Chapter 12:
Where am I?

When I woke up, I was lying on a mat in a hut. A fierce-looking man with a painted face and a headdress and a bone through his nose was looking down at me. “Grandpa?” I said. I was still groggy.

The man was gripping my jaw with one hand, turning my head back and forth, examining me. In a language I didn’t understand, he seemed to be saying no.

The beautiful native girl disagreed, arguing yes, yes! Finally, she stormed off in a huff.*

I looked around the hut. On a shelf on the wall, I saw a row of something. Then I realized, They were shrunken heads! These people were headhunters!

I was still pretty groggy, so I fell asleep. But when I woke up I realized again: shrunken heads!


They put me to work as a head shrinker. I enjoyed my time shrinking heads. It makes you feel like you’re actually accomplishing something.

There are several steps in shrinking a head. I can’t describe them, because they are probably trademarked. Also, they never really instructed me. They basically just gave me a basket of fresh heads and said “Go.” They need an apprentice program.

My shrunken heads were apparently not up to snuff, because they kept throwing mine in the “dead-head” pile. In my defense, I think most of the heads they gave me were marginal to begin with.

They moved me from shrinking the heads to just combing their hair. But after a while, they removed me from that too.

They gave me food and water and pointed down the trail. They also gave me a shrunken head, as a going-away gift. It was my friend Don!

*a type of skirt worn by headhunter women

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Chapter 11:
Strange Sensations

I had eaten the dreaded aloha fruit. It’s called that because it makes you say goodbye to your consciousness. It was the aloha fruit that killed Captain Cook. He didn’t eat it; he was pelted with it by the Hawaiians. And then basted with an aloha- fruit butter sauce.

The aloha fruit went to work on me. Strange feelings gripped my body and strange visions filled my head.

It felt like my head was being stepped on by an elephant — and not a regular elephant but a really fat one.

It felt like I was lying on a giant anvil, being pounded by a giant hammer. And I wanted to cry out, “I’m flat enough!”

I felt like I was traveling through outer space. And at the same time I was traveling back through time. And not only that, it sounded like I was dragging something.

It felt like I was caught in a giant spider web and trying not to flutter.

I saw myself as a balloon puller in the Macy’s parade, and the balloon I was pulling was a giant Uncle Lou!

My eyes started twitching and my foot started tapping. I felt that if someone had handed me a banjo, I could have played it.

I became a tiny neuron in a brain, helping the brain to remember when it got turned down for the prom.

I saw myself on a castle wall, hurling rocks down on people, then getting kicked off the castle tour.

It felt like I was on a wild, spinning bull, trying to brush my teeth.

I saw myself trying to control a raging flame thrower, looking desperately for the “off” switch.

I saw myself as an old man. Then I saw myself as a skeleton, then as a pile of dust. I think I liked skeleton me the best.