[The X-Factor]:::Where Is The Love

No. 52 Wednesday, February 10, 2010
[With::: Brian Brown] 
Ok, so let me get this straight. We definitely have to do something special for the birthday. Then there's Christmas and the anniversary, if you're into that sorta thing. So I gotta shell out again for Valentine's Day, and so soon after back to school?

   Man, I tell you, it's a conspiracy to keep us broke and in debt which is kinda the same ting actually. I mean, who was St. Valentine anyway? Here's the short version. Valentine of Rome was martyred (murdered) in Africa (yup) on February 14 about AD 269. About 200 years later the Pope said 'run di love ting' and the expression of love, exchange of gifts ritual began. Hallmark commercialized it in the 9th century with greeting cards and well the rest is history; or in this case her-story. Didya get all that? So, chin up and wallets out brothers...it's spending time again. 

   "Happy Valentine's Day honey. But as you know; I didn't get a bonus this past Christmas and well, you know how the mortgage and car payments have us weak. So, while I couldn't buy you a present this time around, I got you something just as special. Ready? You're gonna love it baby!!! You know Ricky in IT right? Well he owed me a favour and I got"you a burned copy of Billy Blanks' Tae-Bo workout DVD!!! Well, whaddya think?" Fat chance. Richard was buried with Billy Blanks this past Sunday. Ironically he reportedly succumbed
to a sharp blow to the chest area. The investigations continue but rumour has it he was kicked to the curb, literally. As I understand it, there are certain gifts you don't want to give an expectant partner who says "it's ok honey, you don't have to buy me anything.' Remember, it's a set-up and a lie. Don't fall for it - ever! So here goes; no dead rose or fake flowers; partly eaten box of chocolates; a Burger King Happy Meal won't make her happy and definitely not a gift you'd bought for another girl. Lest we lose sight of the plot, let me state categorically that I do not believe for one minute that all ladies are materialistic, inconsiderate gift-mongers
(is that even a word?). Most of them maybe, but definitely not all. In fact, rumour has it that a select few will accept, prefer even, a token of love and genuine affection over high-priced shiny objects. She is a rare creature found only in deep rural areas and the recesses of our furtive imaginations. She'll appreciate a home-cooked candle-lit dinner served with romantic music and her personalized spa treatment. Oh yeah. Somebody's getting lucky tonight baby! He'll be blown away by a 'handcial' and 'footcial' and a naked full-body (fruits included)
sensual massage (emphasis on her being naked). Hmm, are you seeing a trend here - food and sex? I digress. Especially in these hard times, imagination and consideration are the buzz words. And anyone will tell you, a gift from the heart beats one from the card everyday even on Valentine's Day. PS. Man and man out dere. Oonu owe mi big fi dah one yah. Seen. Link up ... 

   So, after selling most all our major institutions or 'divesting' as they call it, we're about to fall to a new low with the pending dispatch of our national carrier Air Jamaica. 

   Mi nah lie yu still, yow mi miss the champagne flights and 'free food', even if mi did already pay fi it star. And on a personal note I have friends and family who work there, everybody does, and that's the whole point.
   Whatever the current financial situation, to do the S word feels like pawning a family heirloom, because that's what the Lovebird is to many of us, family, like the people who've made it the flying Spirit of Jamaica, a metaphor for us soaring to new heights. All that's about to change soon. Whatever happens from here on out, things will never be the same again. If the pilots and other employees succeed in acquiring the airline, the Peter Principle might come into play. Although we're great pilots and good administrators, that doesn't necessarily translate into us being capable owners, even with the best intentions.
   While sweetheart deals and shocking mismanagement have been staples in her life, our Air Jamaica has been a symbol of national pride and a very effective marketing tool for Brand Jamaica, a literal flying billboard, if not one we can no longer afford. It's too expensive, we know. And we're paying for it in
more taxes and so on. But it will be a sad day when despite the harsh economic realities of our times, if the most colourful, friendly bird in the sky no longer flies our national colours or carries our unique brand of service quality and genuine friendliness as only we can do it. On a more selfish note, all them buddy pass deh wha nuff ah oonu when ah sing pon, free paper bun now. 

   Larger, more successful airlines have gone under, even before this recent recession. It is indeed the nature of a very competitive, expensive industry. So, we might as well come to terms that our forays into flights of fancy may be delayed, permanently. And eventually all we'll have left is the memory of the orange and white, the evolution to a kaleidoscope of colours and the feeling of pride when we walked the tarmac to experience true lovebird hospitality. Long live true love. Long live Air Jamaica.

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