Burned cars sit outside Blacktip Island’s Marine Parks office Friday after a night of protests and counter protests sparked by a typographical error in a ‘Shark Week’ flyer. (photo courtesy of Banswalhemant)
A typographical error on a Blacktip Island Marine Parks ‘Shark Week’ flyer Wednesday led to multiple protests and a small riot on the small Caribbean island, event organizers said.
“It was a simple typo—shark with a ‘t’ instead of a ‘k’—one that obviously didn’t mean what it said, but some people took it literally,” marine parks spokesperson Val Schrader said. “Things spiraled out of control from there, but I suppose that’s the Blacktip way.
“We’ve had multiple protests outside the DoE office, demanding we cancel the event they think we’re planning,” Schrader said. “More worrisome, there’s been counter protestors attacking them, voicing support for it. And destroying property in the process. This worse than when the poetry society had its ‘poultry slam’ mix up.”
Protesters are demanding any and all events be cancelled.
“It’s all well and good to say it’s a typo, but that doesn’t address the damage it’s done. And’s still doing,” Rocky Shore said. “There’s folks who’re taking this seriously, making asses of themselves, and that creates a messy situation for everybody. Val and them need to come out with a statement saying that flyer’s wrong and telling folks to mind their manners.
“You can’t just throw something like that out there on this island,” Shore said. “I don’t understand why someone would want to celebrate something like that. Or even admit to it. But they’re coming out of the woodwork. And with Val not retracting that announcement, it begs the question of if it’s really a typo. We need to get to the bottom of this.”
Counter protesters have embraced the mix up.
“It’s genius—folks finally can celebrate being humans without feeling ashamed,” Linford Blenny said. “Most natural thing in the world, and people look at us like we’re bad people. That don’t matter, though. We’re spending this week practicing. The whole Bottoms family’s with us. Except Peachy. And Rosie.”
Other residents urged calm.
“It’s obviously an error. Come on, people, use your noggins,” Marcia Seagroves said. “No one in their right mind thinks we’d celebrate something like that. Or burn cars because of it. We’ll be picketing the picketers and the counter-picketers all week. Unless anyone decides to . . . celebrate. Then it’s every person for themself.”
Other locals had broader concerns.
“Mistake like this, makes you wonder how many other typos’re out there no one’s noticed,” Antonio Fletcher said. “Could be people all over doing things wrong and not know it. What if it’s s’posed to be ‘celebrate’ instead of ‘celibate’? Or ‘porn and beans?’ Makes you wonder, don’t it?”