By Colin Sampson
‘Twas the weekend before Christmas … and all through the town the vendors sat sadly, most wearing a frown. The buying was patchy … customers not many … the vendors themselves were a sparse, forlorn crew. The city, no longer the center of fun … the action had moved – the commerce had run to the outskirts where stores doubled down on the deals. Sales tax was rebated … government had waited … the people, breath bated, had called for the cut. The merchants were ready … cash registers steady … staff on the alert to capture the glut of sales that would lift them all out of the rut of stagnation that spoke of a land in decline.
The problem began somewhere back in the wrack … when the vaunted express train ran badly off track. Luxury compartments were lost in the mist … their absence now dissed … by the chagrined passengers, annoyed by the lack of life in an economy so slack. Commerce went into a downward slip. The construction sector was taking a dip. The tourists were staying on board the ship. Hotel rooms were empty, in need of repair … the Ministry in deep despair … could see no end to the wear and tear on a product in need of updating. Business and public were loudly berating the awful conditions they felt were creating a problem they knew was malign.
R Allen Stanford faced a suit … The mighty Bernard made off with the loot … Lehman and others felt the big boot … Powerful banks were weeping and wailing … though they were big they all seemed to be failing to grab the profits that made them so rich. The whole situation was really a bitch … at home and abroad we were caught up in a glitch as the world economy stumbled. A&B was in the stew … the Ministry wondering what to do as empty bellies rumbled. The options were few … so the UPP crew made a fast phone call to Caracas (knees shaking like maracas). But good old Hugo stood the test … up came the cash: we all know the rest … Thank God for a friendship so fine.
The IMF came on the scene … and saw that things were really lean. They made us sign on the dotted line … forget the fine print – jump and wine! We had a little breathing space … and so we did not have to face disaster in the making. But now we got the breaking news … we really had to pay our dues … no shirking, fuss or faking. The hunt for revenue began. The Ministry ransacked the land to find the needed cash. None could escape … it felt like rape … in every nook and cranny. You had to dash … or feel the lash … across your smarting fanny. And so the country was sucked dry … but no one had to wonder why … we knew the score … and what was more … the IMF was pleased. The sick economy coughed and wheezed … we all caught cold as the US sneezed. But hell … we could still dine.
But now we are incredulous … still waiting for the stimulus … to fill our hungry bellies up with bread. We really had to make a change … although some people think it strange … to find the country really in the red. But what the hell else could we do … when ten long years had brought us to a situation where a favored few were creaming off the sweets behind our back? So here we are at Christmastime … trying to enjoy the lime … pretending that we do not lack the ready cash to really make it work. The CIP takes up the slack … so maybe we can make it back to days when life was on the up and up. Don’t be a jerk … drink from the cup of hope that lurks around the corner. A New Year looms – as Christmas blooms, let’s do like little Jack Horner. Be positive … resolve to live a life with much less cryin’.
That last rhyme is for the birds … I really had fun with the words … So Merry Christmas everyone … and a Happy New Year … my Benna is done.