I had no intention on yesterday or even setting foot out of my apartment, yet 11:45am saw me leaving home to park my car at my friend Sheldon’s house, so that a group of us could make our way down to Panorama Semi -Finals. Now I know many of you have like one or two questions right away……let me answer them now:
1. YOU going to Pan?
Now now, as much as i may come across a bit bourgeosis, I am down to earth like most common folk. I enjoy the occasional beating of the steeldrum in my head while a parade of beaurtiful ladies pass up and down in stuff i would not let my sisters be caught dead in. And if i do see thme in it….well……is straight home…no matter if they are over 30 at that time. now i was at Pan Semi-Finals last year and I had a really good time plus I have attended this event many times during my high school and university days, so it is a right of passage for any young Trini. The things you see here make you thank God you were born and live in Sweet T&T.
2. Pan That early?
Well last year i got to Pan at 2pm and could barely find a place to stand. This year we thought it would be the same despite there no longer being "The North Stand" but now the "North Greens". Yes people a large expanse of flat land for everyone to roam. It gave the event a sort of Jazz on the hills feel while looking at everyone in some ridiculous outfits. When we got there at about 1pm, the place wasn’t empty but we certainly had a pick as to where we wanted to be. By 5pm, when the sun was going down, it was packed as ever but the crowd still seemed manageable. I honestly think i may have suffered whiplash at the event but we won’t get into that.
Anyway, A good time was had by me at this event. I had initially promised myself that I would not drink alcohol nor would i eat anything unhealthy at this event. Now Sheldon walked with a mini bar that had juice mainly as chasers so my use as just a drink was not going down well with the others. Then came the moment when i was thirsty and I asked a group member to pour me some coca Cola. Both he and I were unaware that most of the Coke bottles were filled with Angostura 1919 Rum and when he poured some and we got the whiff..well..we decided to take a taste.
For the next few hours, I was blissfully unaware of who or what was playing on the stage nor did i care about much in my mind. I had the feeling that all my troubles and worries were sitting next to me and we were having a brilliant chat in which they all decided to leave me alone. Trust me not to roll over and just go to sleep. Then it happened. Hunger set in. In my search for a healthy meal, i had two options. Corn soup/Chicken and chips. Knowing me the way i do, soup only opens up my appetite and then there are those urban legends about panties being found in these large soup pots when they accidentally fall over….hmmm so i opted for the healthy/oily fried chicken and extra-hard chips. No amount of ketchup cold save these chips from tasting bad. In one instant i swore i chipped a tooth on but it turn out to be the chip actually breaking in my mouth. I gave up on the carb/oil ridden item easily and sunk my teeth into the oily but reasonably tasty chicken. To a hungry man, it tasted like heaven but to the stomach that hasn’t had oily stuff in ages…well it introduced a minor farting spell that saw me not staying at any one location for long time periods. Two bottles of water later, i was fine.
When night fell i realised something. I had been in the sun for over four hours and had therefore acquired another 10lb layer of blackness over my body which resulted in me looking extraordinarily greasy. Given my previous state, i was totally unaware but with sobering up, all things became clear and the only solution was to walk up to Sheldon and annouce that i was ready for departure. Surprisingly he was too as the medium bands were taking a long time crossing the stage and it would be too late for us to hear the larger bands. So we departed The Savannah at 7:30pm.
I got home at 8:15pm after a brief stop at Quiznos for a veggie sandwich. I took a bathe and prepared to just watch TV for the rest of the night. At 9:30 however, i heard a honking outside but since most people know that i don’t respond to honks, i assumed it belong to one the neighbours. Then my phone rang and it was Sheldon asking me to go back with him to the Savannah to see Renegades play. My first response was NO, but then he explained that we were just going to listen to them practise on the road near to the venue and that we would leave by 11pm. I agreed and we were on our way.
Now the company Sheldon works for, sponsors the pan side called Renegades and as a result he was busy with some members and became wrapped up and really psyched about hearing the band play on stage. This meant that 11pm, he did not want to leave and he promised that i would get a t-shirt so that we could join the band on stage when they performed. Well on hearing this my mood changed and i was happy.. Free T-shirt..YEAH!!!. I had seen some of his co-workers wearing them and they all read:" 2007 Panorama Stage Crew". I couldn’t wait to get mine. So when the guy returns with t-shirts, I realise that mine is a different color to everyone elses. It was black. Everyone elses was either blue red or green. When I open the T-shirt..mine says…."Renegades Security"…..
Oh Hell NO!!!! Could he not find another jersey for me like everyone else? hmmph…I was ready to cuss. But seeing that my mother brought me up correctly to be appreciative of what is given to me, I said thank you and put my jersey on. Sheldon and another girl started to snicker but one quick glance from me and then they burst into laughter.
No less than two minutes after putting on the T-shirt, some man in a similar t-shirt walks up to me and informs me that I need to start helping them push the pans onto the stage. (Pause) (PAUSE) (Crickets Chirping)…..(Pause)……(SILENCE)……. Sigh.. no matter how many degrees I acquire, I will forever be seen as just a field slave…..LOL
Excuse me??? Stefan push what? No No No….i am not a groupie….and this was only supposed to get me onstage to look at the band. Meh blood boiling at this point. With thoughts of murder and calling 628-TAXI floating aorund in my head, i simply turned ot the guy and told him that I am private Security for this lady and gentleman and i cannot let them out of my sight. He nodded, mumbled, "Lazy so and so" and left.
Jeez, all of this? i thought this would ‘ve been easy.
After that I escorted Sheldon and two girls to the other side of the stage in my official/non-official capacity and then took my position at the edge of the stage to watch the band play. Two police officers with machine guns approached to tell me that I needed to move the civilians. i informed them that the gentleman is important to the band and he cannot leave the stage. They seemed to understand me and they left us alone. (i think i "wee weed" a teenie tiny bit during that ordeal). After that I felt in control. I started to instruct the band stagglers to clear the stage or Renegades would lose points and they seemed to obey me. When I saw my fellow security persons coming around, they commented on the good work that i was doing. (I was livid inside but just nodded)..Why is it the BLACK man had to be the one given the security jersey? Sigh….. Ah just can’t win at all..Can I?
Now Renegades played beautifully. They played a song called "Man From Space" written by the calypsonian "Crazy" and arranged by Jit Samaroo and his son. Now while they were playing the song, I heard the theme song from Star Trek as well as the chorus to" Englishman in New York" by Sting being integrated into the composition. These songs fitted really well into the whole arrangement and i was really proud to have been part of the moment.
We left the Savannah shortly after the band finished on stage and when i got home the time was 1am. At that point, it didn’t seem to matter. i had a really good time and enjoyed myself besides being reduced to the help.
I slept like a log this morning and woke up before my alarm clock could go off.
Oh what a GREAT DAY Sunday turned out to be!!!
And how was yours?