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.