Back in 2011, God the Uncle – my imaginary Uncle Godfrey – called me to sum up the Bible in the voice of Kenrick, a supremely confident Trini with not much reason to be confident, the kind of tess who plays cricket for West Indies in the 2019 World Cup but is still, somehow, loved and admired at home.
God hasn’t called me much lately, but he did insist that I finish the last four chapters of Genesis I’ve owed him since April 2016. In the last Kenrick instalment, Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery, since it was really God’s will that he become Pharaoh’s right hand corn man, and asked them to bring their father, Jacob, and their brother, Benjamin to Egypt.
(This summation works better if, before reading, you scan the Book of Genesis, free copies of which can be found online or in hotel rooms; kingjamesbibleonline.org)
The Twenty-Ninth Bit of the First Book of BC, called Deliverance, but not based on the film.
The Book of Free At Last, called Thank God It’s Friday.
(A Trini Dialect Summation of Genesis Chapters 47-50)
Then Joseph tell Pharaoh, “Watch, nuh, my old man and all my bredren-them and all they flocks and thing bus’ it from Canaan and reach by we.” And Pharaoh axe Joseph bredren-them, “Hear, nuh, what allyou does do?” And them say, “We is shepherd, boss, we does mind sheep but we does only curry goat and we axing you to gi’ we ah ease here in Goshen.” And Pharaoh say, “No scene.” And them fall een.
And Pharaoh axe Jacob, which is Israel, “How many years you have?” And Jacob say, “Mankind done make he century,” and Pharaoh say, “Daiz more than we could say for West Indies batsmen.” And Egyptian money fail, which mussee was the first financial crisis, and them Jew and them had was to sell out they land back to Pharaoh to eat a food and Pharaoh run a little seed for them whereby they had to give him a fifth of the crop.
And Jacob, which is Israel, start to feel little bit orf-key and he call Joseph and say, “Put yuh hand under my thigh,” which was a biblical way of speaking-something, not a gay/incest sex-something, “and promise me all-you go carry me outta Egypt to bury me.”
And Joseph bring he two son, Man-ah-say, which was a Jamaican, and Ephraim, which wasn’t a E-frame, just a Bible-name, and Israel, which was Jacob, say, “Buh eh-eh, who them is?” And Israel put he right hand on the youthman, Ephraim to bless him, and Joseph say, “Not he, the next one, Man-ah-say, is the firstborn,” and Jacob say, “Ent? But, watch, is the young one who go blow up big time.”
And Jacob catch a glad and he start to freestyle ‘bout Joseph chirren. “Simeon & Levi, them cruel/ Judah the lion real kewl/ Judah will hold the crown/ Until Shiloh come down/ Zebulun go live by the sea/ And Zidon go border with he/ Isaachar is a strong ass/ Dan is the snake who go pass/ Asher bread go be fat/ Naphtali ent go mind dat/ Benjamin will devour de prey/ And that is 12 tribes of Israel right dey.”
And then Jacob, which is Israel, give up the ghost and dead, but on to today, he ghost still haunting Palestine real dread. And Joseph trip and fall on he father face and cry and thing and then they had was to embalm Jacob and the wake run for threescore and ten days plus 40 days, which was like a real long Carnival season.
And Joseph tell Pharaoh, “Bossman, I did promise the old man to bury he back in Trinidad,” and Pharaoh say, “Go through hard!” And they make a lamentation, which wasn’t a lamb curry, but long tears. And they went and bury the old man and the plan was to come back in Egypt but Joseph bredren did worry that Joseph would organise to put down wuk on them, now that the old man dead.
And so they humble theyself and beg him to ease them up and Joseph, who was really the cool brother, say, “Nah, allyou doh dig nutten.” And everybody live good for the rest of they days, like them hobbit in Lord of the Rings extended version, which the ending of III does seem to go on forever, until finally Joseph dead. And they put Joseph in a coffin in Egypt, in which part Joseph’ bredren and all them Jew did still remain, and in a serious monkey pants, too besides.
BC Pires is a latterday seerman