Not a very imaginative title, but hey.
Let’s talk about Little Pig Island.
Yes, there probably are pigs on Little Pig Island, as most assuredly are there people, whereas Pig Island has neither pigs nor people (go figure). We’ve been over most of that before.
Little Pig Island is situated snugly between Pig Island and Leper Island. Pig Island is to the Northeast and Leper Island is to the Southwest. A really fit footie could probably lob a pigskin to either without breaking a sweat.
No, there are, to my knowledge, no lepers on Leper Island, though there used to be when it was a leper colony a long time ago. There may, in fact, be lepers abiding there, but the island is no longer named after them. It’s just a leftover; not the island’s real name anyway.
(By the way, people with Hansen’s Disease prefer not to be called lepers. I certainly do not blame them. I apologize for using the term in this post. I think that they prefer the term “Hansen’s Disease Affected” – a bit awkward, but carrying less historical baggage. So, if I am offending someone, I am sorry, but please note that this post is categorized HUMOR. Humorists are supposedly allowed to spout politically incorrect speech, so long as they are smiling when they do so. I am smiling now.)
Only a few people have recently moved onto Leper Island. It probably has pigs, unlike Pig Island, which, to my knowledge, has neither pigs nor people, as I said before.
So, Pig Island and Leper Island – on either side of Little Pig Island – are both uninhabited, or nearly so in the case of Leper Island, being only recently occupied by a few land-poor souls.
Pig Island and Leper Island are both pretty big while Little Pig Island is teensy-weensy – a mere speck of ancient, rotted coral. It’s so tiny that you’d hardly notice it at all.
Here’s a chart to help you figure it all out. You’ll probably need to click it to enlarge:
You can see that Leper Island (Paeowai Island on the chart) and Pig Island (Tab Island on the chart) are both quite large compared to Little Pig Island (Massas Island on the chart).
I should mention that the Admiralty Chart names are for stuffy, constipated people who like to be called “Skipper” or “Ensign Bowles-Sykes” or some such rubbish. Such people are quickly run out of Madang on a rail. We use the local names.
Got all that? Go back over it, please, until you’re clear. There will be an examination later.
Now, the question is: What, in the name of sweet reason, are all these people doing on Little Pig Island ? Have a look:
It’s chock-a-block. It’s wall-to-wall. It’s teeming. You can’t spit without hitting your neighbour. There’s not enough room to swing a dead cat. Et cetera.
Remember, these people are not reality-TV clowns pretending to be in the pernicious pit of poo. There is no TV production catering company to serve them California Cuisine when they’re feeling peckish. There are no air-conditioned Airstream caravans in which to lounge about while smoking, snorting, injecting, or utilizining other orifices to take into their spirit depleted bodies various exotic dopes. There is no ground for gardens. There is no potable water. There is no electricity. There’s no satellite TV, for pity’s sake. How do they survive?
All romantic hogwash about the idyllic existence on a luscious tropical island would be forgotten like a bad movie as soon as your tummy started to rumble like a 747 and your throat felt as if a large, lethargic lizard had crawled down it.
We pass close to Little Pig Island almost every Saturday.
We just shake our heads in wonder.Tags: hansen's disease, leper island, lepers, leprosy, little pig island, Massas Island, Paeowai Island