Tag Archives: humor
Video from Thursday afternoon of what two Blacktip Island residents claim was the mythical Manta Claus bringing Christmas gifts to island residents. (video courtesy of Linford Blenny)
A pair of Blacktip Island residents fishing from shore Christmas Eve recorded video of what they claim was Manta Claus on his way to deliver holiday gifts to islanders.
“It was almost dusk when me and ‘Tonio seen a commotion in the water just off the dock,” Linford Blenny said. “It was something big, flapping its wings. Pretty sure it had a red cap and a bag full of toys, too. I pulled out my phone right quick and got footage to prove it.”
Blenny’s companion confirmed the sighting.
“The fish stopped biting, there was a sparkle in the air and a tingle down my spine,” Antonio Fletcher said. “Knew something important was gonna happen out there. Could feel it down deep. Then BAM! there was Manta Claus flapping in the sea, just like the stories say.
“With Santa not being able to come to Blacktip this year ‘cause of the COVID quarantine, we knew Manta Claus would come early, doing double duty,” Fletcher said. “For years folks been saying he’s a myth. Well, now we got proof. This isn’t Dermott saying he saw a platypus behind the Sand Spit. We got by-God video.”
Many islanders welcomed the news.
“This was shaping up to be a rough Christmas for the kiddos, big and small, what with Santa being banned,” Chrissy Graysby said. “Word about Manta Claus spread around the island like you wouldn’t believe. It’s the happiest I’ve seen people in months.”
Others questioned the sighting.
“It’s a great island myth—the manta ray who brings goodies to good scuba divers, and dead lionfish to ones with crap buoyancy,” Jay Valve said. “This story picked up everyone’s spirits, but there’s no evidence this was anything but a normal, everyday manta ray.
Some brushed aside such criticism.
“If Jay wants to be a Scrooge, that’s fine, but he shouldn’t spoil the holiday for the rest of us,” Christa Goby said. “Besides, if you don’t really believe in Manta Claus, he won’t slip under your door and leave you any presents anyway. You just wait and see. “How do you think presents get to a tropical island, some old man in a fur coat and his reindeer?” Goby said. “Please. It’s Manta Claus and his eagle ray helpers who fill kids’ stockings and eat the conch fritters we leave out for him. Santa handles the gifts north of here, and Manta covers us from the West Pole.”
Blacktip Island holiday parade organizers are hoping this year’s all-inclusive theme will attract more than the one car that participated in last year’s Christmas parade. (photo by Wendy Beaufort/BTT staff)
Blacktip Island will host a cross-denominational holiday parade Saturday afternoon, celebrating the multiple religions with holidays in December island residents will be observing, organizers said.
“We started out planning the annual Christmas parade, but then a hullaballoo broke out between members of different religions,” Blacktip Island Ecumenical Council president Jerrod Ephesians said. “Folks wanted us to include Hanukkah, Kwanza, Pancha Ganapati, Yule, Chalica and a bunch of others I can’t remember.
“The compromise solution was to have a generic ‘holiday’ parade,” Ephesians said. “It didn’t make everybody happy, but at least it shut some people up. Mostly. This year, deck your float out any damn way you please and get in the spirit of the holiday of your choice.”
Residents welcomed the compromise.
“For a while it looked like there’d be no parade,” Chrissy Graysby said. “It’s wonderful it’s back on, whatever the theme, given all that’s happened this year. People need a pick-me-up, and a parade, no matter how small, will do just that.
“The name of the holiday doesn’t matter much to me,” Graysby said. “I just like to watch all the flashing lights and hear the music. And the kiddos love to see the floats go past, even if it only takes a minute or two.”
Organizers were unsure how large the parade would be.
“Right now, it’s slated to have three cars, but there may be more. Probably will be, depending on holiday drinking,” Kay Valve said. “There’s always last-minute additions, and people joining the parade after it starts. Usually yahoos on scooters, but last year Dermott Bottoms cut in with the construction haul truck. Didn’t even realize he was in a parade, he was that toasted.
“The Blacktip Haven float will be totally non-religious,” Valve said. “Elena Havens read ‘ecumenical’ as ‘ecological,’ and by the time she realized, it was too late for a re-do, so they’re doing a Save Our Mother Ocean float. There’s also rumors the pagans are doing a Mōdraniht float, but we’ll see if they show up so close to Solstice.”
Others were vocal in their support.
“The all-inclusive theme’s just what this island needs to pull folks together,” Rocky Shore said. “No one’s excluded. And there’s no war on Christmas, just on a-holes. We’re encouraging everybody to respond to whatever holiday greeting they get with, ‘thanks, you too.’ Xmas, Xmas Xmas! That’s right, I said it!”
The parade will be followed by other cross-denominational festivities, Ephesians said. “There’ll be beach Yule fires, plus food and drinks for everyone afterward,” he said. “We’ll have eight fires roaring between Club Scuba Doo and the Sand Spit bar as a kind-of implied menorah, to cover as many bases as possible. Guests are free to view the fires religiously or non-religiously, depending on their personal preference. Either way, we want folks to have a good time. And over-indulgers are welcome to crash in the resort’s hammocks.”
Blacktip Island author Tim W. Jackson this week was named an award finalist in the American Book Fest’s 2020 Best Book Awards for his latest humor novel, The Secret of Rosalita Flats.
“It’s an honor to have my novel selected as one of the top books of the year,” Jackson said. “Looking at the other finalists, Rosalita Flats is in great company. It’s been getting great reviews, but I’m happy to receive this kind of recognition, too.”
Island residents were appreciative of the award.
“I think it’s great, him writing so much, and being publicly rewarded for it,” divemaster Alison Diesel said. “Anything that keeps him busy, off the streets and out of the bars is a plus!”
Others were less unimpressed.
“Don’t see the point of him getting an award for writing all those lies about us,” handyman Antonio Fletcher said. “It just encourages him to tell more. Dermott Bottoms is out hunting him down right now, gonna smack some respect into him after he called Dermott a mersquatch.”
The Secret of Rosalita Flats, the second Blacktip Island novel, is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Rosalita-Flats-Blacktip-Island-ebook/dp/B08BQCH6TJ ; Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-secret-of-rosalita-flats/id1520444924?id=1520444924&ign-itsct=books_toolbox&ign-itscg=30200 ; Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1029342 ; and Jackson’s website: http://www.timwjackson.com/
A Blacktip Island rooster collided with a passing motor scooter Thursday, causing an accident that closed the island’s road for nearly an hour. “There’s still no indication why the chicken crossed the road at that time,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. (photo courtesy of jaybergesen)
A collision between a feral chicken and a motor scooter Thursday afternoon near the Blacktip Island airfield closed one of the island’s two roads for more than an hour, creating the small Caribbean island’s first traffic delay, island officials said.
“Fatty Bottoms was northbound on his scooter, delivering a meal to the Seagroves up on the north end,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “Just past the store, a large rooster darted across the road and collided with Fatty, resulting in a wrecked scooter and food going everywhere.
“I had to block the road while Marissa from the medical clinic made sure Fatty was OK,” Marquette said. “Folks were upset about having to go the long way around the island to get home, but Fatty’s health came first. He got away with just some minor scrapes. The rooster lost some feathers, but otherwise seemed fine.”
Bottoms said the rooster appeared out of nowhere.
“All I know is I was cruising along, making sure the mango pie didn’t dump sideways in the bag, when WHAM! I took a chicken upside my head and down I went,” he said. “By the time I finished spitting out feathers, the rooster was gone, and there was pie and rice-and-beans and grilled mahi all over the road.”
Residents say the accident is part of a growing poultry problem on the island.
“These chickens are getting to be a constant hazard,” Helen Maples said. “The Environment Health Department culled numerous of feral cats six months ago, and there’s been an explosion in the chicken population since then.
“They’re getting brazen, as if they own the island,” Maples said. “Until now it’s been stealing food, defecating on porches and pecking up cars. But now one of those large roosters actually attacked someone. Something needs to be done about this.”
Others were more alarmed by the trend.
“That one red rooster by the air strip’s been out on the road there a lot lately, staring folks down, daring them to try to get past him,” Linford Blenny said. “That’s a red flag. The chickens’re up to something. With no tourists on island there’s less food waste around. They’re getting hungry. And desperate. Need to ship in some more feral cats, is what I think.”
The island’s constable called for calm.
“There is zero evidence this incident was purposeful on the part of the rooster,” Marquette said. “And the island’s chickens are not plotting any organized uprising.
“We are, however, urging island residents to exercise caution in dealing with chickens in the near future. Don’t leave food out, be aware of your surroundings and, if you must drive with your windows down, please wear a motorcycle helmet. There’s still no indication why the chicken crossed the road at that time.”