Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

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Christmas 2005
(Aired 19 December 2005)

     Quite a few people have been waiting for me to give my Christmas commentary.

     I am hoping for a quiet Christmas this year I want to enjoy it with my family privately, since it seemed to be dangerous to go anywhere and still survive the season. Even the usual fashion show my wife Jewel does to force me to pick the different outfits she will wear at the various functions we will attend this year lasted only two or three hours, establishing clearly that we are not doing much going out this year. I am therefore sending a message to all [especially to those whom it may concern] that even to the few functions we do intend to attend, I am not walking with any money in my pockets this Christmas, even old year's night I am not walking with the usual 50 US dollars that my wife insists that I have in my pocket so that the new year does not catch me with no money in my pocket, it is bad Karma she says!! I never heard of it, but who am I to argue with the boss?

  I do not usually walk with money and many a time I would end up at the bridge and discover that I do not have the toll, so I drive back to Houston and beg one of my brothers or my mother for the 50 dollars necessary to cross the Demerara Bridge to get home. In addition apart from my wedding ring I will not be wearing any jewellery so if anyone had me on their list to shoot and rob, they can forget it.

  I look back on 2005 and I wonder where it went, as you grow older the years just keep flashing by, it seems like only yesterday that we were waiting for it to become 2000 and we were calculating which embedded chip would leave us with no computers, no Stereos, no watches, no palm pilots, no cell Phones or anything electronic for that matter, we expected everything to stop working at midnight when the year 2000 began, of course the scientists were all completely wrong and nothing happened but it seemed like only last year, but it has been 5 years!!

   This is the first year since I was 18 years old that I did not smoke for the entire year, first of all I want to apologise to anyone who I may have breathed on during the almost 41 years I smoked, you have to forgive me but I had no idea what that smells like, now that I can smell the breadth of a smoker, I would never have started. Or I would have held my breath when in the company of non smokers.

   It has always been a complete mystery to me how we abuse our bodies, we smoke too much, we sport too much, we drink too much, now all the time we are doing these things when we were young, people kept telling us that we will regret it some day, but we do not listen; then we get to age 60 and we can hardly breathe, so we go to our doctors for help, the doctor asks "what's the problem?" "Well I am having some difficulty breathing, I think that I may have bronchitis or something" I respond "OK he says go to this place with this paper and take this X-ray" and he gives you a prescription; does anyone know why we need a prescription to take an x-ray? Can't I just go someplace and say that I need an X-ray for my lungs for example? I mean, really, who would go for an X-ray every week anyway? in case there are radiation problems associated with this practice, can you see someone saying I'm going to a take an X-ray of my chest this week just to see what I look like inside there now? I haven't seen it in over a month. It's ridiculous!

   Anyway I take the prescription and I get the X-ray done, and I return to my doctor, now my doctor for these matters is Max Hanoman, I return to his office a few days later with my chest X-ray and after the usual old talk, since Max and I have been close buddies since I built the Dark disco at the Park Hotel nearly 15 years ago, he looks at my x-ray and he exclaims "Jesus Christ!!"  

   I immediately break out in a cold sweat; I ask "what are you seeing? Do I have lung cancer?" "no" he says taking a puff of his cigarette, "but look at your lungs Tony its completely congested from the smoking and unless you stop smoking immediately you will get emphysema, also because of the inability of your body to provide oxygen to your many body parts, various things on your body will go dead in the near future."

   Well, ladies and gentlemen I have to tell you this drove the fear of the lord into me, some of the things that were going to go dead before I did were downright frightening.

   I left Max's office went down to the car and threw the pack of Benson and Hedges out on to the road and I have not put a cigarette in my mouth again!! That was June 2004!! So I am celebrating one year and six months of not smoking but this year 2005 is the first complete year in nearly 40 years that I have not smoked and I am happy to report that all parts are firing on all 8 cylinders.

   Also to off set years of frequent booze ups I have also decided not to drink every day or even every week, once a month is good enough.

   I have not gotten over this concept I have held all my life, that imbibing alcohol is done for the sole purpose of getting high. This business of taking a social drink is strictly for the birds, its like owning a Porsche, you don't own a Porsche and drive at a funeral's pace, and so when my Nephew Mark Vieira lets me drive his Porsche, I drive it at 100 MPH on the Houston back road, that's what it is for, that what alcohol is for, to get high so when I tek a drink I tekking a drink, but only once a month these days. 

   I have also started Yoga if you are going to rehabilitate your old structure you may as well do a thorough job, right?!!

    Most of you over 50 who drive, will know that it is nearly impossible to reverse your car by looking back through the rear window, you have to use the rear view mirror, since I was around 50 I lost the ability to turn enough to look back through the rear window, but now at 60 believe it or not, I can actually look back when I am reversing the car without having to buy Bella Donna plaster and advil for the next two/ three weeks for my neck, it is really incredible, what is even more incredible is that I am actually paying this chap to come to my house three times a week to make me sweat, moan, groan and grunt  for an hour .

   If anyone had told me that the day would come when I would have paid some Indonesian guy to come to my house to make me work and sweat harder than a cane cutter I would have suggested a trip to the mad house for them.

   So y'all look out, like the six million dollar man, it is a better, faster, stronger more aggressive Tony Vieira that I am building for the challenges and the tasks of 2006!

   Of course I would be remiss of me if I did not mention that I am sending special greetings through the magic of the internet to my two daughters in Toronto Amanda and Nicole Vieira, and to my son Anthony who lives and works here with me in Guyana, to my son Jonathan in the US and my two babies Joseph and Angelique the joy of my old age, along with their mom, the love of my life, my wife Jewel.

  To my own mother I hope she has a happy Christmas, but I doubt it, since it will her first Christmas in 61 years when my father would not be there with her, and I also will miss him.

   To all the members of the staff here at VCT and the Evening News I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year, to the people of this nation I extend my heartfelt greetings and thanks especially to those of you who have supported me and VCT during this trying year, to those who did not support us, have a lousy Christmas.

   Guyana isn't much today ladies and gentlemen but this is our home and with your help we can change things next year, at some point during this season pause and say a small prayer that in 2006 which is an election year, that something miraculous will happen which will set us free of the bonds that now hold us in stagnation and poverty. The onus is on you to make it happen.

  Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all of you, yeah, even those who did not support me.