MASCOBEE… A BOXING DAY SAGA – by Waltie Ainsworth


By: Ewalt ‘Waltie’ Ainsworth                   12 19 2011

Mascobee was a visible minority, and “witless Putagee bastard,” according to his father.  He was a constant annoyance, practiced bestiality, lied on patacake, connoisseur, vagabond and a dam scamp; separately and sometimes all together.

One Christmas holiday season, he was caught on the seawall penetrating a crab hole.  Word spread quickly in the community about Putagee Joe (alias Mascobee), pursuing happiness in the mud and that did not stop him.  Mascobee almost lost a vital part of his anatomy as a blue crab disregarded his chants for help making multiple incisions below his waist.

Would you believe the son of a gun, the very next day, Boxing Day, pursued a feathered bird that eventually had to be slaughtered because of a ruptured intestine?

Mascobee, was labeled a “terrorist” in those days as he swaggered around the village with a necklace, a live snake, sometimes a camoudy snake and at other times, a monkey on his back.  He smelled and looked like each of them, depending on which angle you were looking at him from.  Wherever and whenever you met him, he was talking about the amount of girlfriends he had and who would be the next victim.

His dad, a very pious man and past retirement age, always advised us boys “not to believe a word; he has a fertile imagination and warped mind.” Mascobee loved ducks because they were fodder for his reptilian animals and fetched a fair market price when he sold them to hucksters in the local marketplace.  He screwed them first and before selling his stolen fowls to the highest bidder.

Mascobee only kept black friends even though he lived in Indo-centric Cove and John, a suburb of Victoria.  His father was never thrilled about this alliance but in his heart, knew that his son had some obsessive and compulsive disorders and the friends from neighboring villages, would look out for his best interest.  Unfortunately, the boy had a mind of his own and the sweetness of duck meat was his weakness.

Mascobee entrapped his neighbour’s  ducks by setting paddy trails and troughs into his yard.  Other times, he would buy loaves of stale bread from GAM,s baker shop, soak it in high wine and feed it to unsuspecting birds.  He would also drink himself into a stupor before committing unusual acts against birds, animals and fishes.  Mascobee also had a mini-zoo with turtles, snakes, bush motor bike (a type of iguana), possums, caymans and a varied assortment of caged birds. One friend recently reported that Mascobee was also caught with a ‘palpous’ (a fish that looks like a dolphin), grooving to some chutney music a few years ago before his demise.

His father and family lived in fear as he allowed the reptiles to roam the grounds freely.   He also charmed snakes and when he felt threatened, would unleash snakes at those who offended him.  At one time, he combined tennis rolls and a two-headed snake and gave it to his dad as a holiday gift.  The father threatened to kill him but his mother intervened on behalf of her ‘frucken’child.  (Frucken is rural and rustic language to describe a person that is sick in the head.)

Joe was Mascobee’s house name and we lived in the ethnically challenged community of Cove and John.  He was not our neighbor, but was close enough to have a working people’s alliance.  His father worked as an accountant and book keeper at John Fernandes and my people were in the teaching profession.  Mascobee lived near the madrasa and Hindu college and ball field where all the blue collar boys patronized day in and day out to lash ball, especially holiday time.

Mascobee reconfirmed his ambitions, character, and pedigree, earned his wings and lived to tell the tale by standing out, sometimes as the lone performer while the other boys in the district saw education as a pathway.  The Hindu college, alma mater of President Jagdeo, was less than 400 yards away from his home.  He knew all the students, faculty and staff but never found it expedient to reserve a seat.

Truth be told, Mascobee’s  father offered a reward of approximately  (10,000.00) ten thousand US dollars at the time for anyone who would “stray him away.”  Things were that bad.  Mascobee had a weakness for steam ships and used to raise funds for all his escapades by supplying live birds to the hucksters in the community.  The police station, located in his hometown, whenever they got a report of stolen feathered animals, would consult with Joe.  His ethnicity kept him out of jail until his death, a few short years ago.

Cutting to the chase, one of the most feared men in the community was a man named Sonny Shark.  Sonny Shark had one tooth in his mouth; Mascobee too.  Both of also had the idea of being pugilists, and showed off their muscles to impress the populace.

Sonny Shark always modeled in the area with his buckta alone and carried a bird cage in his hand.  Mascobee did not have as developed a physique but tried it too with bird cage in hand.  Sonny Shark did not work but had a Portuguese wife and three children.  Mascobee depended on his dad for a freck and was recognised as the controller and comptroller of a black woman who had seven children – none of them looked like him. Mascobee would do anything to build his resume and reputation so as to get respect from both Indo and Afro Guyanese.  He always wanted to be a force to be reckoned with.

Sonny Shark had liked the movies and had a reputation regionally and nationally:  Mascobee aspired for the same.   The favorite past time of Sonny Shark was the GEM cinema at Enmore. It was his revolving destination.  VIJAY in Lusignan, which specialized in Indian movies, was the only competition to GEM on the East Coast of Demerara.

Whenever Sonny Shark went to the movies, he would deliberately arrive late, instruct the projectionist “to start over”.  He would go in pit, walk to the head of the theatre, make a U-turn down the center aisle, count six rows on his right, and whoever is sitting there, would be violently uprooted.  That was signature behavior of Sonny Shark.  This type of behavior was never before replicated or duplicated in the entire history of movies in Guyana until that fateful Boxing Day, when Mascobee tried a thing.

The cinema seated 400 angry rural and rustic cane-cutting Indians and less than 30 black folks.  Mascobee counted “one, two, three, four, five, six…hib”  He got the hib right because the entire cinema got up and lounged at the Rusty Putagee Joe also known as Mascobee.  Eighteen black folks against 400 was just too much and he was the first to make it through the front exit.  And his entire posse was in hot pursuit.  Some folks headed for the seawall, others to the road, I followed Joe to the line.

In my lifetime, I have had a few skirmishes but none as dense and intense especially because we had a few drinks before and we did not budget for that.  And the Indians behind us and Joe dropping back, it looked as if we would be caught but a few black folks were on the line coming in the opposite direction, presumably heading for the cinema.  That is what saved us from a fine holiday cut-ass.

Once we got into Golden Grove, we felt safe and Mascobee wanted us to turn back and confront the Indians.  I heard him but never heard him.  Our trot was now reduced to a brisk walk and it was still early, around 6.00 pm, and we are now in Cove and John Line Top.  We saw a flock of ducks.  Joe started advancing towards them trying to convince me that we could sell a few, raise some money and go to the annual school dance, due to start in two hours.

TELSTARS OF GUYANA was headlining the alternative activity that Mascobee proposed, but stealing ducks was never in my songbook.  Joe pursued the feathery birds.  He caught two big drakes and as we made our way across the copra district, he rang their necks, skinned them and we went into a yard.  Mascobee and the home owner huddled, some money was exchanged and off we were to the fete.

Inside the party, we danced continually with a mother and daughter combination.  Mascobee knew them; every 20 minutes, he bought a round of beers.  By midnight, he gave me the signal for us to take them home.  He had the daughter and I had to tag along with the mom.  My curfew was imminent and so when he jumped aboard the last bus to Mahaica, I declined and exercised my right to stay out of trouble.  The bus came back within an hour but Joe was not aboard.  By this time, other village folks came along and we all recounted and gaffed about the holidays and its challenges.  It is now 4.00 am, still no Mascobee.

At about five, he arrived boasting, bragging about the sex he had.  One of the fellas who knew him just as well, asked to examine and smell his hands and body.  He smelled of fresh duck.

The long and short of the story Mascobee only went a bus stop away and returned to the railway line where the flock of birds was spotted earlier.  He caught a handful of the ducks, penetrated one and took the rest home to feed his reptiles.

Joe, prior to his death, requested that a feather must be replicated and or duplicated on his tomb stone.  He got his final wish.  Good riddance my friend Mascobee.

Ewalt ‘Waltie’ Ainsworth –  E-mail:


Post #974

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