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How sandy is your butt?

Posted by Sista Irie 
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How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 12:52PM
I just returned from a few weeks in Jamaica. I have been visiting for thirty years and watched the evolution of tourism and all the good and bad that comes from it. I know this will not be a popular post but please keep an open mind. This is for all the people who love Jamaica, it's culture, and care about the people. There is a little place in front of Caribbean Delight where I sometimes swim. It is located between Negril Gardens and Merrill's I and it is not nearly as congested as some of the other spots on the beach. I was really stunned on this trip at how many cigarette butts are now in the beautiful sand of Negril Beach. I have been travelling to Negril since the seventies and watched the sand go from pristine to brimming with bottle caps and cigarette butts.

Every morning I would go to this one spot on the beach and pick up hundreds of cigarette butts. Some were even down on the water's edge. Then, during the day, as I sat in my chair reading, I would look up and see vacationer's on both sides flicking their butts into the sand as they got up to go into the water.

I imagine some of these people would never throw a plastic cup down, and many probably recycle at home, but there seems to be a feeling that cigarette butts are not litter. I work for the American Cancer Society and know there are more than one hundred chemicals added to tobacco to make a cigarette. I also know that butts do not easily decompose. Not to mention the sand is becoming one big ashtray. The number of butts is truly frightening and one day the beach will look like a cigarette dump. I think the attitude may also be that the hotels pick them up. They do not. They rake them into a hole in the sand where they sit until decomposition, often right near the water's edge.

Please, I beg everyone who smokes to please consider that this habit is contributing to the degradation of the beach, not to mention the toxins from the cigarettes going into the sand and water. I hope everyone who reads this and believes in their right to smoke, will not get defensive, but to reconsider how they dispose of their cigarettes when on the beach. Negril has been known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. In the seventies, you could almost never find a cigarette butt on the beach. I hope more awareness can bring the original beauty back to Negril beach. Even better, spend about ten minutes of your vacation and pick up as many butts as you can. Just watch out because there are also used condoms laying in the sand.

The only sandy butt should be the one you are sitting on.

Post Edited (05-10-06 05:55)

"love shines brighter than the morning sun"
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 01:55PM
Sister I, I'm looking forward to meeting yuh face-to-face in Boonville, and
yeah, Negril has changed as it keeps on doing the tourist bizness.
Remember Mrs. Brown's? She was a lovely lady, and who knows how many folks
back in the day got their roast fish(or mushroom tea) from her maternal hands?
Mrs. Brown passed on in the 90s. Her daughters I hear are in the States and doing well. The sons operate a shop up the road, just out of Negril on the road going
to Sheffield....

The convenience Negril offers for quick stays can't be argued, but I must admit
I only pass thru there the past 15 years rather quickly, unless there's a show some night worth catching. As country folk say, 'too fussy'.
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 05:03PM
Yes, Sista Irie, my wife an I are always kinda amazed at the extent of the smoking in Negril and the Caribbean. Where else can you see cigarette vendors with a big clear plastic bag on their head full of packs walking down the beach chanting..."Cigarettes". And of course, Merrills I and II and Legends, the center of it all, with all those Euros puffing away, trying to induce lung cancer...not a pretty scene indeed; And like you said, especially and most importantly the litter...If they want to be dumb and ruin their health, let em, but dont litter and spoil the beach. Its pretty disgusting and one area where America is way ahead of the Euros.
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 06:25PM
Blessings, Papa Ray. Let's make sure to meet at SNWMF. I have my hotel reservations but have not sent for the actual SNWMF tickets. I better do so before they are sold out!

If I didn't have a home in Negril, I probably would spend less and less time in that part of the country. For those of us who experienced the old NEgril days (I was one of the recipients of Miss Brown's mushrooms during the seventies until I realized I got the same high without the mushrooms..lol), Negril has gone from adventure travel to a Cancun knock off. I remember when Negril was as inexpensive as Mexico and on this last trip I noticed a breakfast of two eggs, toast and coffee for $8 American. If I did not have a house there, with kitchen, I could not afford Negril.

The show at Western Consciousness, the real reason I was there, was well worth the time. I plan to post some photos in the near future. Freddy McGregor, Judy Mowatt, Tarrus Riley, Barrington Levy were some of my favorites altho the whole line-up was good. Fantan did a good job and made up for the previous year's antics. The venue was muddy and because of the rain, there were stinging ants that climbed up your leg as fast as lightening, but I can't say I am sorry I went. Something about walking through brown squishy mud to get to a smelly port a potty (the backstage one at that) seemed gross but I guess that is par for the course. I had to get some of the artists to give me a hand to cross the mud bath ponds as I walked through the area. They were real gentlemen.

"love shines brighter than the morning sun"
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 06:27PM
Rhythmwize, the biggest irony of all is that Jamaican cigarettes are called 'Craven.' I just read the book "Thank you for smoking." That did not improve my already rabid dislike of the tobacco industry.

"love shines brighter than the morning sun"
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 08:07PM
i refrained from saying anything before but i think i will now: i think negril should be left to the tourists and hold the line at that. kind of like lake tahoe in california/nevada: used to be a beautiful place but now so overdeveloped and crowded that its a lost cause. garbage everywhere. hike 10 miles into desolation valley and its pure people all the way in and back...and these people dont seem to even understand that you shouldnt just throw your burger king wrappers wherever you stand. i see these "save lake tahoe" and wonder why bother...just try to hold the tourists there and not let the blight spread further. last time i was in negril was 92 and that was just for a day because a friend i was with wanted to visit one of her friends who lived there, but even back then it seemed way too touristo for me. those tourists should stay in their all inclusive and smoke their cigarettes there but its too late for that. i know if i had property there i would probably feel a more vested interest in making the place nice again but like cancun, you cannot go back home because "home" just doesnt exist anymore.

one love
jah bill
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 08:25PM
nuff nuff other corners in Jamaica nice, and feel good knowing people can
get employment during the season.
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 08:32PM
Great post! I do fisheries habitat surveys in the North Bay in the spring and summer months and am seriously appauled by the amount of crap (including butts) that I see on a daily basis. It makes me sick. In many places we can not even do our snorkel surveys because the water has very hign E.Coli levels. I aint sticking my face in that water (usually near homeless encampments along creeks). I say it is never too late to change someone's mind, or to restore a once pristine system. Giving up on a lake, creek, or river is not only irresponsible, but ecologically crazy! That is a shame about Negril or other places that have become dumps for the rich and irresponsible in Jamaica. I second the notion presented by sis irie. I dont spread my butt on your toilet, so please don't through your butts where we swim. If you pack it in, pack it out Bitches (only to those that do not tred lightly)........
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 08:43PM
"Negril has gone from adventure travel to a Cancun knock off"

Just an off topic thought, but the above statement pretty much sums up Reggae On the River for me and my wife. :-)

Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 08:47PM
Actually, I like Negril in spite of the tourists which of course I am one. I was there last April which was essentially just after Spring Break and it was not crowded with tourists, in fact, it looked to me, and talking to locals, that business is not very good these days. They tell me that Spring Break was kinda a bust except for one week...I think the Aruba thingy scared alot of them away, or at least scared their parents who probably pay for the trip.

I've been all over the Caribbean, some 15 different islands, and Negril has one of the best beaches...If you stay down at the far West end of the beach you are pretty much away from the puffing Euro tourists and the people you meet there are pretty cool for the most part. Travellers is a good place to stay for a mostly Jamaican or Caribbean atmosphere and patrons. I'd be willing to bet Negril is the only place in the Caribbean with nightly live Reggae music on the beach as well as a whole host of beach bars bumping the sounds and a very liberal live and let live atmosphere and vibe. Please inform me of another place in Jamaica or the Caribbean with those attributes and I will be there too check it out.

For those into Reggae and visiting Jamaica for the first time, I would recommend that they visit Negril. Its safe, still relatively cheap, and its a fun place.
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 09:23PM
i - as a smoker(i know)i have always been concious of not litering and always try to encourge smokers to do the same.its really not that hard~ an empty water bottle with a little water left in it works great any where you go. next time you see a smoker throwing their butts all over gods green earth- please speak up and let it be known that its not ok to do that~ever~
one love-juan love
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 09:24PM
Took a country bus out to Negril during spring break many years ago. Bunch of rich E Coast hippies & college kids who could afford better than Ft. Lauderdale were laying about the beaches smoking and blasting Grateful Dead tapes on their boomboxes. Hustlers were on me like white on rice, offering ganj, coke, punany etc along with the usual brass jewelry stamped '24K'...worse than even MoBay, and that was saying a lot...I walked around a bit, then grabbed the first bus back out of town...
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 09:27PM
jah bill's post reminds me of a man I was involved with for many years. He was a big edward abbey fan and when we talked about the environment he said something along the lines of why he thought trash along the highways were ok...he said the highways kept most people off the beautiful back roads and therefore the trash stayed on the superhighway. In some ways that makes sense. Keep those suckers in one place.

On the other hand, sometimes I think cigarette smokers have a conscience but maybe do not have a consciousness concerning butts and litter. In my own little way I hoped reminding them that BUTTS are LITTER would encourage them to become more courteous in their disposal of their own little bundle of toxic waste.

Perhaps this is just another one of my idealistic views of the world that may not be based on reality.

As far as Negril. It definitely has it's pluses and minuses. I totally agree it is still one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I still have a really good time there but it definitely ain't what it used to be. I also agree, there are many other spots on the island that are still representative of what attracted me to that wonderful little island in the seventies.

Here is Miss Doretta, a long time beach resident, taking a power nap with her chicken and puss. The chicken is on a long leash if you look carefully.

Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 10:09PM
Where's Zoki - he's the expert...
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 10:16PM
Stamina sey: Hustlers were on me like white on rice, offering ganj, coke, punany etc along with the usual brass jewelry stamped '24K'...worse than even MoBay, and that was saying a lot...

haha...yeah, for years I never went to Negril because i had heard about all the horror stories of how bad the hustlers were there. So, I finally went about 5 years ago and the hustlers were a little annoying but nothing like the stories I had heard and between then and this year most of them seem to be pretty much gone now. It would appear that police have really cracked down and maybe you also have to have a permit now to vend on the beach. Sis Irie, can you comment on this?

Also, I noticed that first year that after you have been there for a few days and dont buy anything they recognize you and leave you alone. Of course, you can still get pretty much anything you want, you just have to ASK the right person which is the way it should be. I mean, like people coming up and asking older conservative looking couples if they want to buy some ganja or coke is just plain wrong and very bad for the tourist industry and the islands image. I hope they have run guys like that outta Negril but I have noticed they are still around in Ocho Rios to some degree.

Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 10:38PM
I have witnessed a series of rise and fall patterns over the years concerning the degree of hustling. I definitely agree after you are seen for a few days, the hustling backs off. I rarely have anyone bother me and I am not sure why because some of the hustlers have not been around long enough to know me.

There are certainly a few hustlers who are ruder than necessary and they can make you feel like everyone is as out of order as they are when in fact most people legitimately ask if you need aloe, fruits, patties, etc and can easily take no for an answer. If the beach could get rid of the rotten apples, I think the rest of the sellers are very manageable. Personally, if I were an herb smoker, I would never buy it from someone on the beach. It's better to take a little time to get to know some people or get a reference from someone about who to do that kind of business with.

I also think how one carries themself and how you interact with people will determine how some will treat you. I have to admit that a few people who stop me on the beach don't end up selling me anything and I have often benefitted from having some really great conversations.

This past trip there was this young rasta guy on the beach selling aloe. When I said I didn't need any, he cut off a big piece and said, "yes, you do. you looked burned. take this and be sure to use it" and off he walked. He never asked for a penny. I saw him the next day and handed him a $100J (equals about $1.50 A) because I was so grateful. He smiled and took it while cutting off another big chunk and said, you need some more!

"love shines brighter than the morning sun"
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 10:54PM
I live near lake tahoe Bill and those comments kind of smarted a little bit. I still think Tahoe is a beautiful place. i'm sure it has lost a little with all the development but there are plenty of places in the area that are beautiful and not infested with garbage, tourists or tourists garbage. i've only been here for about 7 years but i have seen a ton of growth in those 7 years. not to mention insane growth in Sac, bay area and Reno. The lake is 3-4 hours from what- 10 million people. Hard to keep them away.
the main problem is that there are too many people everywhere. it's really too much for me to get my arms around in one post or discussion. i've seen too many friends and good people leave this area because they can't afford to live here anymore or at least purchase a house. we do have people coming through the woodwork to plunk down money on a second home. alot of the communities on the Lake are just empty houses in the slower seasons. at the same time you have people selling there houses here for mega profit and then moving to reno or the bay. alot of those people are now finding out that they want to come back but can no longer afford to.
i love california but one day i may have to escape before the entire state just explodes. there is a premium now on just about any place to live in cali- even places that i think suck. at some point the young folks are going to have to make a mass exodus- unless they are rich. i can't even handle all the fools in Socal. makes tahoe look like Mayberry.

i have no idea what my point is.
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 10:57PM
...Don't even get me started on the plight of the Tahoe Basin, as a longtime resident its crazy the things I see tourists (gapers) do. Despolation wilderness is the worst of this, you can be ten miles deep and run into more jackasses from San francisco (I'm sorry, but its true) smoking and drinking along the trail and tossing everything left and right. Luckily this year no one will be hiking back in there until after the fourth of july because as of May 10'th there is between 15-20 feet of snow above 8000 feet. So, if you care about Tahoe, Negril, or anywhere else on Earth, please put those butts, cans, bottles, plastic bags, food wrappers, etc... in a bag and pack them out to the nearest trash can. Thank you and enjoy the Earth!

Respect Same Way
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 11:24PM
A few years back my husband and I hiked down the Grand Canyon to the Havasupai Reservation. We left a 4 a.m. from the top (the hottest temps of the day are 118 degrees in Aug when we were there). There are no roads. The only way to get there is to hike, take a helicopter or ride a horse. We chose to hike. The experience was one of those lifetime memories starting out in the dark and watching the sun come up and radiate on the tall canyon rocks. There was not much water other than what we carried until we got within maybe an hour of the reservation. What we did see clearly after the sun came up was the litter of plastic water bottle thrown by hikers carelessly all along the the hiking paths. I was shocked into complete embarrassment. No wonder the Havasupai have never allowed roads to be built into their homeland. The reservation itself was spotless. When we hiked with one of our tribal friends, he took us to a crack in the rock where fresh water poured from. He said, please fill up your water bottle but do not do so until you offer a prayer for the water. Makes you wonder about who the most civilized people really are.

Mooney Falls Havasupai Reservation (old and blurry photos, sorry) Those dots in the water are people just to give you a feeling for the size of the falls.

Brother Ricky and tribal friend

"love shines brighter than the morning sun"
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 10, 2006 11:32PM

excuse me, but shouldn't this thread be called "how butty is your sand"?
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 11, 2006 02:31AM
holy mackeral sister irie - looks like a swimmers paradise. Fresh water swimming is my favorite pastime, and it looks like I may have to make it out there someday. What months of the year is that spot good for swimming?
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 11, 2006 04:12AM
Last year on the annual Pack Your Trash Beach Cleanup Day in Santa Cruz County, volunteers picked up over 17,000 cigarette butts. That's just from one day of collecting, from Manresa Beach to Bonny Doon Beach.

It's the same every year, despite the fact that the Cities of Santa Cruz and Capitola have banned cigarette smoking from the main beaches.

It is really discouraging when my kid's class goes to the same little local's beach cove spot every year and collects hundreds of butts in a morning.

It's not tourists doing the flicking, it's mostly local high-schoolers...

Their classes apparently never did beach cleanups....


(and Please Pack Your Trash)

Post Edited (05-10-06 22:00)
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 11, 2006 07:23AM
The right question is: How handy is your butt?
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 11, 2006 12:24PM
Greetings, Don Julio,

There are three waterfalls down by the Havasupai Reservation. Once you get there, Mooney Falls is another hour hike from the town. There is camping very close by. I was there in August and of course the water was good then but it is very cold so I imagine for people like me who love warmer water, the swimming might only be good a few months of the year when the weather is the hottest.

The turquoise creek that runs through the town is also a nice place to get wet but not really deep enough to swim.

One must be conscious of possible floods. There can be rainstorms in other parts of the canyon and it may not even rain in Supai for a flood to come through in a moments notice. People have been lost or had to be lifted out during those times. I think they are pretty rare but it does happen.

Havasupai is a magical place. We took the helicopter out because our feet were wasted after hiking in and all around for days. We attended the Peach Festival which is very cultural in nature. Hearing the native american prayers and drums bouncing off the canyon walls at night under the stars is quite an experience.
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 11, 2006 08:23PM
Greetings Sista Irie,

Planning a trip to Jamaica, will most likely be traveling by myself, I am a 49 year old female, I travel a lot by myself and like to get good local feedback... please email me with any ideas, definitely not into the touristy thing, just want to hang out on the beach, listen to some good music, eat good food... any suggestions would be most appreciated, would like to stay either in a smallish not trendy but nice hotel or a bed and breakfast type thing... Thanks for any ideas.
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 11, 2006 11:15PM
Deborah, I am not sure what your email address is. Mine is sisirie@io.com Feel free to email and I will happily give you some good tips.

Post Edited (05-11-06 16:15)

"love shines brighter than the morning sun"
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 12, 2006 09:38AM
Sista Irie wrote:
>(I was one of the recipients of Miss Brown's mushrooms during the seventies >until I realized I got the same high without the mushrooms..lol),

special request to sista irie : )


one love-juan love

one love-juan love
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 12, 2006 12:19PM
I love musical presents ;-)) I will check this out after work. Give thanks!

"love shines brighter than the morning sun"
Re: How sandy is your butt?
May 12, 2006 11:50PM
i think some thing went wrong w/ the link to the song i sent : (
so here is a fresh link~> hopfully this 1 will work

sista irie: i sent it to you directly~~>> cheek your email when you get a chane : )

one love-juan love

Post Edited (05-12-06 16:54)

one love-juan love