The legend of Dan the Man

| 14/05/2010

Gather ’round children, and listen to the tellin’ of the tell. I’m talking about the story of “Dan the Man”. Some people say he’s just a myth, a made-up monster tale meant to scare civil servants and the like. But I’m telling you straight, he was a real man in the flesh. I hope you listen and listen well, kids, because there’s a lesson worth knowing in the Legend of Dan the Man.

Once upon a time, long ago in the Cayman Islands, there was this giant of a fellow. Some say he was ten feet tall, but I’m pretty sure he was no more than seven or eight feet. Story goes, that he was from the north, somewhere up in the ice and snow. But this sure wasn’t no Santa Clause. Dan wasn’t one of us but he had somehow tricked the government into hiring him to be the auditor general. That’s a fancy job where you are supposed to wear clean shirts buttoned all the way up and make sure everything is going okay with the government’s money. Truth be told, it’s an easy job. You just have to make sure money goes where the politicians want it to go. That’s it. Real simple.

The problem was that this Dan fellow didn’t quite understand the job. He had a head full of crazy ideas about exposing waste and corruption. Even more amazing, he actually thought it was okay to tell news reporters that our government was wasting money and doing some things that didn’t seem to be entirely squeaky clean, if you get my drift. Yep, ol’ Dan had the nerve to tell the public how public funds were being squandered and shuffled around in shady ways.

Well, Dan the Man caused one big uproar, let me tell you. Politicians hated him. And they had a good reason to. It’s rude to tell on people when they are bad or making mistakes. Nobody likes a tattletale! And it wasn’t just the politicians who hated Dan. The people who liked it when politicians wasted their money were very upset too. They called radio shows and blasted Dan theMan. Yes sireee, it was a glorious day for Cayman. Finally we were standing up for ourselves! Sure there were a few who defended Dan. They babbled on about waste and corruption being bad. Blah, blah. They were just haters. The smart Caymanians knew that the politicians could be trusted and we didn’t need some abominable snow monster coming down here to our country and messing with our way of doing business. The old way worked for our grandparents, and it would work for us!

Now listen carefully kids, this is the good part. The government had decided it had had just about enough of Dan the Man so they dumped him. Yahoo! They told him to pack his bags. It was a great day indeed. They told Dan the Man “thanks but no thanks! See you, wouldn’t want to be you! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!” Ha! Justice, Cayman style. How you like that, Dan?

Never was I so proud to be a Caymanian as I was that day.

Dan the Man might have been a giant. He might have been really smart and brave. And, yes, he might have cared a lot about honesty in government. But why should we care about all that? What mattered to us was that we got rid of him and let our politicians have all the freedom and secrecy they needed to have when it came to money. We don’t need somebody snooping around and exposing problems. We all know in our hearts that if anything is wrong the politicians will tell us. We can trust them when it comes to money. After all, these are Christian men and women that we elected!

So remember the Legend of Dan, kids. We are a proud people and we don’t take foolishness from anyone, even if they are ten feet tall and obsessed with honesty. There is also another lesson here, children. If you grow up to be a politician or civil servant, make sure you keep the story of Dan close to heart. The Cayman way is to never look for government waste and corruption that might embarrass somebody. And, if you do accidently stumble across it, just keep your mouth shut and let it fix itself in its own good time.

It’s been so many years now so I can’t quite remember every detail, but I’m pretty sure we had a parade that day Dan the Man finally left Cayman. Everybody cheered to see him go. We were so happy to know that Cayman’s politicians would again be able to relax and not have to worry about every penny they spend or misplace. Yeah, it was a great day.

And the Cayman Islands lived happily ever after.

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  1. karen says:


    What now he’s a hero?

    Cayman Conscience (whoever you are), why don’t you make a guru picture of him and burns candles in front of it…lol… I am sure he will increase your fortunes.




  2. Dred says:

    We owe it to Dan to make sure the next AG is not a patsy. We need to ask why he is doing what he is doing.

    You know there is a reason why Dan is gone right?

    Do you realise that we have two very large projects about to start up? The birthing and the new hospital and Dan might have questioned a few things in each of these that Big Mac might not have wanted questioned.

    I believe wholeheartedly Big Mac did it for what is coming.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is an old saying – Every day the bucket goes into the well, but one day the bottom will drop out.

  3. Anonymous says:

    That was so good. I loved the way it sounded just like a good ol’ story teller.

    Thanks Cayman Conscience.

    And poster 10:28, there were many that wanted Dan to sit down and shut up and they were quite vocal about it.

    You see, if you are a Mac supporter you are free to express yourself publicly without fear of recrimination. (I heard plenty of people wanting Dan out and blasting him for talking to the press!!) But if you are against Mac, you better stay anonymous or stay quiet.

    I don’t get how Mac doesn’t understand why being anonymous on this island is so important. Well, I’m sure he knows… 

  4. Caymanian says:

    this is the way it has always been, even though it is not right.

    the truth of the matter is that we as "Caymanians" will never stop the tide of corruption that is sweeping over our island because we benefit from it in some way, shape or form, unless of course you are a decent individual who refuses to sell out your fellow man for profit, in which case you would hardly be considered to be Caymanian.

    difficult pill to swallow? consider who we keep electing to office despite countless questionable incidents. why is it that no Caymanian has attempted to expose crime or corruption in goverment? we are a vile dispicable people and the only thing that will rid this island of corruption is if it sank.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I agree with many of your sentiments, but in so far as you suggest that the majority of Caymanians wanted Dan gone I think you are dead wrong. I think you will find that that attitude was pretty much to the ‘dyed n the wool’ McKeeva supporters notwithstanding that Dan criticised both UDP and PPM govts. projects. On the other hand, may be the sarcasm was too deep for me.     

  6. Johnson says:

    DAN was a 100% CIVIL SERVANT.

    I understand the PRIVATE SECTOR hates Civil Servants! But it amazes me how they are in love with Dan, a man who claimed to expose corruption!

    Peace :o)

    • Anonymous says:

      No, Dan Duguay was what civil servants should ASPIRE TO BE. 


      Sadly most of our civil servants find it difficult to have a voice and break the cycle of incompetence that they find themselves in once they join the service.  Ask any young, qualified, educated Caymanian who first joins and they  will tell you how quickly they are put in their place and have all their hopes and aspirations drained.

      You cannot compare Dan to that crowd.  He did his job no matter what it cost.  He served the country. 

      Our civil service is a welfare state, where the unemployed and unemployable go to get work so that they don’t become part of those receiving assistance from DCFS or other agencies. Why the govt would want to hire the unemployable in position that affect ALL OF US is beyond me.

      If more civil servants were like Dan Duguay we wouldn’t need as many to begin with and the quality of their services and outputs would be substantially better (may even verge on outstanding! the thought!)

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Will readers please note that the response from ‘Johnson’ in viewpoint on the AG is not that of myself and certainly does not represent my views.

      I do have the highest respect for Dan Duguay as well as his predecessors. They have all had a difficult position and we ought to appreciate their efforts.

  7. Old News says:

    You think this is something new? Has been happening to people who are smarter than those who surround them for years in the Civil Service. Dan is not the first by a long shot and will not be the last. Many of the best Doctors, Teachers, etc we have ever had grace our shores over the years who have chosen to speak out against the insanity and ignorance have been treated this way and worse and there is no end in sight my friend.

    • Non Illegitimae Carborundum says:

      Caymanian Conscience I just love your sense of humour. Cayman needs more of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is so true! I know of  an ex-pat in government who’s contract wasn’t renewed because they were trying to hire and train Caymanians, but they weren’t the "right" Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well NOW we are quite sure this to be true. But this is the first time it has been so blatant, in our face!

      But that’s okay. It will be forgotten soon enough. Just like 1st Cayman Bank and all the other stories that have turned into myths. Like the story of Big Dan the Man says…