Bambozled at the Cemetary

One of the traditions on all saints night is to go to the cemetary, and light candles, and put them on the graves of family members. We would sit there and tell stories about said family member, laugh at the funny things and talk about the good times. . Now that was not the main attraction for us kids, nooo, the main attraction is the sweet treat  that was made around that time, oh yes, we made sweet treats and sat around graves and talked. Anyway back to the sweet treat. All the fuss over this sweet treat by us kids you would have thought this was some fancy food or something, but no, all it is,  corn, toasted or parched as we say, then while its hot you grind it up and  when it is  fine like cornmeal you add sugar, cinnamon and some people add a little pepper, we call it Asham. ok so here  I was, eight years old, sitting here listening to stories about me Grandfather. I was bored for so. I looked over at the other grave, there were a couple of children there, so I wondered off and went over to them, we slipped away and sat on a grave without candles. “You have the good Asham”* the little girl asked, Wey yuh tink, Me mudda make de best Asham in the whole village, de whole world even,” I said, we all looked down at our brown, one pound paper bags filled with Asham.  The little boy laughed, “Boi yuh mus’ be bazodi you know, me granmuma, she makes the universe’s best Asham you know,” We argued for a while then we shared our Asham with each other trying to determine whose was best. Out of the dark, three older boys, fifteen or sixteen years old, walked up to us and sat down. The one that looked like the ring leader, only because he was bigger than the other two, looked at me and said. “So yuh mudda makes de best Asham eh? I heard some of de women and dem talk and dey say dat is true, yuh mudda make de best,” Eight years old, I did not think to ask him where he heard that, I was smiling real big basking in the attention. He looked over at one of the other boys and shook his head. The boy walked up holding a two pound brown filled with Asham “Yuh know what dis is?” smiling real big, “Dis is me great grandmuma’s Asham, is she yuh mudda learn from you know,” I did not say anything, I was too impressed with that big boy size bag. The boy reached it out to me but, before I took it he pulled it back, “Nah mon, ah not just going give you me Asham, I am talking bout a trade yuh know,” I looked at him, looked at my bag of Asham then looked at his gigantic bag and greed took the better of me. I reached my bag out to him and he dropped his bag in my hand, me hand almosy hit the ground, this big boy bag was heavy form so. He put my bag up to his lips, “Hmmmm dis real good,” he said smacking his lips. “Try me Grandmuma’s nah,” He said smacking his lips even harder, that damn Asham dries up you mouth real fast. I opened the top of the bag, lifted it to my mouth, hell I had to eat it big boy style. The Asham rolled out the bag and a rush of it went into my mouth. Asham rolled out the side of my mouth and onto my pants. I finally was able to get control of the bag and stopped the gush. That was when I realized that this Asham was a little salty. I tried chewing and realized that the Asham was way too crunchy and was getting saltier. I started to cough, raining the fake Asham all over the boy and the girl. The older boys were laughing and pointing. They got up and walked away. I spat and coughed, and when I composed myself, I shined on the bag of Asham and realized that it was sand. Sand, I fell for the best known trick in the book, replace Asham with sand and give it to some unsuspecting person and then laugh. I tell you what, I never fell for that trick again, and I am ashamed to say, I have been the culprit of many of these pranks, No one was safe, old,  young, middle age, I pulled that trick on everyone, also got me ass kicked a few times over that trick.

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