Foxy’s Tamarind Bar on Jost Van Dyke was in the news because his famous Old Year’s Night party was cancelled. They just had dinner and dancing for a few.

That reminded me of a story. Back in the late 1960s and 1970s, we were still installing phones around the islands. In JVD we had put a radio telephone in the government administration building but nowhere else.

Foxy blagged a dial telephone from us and put it on his bar. He would offer unsuspecting boaters the chance to make a free phone call home. Of course, it didn’t work, and he and those in the know would get great amusement out of it.

He had a pet monkey that used to sit on the bar near the phone amidst all Foxy’s calling cards and memorabilia he had collected from visitors.

One day, I went over with Arthur Swain to install a phone for Foxy. Having put up the battery radio on a pole and installed the wires, we went into the bar to complete the job. We were going to use his “phone to nowhere,” but the monkey got quite defensive and wouldn’t let us pick it up to connect the cable.

Ordering a beer whilst we figured out how to overcome this minor problem, I decided to offer the monkey a peanut or two. Chattering away, he grabbed the peanuts, then jumped on my shoulder and bit my ear, hard!

Arthur took advantage of the distraction and my howls of pain, grabbed the phone and connected it before the monkey realised it. Thus did Foxy get his first real phone.


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