Vandal Stuffs Toys For Tots Bins With Pole Spears

Some of the undocumented lionfish spears seized from Blacktip Island youngsters this week. The source of the spears has not been determined.

Some of the undocumented lionfish spears seized from Blacktip Island youngsters this week. The source of the spears has not been determined.

Blacktip Islanders were shocked this week to find the Caribbean island’s Toys for Tots bins had been filled with pole spears normally used for lionfish culling.

“What sort of monster would give spears to children?” said island resident Ginger Bass, a mother of three. “And why? Someone’s really out to ruin Christmas.”

The situation was made worse by delinquents overturning the bins and stealing the spears.

“Children raid the bins every year,” said retired Sgt. Maj. Beaugregory Damsil, who oversees the island’s Toys for Tots program. “The bins aren’t guarded, and the little scamps know toys are inside. Usually, the worst that happens is some tyke nicks a Tickle Me Elmo or something of the sort.

“This year, though, they’ve stolen lethal weapons and passed them around willy-nilly. With so many children running about with so many spears, falling and putting one’s eye out is the least of our worries.”

Island authorities are seizing the pole spears as they find them.

“I corralled a bunch of kids today playing cullers-and-lionfish,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “Had to take three ‘lionfish’ to the clinic for patching up.

“We’re confiscating spears fast at we can, but things are nowhere near under control,” IPC Marquette said. “We’ve no idea who’s leaving the spears, where they’re getting them or how many are still out there.”

Fourteen spear-related injuries have been confirmed: 13 punctures, plus a skull fracture to a child blasted backwards after he speared an automobile tire. There are also unconfirmed reports of several punctured house cats.

“Thankfully, the tines aren’t barbed,” island physician Dr. Azul Tang said. “The wounds bleed a good bit, but they’re all fairly clean flesh wounds.”

The situation has left many locals shaken.

“The bigger issue’s how this destroys the island’s Christmas spirit,” Club Scuba Doo manager Polly Parrett said. “I mean, someone’s also running around stealing all our trees and ornaments. It’s like Christmas is being taken from us bit by bit.”

Island authorities would not comment on multiple reports of a man, wearing only a Santa coat and hat, lurking around toy collection centers earlier in the week, or that a small dog accompanying him may or may not have had a stick tied to its head.

“This situation’s volatile enough without crazy rumors,” IPC Marquette said. “All we know at this point is whoever’s responsible is a mean one, with a brain full of spiders and garlic in his soul.”

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Nutcracker Dance-Along Sparks Blacktip Island’s Holiday Celebrations

Stage props for Blacktip Island’s Nutcracker Dance-Along include nondenominational toy soldiers, fanciful scuba divers and the Mouse King.

Stage props for Blacktip Island’s Nutcracker Dance-Along include nondenominational toy soldiers, fanciful scuba divers and the Mouse King.

The Blacktip Island Ecumenical Council will kick off the holiday season Saturday evening with a Nutcracker Dance-Along at Diddley’s Landing public dock. The event will feature the music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet.

“Last year’s Messiah sing-along was such a success, so we thought, ‘why not take it up a notch?’” said the former-Reverend Jerrod Ephesians, the event’s organizer. “It’s something the whole community can participate in, and it’s more inclusive than a Judeo-Christian themed group sing.

“Two left feet, three left feet, it doesn’t matter,” Ephesians said. “Just come out and celebrate the seasonal holiday of your choice with the feet of your choice.”

“We debated dividing the main roles amongst the most able dancers, but that runs contrary to the holiday spirit,” choreographer Doris Blenny said. “It’ll be an organic free-for-all, really. You want to be the Clara? The world is your stage. Fifteen yobbos want to chassé as the Nutcracker Prince, well, more power to them.

“We’re not requiring Nutcracker-specific garb,” Blenny said. “The Wiccans will be dancing as trees. The Raëlians will be dressed as space alien mice.”

Locals are cautiously optimistic this year’s religiously-inclusive event will be free of the altercations that marred last year’s sing-along.

“Folks were bound and determined to sing outside their vocal range,” soprano Wendy Beaufort said. “Clete Horn, reeking of rum, insisted Baby Jesus told him to sing with the altos. It ruined the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus. James Conlee yanked him over with the basses, punches flew and we ended up hauling Clete, James and four tenors to the clinic.”

“There’s no telling what’ll happen tomorrow night,” Jerrod Ephesians said. “Or even who’ll turn up. The pas de deux may be more of a pas de quarante-deux. But that’s part of the holiday magic.”

Island traditionalists, however, are boycotting the event.

“Won’t be a silent night and won’t be a holy night,” resident Rocky Shore said. “Unless you mean wholly chaotic. This’s ‘Christmas season,’ not ‘holiday season.’ Christmas is about your yearly church visit, presents and arguing with family, not making a jackass of yourself in public.”

Others are intrigued by the dance-along.

“I can’t wait to see Dermott Bottoms nail that grand jeté in tights and a kilt,” Molly Miller said. “He’s got the legs for it, but that’s a lot of gut to get airborn.”

Dancers are strongly encouraged to provide their own leotards, dive skins or other dance-appropriate attire.

“We have loaners,” Doris Blenny said, “but, well, most are from resort lost-and-found bins, if you take my meaning. We only have so much disinfectant.”

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Blacktip Island Company Develops Nicotine-Infused Wetsuits

Color-coded Nicoprene wetsuit will mask their tobacco smell with seaweed, frangipani and stale urine scents, Blacktip Island’s Bamboo You owner Piers ‘Doc’ Plank said.

Color-coded Nicoprene wetsuit will mask their tobacco smell with seaweed, frangipani and stale urine scents, Blacktip Island’s Bamboo You owner Piers ‘Doc’ Plank said.

Blacktip Island scuba outfitter Bamboo You has released Nicoprene, a neoprene-like wetsuit infused with liquid nicotine, for the Caribbean island’s scuba divers craving tobacco during dives.

“There’s smokers on dive boats all the time who can’t make it through the morning,” Bamboo You owner Piers ‘Doc’ Plank said. “They’re sneaking puffs on the bow, hanging on the tagline with a cig and a lighter in a Ziploc. Now they don’t have to suffer.”

Nicoprene is an offshoot of the company’s already-popular Bambooprene bamboo-fiber wetsuits.

“Our patented capillary technology allows a dose of nicotine to spread evenly throughout the suit,” Plank said. “You refill the suit before each dive. No fuss, no mess, just happy divers.

“The liquid nicotine is all natural and 100 percent organic,” Plank said. “It’s extracted from seaweed washed up on Blacktip Island beaches. We’re providing local jobs and keeping the beaches tidy in one fell swoop.”

To cover the nicotine’s strong smell, the company offers Nicoprene refills in a variety of scents, including sea wrack, tropical flowers and peed-in wetsuit.

Local divers are excited the new suits also double as a self-tanning system, with the darkness of tan dependent on the degree of nicotine infusion.

“It’s not that weird, orangey-looking faux tan you get from a bottle,” Eagle Ray Cove divemaster Maxie Fondé said. “It’s an all-over, natural-looking faux tan. You smell a bit like an old shoe, but hey, there’s trade offs to everything.”

Bamboo You’s Plank confirmed the company will offer a complete line of tanning accessories in time for the holiday shopping season.

“We’re turning out gloves and booties to ensure an even, all-over bronzed look,” Plank said. “And vapor-infused dive masks to nico-tan divers’ faces. No one wants a diver’s tan any more than they want a golfer’s tan.”

Blacktip Island’s medical community is upbeat about Nicoprene as well.

“Nicoprene’s a boon for people who want to tan without the hazards of UV rays,” island surgeon Dr. Azul Tang said.

“We’re also looking into using Nicoprene as a smoking cessation tool,” Tang said. “The idea’s to bring smokers down and combine their scuba vacation with a stop-smoking regimen. We have clients lining up already.”

Neither Plank nor Tang would comment on reports Tang is an investor in Bamboo You, or that Plank and Tang are part owners in the Caribbean island’s Club Scuba Doo dive resort.

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Missile Hidden In Blacktip Island Steeple

 The Our Lady of Blacktip Cathedral steeple, shown tilted toward Havana, has the small Caribbean island’s residents up in arms.

The Our Lady of Blacktip Cathedral steeple, shown tilted toward Havana, has the small Caribbean island’s residents up in arms.

Documents leaked on the internet this week, revealing the Our Lady of Blacktip Cathedral’s steeple is a disguised United States tactical missile aimed at Cuba, have shocked residents of the small Caribbean island.

“To bring something like that to Blacktip, to keep it secret, it’s unconscionable,” said local activist Harry Pickett. “This is a 21st Century proxy war. Blacktip Island’s on the front line.

“And if our steeple’s aimed at Havana, what does Havana have aimed at us, the Morro Castle lighthouse?”

Conspiracy theories mushroomed last year when island residents noticed the steeple tilting and the cross rotating during a diplomatic spat between the Washington and Havana. The leaked documents give credence to those theories.

“People been talking about the hand of God moving the cross from time to time,” resident James Conlee said. “Now we know it’s not imagination, not superstition. That steeple does move. But it’s the hand of some guy named Vern doing the moving, and with a joystick.”

“This certainly solves the mystery of why those pasty-white repair men with short haircuts are always hanging out around the church,” government watchdog Wade Sloote said. “It wasn’t for spiritual guidance. It was for guidance systems.”

The revelation has fueled concern other Blacktip Island landmarks might also be hiding weaponry.

“That new cell tower leans a good bit,” local Dermott Bottoms said. “There’s cylinder-shaped coral heads on the reefs, too. And some of those casaurina pines the boobies nest in are awful missile-looking.”

The news, combined with revelations last February of fish-shaped surveillance drones on popular island scuba sites, has island business interests worried.

“First it was mechanical sergeant majors spooking divers. Now this,” Sandy Bottoms Beach Resort general manager Kay Valve said. “Our phone lines are jammed. Our guests are going ballistic.”

Meanwhile, the Caribbean island’s religious leaders are urging tolerance.

“It’s not like anyone’s fired the missile. The Americans are just storing it,” said the former-Reverend Jerrod Ephesians. “And they’re paying us out the wazoo in storage fees. It’s a windfall for the church, and for the local economy.

“Plus, last spring Cuba tried to invade Blacktip. It’s not like those Godless rat-bastards don’t have it coming,” Ephesians said. “This is an eye-for-an-eye, Old Testament sort of situation we have here. We’ve taught our hands to war and our fingers to fight. The Church Militant’s alive and well on Blacktip Island.”

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Blacktip Island Players to Stage Medieval Favorite

The Blacktip Island Community Players will perform a modern version of ‘The Somonyng of Everyman’ on a partially-submerged stage on the Caribbean Island’s west coast.

The Blacktip Island Community Players will perform a modern version of ‘The Somonyng of Everyman’ on a partially-submerged stage on the Caribbean Island’s west coast.

The Blacktip Island Community Players will perform the classic Medieval morality play ‘The Somonyng of Everyman’ November 21 – December 6 in their annual Fall Extravaganza.

“We felt ‘Everyman’ offered the perfect run-up to the December holidays,” said director Doris Blenny. “We made some slight changes to the original script to make it more relevant to our modern audience, though.

“The original had too much preaching and navel-gazing, so we tarted it up with a boat chase, a shootout and a stage-clearing sword fight finale.”

The characters have also been modernized.

“Death? Fellowship? Good Deeds? Who wants to watch that?” said Kay Valve, who plays the title character. “We substituted the Seven Deadly Sins to give it some zing.

“We made them island-specific Sins, too,” Valve said. “Sins we run into every day, a lot of times before lunch. Or breakfast.”

In addition to Valve as Everyman, the cast includes:

  • Alison Diesel as Sloth
  • Gage Hoase as Lust
  • Edwin Chub as Gossip
  • Wendy Beaufort as Rum
  • Lee Helm as Stupid Questions
  • Mallory LaTrode as Buffett
  • Clete Horn as Speedo

The play will be performed in its original Middle English.

“Aside from the plot and the characters, we wanted everything as authentic as possible,” Doris Blenny said. “We’ve had the cast studying Middle English language CDs for weeks.”

In a break with tradition, this year’s Extravaganza will be performed in the surf behind the former community playhouse.

“We had no choice,” Edwin Chub said. “The crowd burned the theater last year, and we’ve no money to rebuild the place. We managed to piece together bleachers on the beach, though. And performing in the sea does speak to our island heritage.”

Audience members are strongly encouraged to wear waterproof clothing as well as goggles or a scuba mask.

As ever, the production has been aided by local volunteers.

“We’re especially grateful to the school children who captured all the frigate birds for Gossip’s big entrance,” Mal LaTrode said.

Alcohol consumption is banned from the venue. Theater-goers will be given Breathalyzer tests prior to admission.

“They’ll find ways to sneak it in, though. They always do,” Blenny said. “That’s what sparked last fall’s ‘Tora, Tora, Tora!’ debacle. And the ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ melee the year before that.

Background music will be provided by local country-western band Duck on a Junebug.

Proceeds from the play will go to Habitat for Humanity of Blacktip Island.

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Blacktip Island Bank Robbery Ends in High-Speed Chase

Dermott Bottoms’ photo of Blacktip Island’s bank robbers speeding past. (Photo courtesy Dermott Bottoms)

Dermott Bottoms’ photo of Blacktip Island’s bank robbers speeding past. (Photo courtesy Dermott Bottoms)

An armed robbery at the Blacktip Island Community Bank was foiled Thursday morning due to the quick action of several of the Caribbean island’s residents.

“They busted through the door in plastic ThunderCat masks, waving lionfish spears,” bank manager and teller Penny Argent said. “Said they’d gig me if I didn’t give them all the cash.

“We didn’t have any cash. We never do,” Argent said. “So Lion-O cocked a spear on me, cable-tied me to the desk while Tygra grabbed all our calendars and Cheetara snagged a big box of our promo ink pens. Then they tore out of here like someone set the dogs on them.”

Blacktip Island’s police constable was alerted after locals became suspicious of a speeding automobile.

“Seen that same car fly past three times, I knew something was up,” Dermott Bottoms said. “Me and James Conlee was outside the bank having a breakfast beer when we seen it go by. Then again. And again. That’s when we called Rafe.”

“The robbers were off-islanders who apparently didn’t realize Blacktip Island only has two roads,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “They went around the island three times before we realized it, then it took me four more laps to catch them.

“I might still be chasing them if they hadn’t taken a land crab claw to the left front tire. That crab’s the one deserves the accolades.”

No one other than the crab was hurt in the incident.

Authorities have not released the suspects’ names, though the police report noted numerous calendars, pens and three pole spears were recovered from the suspects’ car.

The robbery has community leaders are concerned.

“This goes to show Blacktip’s not a sleepy little island anymore,” outgoing mayor Jack Cobia said. “Folks are taking their keys out of their vehicles at night now. Some are even locking their house doors. It’s fearsome what this island’s coming to.”

Island business owners disagreed.

“The nervous nellies are overreacting to one isolated incident,” Eagle Ray Cove owner Rich Skerritt said. “That kind of talk’ll just scare away tourists, then where’ll we be? Tourism’s Blacktip Island’s biggest industry. Hell, it’s our only industry.”

Meanwhile, the bank assured account holders their saving are safe.

“We’ve installed security glass at the teller’s desk, and nets we can drop from the ceiling,” the bank’s Argent said. “The lobby floor’s also a trapdoor now, covering a big tank of lionfish. Any would-be robber dodges the nets, sploosh, they fall in and they’ll wish they’d never even thought about bank robbery.”

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Blacktip Island Launches Surveillance Satellite

Amateur photo of Conchnik 1’s Thursday night launch from Blacktip Island’s Spider Bight space port.

Amateur photo of Conchnik 1’s Thursday night launch from Blacktip Island’s Spider Bight space port.

The Tiperon Island Space Agency Thursday night launched its first low-Earth orbiting satellite, Cocnhnik 1, from Blacktip Island, making the Caribbean island nation the newest member of the world’s orbital launch-capable community.

“This sucker puts Blacktip, and the Tiperons, on the interstellar map,” said Rich Skerritt, owner of Skerritt Communications, one of the project’s underwriters. “Blacktip’s not an isolated backwater anymore. We’re flying with the big dogs now.

“Conchnik was locally designed and built, start to finish,” Skerritt said. “The solid rocket boosters were fueled with weapons-grade rum resin produced right here on Blacktip Island.”

Space agency officials promise Conchnik 1 will provide improved communications, weather forecasting and scuba dive site navigation.

Critics, however, questioned how the fledgling space program was funded and what other purposes Conchnik’s top-secret payload might used for.

“They launch some multi-billion dollar gizmo that’s five times the country’s yearly budget, and we’re supposed to believe they did it out of the goodness of their hearts?” local activist Ledford Waite said. “What kind of communication? And what kind of navigation?

“Who’s to say they’re not funneling all this data to the NSA for a fat paycheck? Or that the North Korea didn’t flat-out pay for this thing 100 percent?” Waite said. “It’s a spy satellite, plain and simple. Well, maybe not so simple – it is maintaining a low-Earth orbit. But that just proves my point.”

Government officials were quick to dispel those fears.

“Conchnik 1’s mission is purely scientific,” TISA spokesperson Dr. Azul Tang said via satellite phone from an astrophysics conference in Brazil. “Could it be used for surveillance? Sure. But in a public safety context. If someone gets robbed or murdered or lost on a dive site, this satellite will enable us to take appropriate action as soon as possible.

“Conchnik was financed by public donations,” Tang said. “School children held bake sales as part of their science curriculum. This criticism is unfounded and harmful top the community.”

Other community members had a more cynical view of the project.

“Skerritt’s a pirate, from a family of pirates, and Led Waite’s been co-opted,” local activist Harry Pickett said. “A satellite manufactured and launched from Blacktip Island? Seriously? There is no satellite. There never was. There’s just a crappy YouTube video.”

“They faked the project, and the launch, to drain the public purse. Everyone in on it’s living it up in South America by now. And with Led and his cronies protesting the so-called satellite, well, it gives credence to the scam.”

Those involved with the program disagreed.

“Conspiracy theories and rectums – everybody’s got one,” Rich Skerritt said. “How in the world could you fake something the whole island saw? These hippies are just worried we’ll be keeping tabs on them.”

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