By INIGO ‘NAUGHTY’ ZENICAZELAYA
THIS week we saw the quest for aragonite continue, the birth of yet another new political party, and the usual wheels spinning in the mud from parliament.
However, the story capturing the most attention, garnering the most headlines, and setting tongues wagging was the now infamous RBPF raid at Charms Private Lounge and Restaurant, which went viral instantly.
AT WHAT PRICE?
Anyone who knows me can attest I’ve always been a fan of lavish parties, social events, and night clubs.
Not blowing my own horn, but I was the architect for one of the most successful runs in Bahamian club history.
There wasn’t a time over my five-year run as promotion and marketing manager at the World Famous Zoo Nightclub (now Club Luna) that we didn’t have the hottest weekly parties (or biggest live concerts) with the days’ hottest artists. Not to mention the wildest Spring Break crowds and contests.
Now that’s not taking anything away from Waterloo, Cocktails and Dreams, and Bahama Boom, who more than held their own and had their fair share of good times and wild promotional events.
What existed back then was mutual respect between club owners and staff of the clubs, as mentioned earlier, and, more importantly, the industry.
We policed ourselves and held each other accountable for the sake of the industry.
I was mentored by some of the best in the business: the late Richard Bethel and Brian Aranah.
Along with Ian Waugh, Charlie Johnson, Kurt Melnachuck and Al Collie.
And I can attest that despite all of our mutual love for making money while having a good time, none of us would have tempted fate in the manner Charms did.
It’s simply not good for business overall.
There is no longevity in today’s club scene. The majority of this generation’s promoters are very repetitive in their promotions, which lack the imagination and creativity of bygone days.
That’s why I was shocked to see the Charms viral video as it unfolded.
Patrons had a mass exodus like Israelites out of Egypt; the finest “Clown Car” in all of Ringling Brothers had nothing on the continuous stream of “clowns” popping out in succession.
The majority were wearing masks to their credit, but rabble-rousing all along the way as they exited.
The RBPF did their best with crowd control as it was painfully obvious they were amid a “D Average” convention, social distancing be damned.
This whole debacle is further proof that “D Average” is alive and well in The Bahamas.
Did the fiasco in Bimini not remind the club owners, staff, and patrons of Charms, that a gathering of that magnitude might not be a wise choice.
“Money got to make” as the old-timers say, so Charms threw caution to the wind in pursuit of the almighty dollar.
I hope after dealing with the penalties, Charms continues to operate, just a lot more responsibly.
Also, I sincerely hope the patrons who attended the Bimini and Charms events, respectively, remain healthy and stay COViD free. Hopefully, they get a lot smarter after 2020 is over.
To their credit, though, our “D Average” is far better than some internationally.
For example, let’s look at Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where some old traditions – good and evil – die hard and new ones come alive.
In a strange turn of events, youngsters in America are throwing COVID-19 parties, where people with coronavirus attend in a bid to see who gets infected first.
PATIENT #1 WINS
At these parties, the attendees buy tickets, the money from which goes into a common fund—the first person confirmed by a doctor to have coronavirus after the exposure wins.
SWEET HOME ALABAMA
These now trendy “corona parties” originated in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where “D average” is also standard, factor in generations of alleged inbreeding, and you have the recipe for something extra “special”.
Tuscaloosa’s rage is inviting known infected people to attend, so others can intentionally contract the virus.
(Yes, you read that correctly)
Efforts to curb this practice, especially with the trend picking up steam, has Tuscaloosa city officials working feverishly (no pun intended) around the clock to spread awareness and break up these idiotic “corona parties”.
Tuscaloosa has also passed a mask ordinance to help curb the spread. There is an anonymous tip line to report “corona parties” and other events occurring throughout the state of Alabama.
THE NUMBERS GAME
With 12,053,210 cases in the US along with 258,195 deaths, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey commented -
“It’s time to pull out all the stops; we must curb this pandemic one way or another.”
Which translates into potential :
• Loss of Business Licence
(If the party is in a business establishment )
Instead of playing with fire on multiple levels here at home, with social distancing protocols and the “emergency rules” implemented by the competent authority and parties or large gatherings, stay at home.
Whether held in private homes, all inclusive resorts, fish fry, or a myriad of nightclubs and bars pushing the envelope concerning the land’s laws, “emergency rules” or not, is never a good idea.
BOREDOM SETTING IN
So after months of social distancing, some people are starting to run out of shows to binge, skills to learn, and chores to do.
What we could all use is a good laugh.
Here are five options of fun-filled stay-at-home activities to help you ride out this wretched pandemic with a smile or at least without being arrested or being overcome with boredom.
CHEF IT UP
You’re stuck at home, and your kitchen is calling your name.
You might not have all the ingredients you need, but don’t let that stop you. See what you can put together with the staples you have.
You could even give baking a go.
You know those sweet treats would be a hit with your family and neighbours if you want to share from a distance.
I mean, who doesn’t want to whip up a dish or two after binge-watching one of the many incarnations of Gordon Ramsey for hours on YouTube.
Speaking of YouTube, mostly everyone remains confined at home, except those who have essential jobs. You might find a celebrity chef giving a tutorial online.
Or a simple YouTube tutorial will also suffice.
Watch, learn, add your twist, and have tasty fun throughout the pandemic.
That’s right, I said it, guitar lessons.
Is there a musical instrument you’ve wanted to learn how to play?
Or an arts and craft project you’ve meant to tackle, or a professional camera lying around collecting dust?
You are at home with plenty of time on your hands, so now is the time to either pick up that forgotten hobby or start a new one. If you’ve wanted to learn how to play an instrument or find a new hobby, you could order one online and find how-to videos on YouTube.
BACK TO SCHOOL
Universities and colleges around the world have online classes you could take.
And now you have the time. It’s a win-win scenario for all.
Or how about learning a new language.
Give Duolingo or a similar app a try. You’ll be ready for an international vacation by the time this “on and off lockdown” is lifted. Forget Florida!
Backyard farming is a great way to cut down on the essential groceries you need to pick up at the store.
It also can be very therapeutic during this stressful time.
You don’t have to dig up your backyard to plant the seeds. There are ways to grow vegetables and herbs inside.
Get a backyard farming kit for free from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Backyard Farming Programme and get your “green thumb” started right away.
VIRTUAL HAPPY HOUR
At some point, you must have known I would ensure “libations” would be a part of the equation.
Now is not the time to hole up and be anti-social!
Our mental health still needs to be social with others; you might have to do it virtually.
Get a group chat going or, better yet, have a virtual happy hour with friends. Pour yourself a glass of your favourite adult beverage and hop on a Zoom call with your besties.
This connection will likely bring out all the laughs, and laughter is some of the best medicine right now.
Additionally, if ever you wanted to see what your friends look like when they “drunk dial” you, here’s your golden opportunity.
There will be no need for a designated driver.
And most importantly, the RBPF won’t raid your domicile or establishment looking to shut you down.
Now, if you get all “kapunkle up” “carrying on bad” and your neighbours call 511, that’s all on you. Be forewarned.
So bottoms up, here’s to a fun-filled, responsible, safe, and most importantly, socially distant weekend.