Apr 10, 2020 Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon.
Court rise! Honourable Rishi Reynolds presiding. Please be seated! Clairvoyant Mango (CM) versus ANUG, PPP, et al.
Sanjeev Datadin (SD):
Your Honour, I appear for the defence.
Harrison Forde: Your Honour, I appear for Mr. Mango.
Judge: Mr. Forde, please call your first witness.
Marshall: Mr. Mango, you swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
CM: You mean the truth of what happened in the Ashmin’s Building?
SD: Objection! Your Honour please direct witness to answer the question
Judge: I think he did answer.
SD: Mr. Mango, you have sued ten opposition parties for the accusation that you are a dishonest person. Is that right?
CM: Yes, sir.
SD: So you are aggrieved that you were accused of dishonesty?
CM: More than that counsel. You see my reputation has been damaged. No person or organisation will want to employ me anywhere in the world because of what these opposition parties claimed I have done at the GECOM command centre in the Ashmin’s Building and at GECOM head office in Kingston.
SD: So in fact, your claim is that your reputation has been tarnished. May I kindly ask what reputation, you are referring to?
CM: As a counter and cricket umpire. You see, the umpire has to have a counter in his hand, and as the bowler makes his delivery, the umpire ticks one ball bowled. He does that six times. These opposition parties have accused me of being a dishonest counter, thus harming my chance of a test match opportunity when New Zealand comes to the West Indies later this year.
SD. Can we talk about your counting skills on Wednesday, March 4, when you suddenly stopped your tabulation? Why did you?
CM: Well sir, stopping a count is a normal thing in life. In cricket, if a bird flies in the eyes of the batsman, you have to stop the bowler from delivering, so you don’t press the counter.
SD: What flew in your eyes when you stopped the count that fateful Wednesday afternoon?
CM: Sir, no one asked me why I did that. None of the opposition leaders ever asked me. If they did, I would have told them.
SD: Are you willing to tell the court why you did?
CM: Yes sir, it was a serious call of nature.
SD: And it lasted that long?
CM: Counsel, do you know what is diarrhoea?
SD: After that, you took ill and were rushed to the hospital; what happened?
CM: I thought I had Covid-19.
SD: But the virus was not in Guyana the first week in March?
CM: Sir, I said I thought I had it.
SD: You made a miraculous recovery. You were all over the place, even declaring the Region 4 tabulation on the balcony of the Ashmin’s Building. Why the balcony?
CM: I am a fan of Forbes Burnham. He liked to address the masses from balconies. One of his favourite balconies was the one in the Bank of Guyana building facing north. I thought I should feel the experience of speaking from a balcony.
SD: You moved your final tabulation from the Ashmin’s Building to the GECOM head office where you used a half-dead projector, a piece of cardboard and a bed sheet to project the statements of poll. Why that kind of operation?
CM: Well you see, sir, the answer is the same as the balcony story. I grew up in a village where there were no cinemas. So the church used to show films from a projector on a cardboard; the pastor would bring his bed sheet to throw over the cardboard and make a screen. I wanted that experience that I grew up with in the village over fifty years ago.
SD: But the accusation of dishonesty arose out of that operation because opposition agents couldn’t see the numbers; they were infinitesimal and you were going really fast. Wasn’t that deliberate?
CM: Before I answer you, counsel, what does “infinitesimal” mean?
SD: Very tiny.
CM: Well counsel, all I can say is those persons should have consulted their optometrists before they came to witness my projector operation. As to why I went fast. Well you see, I wanted to finish quickly. It was Friday evening, and remember what the Americans say; “Thank God, it’s Friday.” Did you ever see that movie, counsel?
SD: No sir, what is the relevance, Mr. Mango?
CM: Sir, why should I spend my Friday evening doing what I should have done since Wednesday, March 4?
SD: And what should that have been?
CM: Mixing oranges and guavas with the mangoes in the Region 4 tabulation.