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Mark Conklin - Author of Banana Shout

June 26th, 2000

Today we are featuring the author of Banana Shout (available at Amazon.Com and Barnes and Noble) Mark Conklin! Mark is enjoying a drink nearby his Banana Shout Resort at the LTU Pub. Mark's book captures the early tourism years of Negril and it's early growing pains. The following excerpt comes late in the story as our hero, Tavo Gripps senses that the USA's DEA could upset his plans for a peaceful life in Negril.

Mannie found him later that day outside his lean-to, slumped over, head in his hands, staring at a group of industrious ants who were burrowing out a new colony with bureaucratic precision, plagued by none of the hassles man creates to impede his own progress.

"Why you look so screw face, mon?" he asked. "You resemble porpoise with him mouth upside down!"

Tavo gave him a mournful look, shaking his head "I'm in big trouble, me and Nick. Man, I don't know how I always wind up in the thick of things. All I do is try to mind my own business."

"Dats the way life go sometime mon! What happen? Tings not so bad if you reason it out."

So he told him the entire story about Dee, Nick's disastrous disclosures, the sham million bucks and the franchise trade. But Mannie showed little empathy for his plight. In fact, he was downright pleased. "Mon, me never trust dat Dee," he said with a sly smirk. "Him informer, na true? Him a bring million US dollars a Jamaica fe buy Nick's? But dat no problem for you. Dat more a problem fe Dee ... good fortune fe we."

Tavo smacked his forehead with the palm of his hand, exacerbated, frustrated with Mannies reasoning and said, "Man, don't you get it? He's a DEA for Christ sake! He's just going to show that money to Nick to keep up his front. He's setting up a bust for Stern and Dice and me too! When they find out who brought the heat down on 'em it'll be all hell to pay for me." Tavo rose to his feet, paced around the ant colony, furiously smacking his forehead as if that might drive a solution into his brain.
Mannie kicked at the anthill, scattering ants in all directions. "Calm down mon!" he said. "Mek we reason dis ting out. Maybe dere's a solution. You say you don't want Dice use your lands for smuggling. Now, if him get a bust him can't use it again. So dat take care a dat" He rung his hands in a washing motion to emphasize his solution like he'd cleared the matter up.

Tavo poked at the scurrying ants with a stick shook his head and said, "Yeah, but Dice will get busted after he uses my land then I'll get busted too. Don't you see? I'm still fucked!" But Mannie would not be swayed or didn't understand. "Forget bout that for now man." He said, "Me want to know more 'bout that big money Dee gonna bring. My mother always used to say dat a fool an him money easy fe separate, and me don't have no problem separating that rass-hole from him money. No problem mon! I just wan know when him bring it!"

Tavo looked at him as if he had lost his mind, he couldn't believe what he was hearing, and shouted.

" You can't rob the DEA! What are you, crazy? Besides, when Dice uses my property for smuggling and gets cracked, he'll implicate me. Rat me out. Don't you see? I got no way outa this mess!"

"Me no say anything 'bout rob, me no tief!" Mannie said wrinkling his brow in deep thought. "A plan just come to me brain. You never hear 'bout Robin Hood?"

"Yea, sure. Rob the rich and give to the poor. So what! What's your point?

"Yes man, dat da point, brother. And nobody never say Robin Hood a wicked thief. Him only take from the wicked rich people who make all the evil law to tax de poor. So him no really tief, only get even. All the common peoples love him. Is same way here. Jamaicans no invite DEA here to fool fool 'round ... cause worries in our land. Him is just like dat bad sheriff. We no want fe him foreign laws 'bout the herb here. We no business wid dat! Him need fe learn a rass lesson. Play with puppy, puppy lick you face. Ah oh!"

Daily Music News: The Negril Entertainment Network will be on break for a while but will be returning later in this month. This break end on Wednesday night so check the Negril Message Board for the latest information on how to join the NEN for the next live webcast and chat in the Negril Chatroom! To make it to the Negril Message Board click on the Main Menu above or below and then look for the Negril Message Board link!

At 7:29pm - the sun has set... The temperature is 85° F, 29° C.

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