By Bob Huber: PNT columnist
Some folks yearn for a balmy life of lust and leisure on the island of Tahiti. But here at the Trendy Travel Bureau we’ve been studying this urge and have second thoughts about promoting the South Seas as a worthwhile tourist trap.
For instance, Tahitians think the stomach is the center of romance, not the heart. Dwell on that the next time you hum your favorite love song:
• “Peg o’ My Stomach”
• “My Stomach Belongs to Daddy”
• “Zing Went the Strings of My Stomach”
• “The Sweet Stomach of Sigma Chi”
• “My Stomach Stood Still”
• “Be Still My Stomach”
• “You Belong to My Stomach”
• “You Broke My Stomach”
• “I Left My Stomach in San Francisco”
• “Let Me Call You Sweet Stomach”
Well, we could go on and on, but you get our drift.
So let’s look at other pitfalls that persist in the South Pacific. Our research found giant mosquitoes on Tahiti — they’re national birds hunted with tennis rackets in the evening hours — and woolly mammoth cockroaches and termites with Bowflex bodies.
“Cock-a-roaches,” as they’re called on Tahiti, are so big they beep when they back up. And termites — entire homes have been known to be swallowed up after dark.
And girls on Tahiti — well, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. They aren’t the tawny beauties you’ve seen in movies. In fact, most girls there have bad teeth and the breath that goes with it, no noses, and an absence of underarm protection.
They also go barefoot their entire lives, so by the time they reach spawning age, their feet are dyed black from local sands of the same color, and they look like they’re wearing No.12 logging boots.
But the most objectionable thing about Tahiti is that France owns it, and you know where that can lead — Apache dancers, the Foreign Legion, the Can Can, foreign menus you can’t read, snotty waiters, and old Charles Boyer movies.
And finally, to top it off, Hollywood pays Tahiti a visit every few years to film yet another “Mutiny on the Bounty” starring the latest spike-haired Oscar winner, and when that happens, the local brewery has to put on extra shifts.
Speaking of breweries, once in a while a war ship from some other country drops anchor at Tahiti, skyrocketing the cost of Hawaiian shirts, police uniforms, and tetanus shots out of sight. If two ships from different countries drop anchor at the same time — naked chaos!
And speaking of naked, a French artist named Gauguin once lived in Tahiti and made a good living painting portraits of fat naked ladies. Some of his fat naked heirs still live on the island and sell authentic autographed Gauguin sketches of fat naked ladies, some of which are quite good imitations (the sketches, not the ladies.)
A true story points up some other hidden land mines found on Tahiti. A very social French lady heard that a famous American author was arriving by ship, and she wanted to be the first to welcome him and count coup on all her high-toned friends.
So she sent her chauffeur, who spoke only French, to welcome the writer and bring him home for dinner. Soon the famous author was ushered into the very social lady’s parlor where he was offered some tea.
To quickly wrap up this shaggy dog story, the author asked for something stronger, because he thought he was in a Tahiti house of ill repute. Turns out he hadn’t understood a word the chauffeur said nor did he understand the house madam.
So with drink in hand, he demanded to see the local soiled dove crop for that year and wanted to know the exchange rate of American dollars for French francs.
Needless to say, the very social lady got her feathers ruffled, but the author’s status in Tahiti’s upper crust circles was elevated a couple notches. That’s why it’s a good idea to avoid Tahiti if you plan to escape your humdrum life. Just ask Capt. Blye.
Bob Huber is a retired journalist living in Portales. He can be contacted at 356-3674.