I’m on holiday in Jamaica hanging out with friends and some people they know. Everybody is telling stories. People are laughing and fooling around, and then, they turn to me and say, “Hey, Paul, tell us a joke from England, nuh man? You must know whole heap-a-good jokes from over there.” I’m like, no, you know, I’m no good at jokes. They say, “Come, man. We’re all here telling jokes, drinking rum, and acting stupid. What you have for us?”
So I wrack my brain…wrack my brain, and eventually, I come up with this one joke I could remember that some guy in a pub told me. So I said to them, okay then. I’ll tell you a funny story. All ears prick up now ready to tune into the English accent.
You know about the Heimlich Manoeuvre, don’t you? They say, “The what?” I said The Heimlich Manoeuvre. “What’s that?” Suppose you go to a restaurant and someone is choking. You have to go behind the person and wrap your arms around their waist below the ribcage and above the navel. Grasp your fist with your other hand and press into their abdomen with a quick upward thrust. Hmm! “Okay, okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. Seen it on TV,” they all say. That’s called the Heimlich Manoeuvre. “Hinelick?” Yeah, man.
So this Little Guy is at this restaurant. He’s an AGI specialist. Works for an Aeronautical company in England. Bunch of them over there at this restaurant, a bit like us here tonight, you know. Having the usual liquor and what not when suddenly the Boss Man starts choking. The Boss Man has swallowed a piece of meat, and it’s gone down the wrong hole. He’s choking to death, and everybody is in a panic.
Little Guy comes running up from the back saying, “Move away, move away, I know about the Hinelich Manoeuvre.” People step back as if it was Moses parting the red sea. The Little Guy waltzes over, flip the Boss Man upside down, drags his pants off, and licks his arse. The Boss Man goes “Bleeeuuurrrggghh!” and vomits all over the floor. The Little Guy yells, “You see. You see. It works. It works. The Hinelich Manoeuvre!”
Nobody said a word. Not a snigger. Not a sound. Total silence. Everybody just sat there looking at each other as if to say; he didn’t just tell a bunch of us Jamaicans some battyman joke? And some of the stories they told were disgraceful. Disgusting. But for them, it was all right. Me telling a joke about a guy licking a man’s arse…shiiiit. I’m lucky they didn’t string me up.
All these people just sat there behaving like I’d just farted in church. It was almost as if a fog had come over their faces and nobody looked my way. When I tried to catch the attention of my friends, they were all acting like, “Oh shame, we don’t even know this guy.” Wrong thing. Wrong place. Wrong time.
I thought the joke was quite funny, really. But whenever I think of it now, it’s the expression on the faces of the people that night that becomes the joke. I swear to God—if looks could kill. Bwoy, Jamaica, Jamaica, my people ain’t easy.