slands float you know. People will tell you
that an island is really the top of a mountain
rising up from the bottom of the ocean, poking through the water. That's a
course. It's something we are told so we'll believe that the earth makes
sense. If we knew
just how senseless the earth really is, we wouldn't take things so
seriously and nothing
would get done. We'd just meander aimlessly from place to place for no
reason, frolicking happily, smiling and laughing and accomplishing nothing.
To keep us
occupied and productive, we are told all manner of fables and fanciful
tales. One of those
is about islands.
I discovered the secret of islands while standing on one of the beaches
ringing the tiny
island of Puerto Rico. Now Puerto Rico is between two large bodies of
water. On the
south is the Caribbean and on the north is the Atlantic. Puerto Rico floats
in the middle,
drifting around in a circle. You can tell because the wind blows from the
east almost all
the time. This is because there are whales on the west coast of the island
island to the east causing this breeze. As soon as the sun goes down the
whales go to
sleep and quit pushing and the island stops drifting. About this time the
dolphins on the eastern end of the island begin pushing it back the other
way. By the time
the sun comes up again, Puerto Rico is back where it was the day before.
Columbus discovered all of this when his ships got to Puerto Rico a day
sooner than he
had planned. This made him believe that Puerto Rico was a much larger
island so he
called it Cuba. He sailed on past and, on his way back, the island had
drifted again so he
got there a day later than he expected. This time he thought the island was
so he called it, St. Thomas. He left the next morning but during the night
the island had
drifted back west again so he got to back Spain a day later than he
expected and thought
he was in Italy. All the maps we now use are based on these voyages.
that there is no such island as Cuba and that Italy is really Spain but
they won't admit it.
Even now there are people who believe they are speaking Italian rather than
insist on calling western Puerto Rico, Cuba. It's all so confusing.
It wasn't until NASA sent up an astronaut that this mistake was finally
John Glen looked down and said, "What's Italy doing in the Caribbean?" The
geographer, Dr. Spindle Awry, explained Glen's observation on an LSD
flashback and the mission
was immediately aborted postponing the invasion of Cuba indefinitely. Dr.
dismissed soon thereafter. To minimize the embarrassment to NASA, the whole
was deftly misunderstood and blamed on the Italians.
Even now scientists (and geographers) continue to defend the accuracy of
their maps and
we still haven't invaded Cuba. Dr. Awry was lost at sea trying to locate
Puerto Rico and
I'm still sitting on the beach enjoying the breeze.
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