Monthly Archives: March 2022
Sunday, March 27, 2022
Precipitation: Not today
Motor scooters will serve as landspeeders and police cruisers in the Blacktip Island Community Players’ production of ‘Lukes of Hazzard’ this weekend. (photo courtesy of Aniket Konkar)
The Blacktip Island Community Players will premier their spring performance, a Star Wars-meets-Dukes of Hazzard original piece titled ‘Lukes of Hazzard,’ at Diddley’s Landing public pier Saturday afternoon, a BICP spokesperson said.
“We strive to stretch ourselves, take unusual risks and celebrate local talent, so when Edwin Chub showed us his original script, we jumped at it,” BICP director Doris Blenny said. “The premise is a young and an old Luke Skywalker time warp into 1980s Kentucky and race around the countryside taking on Boss Hutt and his bounty hunters.
“Their main concern, obviously, is saving Princess Daisy,” Blenny said. “We’re staging it at the public pier so we have a bigger stage to maneuver on, and to allow for a larger audience. We’re using scooters as landspeeders and big cyalume light sticks as lightsabers.”
Cast members say the roles offer new challenges.
“I’m taking two well-established characters and morphing them into something new,” said Payne Hanover, playing Uncle Obi Wan. “It’s tough creating a new character while totally respecting the old characters, but I finally got a handle on it. I know others struggled with the same creative issues.”
Cast members agreed.
“At first it was quite difficult keeping a straight face while delivering lines like, ‘Greedo! Greedo! Git them Luke boys!’” said Lee Helm, playing Sheriff JarJar. “But I immersed myself in the character during rehearsals, and now it flows quite naturally.”
The cast includes:
Hugh Calloway as Young Luke
Peachy Bottoms as Old Luke
Antonio Fletcher as Boss Hutt
Lee Helm as Sheriff JarJar
Jessie Catahoula as Deputy Greedo
Payne Hanover as Uncle Obi Wan
Alison Diesel as Princess Daisy
Cori Anders as Yoda’s Force spirit
Marina DeLow as Tusken Raiders 1 and 2
“Lee wanted to play Princess Daisy, but Alison was the only one who could really make the short-shorts work,” Blenny said. “And spirit-Yoda was a late addition—we needed a character who could talk to the audience to explain events on stage, kind of like the chorus in ancient Greek theater, or an Elizabethan aside.”
Spectators are eager to see the production.
“Doris and them never disappoint with their spring play, and they may have topped even their ‘Nudibrachs’ musical with this one,” Kitty Cottonwick said. “I love Star Wars and I love Dukes of Hazzard, so this touches two special places in my heart. Like a trip back to my childhood. I think most folks feel that way.”
Proceeds from the production will go to the small Caribbean island’s Habitat for Humanity.
The BICP will have auditions next week for their summer musical, ‘Poirots of the Caribbean.’
Sunday, March 20, 2022
Grilled burgers and French fries are now banned at bars and restaurants across the center of Blacktip Island. (photo courtesy of Famartin)
In response to a burgeoning number of clinically-obese residents, the Blacktip Island Health Authority Thursday established a ‘no-fry’ zone around many of the small Caribbean island’s restaurants and bars.
“There’s been an explosion in the number of overweight residents lately. It’s overwhelming our health system,” public health director Dr. Azul Tang said. “A lot of the obesity is due to diet and exercise. We can’t make people exercise, but we can by-God make them eat healthier.
“We banned fried food of any kind across the center of the island where most of the resorts and bars are,” Tang said. “Meals may be baked or boiled, and side dishes will be salads, fruit cups or what have you. People are squawking about it, but we’re not budging.”
The ban will be enforced via multiple methods.
“Doc Tang makes surprise visits, of course, but they’re also using webcams and mini drones,” Sand Spit bartender Cori Anders said. “There’s also cash rewards for people ratting out their friends and neighbors. It’s a scary time—no one knows who to trust. People are eating fries and chicken fingers in locked bathrooms.
“The worst are the health nuts who’ve declared themselves unofficial inspectors, with goofy sky-blue berets,” Anders said. “They see fried anything coming out of the kitchen, they’ll flat-out slap the plate out of the server’s hand. Lee Helm took a hot plate of fish and chips to the face just yesterday.”
The zone’s supporters defended their tactics.
“We’re talking about a sea change in the island’s eating habits,” activist Harry Pickett said. “It’ll hurt at first, but it’s for everyone’s good, long term. If a few diners get hit with fried food, well, they should think twice before sitting down in a food combat zone. Collateral damage is inevitable.
“They’ll soon get used to baked veggie burgers and fresh fruit. Or sautéed spinach,” Pickett said. “The restaurants should be thanking us. They’re saving a ton of money on grease and electricity, and the kitchens smell better, too.”
Many customers are not happy with the ban.
“Who the hell wants a salad and melon slices? Or mushy spinach?” Rocky Shore said. “Nobody has the right to tell me what I can eat. I didn’t eat boiled spinach in elementary school, and won’t eat it now. Blacktip’s a divemaster and construction worker island. We want divemaster and construction worker food. A burger should come with fries. Fries. And I guarantee tourists’ll stay away in droves.”
The ban has spurred an uptick in business for eateries outside the zone.
“We’ve been packed since they declared their no-fry zone,” Tail Spinner bar and grill owner Val Schrader said. “Down at the Last Ballyhoo, too. I feel bad for the resorts taking a hit, but our cash registers are ringing and we’re having to turn people away.”
The Last Ballyhoo and Tail Spinner are providing free shuttle service for resort guests desiring fried fare.
Sunday, March 13, 2022
Precipitation: Maaaybe . . .
A bollard at the edge of Blacktip Island’s Diddley’s Landing public pier, near the spot where a local fisherman claims he saw an island divemaster transform from a mermaid. (photo by Wendy Beaufort/BTT staff)
A Blacktip Island resident Wednesday accused a local scuba divemaster of being a real-life mermaid, and urged locals the woman may be a danger to the community.
“I was fishing at Diddley’s Landing when I seen M’rina just under the surface, flipping that fish tail. Scales and all,” handyman James Conlee said. “Then, when she climbed up them concrete steps, her tail just disappeared, changed right back to legs as she left the water. Damnedest thing I ever seen.
“Way I figure, nobody’s noticed before ‘cause she’s in the water every day,” Conlee said. “She don’t get in the water, she’ll start drying out and can’t control her tail. We need to lock her up on shore, wait for her to go all scaley, get to the bottom of this before anybody gets hurt. Or worse. Mermaids lure folks into the water and drown ‘em, you know.”
Some locals agreed.
“Wouldn’t be those old tales if they weren’t some truth in them,” Goldy Gobie said. “Marina, she’s not a good one to cross. And if there’s one mermaid, how many others are hiding among us, working as scuba guides? It’s time for a modern-day mermaid hunt, with torches and pitchforks, round ‘em up before they kill us in our sleep, then run off to the sea where we can’t get ‘em.”
Eagle Ray Divers divemaster Marina DeLow denied the allegations.
“A mermaid? Seriously? I was shore diving and dolphin kicked by the pier, but that doesn’t make me a mermaid,” she said. “James was rat-faced drunk, as ever, half-falling out of his chair, when I climbed out. He couldn’t have told you his own name just then.
“This is the same guy who claims he saw a platypus at the Sand Spit a few years back,” DeLow said. “And I’m in the water every day because it’s my job—it’s literally the first syllable in my job title. Oh, and if James—or anybody else—tries to tie me up, they’ll get hurt. Bad.”
Others saw the claim as a business opportunity.
“We’re hoping to get Marina to swim around the resort where the guests can see her,” Eagle Ray Cove resort owner Rich Skerritt said. “She’s not on board yet, but we know she’ll do her part to attract tourists back to the island. Failing that, I’ll have to order a mermaid tail for someone to swim around the dock with at sunset, when the light low and it’s hard to see.”
Conlee remained adamant in his claim.
“Don’t need to be sober to see the truth,” he said. “If M’rina’s not a mermaid, how come she’s got that webbing between her fingers and toes? And how come she can stay underwater for so long?”
DeLow would neither confirm nor deny the webbing allegations.