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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Zombie Barracuda Stalks Blacktip Island Divers

A photo believed to be chupagroupa, recovered from an underwater camera found on Blacktip Island’s Barra’s Revenge dive site. (Photo courtesy Louis Cahill/Deneki Outdoors.)

A photo believed to be chupagroupa, recovered from an underwater camera found on Blacktip Island’s Barra’s Revenge dive site. (Photo courtesy Louis Cahill/Deneki Outdoors.)

A rash of underwater attacks on recreational scuba divers Thursday is being attributed to the legendary chupagroupa, or ‘grouper sucker.’

“This manky gray thing buzzed by my head, teeth flashing,” said one victim. “One minute I’m taking pictures of a fairy basslet, the next, whoosh, my hand’s bleeding and my camera’s gone.”

“It looked like an eel, but with a crocodile head,” said another victim. “And whirly red eyes. And chunks falling off it. It wasn’t natural.”

Tiperon Island marine park officials are skeptical.

“We know something unusual’s out there, but a zombie barracuda? Seriously?” Marine Parks spokesperson Val Schrader said. “We’ve been finding dead, blood-drained grouper on the reef, sure, but a rogue octopus or a boating accident are far more realistic culprits.”

“This was no rogue octopus,” government watchdog Wade Soote said. “This was worst case scenario. The Marine Parks folks just don’t want to spook the tourists.

“We’ve had our eye on this situation. Our worry’s been whether chupagroupa’s attacks would shift to humans as the grouper population thinned. What happened yesterday confirmed our worst fears. Now he’s got a taste for human blood.”

Scientists at Tiperon University-Blacktip say the creature is most likely a barracuda hobbled by sickness or age, able to gnaw at grouper but not kill them.

“In a weakened state, such a fish might see recreational scuba divers as viable prey,” said TU-B marine biology professor Ernesto Mojarra. “As for the rotting flesh people are reporting, well, it could just be an old fish. Or the divers were so deep they had nitrogen narcosis. Or were diving drunk.”

Island old timers swear otherwise.

“It’s old chupa. Guarantee you that,” Dermott Bottoms said. “He’s hungry, and pissed off all those divers are on his reef scaring the grouper. If that chupa’s pissed at you, he’ll get you.”

“Hooked chupa, fishing a while back,” James Conlee said. “Hauled him in, chopped him up, chucked the bits over the reef. Fish wouldn’t eat him. Next day, he’s whole and eyeballing my skiff. Now he’s found fresher meat, thank God.”

Blacktip Island’s business owners worry about the negative impact the incidents have had on the island’s dive industry.

“This damned chupa-whatsit nonsense’s gutting us,” Eagle Ray Cove resort owner Rich Skerritt said. “No one’ll get on our dive boats. They’re all howling for their money back.”

“No way we’re getting in the water with who-knows-what out there,” said one Sandy Bottoms Beach Resort guest. “We’re not even letting the kids near the pool.”

The bitten scuba divers voiced larger concerns.

“That thing drew blood,” one victim said. “I mean, I read the news. I know how this stuff works. Next step, I’m an underwater zombie, too.”

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Blacktip Island Elects Hermit Crab Mayor

Neville the hermit crab is Blacktip Island’s new mayor. Neville’s know-nothing, do-nothing policies appealed to local environmentalists as well as to the island’s crustaceans.

Neville the hermit crab is Blacktip Island’s new mayor. Neville’s know-nothing, do-nothing policies appealed to local environmentalists as well as to the island’s crustaceans.

An overwhelming majority of Blacktip Island voters Thursday elected popular hermit crab, Neville, as mayor. Neville received 83 percent of the Caribbean island’s popular vote to incumbent Jack Cobia’s 16 percent.

“The margin of victory is especially impressive considering there’s only 112 people on the island,” Supervisor of Elections Suzie Souccup said. “And most of them were too drunk to vote.”

“We got tired of politicians promising the moon and sun, then reneging when they take office,” Blacktip resident Nelson Seagroves said. “Now we’ve elected a mayor who won’t lie, cheat or steal.

“Neville’s the ultimate insider the island needs. He’s lived on Blacktip Island all his life, and his family’s been here generations. He knows the community and its issues inside and out.”

“The best thing is he works for peanuts,” Club Scuba Doo general manager Polly Parrett said. “Well, cracked-open coconuts, anyway. And he won’t take a bribe. He’s not physically capable.”

Neville’s opponents are outraged.

“This is a travesty and a mockery of the democratic process,” outgoing mayor Jack Cobia said. “We’re talking about a damn crab who has no policies and can’t even talk. ‘Crab of the people’ my hind foot. It’s a vast crustacean conspiracy, pure and simple.”

“After the last few mayors, someone who does nothing will be a nice change,” Neville supporter Gage Hoase said. “If he doesn’t do anything, he can’t screw up anything.”

Some business leaders worry Neville’s election will put the brakes on the island’s recent development boom.

“He’s a soldier crab. He loves the sea grapes,” Skerritt Construction’s Ferris Skerritt said. “His kind live under the dead leaves. First thing he’ll do is ban anyone cutting trees. If we can’t clear land, we can’t build houses. That kind of extremism’ll kill the island’s economy.”

Other locals worry the new administration will curtail traditional pastimes.

“He’s anti-fishing, I guarantee you that,” Dermott Bottoms said. “What soldier crab isn’t? He lost too many friends and family as snapper bait. He outlaws fishing, how we gonna feed our families? And what’ll we do while we drink beer?”

Most locals, however, are taking a wait-and-see attitude.

“It’s not a big deal,” Eagle Ray Cove bartender Mallory LaTrode said. “It’s Blacktip. People here sort things out among themselves anyway. What has me worried is our new vice-mayor is a black widow spider.”

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Fire Destroys Blacktip Island Library

A security camera still of unidentified witnesses watching the Blacktip Island library burn.

A security camera still of unidentified witnesses watching the Blacktip Island library burn.

The Blacktip Island Public Library burned Thursday night in what authorities are calling suspicious circumstances. The library, housed in a shed on property next to Eagle Ray Cove scuba resort, contained one of the Caribbean’s largest collection of scuba diving manuals, some in Latin and Koine Greek dating back to the Second Century C.E.

“There was plenty of fuel, what with all that parchment and papyrus,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “But there was nothing there to spark a flame. I would term that ‘suspicious.’

“There’s also security camera footage showing people watching the place burn. That’s suspicious as well.”

“It’s a tragedy,” librarian Edwin Chub said. “This was one of the few places folks from all walks of life could gather without having to buy a drink or stink of cigarettes. To think this was intentional really burns me up.”

“Whether an accident or vandalism, the place burned quickly,” IPC Marquette said. “It was done before Dermott could get two buckets of water on it, and the folks on video only had time for one beer.”

Local opinion differed on the fire’s cause.

“Business owners have eyed that land for years,” long-time resident Frank Maples said. “There were plans to put a clothing boutique there. I’m not pointing fingers, but there are people who benefited from this.”

Eagle Ray Cove Resort owner Rich Skerritt bristled at talk of arson.

“The bookworms can’t keep a fire extinguisher handy, it’s not my fault,” Skerritt said. “The real tragedy is some of those books hadn’t been colored in yet. One of those yahoos sitting around drinking beer probably flicked a cigarette butt in the wrong direction.”

Other locals remained unconvinced.

“The historic house that used to be on that property blew up in the middle of the night a few months back,” resident Reg Gurnard said. “The fire department said it was a gas leak, but there’s no natural gas on the island. Plus, Dermott pretty much is the fire department, and he’s half sauced most nights, so there’s no telling what happened, then or now.”

“We, as a community, will come together to make this better,” Eagle Ray Cove’s Skerritt said. “We can’t replace those old books, but we can give Chub and his library a fair price for the property, get him some nice, new books and set him up in a newish shed across the island.”

“We encourage anyone with information about the fire to contact us,” IPC Marquette said. “The security footage is so grainy, we’re having a hard time identifying bystanders. I’d like to say we’ll catch the arsonist, but I wouldn’t make book on it.”

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