“The Last Days of St. John: Easter Sunday Sinking Feeling?”

By Billy Phibbs

“The Last Days of St. John: Easter Sunday Sinking Feeling?”

The Virgin Islands has survived for hundreds of years on a solid foundation of community based ethics, cultural beliefs and strength amidst a myriad of past disasters and a storied history of social indecencies and difficult times. More recently, Hurricanes Irma and Maria left a scar that many still bear, an emotional trauma that caused some to leave but made others grow stronger, further supplanting their roots deep into the same soil their families and ancestors built, suffered and eventually thrived upon.

This past year brought many new hurdles. Invisible airborne enemies laid waste to the economy and left a society built on neighborly interactions trapped inside their homes for many months. The advent of the vaccine has given everyone that calls the islands home a bit of “Hope”. Unfortunately, as we all know, “Hope” can sometimes bring further degrees of disappointing expectations.

Last month a picture was posted that caused quite a bit of turmoil amongst many readers. The unknown location was a picturesque stock photo of a shoreline, pulled from recent archives to highlight the editorial Spring Break with a Vengeance. After an onslaught of opinions and arguing, people began to ask where in fact this alleged imaginary location was on St.John?

Truth is, no one knew where it was taken…

That is, until now, and the result has caused widespread panic.

This deliberation of the unknown location hit social media with a thunderclap of responses. It was not until members of the geological sciences world stepped in that the fateful detailing of this conundrum was unmasked.

Yes the photo was in fact taken on St. John and the reason why this area was unable to be verified was mind blowing…

St. John is sinking.

Heavyweights from the Geological Science department from the University of Phoenix (online) jumped on this breaking news and quickly stormed St. John with their tape measures, pocket pencil protectors and safari hats, digging right in to the matter.

The community was in disbelief when it was determined that the picture was taken by a drone hovering over the illustrious gated community known as Ditleff Point. Home owners whose villas are located on this lavish peninsula were in shock, none of which noticed the quickly creeping shorelines.

Villa Marea, a large, sprawling residence located on the very edge of Ditleff Point had disappeared altogether. When asked about the impromptu vanishing, many answered that they thought it was under renovation. A rather creative Ditleff resident named Nathan (7 years old) said he heard they were renaming the villa Atlantis and in the underwater construction process of “making the most radical snorkeling bed and breakfast ever created”.

I was able to catch up with the University of Phoenix (online) geological team leader, Dr. Clarence B. Dimwitty, who detailed the event as having a catastrophic conclusion.

“It’s kind of like when you get in an elevator and see the sign that says ‘Maximum Weight Capacity’ and you look around and start estimating everyone’s weight. You realize you are cutting it kind of close, then walks in Larry from accounting whose gastrointestinal band surgery didn’t work out and your hopes for going up begin to sink, rapidly” said Dimwitty, one of the leading investigative scientists behind the sinking city of Venice, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the bankruptcy of the Little Caesars Pizza chain.

Dr. Dimwitty believes that the lack of openly available travel destinations due to the Covid pandemic around the world has funneled such an influx of tourism to St. John that the tiny island cannot bear the weight of their massive migration any longer.

He morbidly joked with his colleagues stating St. John is “one family reunion getaway from sunk!”

This sparked further outrage in the community. Some argued it was from all the new building being done by uncaring outside investors and other business entrepreneurs. Others, needing a reason to further instill their vicious opposition of mask wearing, said that the addition of cotton face coverings to everyone’s daily attire was the cause, claiming when it rains, cotton becomes heavy and is weighing down the island. Others argued the masks are preventing the release of “hot air” while breathing, making people explosive as well. This carried on for hours until masks were re-identified as the “devil in disguise” (pun intended).

Strangely enough, residents of Coral Bay Area were quite calm. Many of the Coral Bay conspiracy theorists believe the Earth is flat. Sinking would only cause us to reappear on the underside of the world map, a momentary inconvenience that could bring about new horizons and benefits of a new location out of the hurricane alley we currently reside in.

To prepare, many began outfitting their homes for the event they are calling “The Big Upside Downer”, anchoring furniture, prized possessions and loved ones to the ceilings in their homes for an easy transition

Many businesses have found this dire declaration to be a golden opportunity to increase their previously plummeting bottom lines.

Dinghy sales and scuba certification courses are up over 100%.

The real estate community has driven their prices up well over estimated values on all properties, stating that all of the homes that they are currently brokering are “soon to be prime beachfront real estate”.

Airfares have risen and flight industry moguls like Spirit airlines have coined new catch phrases to make this dramatic moment more appealing. Slogans like “Don’t Miss your chance for one last glance at Paradise!” and “Don’t miss St. John’s last sunset… ever!”

Kevin Costner is still alive and has stopped production on Field of Dreams 2: Outside the Lines. He is now penning a sequel to his grossly expensive 1995 box office mishap Waterworld, to be shot on location in St. John as the last days of the island disappear into the turquoise sea of the Caribbean.

Though the news is shocking, people here in St. John are forging forward, choosing to take the high road even while staring into the eyes of calamity.

Easter is just around the corner and the community is looking forward to celebrating in the now somewhat safer, vaccinated, and still mask abiding atmosphere that they have been striving for and for the most part, have attained.

Dr. Dimwitty did mention that Easter may be the proverbial D-Day of sorts for St. John, although. He believes that the Easter rock might be the tipping point for the islands dwindling above water days. Legend says that the night before Easter Sunday, this giant rock rolls down to the water for a drink, returning before sunrise, yet appearing wet with evidence of its nocturnal beverage binging.

The rolling of this land mass down to the water’s edge will cause a major shift in the already bursting occupancy of the island and most likely be the pale grey-granite horse of demise for the once buoyant and beautiful Island.

St. John has truly seen it all, and this Easter will be more significant than any Easter ever before (well other than the original Easter, that was pretty monumental) for it will most likely be the last.

Dimwitty and his cohorts pleaded with the community to flee or at the very least cease the high season tourist invasion. His somewhat educated guesses and pages of spreadsheets proving his sinking theories did not invoke the fear he had hoped. The close knit community of St. Johnians scoffed at his morose implications and bid him farewell.

The very spirit of St. John is it’s knack for perseverance. People here have withstood the test of time for ages, no sense side stepping danger now!  April is a time for rebirth and growth. Whether or not this yearly molting is to come by hell or high water (literally), we will stand, united and knee deep in the salty sea and celebrate the privilege we have of perhaps being the last St. Johnians the Earth will ever see.

So come one, come all and help us sink this ship together while searching for painted Easter eggs and sipping on painkillers! Come to St. John for its last call as an earthly geological location! Grab the family, some floatation devices and reef safe sunscreen and let’s kick in the spring with some super saturated fun in the sun.

You would truly be an ‘April fool’ to miss this once (most likely last) in a lifetime event!

Easter Sunday 2021 is truly going to be one for the history books.

About the Author: Phibbs is a Rutgers Graduate originally hailing from NJ. He now lives in St. John with his island wife Cory Emerson and Renfield.his nefarious cat. An English Major during college and an avid dabbler in the black art of creative writing over the last 20 years, Billy and Cory also run a grocery provisioning service, Landlubber Logistics. Having spawned this service amidst the Covid 19 pandemic, it was designed to help community members and flourished into a luxury service for villas. Using social media as his platform, he seeks to educate himself as well as adventurers to all the magic St. John has to offer…and bring them groceries.Lani Gering

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