Monthly Archives: December 2014

Blacktip Island Braces For Kickboxing Day Festivities

 

Blacktip Island’s Holiday celebrations continue today with the traditional post-Christmas Kickboxing Day festivities, organized by the Caribbean island’s Seaman’s Society.

“The festival started in the 1600s,” Blacktip Island historian Smithson Altschul said. “Blacktip Island’s original settlers had to develop a unique fighting style to combat the giant iguanas overrunning the island. Passing sailors exported the foot-intensive techniques to other lands, where it came to be called ‘kick-boxing.’

“The original Kickboxing Day was a celebration of the early settlers’ salvation from the vicious iguanas,” Altschul said. “Now it’s as much a part of the holidays as Christmas lights, stale cobbler and bad college football.”

This year’s festivities begin at 9 a.m. and continue into the night.

“We start with the 5K underwater pub crawl,” said Blacktip Island Seaman’s Society president Jay Valve. “A combination of oxygen-rich nitrox scuba cylinders and mimosas at each bar help shake off any lingering holiday hangovers.

“After that, the Leftover-Off runs through mid afternoon,” Valve said. “It’s stunning the variety of delicacies island folks can fashion from holiday leftovers. Last year’s winners included turkey pancakes with cranberry syrup, green bean casserole pizza and deep-fried haggis nuggets.”

“No K-Day’s complete without the Destruction of the Christmas Playlists,” Eagle Ray Cove divemaster Gage Hoase said. “Nothing makes the season bright quite like taking a sledge hammer to Lady Gaga’s Christmas Tree.”

The focal point, as ever, will be the kickboxing Friday evening at Diddley’s Landing.

All fighting styles are welcome, Valve said, so long as they incorporate a significant number of foot strikes.

Kickboxers are encouraged to compete in appropriate seasonal attire.

“Last year I fought off Santa, Jesus and Father Time,” said reigning champion Rocky Shores. “Santa was a classic taekwondo counterpuncher. Father Time had some serious Shaolin training.”

“This event’s a family affair that binds the community together during the holidays,” Valve said. “There’ll be smaller rings where kids can strap on gloves and footpads and just have at it. That helps the kids sleep, too.”

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year on Blacktip Island,” said long-time resident Ginger Bass. “Nothing gets you psyched for the new year quite like seeing your neighbor laid out with a roundhouse kick to the head. I still have a couple of Dermott Bottoms’ molars from last year’s bouts.”

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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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