.

Once they switched to Conch Shell that was our, and everyone else’s, cue to head to their respective parking spots and head home. Carnival Monday 2020 is a wrap and I’m anxious to see what Carnival Tuesday brings.

I’ll probably reach the road late tomorrow as I have to get up at the crack of dawn to dig a grave for my beloved Hans the rottweiler who left us yesterday after 11 faithful years. Which is why I take umbrage to Second Sta’s insinuation that dogs are anything but loyal.


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