If Ah Poop Yuh Dead



Poop: Jamaican equivalent of a fart, much more toxic and deadlier. Avoid at all costs.

Fridays have always been my favorite day of the week growing up and not for the obvious reasons. Yes, it was the last school day of the week and it meant Saturday would be coming, but Fridays in my house meant my dad would be coming home from country (a rural part of Jamaica. In this case St. Ann) and we'd all get to pile up in his pickup truck ( yes, in the open back, with our tongues hanging out like doggies) and go on our special outing.


My dad worked for the Jamaican Forestry department. Well, that was one of his jobs, when I was younger and it meant he wasn't home during the week. Since it was a long distance from Kingston to his job site and his work hours were so long, it wasn't practical for him to commute. Commuting would mean he'd be traveling forever and never have a chance to rest.


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Anyway, on Fridays, daddy came home and we always mimicked a popular commercial at the time. In the commercial, there was a truck driver pulling into the driveway of a house. The daughter would yell, “Daddy’s home” and then make a mad dash for him. The dad then scooped her up into a bear hug and swung her onto his shoulders. After that, he would walk into the house, carrying his daughter on his shoulders.


Every time we did this routine, it always made me smile. Once my dad got in the house, we'd round up my brothers and cousin and head to our special place, the grocery store. Yes, you heard me right the grocery store.

“Unno ready?”

“Yes, daddy”

“Yes, Uncle Pat.”

Excitedly, we’d scramble into my father's white pickup truck and wait for my dad to close the bed.Then, we’d all drive to the store to get groceries. After that we'd fill up the gas tank for the stove, so we could cook that week. What make this trip special is that each of us, my cousin, Trecia, and brothers, Kirk and Greg and me, got to pick out one thing we'd like to have in the grocery store.




Now, we were really smart about this opportunity and each of us picked something different in the family size portion, so we could all share it once we got back to the house. Our top picks were always either Chippies Banana Chips, Cheddar Popcorn, Big Foot (like Cheese Puffs, but shaped like a monster’s foot) or Corn Pops (like Cheese balls) and Cheese Crunches (like Cheezits).

Back at home, we'd sit and equally divide all of our treasures. Next, we’d sit and eat together on the verandah (porch) while my dad blasted country and western or Motown classics. When a really good song like “My Girl” came on, my daddy would stand me up on top of his foot and we'd waltz together, like we were at a fancy dance. After we were finished eating our treats, the real fun began. One of us would say to someone.

“Guh fi di Lasco and sugah and try memba di cup and spoon dem (Go get the Lasco and sugar. Don't forget the cups and spoons.”

Now, Lasco, at the time I was growing up was a staple in every Jamaican household and was used for countless cooking possibilities. It could be mixed and used as a drink and came in many different flavors. It could be used as a semi sweetener for porridge. it could be used to make chocolate tea or Milo, as a replacement for milk and on and on.


For our finale Friday evening treat, we would get a pack of Lasco vanilla or plain milk powder, mix it with brown sugar, divide it among ourselves and then eat to our hearts' delight. Now, Lasco powder and brown sugar is delicious going in, but toxic coming out, especially coming out of the right or wrong person, depending on how you see it.


My brother Kirk was the wrong person. For some reason, our concoction is efficient at producing poops. In everybody else, it was hilarious. The poops would come out sounding like assault rifles. No seriously. One of us would lift our bottom up off the perfectly waxed red verandah floor and let it rip.

“Prrrr, prrrr, prrrr, prrrrrrruuuurrrrn.”


Then, we’d dissolve into giggles. Somebody would say.

“No, man, you muss mess uself wid dah one deh. Smell like more than poop. (Are you sure you didn't do more than fart in your clothes?)” The comment would make us laugh even harder. It was all fun and games until my brother Kirk got involved.


For reasons unbeknownst to us, Kirk’s poops were of lethal toxicity. This bredrin (guy) let out life threatening poops a.k.a. deadly releases of gas. I mean his even sounded different coming out. They sounded more like bombs.

“Bhuuum, bhumm, bhhhhhummmm.”

He never had many poops, like us, but when he did, the night’s gathering was usually disbanded because his poops cleared the room.


One Friday evening in particular, we were moseying along having our "pooping contest" and eating Lasco, listening to Motown classics and laughing. Kirk had been particularly quiet and then all of a sudden it hit us like a wave. It started with Trecia and her eyes just began to bulge. It got to me next. I immediately got a sensation like my eyes were burning and I felt like I was choking.


When it made it to Greg, he got this look of disgust and let out.

“No man, sumting crawl up inna yuh and dead, man.”

I’ve never been around a skunk before, but I imagine from what I’ve heard people say that my brother Kirk’s poops smell like a skunk’s spray. Still reeling from the smell, we couldn’t help bursting out in uncontrollable laughter at Greg’s comment.


That unfortunately was a big mistake.

“It inna mi mouth,” Trecia screamed.

At that point, we all ran and started frantically trying to open the verandah grill to run out into the darkening evening to get some air. Outside and safely away from the toxic bomb, which was Kirk's poop, we all burst into another fit of laughter again.


Once we started calming down, we looked around and noticed Kirk was nowhere to be found. I volunteered to check and bravely went into the house, but ran back out seconds later.

“Nobody doan guh inna dah bathroom deh tonight after Kirk. Unno wi dead (Don't go into the bathroom after Kirk tonight unless you want to die).”


We dissolved into more hysterical laughing, until my dad yelled for us to come back inside and close the grill. You'd think we would have learned our lesson after almost being decimated, but we were all already eagerly waiting and thinking about our next Friday night outing, delicious treasures and "pooping contest".

If you enjoyed "If Ah Poop Yuh Dead," read the other short stories that have been released in the I am an Island Girl series. Story 4, Verandah Key, shares one of my "key" adventures in another part of the island. The second story in the series, A We Say Acrobat: Chinese Skip , gives a glimpse into one of my favorite games growing up in Jamaica and the first story in the collection, Duppy Business, is a tale of the evil genius of siblings mixed with a popular Jamaican superstition (belief to some).

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