The legal team said something about an “homage” and freedom of speech… and due to a contractual agreement, the saga continues. – Editor
Back again readers of the most exciting travel journal since Betty Lou Grimes’ classic, “My Living Room in Flushings, NY- A Photo Essay”.
I have recovered from my recent malady, thanks to several overnight packages of aloe Vera, apple cider vinegar, Spam and peanut butter cups.
Thank you everyone for the kind words and support as I continue to share with you my tales of Waponi Woo- Part III.
At night the little island with the big volcano is filled with fire- a favorite of your favorite travel writer/ pyro-enthusiast. The lanterns burn, large woodpiles burn, small huts are doused in water.
The orange glow of the fire, reflecting off the orange glow of the soda cans produces euphoria not unlike cream cheese wedding mints. During the evening feast there are trials of strength, blinking contests, and poetry readings. They are far better than that of Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Essex.
The music of the Waponi tribe is spiritual, soulful, repetitive, and constant. The original composers of “The Song That Never Ends”, each villager adds his or her own rhythmic chant to the continuous sound. It is heard every moment: the 12 beat whistle as someone walks past, the 12 beat humming of children while their parents are talking to them, the 12 beat wheezing snore of the village lookout.
At first it was beautiful, but countless repetitions of the same song will wear down anyone’s nerves. Luckily the state secrets I once held have now been divulged with the FOIA. I attempted to add my own chant, to mix it up a bit, and I was told it sounded like a Jimmy Buffet song and was asked to stop.
It is the philosophy of the Waponi that every man is a volcanic island sprung from, and surrounded by, vast oceans of surprising depth. Left to his own devices, marooned on the island so to speak, he is bound to insanity and what they call The Dance of The Ants in the Pants. Defined by fanciful flights of fantasy, these delusions of grandeur often manifest into obsessions with the ukulele. Only by accepting that his vast ocean is comingled with the oceans of others can he find redemption.
They also believe that one person every 100 years must jump into the Big Woo (big, big volcano) or the whole tribe will lose that which they covet most. This time around it is the tasty orange soda like beverage known as Jump. I was asked to take the leap from the lizard’s head into the volcano, but my asthma began to act up amongst the steam and ash forcing me to return to my hut for my inhaler.
Noticing the time, I packed my belonging and ran to my water taxi returning just in time to make the redeye to LAX. As we left the volcano shook and rumbled, burped out a small glob of molten hot lava, and settled back into the peaceful calm of the night. Reports state that no one jumped into the Big Woo- the small eruption was no more than volcanic flatulence.
I have been honored to report from Waponi Woo, and hope to return once the rebuilding process is complete. If I have learned anything, it is simply this: it is only with new experiences that we learn what truly matters, and only with distance that we learn to truly appreciate what matters.