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Category: Trinidad Society Date: 27 May 01


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Gotcha!

These are the ploys gauche university activists would use in our salad days when we wanted our fellow callow youth to pay attention to causes other than campus parties - be it a pro-choice or anti-apartheid rally.

 

For four weeks, prior to my 12 sexy men column, I wrote a total of 4,000 words about the exploitation of 80 per cent of our work force, on the systematic creation of an underclass by our employers and the implications of the new Minimum Wage Bill. My e-mail nearly died of a famine. (And then they say we journalists making joke, don’t do our homework, don’t write about things that matter).

 

I write about sexy men and get an avalanche. But I don’t want us to be too hard on ourselves.

 

Like Evita Peron, sex “takes us away from the squalor of the real world.”

And who doesn’t want a bit of escape and sex is that - ask the poor in India (for that matter, anywhere in the world) who unfortunately can’t seem to unhinge it from multiplying like rabbits and creating widening quagmires of poverty.

 

BC wrote to set the record straight:

“Read and enjoyed your sexy men piece, although I’m not sure how I feel about being clipped by a celibate. Ha! Ha!

“What I did was send out the Express editors’ shortlist to everyone in my address book with the names of about 15 or 20 women on it asking whether there was anyone the recipient felt strongly ought to be taken off or added onto the list.

“Tricia Lee Kelshall and you both came off the list on that basis. Nobody was asked to rank anyone from one to 10.

“We, the Express, didn’t even do that ourselves, though we did rank the reader responses. I wrote the opening and closing essays, but it’s not my list.

“I’ve had enough flak over who was left off and left on without people thinking that a few of my friends ranked the women.

“So it wasn’t BC’s list, ok?”

 

A teacher wrote in:

“I compared the top 12 list to the criteria on which they were based, and I have seen inconsistencies. I support your No.1 on the list, Mr Basdeo Panday. Oma is indeed a lucky woman. But Fr Harvey? No way!

“Dwight Yorke is not a quick-witted humanist with largesse - neither is Machel Montano.

“Fr Harvey, on the other hand, is good looking, well-read, polished, travelled, etc, but it is hard to classify him as ‘sexy’.

“In my opinion, here are some names which should be on that list: Carlos John, Roodal Moonilal, Hansley Ajodha, Brian Lara.”

 

My answer to that is not every man had to fit every criteria. The law of averages prevailed.

 

For instance, if a man scored top points for being very sexy, then it didn’t matter as much as if he was not particularly bright.

 

Carlos John and Brian Lara were on our shortlist, but may have not made it due to the perceived vanity factor.

 

One reader said my list sucked because I had a penchant for powerful men. What’s wrong with that?

 

Powerful men tend to be driven and bright, take big gambles and live like there’s no tomorrow. And because they are successful, they tend not be insecure bullies who need to put down women to feel macho.

 

They don’t preclude the appeal of unassuming bright men, either. No apologies there.

 

I was told off by one reader for not including Brian Kuei Tung and Theodore Guerra as sexy men. The former was an oversight.

 

I watched Kuei Tung in a TTT interview with journalists after he delivered his last budget and he was enthralling: fencing skillfully with words, laughter bubbling beneath the surface, delighting in this exercise where he got them every time.

 

The handsome, larger than life Teddy Guerra, who has a fairytale knack of making women feel cherished, was not included because as I said previously, we had a surfeit of older men.

 

Another reader wrote: “You forgot to include your fellow columnist, Dr Kirk Meighoo.  Have you ever met him? A real charmer. I think it’s a mixture of the Jamaican accent (odd in an East Indian in Trinidad) and his gentle manner.”

 

No, but this is about discovery, so thank you for unearthing a gem. Women wrote gasping over a Dr Kuruvilla (a gynaecologist) whom I have never met, and others asked if I had ever felt the crackling smoothness of an oilman named Keith Subero or did I think Dik Henderson had a sexy voice?

 

Several men wondered why they weren’t on the list. (As they say in the Miss Universe contests, “you’re all winners - and it’s a hard job doing the picking”).

 

I never fail to marvel at the plethora of men on offer in our tiny islands in the New World - all flowers (OK, OK, tree trunks) uprooted and cross-fertilised from many continents in multifarious permutations of shades, shapes, sizes and personalities.

 

Most women, I discovered during this exercise, find responsible men, kind men, compelling, sexy, because as we all know, a good man is hard to find. Nice, too. Sometimes to be the one doing the eyeing up.

 

Next week: Why the sexy women list was scrapped.

 

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All Articles Copyright Ira Mathur