I had just returned to camp from the kitchen, Friday morning, at Reggae on the River, and I was brewing myself a cup of the ambrosia of the gods, when something peculiar occurred. I was in the process of creating a latte, whipping the half-and-half with my battery-operated whisk, when I glanced up to see Auntie shuffle into our campsite. I had never seen her before. The old woman was clutching a roll of toilet paper in her hand, and she disappeared into Bull’s air-conditioned tent, looking mildly embarrassed at being seen with the T P.
wtf-who this female?
A minute later she emerged from the tent, tooth brush in hand, glanced over at me and asked if there were any water available. “I’d like to brush my teeth, but the water is all frozen.” Her accent told me this was a Jamaican matron, of undeterminable age. She could have been 55; she could have been 80.
Frozen water in a tent? That was no accident because Bull takes Smart Waters, freezes them solid, and then stores them in his ice chest. He then spreads them around to his homies, and with the heat being as intense as it has been, he creates a lot of good will.
“I don’t know why all the water is frozen, but it hurts my teeth,” she explained. Still flummoxed by the last person on earth, that I expected to see using Bull’s tent as though it were a Motel 6, sans light, I could do nothing more than hustle over to a case of bottled waters, extract one, and high-tail it back over to hand it to the old Rastafarian.
|That's Bull's tent on the left.|
She was dressed in flowing robes of brilliantly bright colors, and she wore a hat that made me smile with its elegance. She was demure and stately at the same time, as she returned once more to the inner sanctuary of the tent-Bull’s tent, in case I forgot to mention that.
Verifying my growing suspicion that Auntie had set up residence, she started hauling out cloth bundles, four of them altogether, piling them up on the mat just outside the tent. Curiouser and curiouser. She disappeared once more into the tent, and this time when she came out, it was with an air of finality.
She bent over her bundles and was about to gather them up, when again, I leaped out of my chair, and protested. “Auntie, may I help you, please? There seems a lot for one person, not to insinuate that you are incapable of carrying them yourself.
Mama Tia straightened back up-for indeed this is who it turned out to be-and smiled brilliantly. “Oh no, these are not heavy. Maybe a little bulky but I can manage. Thank you,” she finished simply. And with that she gathered them up, smiled over at me, and left.
Hours later when I was sitting in camp, and Nate returned to check in before he blasted home for a minute, I hit him up. “Dog, I know there’s a story here, so I gotta ask you, ‘Who was the ancient Jamaican auntie, ensconced in your abode here in camp early this morning? I was not expecting that.’”
Bull guffawed. “This is great. It’s all about a parking cluster-fuck, involving Brian-you met him yesterday-Mama Tia, and a car that was parked blocking both of them in. Long story short, Mama Tia could not find anyone to move the car, so she had arranged pillows and blankets so that she had a bed across the front seat, horribly uncomfortable, and she was crashed in her car.”
|The inside of Bull's tent, complete with A/C...|
In shining his flashlight around, Bull had caught sight of Auntie’s face in the window, as she looked out at one point to see what was going on outside her temporary home. Alarmed, he said, “No, no, no, no, No! We need to get you proper accommodations. We can’t have you sleeping out here. This is unacceptable”
When logistics reared its ugly head, threatening to complicate matters even more, Bull said gosh darn it and escorted Mama Tia back to his own tent, got her installed, and took up residence himself in the trailer that serves as the kitchen office.
Along the way he got her story. Being one of the key performer’s chefs, Mama had flown into Texas from Jamaica, had been randomly selected for doing a search of her belongings. She had had a container of balm seized because on the list of ingredients, the last one was cannabis.
Complications included a charge of less than an ounce of cannabis, a 48- hour jail stay, and a legal lien on her, in layman’s terms, for 14 days. All for some balm for an old lady’s lower back. Way to go, Texas: swing and a miss.
When Mama Tia did not show up on schedule, Melody put out search signals and discovered what had happened in Texas. Everyone was on the lookout for her, concerned for her safety, so Bull’s locating her was a feather in his cap.
Big ups to Bull, for handling the situation, and a generous portion of ghost pepper to Texas, in its next taco, because they have some folks there with cold hearts, who need a little warmth in their lives.
Tomorrow: Guess and by golly?