The Titanic was about to set sail from England to New York with hundreds of Jamaicans aboard. At the pier, some were saying their goodbyes to family and friends.
FITZROY: Airight baby love, tek care til mi come back, yuh hear? Yuh done know sey when mi reach a farrin’ an get mi paypas straight mi wi sen fi yuh soh wi can live nice, zeen?
WIFIE: OK sweethawt, tek care and mine yuh drown a sea. If mi eva hear sey yuh drown a gwine kill yuh! And Fitzroy, memba fi sen money by fi mi an di pickney dem when yuh ketch a New Yark, farrin.
Later that evening on board, the lower deck was pack filled with a massive crowd packed in like sardines. Some were nodding to the heavy base rhythms as DJ Daag Heart spins reggae tunes on the “Sea Love “sound system. The “deckhall” crew was partying like it was 1929. The ship was owned an operated by the Pot-head Naygah People (PNP). The ship’s Captain was preoccupied with kissing up to the big spenders on the ship.
CAPTAIN: Hi Mistress Minister of Transportation, yuh looking lovely wid all dem gold a glisten roun yuh neck dowe. Look how yuh fat an rosey. Hey Mister Prime Minister, mek wi kip wi fingas cross – no riots and deck blocks on the ship so far, eeh? (wink, wink)
PRIME MINISTER: Dat is because a don’t announce di fare increase yet… but I will have fi Minister of Finance deal wid dat layta.
At the controls on the upper deck were Sammy and Rupert. Both had been drinking Guinness stout to keep awake as evident by the empty bottles rolling back and forth on the floor.
SAMMY: Di bleezenaught place cold eeh rasta. Kiss mi neck!
RUPERT: Yuh tink a joke. If mi teet dem noh tap rakkle mi boun’ fi loose bout half dozen a dem to blouse an skirt!
SAMMY: A wonda how far wi deh now? Wi noh suppose to soon reach NewYark? How much a’clack yuh have Rupert?
RUPERT: Half pass ten and wi tell di port autorities dem sey di ship suppose to dock roun 9:30…but wi noh too late …9:30 is ‘bout 11:30 Jamaican time, soh wi pon track sed way.
SAMMY: (pointing in the sea) Is wah dat ova deyso ina di wata Rupert?
RUPERT: Dah big sinting dey? It look like a one oversize snow cone. A wonda a wah?
SAMMY: Mi noh too sure but a wan rahtid ugly looking sinting. Yow, mi ago phone di Captain. (He radios) Captain Barkley, one snow cone ina di way sar. What is we to do? *Hova han hout *
CAPTAIN: Bwaay a weh yuh a tell mi sey? Snow cone? Inna di sea?
SAMMY: Come look pan it den noh sar. Afta mi noh know a what it is sar.
The Captain appeared on deck and upon seeing the culprit he yelled:
CAPTAIN: Kiss mi false teet! ICEBERG, ICEBERG!! BLOW DI HARN, BLOW DI HARN!!
RUPERT: But if a iceberg sar, what blowing di harn gwine do? It nat gwine move outa di way!
CAPTAIN: Bwaay don’t back ansa mi, mi seh BLOW DI HARN!
So Sammy did has he was told and blew the horn.
SAMMY: Captain Barkley mi have a betta idea sah. Why wi noh jus lock up di steering wheel and cock di ship pan di side fi get roun di snowcone?
CAPTAIN: Airight den. But do yuh bes and mek sure yuh noh lick up mi ship pan dah sinting deh cause it noh insure. An memba seh unu a drive di ship unda suspended license so do – tek unu time.
Sammy and Rupert worked hard locking the steering to the right. The ship was by now sailing on the side and the passengers all fell on top of each other. Some panicked:
HIGGLER: Oye driva! Tek time roun di carna noh man! Try yuh bes jus let mi aff mek mi ketch aneda ship before yuh kill mi inyah.
Meanwhile, on the deck the three men watched in horror as the ship came dangerously close to the iceberg.
CAPTAIN:(Trembling): Eternal fadda bless our land. Rupert an Sammy, unu sey a likkle praya caus wi bout fi si pinnie walli up inyah.
SAMMY: Jus res yuh foot Capn’, wi dun safe. Wi ago mek it man. A years mi a drive ship!
And so as Sammy predicted, the ship cleared the iceberg.
RUPERT: Respec! What a wicked one wheelie dat was. (Pointing at the Captain) Kiss mi neck! Di Captn piss up im pants!
They all laughed and hugged and dapped fist as a sign of relief.
The Captain then spoke in the intercom to calm the fears of his passengers.
CAPTAIN: Ladies an genklemen, dis is your Captain speaking. Sarry bout di di lickle turbulence pan di watas. Wi jus dadge wan hellova iceberg itch up ina di sea. We about to land …eehhmm mi mean about to dock in about anoda half hour. Sit tightly and tenk unu for sailing the Titatnic. Your continued patronage is always welcome.
** The moral of the story: Had it been Jamaicans on the Titanic, it would not have crashed and sunk. It would have reached New York late but it would have gotten there in one piece, nonetheless.**
© Joelle “Wendy” Wright