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Caribbean People, Are Loved Ones Conning You?

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a “Sob Story” is “a sentimental story or account intended chiefly to evoke sympathy or sadness”.

Sob stories can be real but, when it comes to relatives, neighbors, and friends, they’re often exaggerated.

Sob Story Saturday - the 'Ex Factor' -

Why Some Always Have Sob Stories

There appears to be many reasons. I am no psychologist, though I may have stayed in an hotel in which psychologists have stayed. A few reasons for sob stories are:

  1. Habit, a jus so dem stay – They are just like that because of habit
  2. Dem jus’ emotional – They are just emotional
  3. Dem a samfi or chappa – They are scammers or con artists
  4. Dem love attention – They love attention
  5. Dem jus’ selfish – They are selfish. [In their minds], their problem is the biggest problem and someone has to listen to it, for whatever reason.
  6. Dem greedy – They are greedy.
  7. Dem feel seh if dem come and tell di truth, yuh naw go listen – They feel if they tell the truth, you will not listen.

Why Tell Only Certain People Sob Stories?

“Duppy know who fi frighten” — Jamaican saying

Do some regularly “tek set pon you” (constantly bother you) but never other neighbors, friends, relatives? They might even ignore your sibling… an identical twin even… who shares the same apartment with you, has a better job, is more accomplished, makes more money, and is an actual psychologist, because your twin doesn’t listen to the “sob stories” and has often said “NO”, and don’t engage them?

Again, I’m no psychologist, but there seems to be a few reasons:

  1. The one dem come to wid dem stories are perceived as ediat – the one they approach with their stories is perceived as an idiot who will listen
  2. They size up someone just pon pure perception an’ feel seh dat person haffi help dem straight; a fi dem time now – Based on pure perception, they feel a particular person has to help them because it is their time now.
  3. Dem feel like seh a person obligated to dem, for dem fren-ship, dem blood relationship, or dem neighbor-ship – [The sob story teller] feels the person is obligated to listen [and help only the way the story teller wishes] because of their great friendship, are related by blood, or are “good” neighbors.
  4. In di case of fren / neighbor, di one dem lean pon is considered a “simp” like di man and woman dem pon 90 Day Fiancé show dem – Friend/neighbor may consider the one they lean on to be a “simp”… kinda like some of the men and women of the 90 Day Financi… er… Fiancé franchise.
  5. A suh dem stay – that’s just how they are
  6. Dem feel seh those people abligated to dem – They feel those persons are obligated to listen and/or help
  7. Dem feel seh dem smart and yuh a ediat – They feel they are very cunning [like a fox] and that you are dumb.
  8. Dem feel seh certain people jus’ lucky – They feel that certain people are just lucky.
  9. Dem ruin smaddy else, or di person wise up and stop listening, so is your turn now – They have ruined someone else, or the person stopped listening, and now it’s your turn.

Caribbean relatives, friends, neighbors conning me?

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But, Are They Conning You?

So they come with the sob stories and.. cough… excuses on excuses on excuses… but it does not always mean they want something or are feeding you stories to con you.

How can you tell if they are conning you?

Here are 20 common if not generic scenarios that, if you find yourself in any one situation, your friend, neighbor, or relative is likely conning you… because that person is an opportunist, selfish, or so-called / fair-weather friend, relative, or neighbor.

1. You are a giver – you give to those who are needy / unfortunate freely, like those who are fully disabled, homeless, shelterless, born with birth defects, very old widows, very young orphans… but gave to an able-bodied friend / neighbor / relative who finds themself in quite a pinch.  But, after that, the individual keeps coming back to you “for help” for everything and every situation they put themselves in.

2. You are a listener – you will listen, often without interrupting – and the individual keeps coming back to you with all sorts of crazy stories and situations.

3. When you give, others find out – and those others suddenly have a sob story for you.

4. You are approached about A. You encourage them about A… but then they always cry about B or C.  You encourage them to take their lesson or get a job or learn from their mistakes… You even offer to help them learn how to fish... but they are never interested. They want help with something else… usually a temporary or futile “solution” or shortcut that has the lowest probability of being fruitful. They want instant gratification.

5. You have a loss in your family or are dealing with some terrible news. The neighbor / friend / relative calls to offer condolences and then add the conjugation… “BUT I have a problem and hope you can help me…”

6. You are perceived by multiple of them that “you are loaded” even when you are just barely getting by because you try to live within your means.

7. You are your only means of support AND may even support quite a few others BUT you constantly get calls and texts with “sob stories”. When you listen but offer nothing else, the persons return with expanded versions of the sob stories, until they just come out and ask for something.

8. You are told, “I know you have a lot of things on your plate but you are the only one I can come to with this…” OR “I know you are helping out a lot of others already, but [you] are the LAST person I can come to about this…”

9. The person who used to bother you constantly to listen to their stories, help them with something or give them money, becomes large and moves up the ladder, and suddenly not even a ping… and completely forgets about you and everyone else down the ladder. As my mother would say, “they get where dem want reach so why would they ‘member you [when things are the way they want]? If you hear from dem again, is because where dem reach was temporary.

10. Someone who you KNOW lives beyond their means seem to be frequently looking for sympathy and comes to you with “I’m in tremendous debt!” (that they could’ve easily avoided) so they’re looking at you, their relative, friend, neighbor, who has that mango money tree, apple money tree, and fence money trees in your backyard for help.

Yes, I almost fell for your sob story... Then I remembered that everything you say is a lie.

11. Your “friends” go out of their way to seek your advice — and then go out of their way not to follow it. They might smile and nod and agree while you are giving the advice (wolf in sheep clothing) or might even call you an “idiot” for your advice, raising their voices (wolf).

12. They come to you for money, something large, and you offer 10% (still large) of what they ask for. They wail and cry while insisting that amount can’t help them… and then shamelessly offer to pay you back if you “can do a little better”.

13. “They tell you they love you but have ulterior motives” or conditions as Reggae artist Luciano says.

14. They always sing high praises about you to your face, especially when they have sob stories, but behind your back… a different story.

15. You are called and you listen to their story and you give advice… They come back with other sob stories and you listen and advise them… They come back with more, and you tell them you can’t at this time. They call you !@#$%, selfish, and all sorts of dirty words.

16. They come with a sob story month after month and you help them out…, and once you can’t help them out, they say, “You neva’ do nutt’n fi mi yet and mi ask yuh one ting and yuh say no.”

17. They come to you with sob story. You can’t help. They tell you “how come you help out so and so, and NEVER want to help me and me have much more responsibilities [than so-and-so who you helped]”?

18. They tell you “This horrible thing happened to me. I know you are at work BUT I just stubbed my toes while going to work and my car is in the shop, my cow is lean and horse fat… Can you pick up my husband/wife/son/daughter/friends from the airport in 3 hours? There’s nobody else who can do it. They will also be also hungry, so please get them some food at the corner of A and B street at that Chinese food place next to the dry cleaner. They sell the best food. Oh! Ask my husband/wife/son/daughter/friends to get my dry cleaning… I’ll pay you back for it.

19.Your friend, relative, or neighbor absolutely cannot handle their finances. You feel sorry because they showed you they have negative balance in their account. Figuring it happens, you feel sorry for them and give them $50 to buy dinner for them and their children. However, later in the day, you see them post on social media (pick your choice) the brand new $200 sneakers or $500 purse they had been eying for a while.

20. It is revealed that the relationship of a relative or friend or neighbor “mash up” because of cheating. The cheater comes to you and tells you “Well, I cheated on my [partner] because [reason that insinuates it’s the partner’s fault, not the cheater]” and gets mad when you side with the partner.

A Message To You All

“An ingrate bites the hand that helps them and then complains of indigestion.”

Nobody wants to plant the corn, but everybody wants to raid the barn… Who you a-go blame it on, when it’s a next one you a-depend on… well you wrong!” — Anthony B “Raid the Barn”

Nuff neglect the farming, they’re scorning the mud
Yet they want to be the first to reap the fruit as it bud (OH!)
— iWayne “Living in Love”

Guilty Of Any Of 20 Sins Above?

If you are guilty, perpetrator of at least ONE of the above, don’t be like the politician who says he/she is the best, most moral person, who never does things like that. Instead, own up to it. You are a BAD friend, relative, or neighbor to anyone you did that to and, even if you say you love the person every time you speak but treat the person like that, you don’t love the person at allYou need to go to the same person the artist Foreigner went to to find out what love is… or, better yet, get on your knees and pray to God and then ask the friend / neighbor / relative for forgiveness and avoid that behavior.  It’s too pervasive in Jamaica, in Trinidad and Tobago, in Barbados, in Haiti, … among Caribbean folk living in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada…

  • “Greater love has no one than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend/relative/neighbor” —
  • “Who is a good neighbor? The Good Samaritan— Luke 10:25-37
  • “I gave you 5 talents, 2 talents, and 1 talent. What do you do with it / them? The Parable of the Talents — Matthew 25:14-30
  • “Come with sob story looking for help/mercy but refusing others the same. The Unforgiving Servant” — Matthew 18:21-35

What say you Caribbean people? What side are you on… the abuser or the abused… the cunning fox or the idiot?

Talk to me nuh?

Discussion: How to combat crime

Despite what some “statistics” published about various cities/parishes/states in the North America and the Caribbean, violent and disturbing crimes appear to be on the rise. Murder, rapes, targeting, kidnapping, school shootings, workplace shootings, drive-by-shootings, police shooting of the unarmed, home invasions, and so on. Understand that violent crimes have increased in other parts of the world other than North America and the Caribbean but we will focus on those closer to home.  You see, I am of Caribbean descent and live in the United States of America.

Why should criminals continue to make us feel helpless?

It is really sad and depressing how helpless one can feel when one hears of returning citizens and retirees being robbed and brutally murdered in Jamaica, kids and families kidnapped and brutally murdered in Trinidad & Tobago, school, workplace, and church shootings in the USA, and others… yet nothing gets done or whatever is attempted does not work. Many times we get lip service from the authorities and government. Some times we know what they “decide to try” is just to pacify their voters because there is no chance the plan(s) would ever work. There are lots of games being played by politicians (henceforth referred to as “poli-tricksters” in this piece) in North America and the Caribbean nations.  Some may even mean well but, because they or their loved ones are not affected by some of these crimes, they often ignore or pass bad policies.  To the politicians we say, “Come walk a mile in our shoes.”  To the criminals we say, “Unlike current poli-tricksters, we the citizens are starting to think and you have been put on notice.”  Your actions will have to stop…. and, unlike you, fed-up citizens will not break the law to get you to curtail your behaviors… We will be using our brains, common sense, and collaboration.

Children and families at risk

Our children are at risk of being murdered by insane gun-wielding psychopaths in school… and it gets worse because poli-tricksters continue to play poli-tricks. People are less safe on the streets (road rage, crazy and drunk drivers) and at work… Well, certainly they’re safer at home? Nope! Increases in home invasions, break-ins, criminals impersonating delivery/service persons or civil servants, clowns and idiots and drugged out individuals firing weapons during holiday celebrations along with the fireworks. I mean, that is just a small example of the madness that has to stop.

Why the increase?

But, what is the reason or reasons for all this madness and violence? I know that I have heard many reasons, some of which I agree with. Below’s a subset of  what I have heard. Can the increase in violent crimes be due to one, some, many, or all of the following and then some?

1. poor education – not exact but people with less education make less per capita. Obviously, there are exceptions and outliers and the poor neighborhoods are most victimized, sometimes by their own, sometimes by gangs, sometimes by law-enforcement officers.

2. far left and/or far right poli-tricksters

3. racism – people of ruling ethnicity despising and “hating on” others

4. other hate crimes – “throwing shade” on others to the point that it leads to violence or retaliation

5. lack of love for humanity – vanity and no love for humanity means one can lead to violence, If you love me, you won’t steal from me, lie about me, take my spouse, you won’t break into my house, you won’t try to physically harm me.

6. greed – criminals feel that what you have, they deserve to have, even at the cost of your life. Some of these criminals are your own relatives and friends, including people you send may even help out financially already.

7. recreational drugs and alcohol abuse – rampant and cause people to hallucinate, become dark, resort to violence

8. prescription drug abuse

9. separation from The Almighty – less and less people believe in a Creator much less a Creator’s expectation from humanity

10. black people – victimization and/or playing the victim

11. white people – oppressors and/or being oppressed

13. other people other than black or white people – not respected or seen as relevant

14. mental instability

15. violent video games – people, starting from an early age, spend too much time playing these games and so they have issues differentiating reality from game.

16. violent movies and TV shows – line between terrorist and terrorized, criminals and victims, law breakers and law enforcers is blurred and sometimes the criminals are the stars.

17. glorification of weapons, particularly the gun

18. feeling of empowerment when”strapped” with a weapon

19. tail wagging the dog – children rule households and parents not allowed to discipline.

20. mankind have given up their “birthright” to the devil (dark forces).

21. fake news and “reality” TV

22. disruption of elections by unscrupulous persons or systems within a country or without.

Potential Solutions

1. poor education – get public and private investors to invest in children K-12; get volunteers to tutor kids and help with reading, mathematics, and home work IN school after regular classes –those volunteers have to be vetted and supervised.

2. far left and/or far right poli-tricksters – don’t vote for OR vote out extreme right and extreme left poli-tricksters and those who propagate hatred and build up enmity among citizens, immigrants, and neighboring countries, or force everything goes type of attitude

3. racism – similar to #1 but educating people that we are all one race and a city divided cannot stand so it’s best to love each other.

4. other hate crimes – same as #3

5. lack of love for humanity – same as #3.

6. greed – education

7. recreational drugs and alcohol abuse – education

8. prescription drugs abuse – education and counselling

9. separation from The Almighty – stop blocking God and stop forcing God… Let people who believe in God be able to worship freely.

10. black people – bleaching is not the answer.  education of people (including other black people) who think black people is the problem

11. white people – tanning or burning int he sun is not the answer – education about history and what a united front can do

13. other people other than black or white people – education

14. mental instability – not sure why there is a rise here… the food?  the drugs?  the hard drugs?  the hormones? the fact that kids are not well-rounded and don’t get out to play anymore, instead it’s all about Instagram, Snapchat, FaceBook, cell phones, video games… Parents and schools should encourage outdoor activities and other activities not using any of those social-media or video games.

15. violent video games – same as #14.

16. violent movies and TV shows – same as #14

17. glorification of weapons, particularly the gun

18. feeling of empowerment when”strapped” with a weapon – I don’t begrudge people with their weapons but it is not too late to do background checks to prevent homes with mentally unstable or violent individuals from having weapons and disallow non-service members from taking weapons into buildings.

19. tail wagging the dog – children rule households and parents are not allowed to discipline them – allow parents to discipline their children NOT abuse them.

20. mankind have given up their “birthright” to the devil (dark forces). – this is biblical but the darkness in humanity is so widespread that, first, we have to return to God and the teachings of the “perfect law” (ten commandments) of liberty.

21. fake news and “reality” TV – this just brings out what is already inside people so education is the key. Verify what you see but, before that, educate people against major biases that exist in pockets of society and within schools. Schools populated by extreme left or extreme right administration influence the students much more than we think. Parents do some research and do not send your children to these schools. Also, extreme left (e.g. MSNBC) and extreme right (e.g.Fox News) tend to intentionally brainwash their sheeple. Watch more politically neutral stations if you can find them.

22. disruption of elections by unscrupulous persons or systems within a country or without. – increase awareness


I hope I didn’t come off too preachy… because I don’t want to be seen as a rose-colored glasses-wearing individual standing on my soapbox seated on a high horse.

Do you agree with any of the points / reasons listed? If so, which ones?

Do you have any other reasons to add?

Either way, the current methods are NOT working, so let’s have a discussion on how we can combat this increase in crime?

CAN, MEX, USA hosts 2026 World Cup Finals; 48 teams instead of 32

The USA, Canada, and Mexico won the bid for the 2026 World Cup [finals] over Morocco. This means all 3 teams get a “bye” (automatic bid). With the number of teams also increasing from 32 to 48, it means CONCACAF, the federation from which those teams come, will get those 6 spots (3 automatic and 3 more).

Big questions?

  1. Will USA still be “friends” with Canada and Mexico at that point?
  2. Can Jamaica and T&T cement themselves into 2026 with more opportunities?
  3. How about other countries from the Caribbean?

It would be nice, if I am alive and well, to see 2 or 3 Caribbean teams into a World Cup finals… for real.

One can dream…

USA dominates IAAF World Championships 2017 while Caribbean athletes stutter

The United States athletes soared as the USA dominated the IAAF World Athlethics Championships 2017 in Britain while the Caribbean athletes returned to earth after great past Championships and Olympics showings.

2017 Medal Tally

  • United States – 30 medals – 10 gold, 11 silver, 9 bronze
  • Great Britain  & Northern Ireland(host) : 6 medals – 2 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze
  • Caribbean: 9 medals – 2 gold, 1 silver, 6 bronze

JAM –  4 medals – 1 gold, 0 silver, 3 bronze
TT  –  2 medals – 1 gold, 0 silver, 1 bronze
BAH –  2 medals – 0 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze
CUB –  1 medal  – 0 gold, 0 silver, 1 bronze

In 2015, it went like this for the Caribbean:

  • Caribbean:20 medals – 9 gold, 5 silver, 6 bronze

JAM – 12 medals – 7 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze
CUB –  3 medals – 2 gold, 1 silver, 0 bronze
BAH –  2 medals – 0 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze
TT  –  2 medals – 0 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze
GRN –  1 medals – 0 gold, 0 silver, 1 bronze

Usain Bolt

The track athlete of the past 10 years, Usain Bolt, announced he would retire, that this was his last World Championships and, last year, his last Olympics game.

He entered only the 100M and 4x100M events, finishing a close 3rd in the 100M and pulling up from injury in the 4x100m relay, a disappointing way for him to end a great career…  but we should be happy we had a Usain Bolt, regardless of this end to his career.

The Future

The future may seem grim to many but, having watched the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships the past few years, I expect to see some good talent come out of the Caribbean in the next 2 – 3 years.

Big ups to our athletes and congratulations to all who competed, whether they won medals or not.  And, by the way, Jamaicans and Caribbean people, stop making up stories about the athletes, some really bad stories.  Let’s just accept that they weren’t up to par this time around and hope the ones who remain and the ones who will step up to the table in the future will learn from these Championships.