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Blacktip Island Sees Surprise Crypticcurrency Boom

crypticcurrency

Detritus and abstract concepts have replaced physical currency among many Blacktip Island residents. (photo by Wendy Beaufort/Blacktip Times)

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.”

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Wednesday! Yay!

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Blacktip Island’s ‘Quarantine House’ Becomes A Reality Show

quarantine house

Residents confined to Blacktip Island’s quarantine facility are the subjects of a new pay-per-view reality show. (photo courtesy of Wendy Beaufort)

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.

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Blacktip Island Quarantiners Create Zoom Jigsaw Sessions

quarantine jigsaw

Blacktip Island residents home-quarantined due to positive COVID tests have banded together to do identical beer-label jigsaw puzzles in online group sessions. (photo courtesy of Wendy Beaufort)

Blacktip Island residents trapped in home quarantine this week created an online forum to simultaneously complete a communal jigsaw puzzle in real time, forum organizers said.

“There’s a shipload of Blacktippers testing positive for COVID, symptoms or no,” Kay Valve said. “We’re all stuck in our houses for two weeks, bored out of our minds and looking for something—anything—to do. Wendy Beaufort mentioned doing jigsaw puzzles, and the lightbulb went off. We may be isolated, but we can still do things together.

“Peachy at the store had a stack of identical ‘beers of the world’ jigsaw puzzles she got shipped by mistake, so she donated one to each person who’s been quarantined,” Valve said. “It’s been a sanity saver. And what’s more appropriate on Blacktip than a beer puzzle? We can all sort out puzzle pieces while we drink beer. What else are we going to do?”

Group members praised the sense of connectivity puzzling brings.

“We were all going bug-nutty trapped alone at home,” Jack Wrasse said. “The group started with Kay and Wendy on a Facetime call, then, when they realized how many people were quarantined, Kay created a Zoom room where we could all work on the same puzzle at the same time. Mentally, that’s huge.

“It’s not the same as being together in person, but at least there’s interaction,” Cobia said. “It creates a sense of community while we’re all stuck inside.”

Some noted a competitive turn to the puzzle solving.

“It started as a social thing, sure, but cooped-up folks can get belligerent,” Gage Hoase said. “Especially with their nerves on edge thinking they might have The Vid. Started with Sally Port and Lee helm racing to see who could put together the Heineken label first. Next thing we knew there were six, seven people all trying to get it first.

“We had to end the call once obscenities started flying in four different languages,” Hoase said. “There’s still puzzlers in the group who won’t talk to each other. And Lee’s set a real Heineken bottle on his puzzle table, just to rub it in.”

Others praised the competition.

“It lifts peoples’ spirits, the arguing and the oneupsmanship,” Stoney MacAdam said. “There’s no real violence or hard feelings, just a bunch of jawing. So far. And there’s usually multiple beers on the line for each puzzle piece, so it gets pretty heated.”

Island authorities encouraged the sessions.

“It keeps people occupied and in their homes, when, before, they might have been tempted to break quarantine,” public-health nurse Marissa Graysby said. “Also, when they’re in the Zoom room, I know right where they are. Anybody goes missing, I call the constable straight away.

“The big worry now is Peachy’s store’ll run out of beer,” Graysby said. “Beer consumption’s gone up 15, 20 percent in the last week, and if folks run out of beer, they’re likely to go roaming the island looking for more and start an uncontrolled virus outbreak.”

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Blacktip Island Business Releases ‘G-oprene’ Anti-5G Scuba Hoods

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The ‘G-oprene’ anti-5G wetsuit hood is the latest technical breakthrough developed and marketed by Blacktip Island dive equipment manufacturer Bamboo You. (photo courtesy of Peter Southwood)


Blacktip Island scuba equipment manufacturer Bamboo You this week launched a line of enhanced neoprene scuba hoods designed to block the effects of 5G transmissions above and below the water, the company’s owner said.

“With everybody wound up about these 5G waves zapping their brains, we decided to seize the opportunity to make scuba diving safer for everyone,” Bamboo You founder Piers “Doc” Plank said. “We put a layer of stretchable titanium-and-manganese webbing between layers of neoprene. That suppresses any harmful high-frequency electromagnetic fields.

“This isn’t some whack-a-doo, tinfoil-lined cap craziness,” Plank said. “Foil only protects up to 3Gs. G-oprene blocks everything. University tests proved it. And combined with our G-oprene masks, it’ll block COVID, too.”

Local scuba divers praised the hoods.

“Folks laugh, but the hoods work,” Chrissy Graysby said. “Since I started diving with G-oprene, I can concentrate better and don’t panic during dives like I used to. On the boat, my head’d buzz whenever anybody’d pull out a cell phone. Now the voices have stopped. The fish can talk to me, too. I can’t talk back, of course, but still . . .”

Others stressed the hoods functioned when not diving.

“I wear mine all day, even at meals,” Rocky Shore said. “Used to be, I’d hear music buzzing through my teeth. Show tunes. Always damn show tunes. You can only hear ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ so many times before you go bug-nutty. Now, wearing the hood, I finally got some P-and-Q.

“Your head sweats a good bit, and the smell’s pretty ripe at the end of the day, but it’s worth it,” Shore said. “My wife’s not a fan, but, bottom line, it’s not any more pungent than a nice Époisses cheese. The main drawback’s it makes me hungry. But it does pair well with a young Côte de Beaune.”

Some local divers remained skeptical.

“I’m not buying into that nonsense,” Nelson Seagroves said. “You look the damn fool. And are out several hundred quid. From what I’ve seen, they actually do quite the opposite of what Doc claims—they make people crazier by bouncing all their brain energy back at them. Or not, depending on the person and their brain. Or lack thereof.”

Island retailers have embraced the new hood technology.

“I don’t give a damn if they work, so long as they sell,” Eagle Ray Cove resort owner Rich Skerritt said. “And they’re flying off the shelves. Are they goofy looking? Sure. That’s how fashion crazes start. Give it a year or two and folks’ll be wearing ‘em everywhere.

Some islanders, meanwhile, saw more nefarious uses for the hoods. “Hostile foreign powers co-opted Doc years ago,” government watchdog Wade Soote said. “Got to be an idiot not to see he’s totally compromised. The Cubans’re using him and his gizmos to control peoples’ thoughts. Turn us into communists. Or socialists. Or whatever the bad people who aren’t like us are.”

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The Last Dolphins of 2021, Headed for the New Pier . . . er . . . Year

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Blacktip Island Weather

sunday dec 26

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Temperature: 86

Humidity 68%

Precipitation – Not a chance

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Nativity Battle Over Baby Jesus Erupts Between Blacktip Island Churches

nativity battle

Baby Jesus, currently in the Nativity display at Blacktip Island’s Interdenominational Baptist Church, is at the heart of multiple fights between the small island’s religious factions. (photo courtesy of Jerrod Ephesians)

Ownership of a Baby Jesus figurine in Blacktip Island Nativity displays this week exploded into multiple physical altercations between members of the small Caribbean island’s two Christian churches, church spokespeople said.

“It started with the Protestants stealing Baby Jesus from our outdoor Nativity scene and putting Him in theirs,” Our Lady of Blacktip’s Father Audley Crossblesser said. “Somebody swiped Him one night, bold as brass, and the next morning He was in their Nativity. We took Him right back, and the two congregations’ve been snatching Him back and forth like clockwork ever since. Last night we thought Dermott Bottoms was guarding our Nativity, but it turns out he was just passed out in the bushes and we lost Jesus again.

“There were fisticuffs at both Nativity scenes this morning,” Crossblesser said. “Those Baptists’re sneaky—they dress up like our parishioners, and even tried to buy some of us off. We walloped every one of ‘em we could find, though, and excommunicated all the traitors in our midst. Now we just need to get Jesus back. We got volunteers with lionfish spears planning a raid, but I can’t say more than that.”

Protestant church members disputed the claim.

“That figurine’s part of our Nativity. Always has been,” Blacktip Interdenominational Baptist Church’s Reverend Pierre Grunt said. “When we were unwrapping the figures this year, little Jesus was missing. Then, lo and behold, it turns up in Our Lady’s Nativity. Damn right we took it back. And smote the thieves in the process.

“This morning we wrapped in a bare, 220-volt wire around Baby Jesus to zap any would-be manger robbers,” Grunt said. “Lee Helm tried to snatch it around sunrise, and the current knocked him six feet across the parking lot. Serves him right, the filthy little Jesuit. They’ll need rubber gloves and gum-soled boots to steal Jesus this time. If they get past our congregants with broom handles.”

The island’s Ecumenical Council urged peace from both sides.

“It shouldn’t need to be said, but none of this is in the spirit of the season,” the former Reverend Jerrod Ephesians, council president, said. “Big picture, it’s a time for hope and for rebirth archetypes—Mary and Jesus, Isis and Horus, that kind of thing—not religious gang fights. We’re urging both sides to share Jesus until a replacement can be found. An empty manger’s a bad visual. Theologically, the message there’s pretty bleak.”

Others in the community want to eliminate the Nativities altogether.

“Those little statues’re graven idols, dude. That’s a big no-no,” Alison Diesel said. “And coveting a graven idol of Jesus? That’s fourth- or fifth-level of Hell stuff. Plus, Baby Jesus electrocuting people’s over the top even for this island. Fun as hell to watch, but over the top.

“People need to skip the bogus dioramas, chill and enjoy the season,” Diesel said. “Do a double shot of eggnog and watch the holiday movie of your choice. Or not. Just don’t be an a-hole or electrocute anyone.”

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Happy Holidays From The Dolphins!

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Blacktip Island Weather

sunday dec 19

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Temperature: 84

Humidity 66%

Precipitation – Not today, Satan

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