OK. It’s not often that I blog about my significant other but he deserves this. The string vest thing has gone too far now.
First he came down to breakfast in a gay hotel in Brighton wearing one with his big gold chain. Note that he is a Jamaican with plaited hair and a gold tooth. In short, although he is a very gentle man, he can sometimes look like the stereotypical thug who is going to steal your grandmother’s handbag and sell drugs to your children. I was mortified. He said he did this because he hadn’t brought enough T-shirts with him and the string vest was the only thing he had that was clean. Personally I would rather he had come down stinking to high heaven, than appear in public looking like somebody from Jamaican Crimewatch. At the time I was too pregnant to put up much of a fight. Besides, he was only opening himself up to gay advances so I thought he might learn his lesson the hard way.
Recently however; his string vest escapades have reached dizzying new heights of inappropriateness. Here is a snippet of the kinds of conversations that take place in our house. Where you see the red text please read phonetically – you should find yourself talking in a Jamaican accent. Underneath the red text you will find blue text which is an English translation. Stage directions are in dark grey. Please feel free to act this out at home with your loved one.
Door opens. In walks Bushman.
(peering round door to see beloved. Beloved is wearing a string vest, tracksuit bottoms and some old sandals. He has plaited hair and a gold tooth but he is without his gold chain. )
Bushman: Wha gwan.
Meaning: Hi, I’m back, how are you?
Me: (doing a second take )
Did you?.......... You didn’t seriously go to the bank dressed like that did you?
Bushman: Ah nuttin’ rahng wid dis.
Meaning: What are you talking about? This is perfectly acceptable attire for the bank.
Me: Are you serious?
Bushman: Nuttin rahng wid dis mun. Pure mud peeple inna de bunk.
Meaning: There is nothing wrong with my choice of clothes. Many people in the bank are mentally challenged and don’t dress properly either.
Me: Yes and you look like one of them! (in disbelief)
Come on! You didn’t actually go into the bank like that - did you just draw out money?
Bushman: Me go inna de mun ahffice.
Meaning: No I did not go to the cashpoint, I went into the managers office.
Me: (in a tone implying pain)
No! You can't dress like that when you go to see a bank manager. You're not at the bloody sea side!
Bushman: (kissing his teeth and half smiling)
Cha! Wha yuh tahk say?
Meaning: You’re exasperating me! What are you talking about? I don't see what’s wrong with how I’m dressed?
Me: You look like a nonchalant drug dealer!
Bushman: (not knowing what the word nonchalant means)
Dem peeple inna de bunk nor me mun!
Meaning: The people in the bank know me very well.
Me: Of course they do. When they see you coming they laugh and say “Hey look, it’s the drug dealer in the string vest.”
Bushman: Yuh tahk rubbish mun. Yuh nah nor nuttin’. All inna Brixton gal go ah bank inna string ves and pump pum sharts.
Meaning: In Brixton women go into the bank in string vests and shorts which show their vaginas.
Me: I don't care, and anyway Brixton is not a benchmark for what is appropriate. All I know is: you look really dodgy.
Bushman: (kisses his teeth in disgust – still half smiling)
Yuh nah nor nuttin man. Cha! A idiot tahk yuh a tahk. Me gwan leave de studio mun. Me ave tings fe do! (kisses teeth in a more exaggerated way)
Meaning: You haven’t got the foggiest idea what you are saying you exasperating woman! You are talking like an idiot. I bid you good day. I am going now. I have other things to do.