Tag Archives: Caribbean elections

Blacktip Island To Elect New Village Idiot

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The Sand Spit bar will be the sole polling location for Blacktip Island’s annual Village Idiot vote this weekend. (photo courtesy of Cori Anders) – Oct 2017

Blacktip Island residents this Saturday will choose the small Caribbean island’s 2022/23 Village Idiot, the annual event marking the end of the dog days of summer, organizers said.

“This time of year, everybody gets a little goofy,” Idiot vote organizer Lefty Wright said. “It was an unofficial title for the longest time, then we decided to formalize it, make it a kind of honor. The person with the most votes wins one get-out-of-jail-free card and a reserved seat at each of the island bars. And a t-shirt.

“Voting’s based on an individuals’ behavior over the last 12 months,” Wright said. “Emphasis is on the stupidest actions, ideas and suggestions people come up with. It’s a great way to boost everybody’s spirits during these hot days.

As ever, competition is expected to be fierce.

“Most years, the hard part’s sorting through all the options,” Wendy Beaufort said. “Honestly, half the people on this island are worthy of the title. It usually comes down to who commits the most memorable idiocies, though some winners earn the title through their entire body of work.

“Right now, Dermott Bottoms is favored to keep the title,” Beaufort said. “He has some serious competition, though: Lee Helm’s always a contender, and Linford Blenny’s making a late surge. His peeing in the wall outlet last month may have put him over the top.”

Some expect dark horse candidates to make strong showings.

“It’s a wide-open field,” Billy Ray said. “In addition to the favorites, you have Gage Hoase trying to walk across the booby pond with tennis rackets on his feet. There’s Alison Diesel who got bit hugging a shark on a dare. And Angela Fisher’s telling everybody the Nassau groupers can control people’s thoughts.”

Others were critical of the contest.

“People are celebrating others having serious mental health issues,” Helen Maples said. “Many of these people need counseling, or medication, or both. Instead they’re being lionized. I don’t know whether this island attracts the mentally unstable, or if it creates them, but we have more than our fair share. That needs to be addressed in a responsible manner, not by everyone getting falling-down drunk.”

The voting will take place at the Sand Spit bar.

“I’ll be on duty all day, making sure folks only vote once,” bartender Cori Anders said. “Last year Vinson Noboddie tried to stuff the ballot box by voting for himself five times. Luckily, his crappy handwriting gave him away.” Votes will be counted publicly at the end of the night. In the case of a tie, those with the most votes will be declared co-idiots.

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Hungry, Hungry Hippos Will Decide Blacktip Island Mayoral Race


Blacktip Island’s four mayoral candidates will compete in a Hungry, Hungry Hippos tournament Saturday to determine which two move on to next month’s general election. (photo courtesy of Dave Fischer)

In an effort to combat low voter turnout, Blacktip Island’s four mayoral candidates will face off in a game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos Sunday at the Caribbean island’s Heritage house, with the two candidates receiving the most crowd support moving on to next month’s general election.

“Last time around we only had three people vote,” election chief Wade Soote said. “That’s how we ended up with a hermit crab as mayor. So we decided to make this election a public spectacle – on Blacktip, that’s guaranteed to draw a crowd. We were gonna have a Whack-A-Mole tourney, but this seemed more dignified. And no one had a Whack-A-Mole game.

“The mayor’s got no power and really doesn’t do anything other than make the occasional speech,” Soote said. “People basically ignore him. But we’re determined to keep democracy alive and well on Blacktip. And to keep crustaceans out of public office.”

This year’s candidates include former mayor Jack Cobia, resort owner Elena Havens, activist Val Schrader and ne’er-do-well Dermott Bottoms.

Island residents supported the idea.

“Blacktippers are always up for a party, so this really isn’t as whacky as it sounds,” Alison Diesel said. “The mayor’s a stuffed shirt, and doesn’t get paid. Why not have some fun with it and bring the community together?”

Election officials have built a small arena for the expected crowd

“We’ve erected a four-sided grandstand so everyone can see the game table in the center,” election supervisor Rocky Shore said. “Fans’ll sit behind their favorite candidate, and we’ll have multiple decibel meters deployed to determine which section’s cheering loudest.

“The official game board’ll be the classic setup of Lizzie the purple hippo, Henry the orange hippo, Homer the green hippo and Harry the yellow one, though candidates can prep with any version,” Shore said. “Hippos will be assigned to candidates at random to avoid any allegations of game tampering.”

Candidates are taking different approaches to prepare for the election.

“I’ve been doing wrist exercises to increase my stamina,” Cobia said. “This hippo game ends in ties a bunch, so I’m prepping for multiple games. Like most things, it’s all in how fast you can whack that lever.”

Others employed different techniques.

“I meditate while resort guests play the game beside me, focusing on the flow of the play,” Havens said. “A mindful, steady rhythm works far better than Jack’s rabbit-on-Adderall approach.”

Officials have waived no-alcohol election day rules to allow multiple beer stalls at the game site.

“We want as many people as possible participating in this election,” Soote said. “If beer gets people to buy into the process, so be it. And alcohol’s considered a performance-enhancing drug in competitive Hungry, Hungry Hippos circles, so we’re hopeful it’ll help the candidates, too.”

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