Maneater and Punch Girls

Look above to where the artist has left his inscription

Grande Riviere is a quaint village at the eastern tip of Trinidad, West Indies, and something very special happens each year on its sandy beach.

From the ocean, they ascend to the surface like pre-historic creatures with their large flappers to penetrate and propel them unto the sand to find a place to nest. And guided to these shores by instinct and the luminance of the moonlight. She has returned as her ancestors before her have done for millions of years to her place of birth. And here on this small rim of beach her duties begin. Digging and weak by the strain of laying her eggs she is at the risk of been attacked by the knifes of poachers. For those spared from pots of soup, fresh repetitive sand impression like large tire tracks work their way towards the sea, soon erased by the tumble of waves that creeps up to the surf…….The leatherback turtle.

Within the boundaries of Grande Riviere there are the odd shops and recreational bars that cater and entertain the local folk and foreign visitors. To enter such an establishment, visitors must abide by the rules of proper etiquette. Clearly placed on the walls are painted signs that read; “No Obscene Language,” or “No Bare-Backs.” But accompanying these “strict restrictions” there are a few un-strict wall drawings that aid to arouse or break the will of men. Drawings taken from the front pages of the local tabloid called the “Punch.” Scantly newsprint pin-ups, ‘Punch-Girls” as they are called, posing “Womanly” with their bosoms exposed and matching in full roundness to their plumpish figures. And here, at Guy’s Bar, a finer captivating curved shaped specimens are painted on the elongated wooden panel against the white decorative blocks. A series of playful “Nice-ness,” to lure and tantalize the “All Fours” card-playing patrons inside with immeasurable fantasies.

But do all Grande Riviere men behold women in the same way? Across the street to the second bar, here is no less of a pleasurable tale. This is an execution from an emotional juncture. As though dictated from a psychiatric bench belonging to the bar owner, a large wall is dedicated to a life-size painting of a woman that translates visions of discontented.

This is a tale of entrapment, of a black spider (the owner himself) and a widow poised with her back towards her audience in spectacle of her next menacing move. Leaning into her silky web she reveals the male misfortunes ahead and arguably, her face is disfigured by the wicked pre-meditated motives to tangle and castrate, the mislaid, the unknowing and ultimately to suck-dry at a man’s worth and vitally. “This is what women do to men,” says the owner behind the bar. A commissioned work that displays a drawing skewed to misalign proportions. What secrets are locked behind this congealed stare, this broad spotted panty wearer and ice-pick holding man-eater? -thebookmann


Madame man eater and her web

One of the underlying issues of the bar is the availability or promise of the possible in the drawings of the nubile, sexy young women on the walls followed by the contrast of the ‘spider woman.’ It is as if to say, here young men, women are a joy, but understand that there is another path as well. We live in a macho society but ultimately men all know that ‘”woman is boss.” – Adele

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