Run!) Scared to death, runnin' like I got bears on me
(Run!) My Timb's start feelin' like they Nike Air's on me
(Run!) It's hard for me to slow down, it's like I'm on the Throughway
My belt's in the crib on the floor by my two-way
Jadakiss' verse from Ghostface Killa's Run
Happy Emancipation Day to my Bajan readers.
Well its Caribana week. You know you're getting old when you're not planning on doing anything for Caribana. No plan to hit fetes, boat cruises, Yonge Street Friday night, Pan Alive or even the parades. My only plans are non-Caribana related; Ribfest baby yeahhh!
Still Caribana week brings back some memories. Like the year I fete from the Wednesday before Caribana all the way through to the Caribana Monday. I mean I hit up a fete every night and still only spent like 60 dollars total (would have been almost half that but I spent $25 the Sunday night to see Machel). Yea if you want to see Caribana on the cheap check the I.
But in thinking back on Caribanas past (and I cant be certain if I've already shared these memories with you already or not) one constant seems to permeate almost all of my experiences, the exception being the couple of years I hung around Afro. That constant seems to be running. And by running I don't mean running as in I'm late or I'm missing something or trying to see something I mean running as in your life could end at any moment, get the bleep outta dodge, fear induced, death is nipping at your heels running.
Yep from lineups for fetes, to Yonge street on Friday night to the Lakeshore on Caribana Saturday I've done a hell of a lot of running on this weekend and the funny thing is for the most part I never have a clue what I was running for or from. Call it mob mentality or whatever you wish but when one man starts running in a crowd everyone else starts running and I've seen too many Hollywood movies to be the one guy playing it cool who isn't running who ends up eaten by the monsters or blasted by the aliens. Nuh uh not de I! I running, no scratch that I'm outrunning the crowd. Anytime I see a wall of people running around or towards me I taking off like Ben Johnson Doctor just juk me wid a steroid needle. Dem ain't catching me at all at all.
My mentality is if whatever happening happening it got to happen to a lot of other people before it happen to me so I looking to outrun even the wind if possible.
One time I was with the wife and we both start to run but I outrun she and everybody else. So when the commotion die down she looking at me asking me why I ain't wait fa she? Wait fa who? Chupse she mekkin sport! She must be want me to do like Omar Epps in Higher Learning when he was running in slow motion holding Tyra hand all the while a sniper letting of shots at them. And we know how that story ends right? So sorry but I ain't waiting for you if running involved. Like I said my mentality is if whatever happening happening it got to happen to a lot of other people before it happen to me so if you happen to be one of the ones sacrificed well tough luck for you but I ain't slowing down for a fella is up to you to keep up.
But seriously in a lot of my Caribana experiences although people are there to have fun and lose themselves in the celebration there is always this slight atmosphere of, well I wouldn't go as far as saying fear, but some slight worry or anxiety that something is going to jump off or some idiot is going to do something to injure someone so anytime anybody starts running whole masses of humanity duz start running along with them without bothering to even look to see why the person running in first place cause for all we know could just be that the fella that's running eat a bad pieca roti and he trying to reach a port-a-potty. I lie?
By the way disclaimer time. I ain't trying to run no-one away from Caribana. Its fun, its vibrant, its exciting. I just giving you a unique perspective of some of my experiences but all in all I have loads of fun when I go to the events. Alright then!
Anyway back to running. Now I could tell you all about running up and down Lakeshore on Caribana Saturday during the parade or running just because someone in the crowd dropped a bottle on Yonge street on the Friday night and people mistook it for shots fired but my favorite running story is this one.
It was probably close to 10 years ago. I went to the parade, tried to link up with my friends but this was back in the old time days B.C, before cell. We made plans before we left home but people got delayed by whatever and we never had no cell phone to call and change times or meeting locations so somehow or another we didn't connect. So I end up moving solo.
I had planned on hitting a fete over by the old Armory on Queen St. I think it was Sound Quest or Starting From Scratch (back before he turn big radio celeb and was juss a tall bony fella dat used to spin tune) or somebody so playing. It was a good dj whoever it was so I wanted to get in that fete. And yes I chose parties by DJs still do actually.
I left the parade route around 8ish and decide I just going to take a slow walk over to the Armory. Is a fair clip but I had a couple hours to kill and I might stop in at Harborfront and see an act of two.
So reach the Armory around 930 -10ish. Sun still ain't gone down entirely, the temperature hot and nuff nuff people already line up to get in the fete even though the DJs aint reach back there yet cause they was on a truck on the road at the parade and they still feting.
Even though it was early and doors ain't open yet I still probably like number 70 in line and by the time another 1/2 hr had gone by was like another 200 people in back of me and the line snaking its way past the retaining wall down Queen Street all past Sherbourne. Anyway I relaxing just settling in waiting for the DJs to show up and the door to open and I imagining how many big tunes these fellas going play and checking all the girls in the line.
All of a sudden I hear somebody way ahead of me in line shout out "Oh my God" and another person "I ain't getting shot!". Next thing I know wall of humanity start screaming and people tek off like a starters pistol let off at the Olympics. Well you can imagine what I do? As I said before if whatever happening happening it got to happen to a lot of other people before it happen to me so see me now jump down/over the retaining wall and invoke the spirit of Ben, Carl, Jesse, Linford, Donavon, Mike Johnson, Oba and any other great sprinter you could think of and fly past nuff people, high leg lift, proper sprint technique, speeding down Queen street. I think I even fly past a couple a street cars and by the time I realize it I was all the way over by Parliament St.
That was when me and a few others realize everybody else had stopped running. If I hadn't stopped then odds were good that I might have ended up back in Scarborough at the rate I was going. So now we walk back to the lineup cause it appears nothing had really happen. Turns out was just that some girl in the lineup some ways ahead of me had thrown up and someone had said Oh my God which led to someone else making the silly gun comments which led to the mass exodus from the lineup.
What a waste! And to make things worse I lost my spot in line and was now like 342nd in line which means I wasn't getting in the fete till about 1 or 2 o'clock if I lucky at the earliest. Chupse!