Tag Archives: Ecumenical Council

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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Island Landfill Preps For Holiday Gift Dump

Blacktip Island Ecumenical Council volunteers ready the pit for Saturday’s gift return.

Blacktip Island Ecumenical Council volunteers ready the pit for Saturday’s gift return.

Blacktip Island residents have their unwanted Christmas gifts bundled for Saturday evening’s Easter Eve gift dump at the island’s landfill. The event was introduced more than two decades ago to foster goodwill among the Caribbean Island’s small population.

“Everybody gets crap they don’t want during the holidays,” said the former-Reverend Jerrod Ephesians, head of the island’s Ecumenical Council. “In the real word, you can return the stuff, sell it or just throw it away. This island’s nothing like the real world, though.

“Returns aren’t an option. If you sell or re-gift, word gets around. Throw it away? People pick through that dump all the time. That’s when things go to hell.”

“Back in ’91 or so it got so bad half the island nearly killed the other half,” longtime resident Reg Gurnard said. “I didn’t go outside until May Day.”

“Started with Dermott Bottoms giving Billy Ray a pink mermaid table lamp cut from a scuba cylinder,” Eagle Ray Divers operations manager Ger Latner said. “God-awful thing. Billy’s wife, Lucille, chucked it. Clete Horn spied it in the dump, had seen Dermott with a lamp just like it before Christmas, and tried to sell it to Dermott, thinking Dermott’d want a matching set.

“Dermott beat the tar out of Clete for thieving, then beat the tar out of Billy for being an SOB. Then Lucille beat king hell out of Dermott. Friends and family got involved, and by the end of the week the clinic was out of bandages and sutures. Had to send the Home Guard over from Tiperon to stop the feuding.”

As a solution, the island’s Ecumenical Council instituted an Easter Eve no-questions-asked, blind gift-dump.

“We dig a big pit at the edge of the landfill,” the former-Reverend Ephesians said. “As soon as it’s full dark, people are free to throw their unwanted holiday gifts in. Then, just before first light, we have blindfolded volunteers backfill the pit with bulldozers so no one ever knows what all was buried.

“It’s done in the spirit of forgiveness and atonement,” Ephesians said. “It really binds the community together. Plus, it gives folks a four-month cooling-off period to make sure they really don’t like a gift.”

“The gift dump makes Easter morning a joyous time for everyone, whether they’re religious or not,” Reg Gurnard said. “Soon as those diesel engines crank to life and dirt starts tumbling, all the guilt and remorse of the past three months just evaporates. You feel reborn.”

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