Tag Archives: humor

Blacktip Island Dump Opens Auto Parts Department

car parts at dump

Blacktip Island’s public health officials have created a salvage-friendly zone for trashed vehicles at the Caribbean island’s landfill. (photo courtesy of Stoney Macadam/DPH)

Blacktip Island’s Department of Public Health this week announced it has cleared a new area in the Caribbean island’s garbage dump dedicated to salvaging auto parts, DPH officials said.

“We used to stack junk vehicles any which way we could,” DPH chief Stoney Macadam said. “Folks were free to snag parts off them, but a lot of times you couldn’t get to you needed in the jumble.

“There was enough demand, so we’re lining up incoming junk cars to let folks access them easier,” Macadam said. “This helps people and gets junk out of the dump. It’s win-win, really.”

Local experts praised the move.

“Stoney’s done the island a favor with this,” government watchdog Wade Soote said. “The new parts section’s essentially a salvage yard. That makes reusing and recycling easy and benefits everyone.”

“And kudos for not charging a parts fee,” Soote said. “People already call the dump Home Depot. Now it’s Pep Boys, too. And still a bargain.”

Residents agreed.

“I been trying to find the right Jeep radiator cap for weeks,” Christa Goby said. “There was a Jeep there, but buried at the bottom of the pile. I couldn’t get at it. The parts store on Tiperon wanted a bloody fortune for a new cap. I’ve been biking to work.

“Now, with cars lined up all nice and neat, I grabbed the cap I needed just this morning,” Goby said. “My Jeep’s back in action for the first time in weeks.”

Some businesses objected to the move.

“People using second-hand parts instead of new ones creates a major auto safety situation,” Tiperon Auto Parts owner Harry Blenny said. “Vehicles with derelict parts won’t pass their annual inspection. I’ll bet. Cousin Quinn does the inspections over there, and he’ll be looking for that sort of thing. And Cousin Rosie in the legislature’s drafting a law against it.”

Other residents raised safety concerns about the new area.

“Getting cut by rusty metal’s always a hazard, but folks need to watch out for iguanas, too,” Ernestine Bass said. “They like to laze on the hot metal and can be damned territorial. Got one hell of a bite yesterday trying to pull an alternator.”

Still others praised the area’s unforeseen leisure opportunities.

“The dump’s always been a fun place to take the family, but now it’s educational, too,” Ginger Bass said. “We can take the kiddos there to teach them about engines and auto mechanics and how to work a stick shift.

“We’re packing a picnic lunch Saturday and’ll make a day of it,” Bass said. “The little ones are so excited.”

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean

Blacktip Island Divemasters To Stage Lizzie Borden Snorkeling Tribute

Lizzie Borden

Several of the hand axes that will be used in Saturday afternoon’s performance of Don’t Ax Me Again—The Lizzie Borden Story, an original two-act play by local divemaster Alison Diesel. (photo courtesy of Magnolia677)

Dive staff from all Blacktip Island’s resorts will don snorkel gear Saturday afternoon to perform Don’t Ax Me Again—The Lizzie Borden Story in the Eagle Ray Divers pool to raise money for a local charity.

“A hundred years later people are still debating what happened,” videographer Leigh Shore said. “There was a damn-near fight among dive staff at happy hour over who the actual ax murderer had been. Then a few days later, Alison Diesel’d written a two-act play about it. We all got together to stage the thing since the Community Players wouldn’t touch it.

“We’re performing it in the pool so as many people as possible could see it first hand,” Shore said. “The snorkeling gear will really engage the diving audience. We were going to do it on scuba, but this seemed less cliché. And it’s surprisingly easy to understand lines spoken through snorkels.”

The production posed several challenges for the actors.

“It’s totally a period piece, but there’s no 1890s gear on the island,” divemaster Alison Diesel said. “Each actor ended up making their own costume. It’s amazing what you can do with neoprene, and the fin de siècle touches on the masks and snorkels is awesome.

“It also took some practice swinging an ax convincingly in a crowed swimming pool without actually hurting anyone,” Diesel said. “The handle gets slippery. The first rehearsal I lost my grip, the ax went flying and broke four pool tiles. Rich Skerritt’s pretty hacked off about that.”

The performance will feature:

Alison Diesel as Lizzie Borden

Gage Hoase as Andrew Borden

Leigh Shore as Abigail Borden

Marina DeLow as John Morse

Booger Bottoms as Maggie Sullivan

Finn Kiick as Dr. Owen Seabury

Some in the community questioned the play’s appropriateness.

“The subject’s in bad taste, and the staging is inappropriate,” resident Frank Maples said. “Bad taste and inappropriate are de rigueur on Blacktip, but still, there’s a certain gravitas one would hope for. We’ll see if the actors convey that in the live performance.

“The big worry, though, is it may give locals crazy ideas,” Maples said. “That’s the last thing Blacktip needs. Though Alison assures me it is for a good cause.”

Diesel said the money raised will go to charity.

“All proceeds go to the Divemaster Retirement Fund, minus what we keep for expenses,” she said. “We’re also asking for donations to help pay for the broken pool tiles.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean, Scuba Diving

Giant Vacuum Keeps Blacktip Island Chickens In Check

chicken shucker

Blacktip resident Piers ‘Doc’ Planck has modified a beach-cleanup vacuum device to remove nuisance, feral chickens from the around the Caribbean island’s resorts. (photo courtesy of ‘Doc’ Planck)

A Blacktip Island entrepreneur launched a controversial plan Wednesday to control the Caribbean island’s burgeoning feral chicken population by vacuuming them up with a tractor-mounted suction device.

“Island roosters used to be quaint, crowing down by the air strip, but now they’ve spread down to the whole west coast,” island mayor Jack Cobia said. “They’re a major pain in the butt, crowing non stop all night at the resorts.

“They’re keeping tourists awake and crapping on everything,” Cobia said. “Guests’re telling their friends and Blacktip’s visitor numbers are dropping. Doc’s solution’s a bit extreme, but these damn chickens created an extreme problem.”

Island resident Piers ‘Doc’ Planck said the device siphons up the birds, reduces them to a fine meal and deposits them in barrels towed behind the device.

“We tried nets, traps, slingshots, you name it. Nothing worked,” he said. “We’re using a modified version of the gizmo that sucks seaweed off the beach, with a nozzle adjusted for medium to large jungle fowl. I’m calling it the Chicken Shucker.

“I wanted something that’d wring their necks and pluck them so we could sell the meat to restaurants,” Planck said. “Then the plucker attachment malfunctioned and ground them up instead, and I thought, ‘well, that still solves the problem.’ Death’s instant and humane, and we sell the meal as fertilizer and fish bait.”

Animal rights activists decried the device.

“This monstrosity is neither kind nor humane,” island People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals president Harry Pickett said. “Doc’s chasing chickens through the brush with a giant vacuum, then running them through a wood chipper. Their last moments are sheer terror.

“We have a fenced-in sanctuary at the south end of the island to house nuisance chickens, and we have humane, live-capture traps set up around all the resorts to capture them,” Pickett said. “Grinding up chickens is not the answer. And what about all the land crabs and iguanas sucked up as by-catch?”

Planck brushed aside those concerns.

“Occasionally we do end up sucking in non-chicken wildlife, be it a crab or songbird or what have you,” he said. “We train our staff extensively on how to avoid that kind of thing, to keep it to a minimum. But with a project this big, you have to expect some ancillary losses.

“That’s a small price to pay compared to what a boost the Chicken Shucker is to the island economy. You have to focus on the big picture,” Planck said. “Also, truth be told, after the first few chickens, you start to kind of enjoy it.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean

Blacktip Island Bar-Goers Plan Nocturnal Platypus Hunt

P2050874.JPG – Version 2

Two Blacktip Island residents hope a Friday night hunt will prove their claims of a platypus living in the mangrove tangles behind the Caribbean island’s Sand Spit bar. (photo courtesy of Cori Anders)

Two Blacktip Island drinking aficionados will stage a nocturnal platypus hunt Friday at midnight behind the Sand Spit bar to prove their claimed platypus sightings are neither a hoax nor alcohol-induced hallucinations.

“Tired of folks doubting us, laughing at us,” handyman Dermott Bottoms said. “Me and James Conlee, we seen the platypus a bunch of times. Comes out of the mangroves late at night. Usually Friday, Saturday, sometimes Sunday. Came over on a shipping container, like as not, like green iguanas do.

“Wander down there to pee, you got a good chance to see it swimming around,” Bottoms said. “It moves real quiet, and is real shy, but it’s by-God a platypus. Got the duck bill, the beaver tail, everything. Only way to stop folks making fun of us is to catch it, and that’s what we’re gonna do.”

Conlee said their plan relies on participation of other Sand Spit patrons.

“We got some big nets we set up on either side of the Spit,” he said. “One end anchored to the shore, the other strung out wide on long poles. As soon as we get a sighting, people’ll wade out with the nets in big semi-circles and surround it.

“Gonna get some beaters, too, to chase it into the nets,” Conlee said. “We got it all worked out. Once we catch it, we’ll take it to the university so they can make it official. Then we’ll laugh at the laughers.”

Tiperon University-Blacktip officials are dubious about the reports.

“The university will have no part of this,” TU-B chancellor Donna Requin said. “There is no way a venomous mammal indigenous to eastern Australia migrated to Blacktip Island. And there is zero chance a platypus survived months inside a shipping container, undetected through multiple container repackings, to land here.

“You think it’s a coincidence the only people who’ve seen this thing are Dermott and James?” Requin said. “Who only see it late at night, at the bar where they’ve been drinking all evening? The only thing swimming behind the Sand Spit is their rum-fuelled imaginations.”

Some residents say they plan to attend the hunt, whether there is an actual platypus or not.

“Not much happens on Blacktip, so this’ll be something fun to be a part of,” resident Gage Hoase said. “The biggest worry is James or Dermott might actually catch a platypus and get envenomated. They probably wouldn’t feel it after all the booze they down, but still. Platypus or no, it’ll be a laugh to get out there with the nets.”

Requin agreed.

“They won’t catch a platypus, but if a bunch of drunks is going to wade out with giant nets, there’s no way I’m missing that kind of comic gold,” she said. “I’ll bring Marissa from the clinic, too. There’s bound to be a near-drowning or two, or someone’ll step on a stingray, and they’ll need someone medical on hand.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean

Conspiracy Theories Scuttle Blacktip Island Recycling Program

recycling program

A plan to ship recyclable items from the Blacktip Island dump to mainland processing centers met unexpected opposition from island residents this week. (photo courtesy of Catalina Luxfer)

A proposed island-wide recycling program stalled this week due to vocal opposition from island residents convinced the program was a plot to destroy the island’s culture and heritage.

“Blacktip’s a tiny island drowning in garbage, and this plan addressed that,” environmentalist Catalina Luxfer said. “The dump’s the highest point on the island now, and the beaches are clogged with plastic. The clock’s ticking.

“We worked out a deal with local shipping companies to haul recyclables off island to mainland facilities,” Luxfer said. “It’s the first step in making Blacktip completely green and sustainable. Then came these protests and, frankly, I’m still trying to make sense of what they’re protesting.”

Opponents claim program organizers are hiding darker motives.

“Cat’s people are Big Island profiteers who want is to kill our Blacktip traditions,” Ginger Bass said. “Browsing through the dump for that perfect item is a great Saturday outing for the whole family. It’s our way of life. They want to ship our culture, our heritage off-island, like they did on Tiperon years ago.

“We’ll have to buy new items, from them, instead of repurposing what we find at the dump,” Bass said. “This is just a sneaky way to line their pockets by stealing from ours and calling it a sustainable something or other.”

Others saw a more sinister plot.

“Catalina and them want to increase pollution worldwide,” Antonio Fletcher said. “They’re just using the ‘green’ cover so people here’ll go along with it. Recycling centers burn more fossil fuel. So does a tugboat to haul stuff away. Everybody knows that.

“The recycling industry hurts the environment, long term, you know,” Fletcher said. “They’re secretly part of the global anti-environmentalist plot. And what happens to the dump workers they put out of work?”

Luxfer denied those claims.

“There’s no conspiracy. No secret plots with the global recycling Illuminati,” she said. “This is an Occam’s Razor moment. The answer with the fewest assumptions is true: we just want to help the island and everyone on it.

“On a speck of land this small, it’s crazy not to recycle as much as possible,” Luxfer said. “The Blacktip can only hold so much. Throwing everything in the dump will bite us in the butt. Soon. Also, ‘Blacktip Island culture’ is an oxymoron.”

The island’s business leaders were dubious.

“They’re creating a solution where there’s no problem,” Eagle Ray Cove resort owner Rich Skerritt said. “Cat’s just grandstanding. She can take that green, global hippie crap back to the mainland where she got it. Blacktip’s not that kind of island. And never will be. Unless I get a slice of the profits.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean

Facial Recognition System Will Protect Blacktip Island Reefs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Blacktip Island marine parks authorities have installed facial-recognition cameras like this one on the Caribbean island’s dive sites in an effort to reduce scuba diver-caused coral damage. (photo courtesy of Nick Hobgood)

Concerned with increasing diver damage to Blacktip Island reefs, authorities have installed facial-recognition cameras, disguised as coral heads, throughout the island’s dive sites to identify the most egregious offenders.

“The coral on some of our most popular dive sites is wiped out from so many divers with crap buoyancy,” marine parks spokesperson Val Schrader said. “We’ve tried being nice. We’ve tried educating people. Now we’re getting ugly.

“There’s not enough dive staff, or marine park staff, to patrol the reefs, so we’ve installed hidden cameras,” Schrader said. “Whenever someone crashes into coral, we’ll be able to track them down and take appropriate action.”

Authorities say punishment for damaging coral will be stiffened as well.

“In addition to the fines already in place, we’ll be posting violators’ names and faces on our website,” Department of Tourism head Rocky Shore said. “We’re going for an all-out, island-wide full-court press. Naming and shaming’s an integral part of that.

“Additionally, we can move the camera housings from site to site,” Shore said. “Dive staff will be able to spot them, but tourists down for the week will never know. They’ll have to assume they’re under surveillance the entire time they’re under water.”

Many scuba diving visitors raised concerns about the program.

“This is a serious invasion of privacy,” Bill Fisch said. “They say it’s to protect the coral, but who gets all that data they’re collecting on every diver, and who are they selling it to later?

“Plus, how can divers relax and unwind is they know they’re being spied on?” Fisch said. “I’m gonna get fined and insulted time my fin brushes a sea plume?”

Others supported the plan.

“If it protects the coral, I’m all for it,” longtime island visitor Suzy Souccup said. “Plus, it’s fun to watch divers striking poses underwater, as if there’s a camera in every coral head. The guy who mooned the brain coral, though, I could have done without that.”

Park officials were quick to defend the program.

“Divers waive some of their privacy rights when they enter the marine park,” Schrader said. “That’s stated quite clearly on every dive operation’s waiver. And we’re only concerned with major reef crashers.

“You put out a fingertip to keep surge from slamming you into coral, no worries,” Schrader said. “We’re going after the yahoos who crawl across the reef, drag their gauges over it, kick the crap out of sea fans or stand on coral. We expect this to be a major revenue enhancer.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean, Scuba Diving

Underwater Gift Shop Comes To Blacktip Island

underwater gift shop

Eagle Ray Cove resort staff will vacuum seal retail merchandise in plastic wrap to stock the resort’s new underwater gift shop, believed to be the first of its kind in the Caribbean. (photo by Wendy Beaufort/Blacktip Times staff)

A Blacktip Island resort owner will open the Caribbean’s first underwater gift shop this Sunday in an effort to increase the resort’s profile in the scuba industry.

“We’re creating a new revenue stream and boosting the outfit’s visibility,” Eagle Ray Cove owner Rich Skerritt said. “We already got our topside gift shop, and world of a new, submerged one’ll get around quick. It also lets us tap into visitors from all the resorts, not just The Cove.

“We’re aiming at the impulse buyers, the kind of folks who wander through Wal-Mart picking up crap they don’t really need,” Skerritt said. “Whether it’s a coffee mug or paperweight or what have you, they’ll pay good money to say they bought it underwater. We’re not just selling tchotchkes, we’re selling the experience.”

The store, on the sand flats off Didley’s Landing public pier, will be manned by Eagle Ray Divers staff.

“Our divemasters’ll stock the place every morning, then break it down after the last dive boat docks in the evenings,” ERD operations manager Ger Latner said. “We’ll only staff it when boats are nearby, and rotate DMs through so no one takes on too much nitrogen, though we may staff it all day if it proves popular with shore divers.

“We vacuum seal the products in plastic, like food for the freezer, along with fishing weights to make sure nothing floats away,” Latner said. “People can tap their credit card or charge it to their room. Cash is welcome, too, but we don’t make change.”

Island visitors embraced the concept.

“It has everything you can get in a terrestrial gift shop, only better,” Earnestine Bass said. “So what if the t-shirt’s a little damp? It’ll dry.

“I’m staying an extra day just so I can be at the grand opening,” Bass said. “I’ll be able to take my friends gifts from underwater. How do you get more unique than that?”

Island environmentalists raised concerns.

“This is crass abuse of an incredibly-fragile ecosystem,” activist Harry Pickett said. “There’s already plenty of shiesse shops on shore that don’t damage coral or disturb aquatic wildlife.

“And there’s the issue of people unwrapping purchases underwater and letting the plastic wrapping float away,” Pickett said. “The last thing we need is more plastic on the reefs or washing up on the beach.”

Skerritt shrugged off those concerns.

“Harry and the scuba hippies need to see the bigger picture,” he said. “We’re offering guests a new service. That’ll bring more people to Blacktip, and that benefits everyone. A rising tide lifts all boats, and a little dinged-up coral’s a small price to pay for that.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean, Scuba Diving