Leaders are asking the public to forget about several stalled projects during the coming slow season so that they can start with a clean slate in the fall.
“When summer comes and the tourists leave, a lethargy typically settles over the territory,” Premier Dr. Orlando Smith explained as he stifled a yawn during the launch of a campaign themed “Don’t Worry About a Thing, BVI!” “We’re asking everyone to take advantage of that lethargy to forget about — well, you know, a bunch of super-forgettable stuff that seems to have slipped my mind already.”
The idea was conceived after leaders realised that certain public projects were falling by the wayside and funding was increasingly scarce.
The most obvious example is the expansion of the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, which government has been promising for years but which now appears to be on the backburner.
“We can’t afford it, but we don’t want to admit that publicly,” Deputy Premier Dr. Kedrick Pickering explained at the press conference after waking up from a brief nap. “So we’re asking everyone to just let that topic go for now. Please. We’ll remind you when it’s an issue again, if ever.”
Asked by a reporter about previous claims that the expansion is urgent, he yawned and responded, “What expansion was that again?”
But the reporter was already snoring loudly.
Other longstanding initiatives are also on government’s “Forget List.”
The new senior home, for example, has been added even though it already has been largely forgotten since a site was cleared in Spooners about five years ago.
“Most people don’t even remember that project, but recalcitrant journalists and some of the community’s eldest residents have refused to let it die,” Mr. Skelton said. “Now’s the time: Please do not mention it ever again.”
To help ease the transition, government will also forget about its planned aging policy.
Also on the Forget List are efforts to restore the former administration building in the Sir Olva Georges Plaza, as well as work to stop the leaks in the roof at the Central Administration Building.
Meanwhile, officials are toying with the idea of forgetting about BVI Airways’ longstanding plan to offer direct flights to Miami.
“They keep saying they’ll get off the ground soon, but they won’t say when, and now they’re blaming government,” Dr. Pickering explained. “I know we’ve given them $7 million, but this slow season might be the best time to cut our losses.”
In the coming weeks, leaders will take various steps to promote the new initiative.
“The most important is distraction,” said Communications and Works Minister Mark Vanterpool. “This means that — hey look over there! Someone’s handing out petty contracts!”
The August Emancipation Festival is also expected to help facilitate the effort.
“Partygoers don’t tend to worry too much about new airports,” the premier explained as he passed out free rum drinks to the press corps. “Cheers!”
And since so many people travel after the Festival, the territory’s collective memory will be most vulnerable during that time.
But in spite of all these efforts, leaders’ most valuable tools are expected to be voter apathy and human nature.
“It takes energy to keep track of all this stuff,” the premier said. “And people are busy with their everyday lives.”
With the most stressful topics out of the way, the coming months will be a great time to relax on the beach, Dr. Smith said before urging the media to come fully on board.
“We’re asking you to just take it easy,” he told reporters, “and don’t worry about a thing!”
But the entire press gallery was already fast asleep.
Disclaimer: Dateline: Paradise is a column and occasionally contains satirical “news” articles that are entirely fictional.