More Things Jamaicans are Afraid of


After our first “Things Jamaicans Fear Most” article was posted a couple months ago, many of our readers were kind enough to take the time to give us the details of several other things that terrify them. We had no idea unnu so coward! But anyway, many thanks to all the fraidy-fraidy readers who took the time give their feedback and suggestions. Your input has inspired us to write another article about the things that scare the bravest people in the world…

Croaking lizards: If you want to see something funny and also see how fast you can empty a room full of Jamaican women, just put your hand up in the air to stop the conversation, cock your head to one side as if listening keenly, and say something like: “Shhh! Marva, you didn’t hear something a while ago? I could’ve sworn it sounded like one ah dem big croaking lizard!” My advice, however, would be to first make sure your back is against a wall so you don’t get trampled by the stampede of screaming, hysterical women as they flee the room. What would be even funnier, however, is to make a similar comment in a room full of Jamaican men and watch the crowd of hard-core Jamaican men disappear like a cloud of smoke. All of a sudden, large numbers of fully-grown, “hard-back” men will desperately need to go to the bathroom, while others, faces sweating and hands shaking, will mutter things like “Mi need ah cigarette break right now!” as they briskly exit the room.

Getting “Bun”: Want to reduce a Jamaican man to a quivering mass of spineless jelly? Advise him that you have a strong, but unconfirmed, suspicion that his woman has been cheating on him. (Some men will fly into an incoherent rage but that’s for another article) It doesn’t matter how loudly he has proclaimed in the past that “Nuh gyal cyan give me bun!” and “If she waan leave, mek she leave den! Rrrr!”, news of his woman’s infidelity will cause his nerve to shatter like Red Stripe bottles thrown on stage at Sting. Jamaican men are secretly terrified of being cuckolded and it’s not hard to understand why. A huge part of our self esteem rests on our supposed mastery of the fairer sex. When the fairer sex asserts its will by choosing another man over us it amounts to a nullification of our “mastery” which generally destroys our confidence and leaves us a snivelling mess.

Credit Bureaus: This one should properly be filed under “Things Jamaicans will soon be afraid of”. The Jamaican Parliament has been discussing the passage of laws that will allow for the creation of credit bureaus in Jamaica. These credit bureaus will collect data on your credit history (yes, you) and will facilitate the sharing of that data between qualified institutions who will use this data to decide whether or not to extend credit to you and, if so, on what terms. The money you still owe Courts for the sofa you bought in 97? It will be on a file down at the credit bureau. The JPS bill you haven’t paid in 6 months? On file. The flat-screen tv that Singer repossessed last year? Also on file. In fact, it’s just a matter of time before they make a record of the $3,700 you still owe Fatty for 3 lap dances and a massage down at the Pink Bunny Go-Go Club. Every overdue bill, missed payment and unpaid expense will be permanently recorded, stored on a computer and readily available for sharing amongst your creditors. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Rain: Maybe the fear of rain is not that perplexing. In Jamaica, what starts out as a light drizzle no heavier than morning dew can turn into three days of landslide-causing, crop-destroying, car-washing-away downpours. That said, I still think our fear of rain is a little overdone. Let the sky look even slightly overcast and Jamaicans will postpone their own weddings, much less a bar-b-q, football match or trip to the movies. The real truth of the matter is that we are a “dry-wedda” people. The English are completely different. Short of a category 5 hurricane, an Englishman will pull on his galoshes and raincoat, grab his brolly, calmly step out into the downpour and get on with his life. Not us. At the first sight of rain, traffic will grind to a halt and parents will consider whether to keep their kids out of school for the rest of the week. Others will call in sick an’ lock up inside the house for the whole day wid a cup of Milo and yesterday’s Gleaner.

Being Unable to Perform Sexually: How else do you explain the thousands of performance enhancers, stamina boosters and pleasure arousers available in the Jamaican marketplace? From home-made creations like Irish Moss, Stone and Raw Moon sold on street-corners to modern mass-produced concoctions like Jagra, Mandingo and Power Wine to doctor-prescribed Cialis and Viagra Jamaicans have almost unlimited options when it comes to ensuring sexual satisfaction. Jamaican men love to brag about being bedroom bullies and what not, but I think we realise a fundamental and very sobering truth: If you talk the talk you sure as hell better be able to walk the walk!

Soap: When was the last time you took a crowded NTCS bus from Downtown Kinston to Three Miles on a hot Friday afternoon in the middle of August? The smell is enough to make your eyes water. I don’t want to generalise but obviously there are some (ok, a lot of) folks who are terrified by soap.

Having Your United States Visa Revoked: Let’s be honest, the only reason some of us continue to live in Jamaica is because we have the option of running away at any minute. At the first sign of the revolution we’ll be jumping on a flight to Fort Lauderdale where our second home, our US$ bank accounts and Grandma Iris are already waiting for us. So can you imagine the terror that must have gripped the hearts of many Jamaicans in upper St. Andrew when it was reported recently in the media that the United States Government was revoking the visas of a number of prominent Jamaicans? Perish the thought!

Look out for our next article: “Things Jamaicans are Not Afraid Of”. The list will, of course, include: Being extradited, being brought to justice for criminal deeds generally, unplanned parenthood and speed limits.