On the Run
I stumbled through the jungle. Thorns scratched my arms and legs. Big tropical leaves slapped me in the face. Orchids seduced me into sniffing them, then sniffing another orchid, to pollinate it.
I had to get rid of my prison garb. With my Hawaiian shirt and cutoffs, I stuck out like a sore thumb.
I saw a house in a clearing and approached, cautiously. I would ask the owner for a change of clothes and some food and water. And also a shower and a fresh towel. And also some Scotch, if he had some. But only single-malt Scotch, not blended. I would make that clear.
I knocked on the door. A man answered. I started in on my list of requests, then I realized, That’s the warden! A woman appeared behind him, buttoning her blouse. It was his secretary. She said, “That guy’s a prisoner.”
I turned and ran.
I decided to lay low and hide out in the jungle. I learned to survive by watching the other animals.
From the water buffalo I learned to let birds pick insects out of my ears and nose.
From the wild dog I learned that endurance is more important than speed, and I was rewarded with a juicy snail.
From the hyena I learned to laugh, and from the hummingbird I learned to hum.
From the python I learned how to unhinge my jaw so that I could swallow a rat whole.
Like the dung beetle, I shaped my dung into a ball and rolled it along.
Like the chameleon, I changed colors to blend into the background, but I admit, not very well.
For direction, I depended on the stars, the Earth’s magnetic field, and the trail markers.
Then I heard a helicopter.
I was sent to solitary. I took Don’s book with me. It was a book about Hawaiian culture. I started thumbing through it. I thought it might have some photos of topless native girls. Then I came to a chapter that changed everything.
I called the guard. “What do you want?” he said gruffly through the door slot.
I started doing a hula dance. I motioned, through the dance, for the guard to open the cell. He did.
I kept dancing down the hall, into the yard. I motioned for the guards to open the main gate, and amazingly, they did. I kept doing my hula dance through the gate and into the jungle. When I stopped and ran, about half the guards applauded and the other half started shooting at me.
The book said that it was a law in Hawaii that if you’re doing a hula dance, you cannot be interfered with or restrained in any way. And other people must do what the hand motions say.
It’s still the law in Hawaii.