Friday, June 12, 2009

A Well Guarded Hiatus

Let me say right up front, I'm in no way comparing myself to Tarzan or Tarzan's father. Tarzan's father, Lord Greystoke, had a lot more challenges to face over there in Africa than I, thankfully, can claim in my life.

To build a little house after months of the fearsome creatures of the jungle lurking about would be a Herculean task that would take a lot of skill and determination. Think how the apes could've swooped in at any time to destroy the tiny family. But Tarzan's parents "worked it out" and, doing their best, won a hard fraught victory over the worst nature could throw at them.

Yes, the mother went psycho and shut down after shooting the gun, leaving m'Lord to pretty much fend for himself. But that was really no reason for m'Lord to give up, leave his door open, get surprised by the Apes' friendly visit, and end up dead. You have to be on guard better than that. If you're going to give up at the first sign of trouble, I'm sorry, you should've stayed home.

The mind races with all the things he could've done. Given the time, I would've had that area around the house so booby trapped with trip wires (or ropes) and noise makers, I would've known if a mother flea was up at night pacing the dog with a hungry baby. Let alone an entire pack of murderous apes walking through my front door.

But, ahhh, well ... somehow we need to have Tarzan get adopted by the apes, who by the way, should have killed Kerchak. I would've called Kerchak out. I'd yell it, "Kerchak!" Everyone would say "Gesundheit." And after we had that old ape joke dispensed with, I'd stand there like High Noon and say, "It's just you and me and the law of the jungle, and, buddy boy, you're goin' down." Then BOOM ... from my "death-dealing thunder-stick" (p. 48).

Can you tell what I'm reading at this particular time during my hiatus? I've been laying in bed, burroughed under my covers, reading "Tarzan of the Apes," and learning some lessons (maybe) about how to take a decent hiatus. It'd be nice, except for all the apes and natural dangers, if I could be somewhere like Tarzan's family. And let's say the house was already built and well stocked, a nice outhouse and about 50 years worth of toilet paper in a nice, dry warehouse, plus lots and lots of food without any chance of expiring and going bad. And cable TV and internet. OK, I guess I'll stick where I am.

But there are still good lessons. Such as even if my wife dies, I still lock the door. Sheesh. That was insane. Look up from the table and it's wall to wall Ape. At that point it's too late. How much better it'd be to know they were coming, kill and butcher them all, and have your freezer packed with Ape steaks. Forgive my fantasizing. Tarzan's father needed to learn the high survival value of a good case of paranoia. There's basically no one coming after me and I'm still sitting here with a thunder-stick dreaming of steaks. Because you never can tell.

Possibly this is as far as I'll go in the book of Tarzan. But it's my hiatus. If I feel like reading further, I will. And if I don't, at least I have bookmarks that still work. This book was written in 1914 and I'm just now getting to it. If it takes me a few more years to finish it off, that'll be OK too. Anyway, I've already seen enough Tarzan movies and TV shows over the years to know he survives and ends up kicking some serious butt in the jungle. With his human intellect and abilities to figure things out that the brutes can't quite manage. The kinds of stuff his stupid dad should've also known but somehow didn't.

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