Rude Bwoy / by VH McKenzie



I don't have a good story about Rudy today -- I have a hundred good stories about Rudy. None of which he'd probably like me to share with you.

Our constant companion from the minute we arrive in Negril, Rudy has become like a member of the family, albeit the black sheep. I'm told that Rudy used to dress sharp with "shiney genkle-man shoes an' trousahs well pressed an' neat", but lately Rudy looks like a hundred miles of back-country road.

In the wake of some rather poor "career" choices, the consensus among the bredren is that Rudy is "wert-less" and "his brain bun out". Still, no one gives up on Rudy, hope springs eternal. My husband harangues him and brings him new clothes, insults him and loads his plate with double helpings, bought him a cell phone and makes him do the heavy lifting when we unload our bags.

Sometimes it makes me cringe. When I ask my husband to fetch me a drink from the bar or refill the ice pitcher, he sends Rudy. When the girls agree that jerk chicken is what they'd like for lunch, Rudy makes the trip up the boulevard. And when Peter tells Rudy to fetch him some brown stew chicken from Noah's but Rudy returns with escoveitch fish, guess who gets a slap upside the head and tirade of insults about his mental capacity? But then settles down on the verandah when Peter shares out the food with him.

It's an odd relationship.

"Petah come like mi bredda," says Rudy. "He more like mi family than mi real breddas."

But Peter has brothers. Many, in fact. And tomorrow I'll show you one in particular and share the story of Rudy's clash with Flash.

4"x6" ink and watercolor on paper.
Purchase a print of this painting here.