Sunday, January 30, 2022
Precipitation – Not a chance
Sunday, January 30, 2022
Precipitation – Not a chance
Blacktip Island’s sole distillery, attempting diversify its product line, this week inadvertently created a batch of rye whiskey with hallucinogenic properties, distillery owners said.
“We were trying to come up with an island-themed, flavor-enhanced whiskey to appeal to a niche market,” Bunghole Distillery owner Lefty Wright said. “Rosie Blenny suggested we use native Blacktip chortleberries, since the birds and iguanas love ‘em, so we added a handful to one of our ageing barrels. It taste’s phenomenal. We call it ‘Seaberry Rye.’
“What we didn’t know is Caribbean chortleberries are a natural source of psilocybin—that’s why wildlife likes ‘em,” Wright said. “And apparently the distilling process enhances the effects. First hint we had something was amiss was Alison Diesel complaining her left hand had stopped breathing. Then Gage Hoase belly-crawled onto the road and just lay there, soaking up the heat with the iguanas. Our marketing folks are in high gear figuring the best way to promote this stuff.”
Island residents praised the new whiskey.
“Seaberry’s quite lovely,” Reg Gurnard said. “It tastes of a nice, dry, small-batch rye, then it takes one on a brief holiday. No telling where you’ll be when the berries wear off. That’s part of the allure. When I came back down this morning, I found myself sitting on the edge of the bluff, staring down at the sea. That was quite the eye opener!”
Local authorities had a dimmer view of the new product.
“This is precisely what we warned about when Lefty got that liquor license,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “Lack of oversight leads to irresponsible brewing, and distribution of dangerous substances. It’s a public menace. People who consume this hooch put themselves and others in danger.
“Just today I found Jessie Catahoula perched on top of a power pole, with her shorts on her head, insisting she was a kingbird,” Marquette said. “She said she flew up there. I had to fly up and get her down. We need to shut that distillery. Yesterday.”
Distillery owners, however, plan to step up production.
“Folks can’t get enough of Seaberry. We’d be crazy to stop making it,” Wright said. “We’re not doing anything illegal. People just need to partake in moderation and exercise some personal responsibility. Worst case, tie yourself to a tree before taking a drink.
“There’s an upside to all this, once you know what to expect,” Wright said. “Just yesterday Elena Havens spent the afternoon watching a giant eye on the ceiling chant, ‘love, love, love’ at her. What could be more positive than that? We didn’t mean to make a hallucinogen, but now that we have, we’re gonna keep catering to Blacktippers wants and needs ‘til somebody makes us stop.”
Sunday, January 23, 2022
Precipitation – Passing us by
Blacktip Island merchants this week were surprised by a sudden uptick in the use by many of the small Caribbean island’s residents of what has been termed ‘crypticcurrency’, business owners said.
“It’s sort of like cryptocurrency, only different,” said Peachy Bottoms, owner of the island’s sole grocery-and-sundries store. “Folks’re basically swapping out physical goods and services for items, gestures and concepts they say are of equivalent value. Just today Linford Blenny paid for his groceries with a dried iguana foot and a mumbled prophecy. Like with cryptocurrency, I don’t quite get it, but folks sound convinced, so I’m willing to give it a try.
“The first one to use it was cousin Dermott and, frankly, I was too scared to say ‘no,’” Bottoms said. “The way he explained it, it’s a form of semi-formalized bartering. And everybody’s doing it now, so I guess it’s here to stay. As long as I can pay my suppliers with it, I’m good.”
The currency’s creators say crypticcurrency is still in its formative stages.
“Can people make up non-physical items to exchange for physical ones? Sure,” Christina Mojarra said. “But so far no one’s really abused that. We’re all working together to come up with some kind of rough metric we can use multilaterally for our transactions.
“While we gather data, it really all depends on what the other person’ll accept, Mojarra said. “It’s actually kind of fun—no one’s sure what things are worth when put in these terms, so it’s a great cooperative, community-building exercise.”
Some locals say the currency is backed by island spirits.
“Saying nobody knows what things are worth, that’s a bunch of hooey,” handyman James Conlee said. “The duppies set the value of everything. Always have. Their island, you know. They just let us live here.
“They’re the ones’ll be policing everybody, too,” Conlee said. “Don’t doubt the duppies. Don’t cross the duppies. Not sure you can hear ‘em, or what they’re saying, ask me. I’ll tell you what’s what. Trust me on that.”
Other island residents refuse to use, or accept the new currency.
“They’re all deadbeats making it up as they go,” Eagle Ray Cove owner Rich Skerritt said. “Nut jobs like James and Dermott are robbing everybody blind. Me, and my businesses, we still use money. And’ll only accept money. Duppies? Bring ‘em on. Dermott tries to pay rent with a chunk of driftwood and the color orange, I’m chucking him out on his ass.”
Others were more open minded.
“Today Finn paid off his bar tab with what he had on hand,” Sand Spit bartender Cori Anders said. “There was no cash involved, but at least he paid it off. Sort of. The wild part was making change when the payment was neo-Hegelianism, a Humphrey Bogart impersonation and the number 42. I gave him a bird call and photographic reciprocity. He seemed happy with that.”
Filed under best scuba diving novels, Caribbean, Scuba Diving
Sunday, January 16, 2022
Precipitation – Pack a raincoat
The daily interaction among residents confined to Blacktip Island’s communal COVID quarantine facility this week was put online as a pay-per-view reality drama in an effort to defray Health Authority expenses for the residents’ lodging and testing, island medical authorities said.
“We need everybody who tests positive in one house so we know where they are, and to make testing easier,” island nurse Marissa Graysby said. “This way we have the outbreak contained in one building. Problem is, housing, food and testing all cost money we’re not budgeted for. And if we have to quarantine all these people, we might as well get some entertainment out of it.
“People love reality TV, so we put cameras and mics in all the rooms, and people can subscribe to watch the goings-on,” Graysby said. “There were privacy issues, sure, but we have everyone quarantined sign waivers. Everybody on this little rock’s a voyeur at heart, and viewer numbers skyrocketed. At this rate, we might even raise enough money for improvements to the clinic.”
Island residents say the show’s format makes for compelling viewing.
“It’s not scripted like other reality shows, so there’s literally no way to know what’ll happen from moment to moment,” Ernesto Mojarra said. “All those crazy personalities trapped together in the same house is entertainment gold.
“There’s already betting lines on how long each person’ll last before they have to get moved to solitary,” Mojarra said. “I mean, I give it three days, tops, before somebody punks Lee Helm. And James Conlee’ll clog the toilets any day now and shut the whole thing down.”
Others focused on how the fabricated challenges posed for the quanantiners heighten the drama.
“Alison Diesel tore the crap out of the place apart looking for the TV remote batteries,” Marina DeLow said. “And watching Finn Kiick try to open cans of food with random hand tools before he found the can opener was a hoot. The surprise power and water outages amp things up, too. I’m gonna double-mask, sneak over there and chuck a grass snake through the window and watch the fireworks.
“Marissa’s also reducing the amount of alcohol the inmates get each day,” DeLow said. “That’ll hit critical mass sooner rather than later. Dermott’ll go bat-shit berserk when the rum runs out. It’s kind of like watching a modern version of Buñuel’s ‘Exterminating Angel’ in real time, but with people you know.”
Barring any quarantiners developing serious symptoms, Graysby said she will focus on the facility’s entertainment aspects.
“We’re working on ways to attract more, international viewers,” she said. “Tonight we’ll have Alexa play non-stop Bananarama full blast, with no way to turn the sound down or off. We also have a can’t-turn-it-down-or-off Sex and the City marathon cued up. It’ll be a miracle if anyone comes out in one piece. It’s addictive viewing, and we have multiple mental health counselors standing by for when people get out.”
House residents were not available for comment, though many have complained their test results were false positives.
Sunday, January 9, 2022
Precipitation – Soon come