Is ah rankin’ ting

by Kimberly Inglis


Unless you are living under a rock, you would know of the brawl that took place recently between local ‘celebrities’ Ian Alleyne and Inspector Alexander. Staying true to our Trini culture, we have successfully managed to maximise on this incident turning it into a comedic masterpiece. This ranges from jokes, memes, videos, cartoons and even merchandise. Language is never out of the loop and as a passion of mine I have to admit that my favourite result is the new slang that has emerged i.e. “Is ah rankin’ ting?’ or ‘Is ah rankin’ ting with you or wha?’ It is so appropriate, so useful, so direct and I love it. How would you even begin to explain this phrase to a foreigner? Given the complexity of the relationship of the two men involved, the easily forgotten but more important case of alleged domestic abuse and of course the phrase itself, well you’d have your work cut out for you.

Anyway, moving right along. One morning as I arrived to work, dropped my things, counted down the days to vacation, grumbled at my having to be there and so early ‘to boot’ I then decided to make a cup of coffee. Among the choices was a box with packets of hot chocolate mix. I decided to read the box and was hit with two pictures for my next photo opinion post. Voilà!

Firstly, the manufacturers of this product wish to make it clear that they in fact use real milk  and I thought to myself if there was even such a thing as fake milk. As far as I know the only and without a doubt the coolest fake milk was the one that you fed your doll when you were younger; the one that ‘disappeared’ as you tipped the bottle over. *nostalgic childhood memory* If that is not enough to convince you then rest assured that there’s more because this REAL milk comes from Wisconsin. Excuse my ignorance but I would feel just as comfortable even if I didn’t know which country the milk came from.

By the time I read what is seen in the second picture I really had to blurt out a “buh what d jail is this, is a rankin’ ting with you or wha *brand that I dare not mention in order to protect myself*” They so boldface and boastful that they feel the need to say they have 4 more than Nestle’s box. I wonder if that means they have 10 for the price of the same 6 which Nestle offers although I highly doubt it. Talk bout marketing strategy and advertising! If you are not convinced by now then you are probably an advocate for brand loyalty, the same brand loyalty that compels us to buss our bank accounts to purchase brand name products when other brands work just as well or even better.

Well, if I walked around with the confidence and conviction of this box I would be invisible, untouchable and maybe even a bit delusional but it’s a good point to consider. As much as I joke around, I also reflect so bare with me a while longer. It may be a far fetched comparison but sometimes we try to be this box in order to stand out and appear more attractive to others but there’s a limit. As upright individuals, we ought to be just and see ourselves as we truly are and also treat others as they ought to be treated. I believe that on a deeper level this phrase (is ah ranking ting with you?) arose from the virtue of justice which seems to be lacking these days. What gives you privileges that I will never have? Why am I looked down upon? etc etc. Therefore, while it is used as a joke in informal settings there may be more to it at times. The next time the phrase is hurled at you, laugh it off and have a quick comeback but also think objectively, ‘Am I truly being just?’

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