DARRYN BOODAN-editorial-pic

As T&T’s most prominent columnist, I often get bombarded with questions from fans wanting expert advice on complicated subject matters. For example, Kathy, who works at Scotiabank Credit Card Centre, writes: “Dear Darryn, your failure to reply leaves us with no choice but to commence legal proceedings.” And then there is this one from Ravi in Felicity who asks, “Dear Darryn, this TV you sold me is a piece of crap. You better pray I never find you.” And then there is Saffiyah from Lange Park who says, “Dear Darryn, if you don’t stop sending me those pictures I will call the police.”

Here’s some fan mail and I’d like to publicly answer.

Dear Darryn,

Recently a friend from Venezuela came over to see me to discuss Covid-19. I thought she was coming alone but then she turned up with three dudes who I had never met before. But like every normal person, I just sat there and talked to her and never once bothered to ask who these men were or what they were doing there. Anyways it turns out these men work for PDVSA, a company accused of money laundering. Plus the plane they came in with is sanctioned and their boss was recently indicted for narco-trafficking in the United States. The worst part is that they didn’t bring anything but drank out all my mauby. How can I prevent this in the future?


Sleepless in St Ann’s

Dear Sleepless in St Ann’s,

Nothing is wrong in hinting to your guests about what you expect. For example, the next time your friend wants to visit say, “Hey, I sure would love to try some of your great Venezuelan rum.” This is a subtle way of telling your friend a gift would be nice.

Other subtle hints can include, “Hey, we actually have a free press here still, unlike in your country. I can’t just tell people I sat there and didn’t talk to Asdrubal Chavez, a former minister of petroleum and president of oil company Citco. I’ll look like an idiot.”

Or “Hey Einstein, if we are gonna have a secret meeting with PDVSA it might not be a good idea to fly everyone over in a sanctioned PDVSA plane!”

I hope this helps.

Dear Darryn,

My boss is a moron. He has a serious gas addiction and it has led him to get deeper and deeper in business with narco-traffickers. You see, they hooked him by giving him a small taste of Dragon blend. I told him that it wasn’t worth the risk but the idiot didn’t listen. Now they have him hooked again by promising him he will get a taste of the Loran Manatee blend. Meanwhile they have him doing all kinds of things, like helping ship gas to them via third parties and funnelling money through our energy companies. He blames me when everything goes wrong. Everybody hates me now and is sending me sad Pablo Escobar memes.


Fallen and Can’t Get Up

Dear Fallen and Can’t Get Up,

I feel your pain. Dealing with co-workers or loved ones who have addictions can be stressful. Personally I have had to deal with the demons my friend Sheila has. She is addicted to telling me to stop showing up at her house at ten in the night.

You need to sit down with your boss, look him right in the eye and say, “You fool, can’t you see they are using you and have no intention of letting you have either Dragon or Loran/Manatee? Pat and Kams were both smart enough to see that!”

Alternatively you can also secretly side with the Americans and leak all the flight information in the public domain. That’s what’s known in the cartel as “saving your own skin”. And by cartel I mean the CIC alumni.

Dear Darryn,

I run a small business in Venezuela called the Cartel of the Suns. It’s named that because the military officials involved wear a single sun insignia as part of their uniform. Also, I thought it sounded better than just “Maduro’s Auto”.

I don’t have many friends. All my neighbours—Brazil, Colombia and Guyana—want nothing to do with me. Except of course for good all T&T. Thankfully they are “neutral” in our petty neighbourhood squabble. If it wasn’t for T&T, I might be “cut off” from my supply routes, so to speak. Anytime I need coffee or sugar or 150,000 barrels of gasoline I just pop over.

Lately, though, the stupid Americans have been trying to turn them against me. How can I stop this?


Narcotic in Love

Dear Narcotic in Love

Americans are the worst. They love to stick their noses in other people’s business. Especially if their business is trafficking drugs with the help of terrorist organisation Hezbollah.

Have no fear if T&T is really your friend. Then they will do things that won’t hurt you. Like talk behind your back, curse at you or vote with every democracy in the region to impose travel restrictions on you. That is the test of real friendship. They may even be so in love with you they are willing to abandon a decades-old defence pact meant to protect them just to be with you.

But beware you know what they say, people become the partners they are with.

• Darryn Boodan is a freelance writer


Newly-released video of the police involvement in the Beetham protest in which the pregnant Ornella Greaves was killed calls for a serious review of the statement by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith that no officers were around when she was shot.

While the public is yet to see the video on which the Commissioner has based his claim, new video clips being shared on social media show a large number of police officers, with guns drawn, descending on protesters and shooting in the midst of the protesters with their hands up chanting “Don’t shoot”.

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines “unreality” as “the quality of not being or seeming to be real”.

Will what awaits us after August 10 subdue the unreality that normally pervades a general election campaign in Trinidad and Tobago? Will we be real?

My principal but probably vain hope for the general election, to be held on August 10, is that it will not polarise the country further.

Realistically, one cannot hope for more, and it is mamaguy to feed us dreams of unity and overcoming, while our leaders are likely to engage in verbal warfare, way beyond the so-called cut and thrust of political debate.

I met Sophia Chote only once, but was enchanted by the intellectual sophistication and emotional maturity of her columns. Her writing reminded me of the quali­ties that one found in the thinkers of the romantic movement of the 19th century: a belief in democracy and republicanism, an appreciation for the sublime and transcendence and, most of all, a belief in the power of imagination.

I don’t know why Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar thought it necessary to appeal to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to invite a team of observers from The British Commonwealth and/or Caricom to witness the conduct of the general election that will take place on August 10.

This letter is addressed to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. Sir, following the recent protests staged by the people of severely challenged communities over the killing of three residents, you have made a masterful response and appointed a committee to undertake an analysis of the situation and make recommendations on the way forward.