It. Just. Got. Real.
The 48-year-old Mahase Kanhai, who, curiously, claims to have been a doubles vendor for the past 35 years, will be remembered for throwing the first blow.
“It was $4 but we had no choice but to increase the price (to $5),” Kanhai told the Trinidad Guardian. “We added the cost of everything and with the passing of the budget… Gas gone up so everything will also go up soon.”
It was the combination of simplistic economics and ruthless capitalism that has characterised local “businessmen” for time immemorial.
Kanhai’s reasoning was as sound as Jack Warner’s when, as Minister of Works and Transport, he gave Cabinet a quotation of $10,189,155 to tow a firetruck from a 60-foot trench in Blanchisseuse and eventually settled on a $6.8 million bill.
And Kanhai was on superior ground to Adolphus Daniel, who insisted he deserved and would hold on to a $34 million payment from Life Sport for a teaching job that never started.
But, if Trinidad and Tobago has its way, it will be Kanhai who is hung, quartered and audited by Friday night.
Of course, even at $5, doubles remains the cheapest way to simultaneously satisfy your appetite and clog your arteries in this country. But it is the principle of the thing.
And when Trinis suddenly start talking about “principled stands”, Mr Live Wire does bounce his car starter one time.
There was no principled stance against Movie Towne, although they tore down the mangrove to erect it. None against TV6 for its shameful broadcast of ex-National Security Minister Martin Joseph’s lifeless body.
And no boycotts of Centre of Excellence although—despite building the venue with FIFA, CONCACAF and TTFA money—the facility manager refused to let one of the most gifted Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 football teams in recent memory train there, two years ago.
But let them only hold Kanhai! Who tell him not to have an expensive suit and a university degree, whether fake or otherwise, before he spoke his nonsense!
The rallying cries for the “Battle of the Barra”—copyright 868-er Vernal Cadogan—or, according to Kala Ramnath, #channaspring have so far been of debatable substance.
One poster suggested that Trinis buy fruit instead, as they are cheaper and healthier.
Will Trinis be asking for a beer and a banana on Friday night at the Dial?
Live Wire won’t bet on it. First, fruit has always been cheaper than doubles. Second, anyone who thinks Trinidadians are looking for healthy eating options should probably get out more.
Another person suggested that people fried an egg instead. Someone else said make a sandwich.
If Kanhai was on Facebook this morning, he would have been laughing his head off.
“I shoulda hit them for 6, yes,” he may have muttered to himself.
Even more posters urged Inland Revenue to descend on doubles vendors immediately. But then there is more than a passing chance that increased taxes would also be passed on the customers.
Just like Kanhai is happy to relay the increased Budget-related costs that have not even taken hold yet.
But that does not mean it is smooth sailing for Kanhai and his “barra brothers.” Not by a long shot.
Somewhere in Trinidad, a super-sized Zorro with a ponytail and a cutlass is probably pulling on black gloves and listening to the theme music of “The Equaliser” with a crazy gleam in his eye.
Desperate times call for desperate measures and who knows what a disenfranchised people might resort to.
If you still want to have a $4 doubles this weekend, Live Wire has two words to whisper to your vendor of choice that are bound to scare him straight:
Editor’s Note: Mr Live Wire cannot confirm that Shane Gopeesingh’s Facebook status now reads: “I promised that I would never go back to being that angry person… But when I heard about $5 doubles…”