THE BUCKET OF BLOOD
Signs of the Times - and Places
It seems everywhere you turn these days you are assaulted by signs on billboards, buildings, storefronts, doors, walls - they sell, inform, warn and instruct. They have become a form of art, a part of the landscape, something we can not escape.
In the '70s I lived on a small Caribbean island that had very few signs of any sort, so if you saw one it was considered a curious oddity. At that time signs were considered extravagant - you knew who sold food or hardware, or where the restaurants and bars were located. The populance came up with their own special names for those businesses, most of the time just naming the enterprises after the owner - Archie's Store, Astor's Store, Frank's Store, and Harvey's Bar comes to mind. There was many more stores, but only Harvey had a bar when we arrived on the scene in 1970. And there was 5 churches!
So when Clifford Woods and I started up the island's second bar, there was that bantering around by the natives for a name - they came up with 'The Bucket of Blood'. Since the islanders are decedents of Freebooters and Pirates from around the Caribbean - they must have taken the name from some historical or famous rowdy bar elsewhere in the region. I thought the name had a certain romantic charm and a descriptive reality. Like all the other business, we had no signs out front, or on the doors or walls. The only 'decoration' was a couple of calenders. But times have changed even on that island and the bar still exists - here is a picture of the bar today - with a big sign outside!
Someday soon I guess the bars on the island will be putting signs on the doors and walls like all modern businesses. From my experiences running the 'Bucket' - here are my suggestions for those island bar room signs;
NO SHOES - NO SHIRT - NO CLOTHES - NO PROBLEM!
NO CONCH SHELLS OR MACHETES ALLOWED!
DOGS & CATS ALLOWED
NO CHICKENS OR PIGS UNLESS IT IS GOING TO BE LUNCH
NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST SHOES OR HUSBANDS!
NON-SMOKING SEATING IS ON THE OPEN WINDOW SILL
VERTICAL SPITTING ONLY!
DO NOT LEAVE WHEEL BURROWS IN FRONT OF DOORS!
NO PEEING AGAINST THE OUTSIDE WALL!
WE WILL SEND FOR YOUR MOTHER IF YOU NEED ESCORTING HOME
FIGHTING PROHIBITED - VIOLATORS WILL BE PULVERIZED!
DO NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT THE LOUD MUSIC - YOU ARE CONTRIBUTING TO THE NOISE
WE WILL NOT CALL THE POLICE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES
NO CREDIT - UNLESS YOU LEAVE YOUR WATCH OR A CONCH PEARL (WATCH MUST BE RUNNING)
IF WE FIND YOUR HEAD ON THE BAR - YOU WILL FIND YOUR ASS ON THE STREET!
REST ROOMS - OUT BACK IN THE SWAMP - WATCH YOUR STEP!
WE REFUSE THE RIGHT TO RESERVE YOU SERVICE!
ROOM CAPACITY - IF YOU CAN NOT SQUEEZE THROUGH THE DOORWAY - THAT'S IT!
UNATTENDED CHILDREN MUST BUY A DRINK OR LEAVE
DRINKING AGE - NO SERVICE IF YOU CAN NOT REACH UP TO THE BAR SURFACE!
OPEN - SOMETIME IN THE MORNING
CLOSE - WHEN EVER THE POWER GOES OUT
Ah, the memories of those wild Saturday nights at the 'Bucket'! Within three years of establishing 'The Bucket' there was as many bars as churches - now that is progress!