We were told this morning that there had been a
shark attack at the Baths (don't know exactly when), but the details were pretty
sketchy (person had their feet hanging over the back of the boat). Did you
hear anything about this or is it just a big teethed rumor?
Well, I haven't been able to find any truth to it
yet. Could be or could not be. Quite honestly, rumors abound of this very thing
every few months. It seems that anytime anyone is touched by anything in the
water they didn't see, then it was reported as a shark attack.
Besides it's more sensational.Who wants to say a teeny tiny fish came up and
bumped my toe and I screamed my fool head off?
Feet hanging over the back of the boat is the
common denominator. Who are all these people that hang their feet off the back
of the boat? Do their feet stink like fresh tasty fish and therefore
attract the sharks? Or do their feet smell so awful, that the sharks think
they are dead and come for the clean up?
This same story seems to be repeated often, though
the bay keeps changing. I know if you have bright red toe nails that you
park on land too close to hungry iguanas, they come over to see if the red toe
nails are tasty berries! Fortuitously, iguanas are vegetarians! So
once they REALIZE the red toe nails are not vegetable, they scurry off. This
usually happens even quicker, when someone screams like bloody hell after having
an iguana do a slight taste nibble. So far no one has lost any toe nails
Fish will nibble and big sharks will go after big
prey. The waters in the Virgin Islands tend to be pretty clear. Of course
if the victim had been into the rum bottle, his thinking may not have been too
clear. I think I would have noticed if a large shark was approaching, given the
natural clarity of the water in most places. Of course, our waters are crowded
now, sad to say. So perhaps the clarity isn't as good as the good ol' days when
you could see to the bottom in waters of 50 feet or less.
Our government wants to bring in as many tourists
as possible until our cup runneth over! Sailboats are presumed to be less
polluting, but their engines still put fourth dirty waters. And we won't
even talk about what the heads dump over (that's toilets for your landlubbers).
Now that the big cruise ships are pumping their engine coolants through our
waters, well we have all sorts of engine polluting going on around here now.
Building is moving forth at an unprecedented rate,
the run off from hastily cut roads and lots leveled and cut into hills for
building, is dumping silt into our once crystal clear Caribbean Sea at an
The fishermen seem eager to grab every last fish
before the proposed golf course run off at Beef Island kills what's left of
them. The crazy thing about the golf course is that grass is NOT a natural
element in the BVI. Loads and loads of chemicals are going to be used to keep
the greens perfect. And when that runs off into the fishing
Maybe we are already over fished and large prey is
coming closer inland to look for food from the humans. A few weeks back there
was a reported bull shark attack at Apple Bay upon a surfer. No one saw it, but
it's just speculation based on the surfer's injuries to his body and board.
Gosh I sound depressing today.
I hope the golfers out there don't pelt me with
golf balls, but Myrtle Beach in South Carolina has over 300 golf courses to
choose from. Grass grows a heck of a lot easier in SC I guess. Couldn't the
golfers just go there instead?
Mark Twain said it, I didn't "Golf ruins
a nice walk."
On a funny note, I was living near a golf course
once. I was minding my own business on a lazy Sunday morning when
three men stopped by my house. It was this time of year, and spring had arrived
and the day was perfect, not too cold, not too hot. Everything smelled fresh and
flowers were in bloom throughout my gardens. I was flattered, none the less, to
have three male visitors who all seemed very happy and smiling, as if I had
made their day perfect.
However, they were merely desperate for a fourth
in golf. Considering I had only played putt putt on astro turf, I figured these
guys were scraping the bottom of the barrel, to come ask ME.
Much to their surprise and delight, I agreed and
hopped in the car with them. We played 18 rounds and I was the lucky loser. So
my dinner was free. Afterwards, they drove me home and I dug around my jacket
for my keys and guess what. No house keys. Hmm, I firmly locked the dead bolts
when I left for golf, so I definitely had keys...
The car owner walked back to his car and searched
it, turning up 22 cents.
We were sitting around my shady porch
debating what to do. Breaking into my house was going to be really messy. I had
a porch swing and two of us swung on it while the other two sat in the glider
and slowly swung back and fourth. This was an old fashioned porch.
Cell phones hadn't been invented yet.
My car keys were on the house key chain, so I
couldn't just volunteer to drive myself back out to the golf course and look for
them. It was getting dark. I tried to shoo my friends off, that my
roommate would come home at some point and let me in. The cat was outside
with me. The dog was inside, wondering why on earth we didn't just open the door
and walk in and let her out.
Lo and behold my roommate drives up, a
musician who had just come from a long trip from his mom's Sunday
dinner and now he was going to dress for his show that night. He had some time
to kill and he pulls up a rocking chair and starts chatting with us.
We talk about his show, our golf and the pleasant
weather. Through the glass front doors, we could see my doggy, who had finally
gave up on us fools, and had climbed back under the big coffee table to nap.
Hearing my roommate talk, she climbs out from under the table and stands at the
glass doors, wagging her tail furiously but not barking. She wasn't a barker.
Only barked once if a stranger came to the door. Otherwise, if the door bell
rang, she would run for the door, stare at you and just wag her tail
and stand there until a human came to let you in.
If she didn't know you, she would let
out one bark and sit down and study the stranger(s) until I arrived.
One of the guys boasted to the other three, that I
could just whip out my pistol and shoot the window out and crawl in, which had
everyone laughing except my roommate. He didn't know the story. So my friends
and I took turns telling him that I was infamous for having
a whole police team surround my house one night when I had shot my
window out with a pistol.
It's not generally something you want to mention
to a potential roommate. So I had been remiss in omitting this strange fact. I
often wandered if that is why the neighbors weren't overly friendly to me.
Did you know it's illegal in the city limits to
shoot out your window with a gun and bullet at 3am? I
didn't know that until I was informed that fateful night.
It was late one night, and I was living alone with
my new little puppy and two cats. I woke up, my doggy was a little puppy then
and was as scared as I was as we heard some one creeping up my back steps. I
don't know what woke me up, but I could distinctly here the slow methodical foot
Considering I had a tall fence and a locked gate
protecting my back steps and garden, I KNEW, this wasn't someone friendly,
stopping by for coffee. Not at 3am.
I tip toed across my bedroom, through an open
French door, to the over padded carpet in the sun room
that stuck out back across, from the stairway, on the second floor.
I was looking at his back as he slowly climbed my back steps. It was
cold and all my windows were firmly shut and locked. The embers from the
fireplace in my bedroom crackled slightly. I could see his shadow but he
couldn't see me. If I opened the window, then he would hear me. When
I woke up, I had grabbed my pistol, because something seemed very wrong and I
had no idea what had scared me so bad, that I woke up with a start. I
guess his creepy footsteps had invaded my dreams and warned me. He took another
step, ever so slowly, and ever so softly, but the steps were 100 year old wood
and I could hear the soft foot fall. I was shaking all over but I took a very
slow deep breath and held it. I took aim about an inch above his
head, and pulled the trigger with all my might.
I wasn't prepared for the noise of shooting a gun
off in a tiny glassed in room. The window shattered into a zillion pieces.
My ears were ringing. As I ran to turn on all the lights above the steps and in
the garden, I heard the man fall down the steps and it was quite loud. A big
thump bump twump thwap and he was groaning.
I didn't mean to kill him, I just wanted to scare
him away. My heart was racing, as I watched the heap at the bottom of the steps
leap up and dash away at 90 miles an hour. He tried to leap the tall fence and
part of his clothes ripped on it, but he scrambled right on over, leaving a
tattered piece of his shirt on the fence and he was gone in the night.
The neighborhood dogs were howling and
barking. I shook from head to toe and put my pistol away. I grabbed my
little puppy and we sat on the water bed, both of us trembling. The cool
air rushed in from the destroyed window. This fanned the fire, which suddenly
blazed up, startling me and puppy. I debated how best to fix the window at this
odd hour. I was wide awake, there would be no more sleeping for me that night.
The way that man ran, I didn't think he would
exactly be back anytime soon. I felt safe but still scared out of my mind. I
didn't think to call the cops. No crime had been committed. I merely just scared
away an unwanted intruder. I thought I had bought into a safe neighborhood. But
I hadn't been there long, and I lived alone in a big house. I made a mental note
to rent out my spare bedrooms, so there would be more people coming and going
and less likely to attract an intruder at night. I looked at my little puppy I
was clutching and willed her to grow up in a hurry and help protect me.
The neighborhood dogs quieted down and then
suddenly sprang to life again. My heart stopped, could he have come back?
I hear foot steps all around my house and by now I am frantic with fright and I
grab my pistol and I have the puppy in one arm and the pistol in another and I
am shaking all over.
Then over a bull horn comes a booming voice "This
is the police! We have you surrounded! Come out with your hands
I put the pistol away and slowly walk down the
hallway with my puppy in my arms. I enter the living room and I can see bright
flashlights aimed through the glass front doors. The booming voice
says "Put your hands up!" So I put my hands up, with the puppy wiggling
away. I didn't think to put him down.
"Now open the door and come out!"
I put my hands down and the voice yells "Put your
Finally they figure it out. I can't open the door
with my hands up in the air and a squiggly puppy whimpering away in one of them.
I open the door and a rush of blue uniforms grab
me and pull me outside and start firing questions at me. Who else was in the
house? Who shot the gun? Who shot who and why? Where is the
gun and where is the body? Convinced I truly might be alone as I
claimed, they ran through the house with guns drawn and found the shattered
They finally shut up and let me explain and point
out the tattered shirt on the tall fence out back. They looked at my pistol,
took the remaining bullets out, then put them back in again. They set the
pistol down. They told me the neighbors called and said someone was shooting out
the windows and fighting. I guess the neighbors threw in the fighting to make it
more sensational. By now, the whole neighborhood was lit up. I guess my gun
shot and the cops arriving had woke them all up.
"Wasn't much of a gun fight. " I commented.
The cops thought this uproariously funny.
They told me it was illegal to discharge a firearm
in the city limits and I gravely apologized. I was mortified and embarrassed. I
had a great job and something like this, being arrested for discharging a
firearm, having a one bullet gun fight at 3am, well that might not go over too
well at the office. I wanted to call an attorney. I was just so glad I
hadn't killed anybody but still I was scared. They asked me how I knew I didn't
kill anybody and I said "Dead people don't run that
fast!" I know that sounds awfully dumb now, but I was in a state of
shock. They laughed at that, like I was some comedian entertaining the
They told me to relax and they finally all left
after calling in the situation over the radios. They left my pistol on the
dining room table. I made coffee. Fed the cat, stoked the fire, taped
cardboard over the shattered window. I sat and stared at the fire and
cuddled my puppy.
An hour later, the doorbell rang and the
police were back. It was still dark outside, but I had every light, every
lamp, every spot light, turned on. They have a man in their car. His shirt is
ripped. It matches the shirt on my fence. They tell me not only is the shirt a
perfect match, but the man had a gun in his pocket and they had to search
him with gloved hands because the man was so stinky. Apparently, the
gun shot scared the you know what out of him and his bluejeans were smelly
and brown. They found him quite a ways from my home, stumbling down
the street in a daze. They actually laugh about it. At the time, I stood
there frozen. Nothing seemed very funny to me.
Then they offered up what they called "the best
part!" Not only was his hair parted on the right, but it was also parted
right down the middle of his head. The bullet had whizzed by so fast and so
close to his scalp, that his short stiff hair had flattened right out and stuck
to his scalp. They joke about searching for a hairy bullet. Ironically,
the bullet was never found. A mystery to this day. I used to look for it myself
now and then, the remaining years I spent in that house. I used to wander my
yard, looking for it, checking the trees at that height, and so on.
Retelling this, had my roommate laughing and
giggling. He gets up to let the dog out and of course the door is locked. So he
turns around and asks "Why is the door locked?" "What happened to the
man? Did you have to testify? Did you have to identify those smelly
jeans?" Everyone laughs. (Why is this so
Well, I waited until about 6am, then I called an
attorney I knew. Called him at home. Told him the whole sordid tale. At
first he sounds so serious and when I get to the part about the torn shirt and
brown bluejeans, and the extra part in the man's hair, he roars with laughter.
Why is this so funny?
Another day goes by and the attorney
calls me back. He informs me the man has confessed to
trespassing and possession of a concealed weapon. He has promised the judge his
life of crime is over but the judge was planning to sentence him to some prison
time later in the week. The lawyer was laughing the whole time, (why is this so
funny?) He says the cops told the guy that his odoriferous blue jeans in
their unaltered brown state, along with his none-to-clean lumpy undies, would be
trotted out and presented at his trial as evidence along with the torn shirt,
the fence and the weapon he was carrying and the "best part"
His mug shot of the bullet's path through his hair.
No one bothered to tell him I couldn't
identify him. It was dark. I could just identify the form. It is forever
blazoned into my memory.
I asked the attorney to get me a copy of his mug
shot. I wanted to see who I had shot at. I remember the picture well. The
man looks terrified. His hair is parted neatly on the side, and it's also
flattened in a neat row, right down the middle of his head. It does look
like a bullet went right through his hair.
I lived in that house 7 more years, and never shot
out another window. But my neighbors always referred to me as the crazy lady who
shot out her windows. (It was only one, but plural sounds more
I never played golf again