On D'Road Carnival Monday 2006
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Poison Experience: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
"Poison? What you doing in Poison?" was the repetitive responsive from anyone who initiated the conversation with, "Who yuh playin Mas wit?" Well if you didn't know by now Trini Jungle Juice is everywhere, and we playing in Sonia and Natania Mack's Morocco "A Dream Come True" section. Plus, basic evaluations of what Carnival means was enough to get us there ... ah big truck, plenty bumsie, limers and drinks! What else we missin??
It was no surprise that Sonia & Natania Mack's costumes showed their class. The materials were of high quality and the red theme was gorgeous and original. Unlike most other costumes, they were actually sewn together, not just glued. The beads did not come off after a hard wine nor did you or your winer boy/girl have to suffer from slow skin deterioration as a result of the hard glue in de mix of de gyration (lol). And ladies, the costume so nice that I sure you could pull that top out of the closet sometime later in the year!
Lunch was authentic hot Trini Creole food, and there was never a shortage as portions were more than two grown men could eat.
Drinks were easily accessible and the premium bar offered anything yuh wanted.
As always the band reached the stage at a perfect time, just as the sun was about to set. The stage is always a great climax to a great day of mas. We could always go home feeling satisfied after crossing with a few sections.
Although drinks were easy accessible and there was a Premium Bar ... Johnnie stopped walking at 3pm ... BAD! BAD! BAD! That should NEVER happen!
And the band wasn't big at all. From ah standing point we could easily see 6-7 section banners pretty close together. There couldn't have been more than 50 people to each of these sections - definitely not what we are used to seeing in Poison.
Then, crossing the stage on Monday, the second truck seemed to blow its system, so Section #2 crossed the stage with echoes from the trucks from Section 1 and 3. The frustration of the 2nd section must have led to the fight where stage security were throwing punches at a female masquerader for trying to extend her stage play.
Other negatives? How about the gift bag! A better gift bag (or even just a bag that you can keep that wasn't a bMobile plastic bag), glitter, body jewelry and all that would have been appreciated. And some sort of shuttle service for late comers to find the section or at least a route map would have helped. And how about specialty drinks or even access to the "Wee Wee" truck (without having to pay the additional $50TT) being included with the Section? What did wearing a Morocco Section wrist band get you? ... nothing special, so much for All Inclusive! But what can you expect for $2,145TT or $3,050TT Ladies? Being in Morocco didn't feel any different from being in any other section in Poison. We all had the same wrist band and the same substandard information leaflet. We guess the color of our costumes was different??!!
Which leads us to the most important point of all...
Security or shall we say LACK OF ... We did see some, but felt in no way that they would be able to assist us in any situation. The few that were present were simply just walking along gaping at smallies, issuing some small talk, and not seeming to care about their surroundings. Ropes that keep non-masqueraders out should have been implemented for an exclusive section ... most certainly around the rougher parts of town.
No idea who was ahead of Poison for de stage but the wait on the Drag was long and we personally witnessed pick-pocketers trampling thru the band busy at work while appearing to be at play ... and there was no one that we could find to report this to. Poison's security could have easily been victims themselves based on their level of alertness. All this and yuh doh even have a drink in ya hand cause new CCA rules cut dem off from entering de Savannah.
In closing ... the Poison 2006 Monday Carnival experience does not get a overall high rating from us. We charge our rating to them for not keeping up with the growing expectations of an increasing cost of playing mas. There's no question that we have entered yet another shift in the Carnival Band paradigm. We had to know "people" to get ah Savage costume. Den it was Poison who children, Island Events and TRIBE throw party in their parent's back yard, an who costume was hide away in de Red House like a birth certificate. Well de children get big and move on ... an if yuh was lucky yuh coulda get one of dem costumes.
We guess yuh just have to look out for the next barbaric, crude costume for the next movement ... Savage had it, Island Events had it two years ago, and now TRIBE and ISLANDPeople Mas carry on de torch. Well the point is when everybody start to run down a band, it doh leave much behind. Fortunately, Morocco was able to pull off a section that resembled a big band dis year. We have to applaud the entire Mack family for adding much presence and Carnival spirit to their Section... that is a real Mas family!
Food for thought ... "When competition is strong, isn't it supposed to be a consumers market where sellers are doing their best to compete and attract?"