Monthly Archives: September 2021
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Precipitation – Not today, Satan
An unknown shopper at Peachy Bottoms’ Groceries and Sundries has been posting mysterious online reviews of the store’s good and services. (photo courtesy of Wolfgang Sauber)
An unknown Blacktip Island shopper this week began posting online reviews about the island’s sole grocery/hardware store’s goods and services, causing both consternation and mirth among the small Caribbean island’s residents.
“It started with a flyer at the post office listing a website,” Lee Helm said. “The site has humorous bits about prices being astronomical and the quality being crap. Things we all say, but funnier. And now that word out, everybody’s reading it.
“The line about the vegetables being brown and the meat being green made me spit coffee across the table,” Helm said. “Whoever’s doing it, they’ve got the store pegged. And Peachy’s none too pleased.”
The reviews have angered the store’s owner.
“Normally, it’d be a case of ‘just spell my name right,’” Peachy Bottoms said. “Constructive feedback’s welcome. But that damn site’s just making customers complain more, nonstop. And sales are down, so it’s had that effect, too.
“But it’s the insults that really get me,” she said. “‘The prices are high, and so is Peachy if she thinks I’ll pay that?’ There’s no need to get personal. And if they do, say it to my face like everybody else. I’m keeping a notebook of who buys what, and who looks at what, so I can narrow down the suspects. And ban ‘em from the store.”
Residents noted not all the reviews were negative.
“Yesterday there was a nice comment about how well a store-bought spatula worked,” Corrie Anders said. “And even when the reviews are critical, they’re still helpful. It’s good to know when the bread’s moldy or there’s no 10-penny nails left.”
Others praised the site’s humor.
“Prices are high, sure. That’s island living, y’know,” Linford Blenny said. “Them reviews are funny, even when you don’t agree. Peachy, she got to lighten up, share the laugh. Won’t lose business long. I mean, where else you gonna shop?”
Many on the island are speculating who the author might be.
“At first it looked like it might be Dermott Bottoms, pranking his cousin,” Marissa Graysby said. “But then folks realized Dermott can’t even turn on a computer, or spell ‘cat’ if you spotted him the ‘c’ and ‘a.’ Personally, I think this has Payne Hanover written all over it. It’s his kind of gag, and he definitely has the time, and know-how, do pull something like this off.”
Hanover would neither confirm nor deny the accusations.
Raw ginger root is at the heart of the new anti-seasickness treatment developed by a Blacktip Island scuba outfitter. (photo courtesy of Piers ‘Doc’ Plank)
A Blacktip Island business owner this week unveiled what he claims is a new cure for seasickness, dubbed the Barf Stopper, promising nausea relief for the island’s scuba divers and boaters.
“Ginger taken orally’s been known as a motion-sickness cure for years,” Bamboo You scuba outfitter owner Piers ‘Doc’ Plank said. “The Barf Stopper makes raw ginger as effective as possible. The key is fresh ginger root, soaked in a proprietary anti-nausea tonic, and administered as a suppository.
“In our trials, the effects of one bit of ginger lasted all day,” Plank said. “We had three months of rough weather to test it out, too, with a control group getting baby carrots. It’s drastic, but damned effective. And truly a game changer for a lot of boaters out there.”
Volunteer testers backed Plank’s claims.
“I used to get sick as a dog as soon as the boat got through the cut,” Edwin Chub said. “Now, with Doc’s new treatment, I haven’t gotten even the slightest bit queasy in the last two weeks, and we were diving in six-foot waves.
“It stings a bit at first, but it works,” Chub said. “I don’t know if it’s the ginger, or what they soak it in, but either way, it’s a miracle. And it sure doesn’t make me groggy. The only thing that made me wonder was some of the volunteers were a little too eager to try it.”
Some in the diving community questioned the treatment.
“What Doc’s doing isn’t prevention, it’s perversion,” Bill Fish said. “Of course people’re not getting sick—they’re too busy worrying about the root Doc stuffed up their rectums. And some of his test subjects are folks who never get seasick. But there’s ol’ Doc charging top dollar for his snake-oil remedy. There’s plenty of proven, over-the-counter cures out there. Why not just use one of them?”
Other divers agreed.
“I don’t care how effective this new method’s supposed to be, I’m sticking with my Dramamine. Taken orally,” Olive Beaugregory said. “Or just not going out on rough days. I mean, seasickness is bad, but Doc’s cure sounds worse than the ailment.”
Others embraced the new treatment.
“In rough weather on a rocking boat, it’s any port in the storm,” Joey Pompano said. “I’ll take my pills and chew the gum, as usual, but I’ll also put ginger wherever Doc tells me to put it. You can’t be too careful.”
Barf Stoppers are manufactured fresh daily and available exclusively at the Bamboo You boutique and can be staff- or self-administered.
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Precipitation – Not happening
A small, but confrontational, number of Blacktip Island scuba divers are refusing to wear facemasks while diving. (photo courtesy of Christopher Mendoza)
A group of scuba divers visiting Blacktip Island this week sparked controversy by refusing to wear masks while diving, island tourism officials said.
“It started with one person, then exploded,” Chamber of Commerce president Led Waite said. “Right now, a third of the divers on our boats are flat-out refusing to wear masks. They can’t see squat underwater, and the salt has to burn their eyes like crazy, but they’ve dug their heels in.
“They say it’s their personal choice, and asking them to mask up violates that,” Waite said. “Problem is, they keep bashing into coral and the bottoms of the boats. Dive staffs are running out of first aid supplies.”
Divers say the masks stifle their breathing.
“Diving maskless is the natural way to breathe, and no divemaster’s gonna make me wear an underwater choke plate,” Buddy Brunnez said. “Our ancestors swam without masks or goggles for eons. Why should we change something that gave us such healthy lungs? Plus, looking at things through a glass lens just weakens your eyes.”
Others cited religious reasons.
“If God wanted us to dive with masks, we’d have been born with them on our faces,” Suzy Souccup said. “Who am I to question what God wants? I don’t care what the Pope said. They try to make me wear a mask, they’ll get one upside the head. That’s what Jesus’d do.”
The island’s dive staffs continue to encourage mask use.
“We can’t make anyone wear a mask, any more than we can make them wear a wetsuit,” Eagle Ray Cove divemaster Marina DeLow said. “We insist their masks are on when they giant stride in, but they take them off as soon as they’re underwater.
“The issue’s enforcement,” DeLow said. “We can’t spend all our time underwater scolding yahoos. And when we do, they act like they can’t see us. We’ve started taking them to sites with tons of fire coral, and stopped giving them Band-Aids, but that’s cutting into our tips.”
The island’s Marine Parks department is taking more aggressive action.
“We’re fining divers who contact coral,” spokesperson Val Schrader said. “But we can’t be with every group on every site every day. We’re citing people left and right, but they just blow us off. Or scream in our faces.”
“In the meantime, they’re tearing up the reefs,” Schrader said. “We requested more officers from Tiperon, but they’re dealing with the same problem over there and can’t spare anyone.”
Divers say they’re not concerned with the fines.
“We’ll take every one of these citations to court,” Brunnez said. “The Man don’t have the time, or money, to fight every one of us. It’s my nose and face, and I have the right to smash then into the coral if I want.”