Just these 3 things

Recently, I had two Jamaicans tell me the same story. Apparently, back in Slavery days, when the ships were coming from Africa, whenever they had some slaves on the ship that were acting up, or really unruly, they would stop and let those slaves off in Jamaica.  I can’t find any proof of this but it seems to be making the rounds on the interweb.

When I heard this story, I laughed so hard that the person telling me the story started to get upset. “Why are you laughing? It’s true.”

I told her, “Well, make sure that story doesn’t get out because people will say, “And they’re still misbehaving to this very day.”

After I took the slave ship story, and combined it with a few other things, I only had one thought going through my head: “Thank God I’m Jamaican.”

Seriously. Don’t tell anybody I told you this but despite the bad apples in the basket, the bad publicity and the bad stereotypes, all Jamaicans secretly think that Jamaica is the best thing to happen to planet earth.

In fact, there are only 3 things in this world that I am conceited about and one of them has to do with Jamaica.

I’ll get to that in a bit.

First, let me list the other two things.

Item One,

The first one is fairly pathetic. However, this is why I’m secretly looking down on you in my mind and think I’m better than you.

“I knew about Samuel L. Jackson before Pulp Fiction.”

I don’t know why but I get a great deal of satisfaction from this. Every time I think about it, I just think, “I knew about him before you other mere mortals who think you know film.” I knew about him from a film called Amos & Andrew. This never ceases to produce a burst of self-esteem.

Item two,

My dishwashing skills. They weren’t always good but in recent years I have advanced to Olympic levels in my dishwashing. I am fearless about stubborn gunk stuck to pans and really enjoy it. I even wash the dishes at other people’s houses after parties. But where’s the conceit? Well, once in a while, I observe someone else washing the dishes, and I hear myself in my head scoffing at them, “If you’re not going to dry the dishes and put them away leaving the kitchen looking pristine, why do you even bother? Where’s your technique?”

But I keep this inner dishwashing fury to myself. When it comes to housecleaning, I am not really interested in the rest of the house but there’s something about me and the dishes. I figured out what that “something” was a little while back. I wrote some of my best songs while I was doing the dishes so I like to stay nearby the kitchen sink.

Item three,

You’ll recall that I said that the 3rd item had to do with Jamaica. Here it is. I have done a bit of traveling in my life and sampled many different cuisines and I think that Jamaica has the best fried fish in the world. Any time I ate some fried fish from somewhere else, I always thought, “Well, God bless you for trying.”

If you’re from another country, am I suggesting that you just give up and stop frying fish? Well, I can’t come to your house or restaurant and make you stop but under ideal circumstances all the fish in the world would be taken to Jamaica, fried and then distributed to other countries. I realize that it may be hard to get the other countries to admit that Jamaican fried fish really is the best, so I won’t press the issue. I will however challenge any nation to a fish fry cook-off; which a Jamaican chef will win blindfolded.

Well, those are my three things. These 3 items on my list haven’t changed in years so I don’t expect they’ll change anytime soon unless of course I write a hit song and get someone else to do my dishes.


August 20th,


Can you believe it? My prediction came true. It’s pretty great even if she wasn’t blindfolded. But today on the Food Network’s Bobby Flay Throwdown, Bobby Flay challenges Chef Sheron of Mobay in Harlem to an Escovitch Fish Throwdown. Guess who won? Yeah baby!!! That’s what I’m talking about. Sheron James. Carol’s words came true. It would have been nice if she was blindfolded. But who cares, she won!!!


This article was originally published on June 27th, 2010.
Obsolete links from the original article have been removed where applicable.

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