Friday, September 5, 2014

Hawaiian vacation, day 8

This morning I checked on the dogs.

Phone girl: "Thank you for calling Burgoo Animal Care."

Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, this is Ibee Grumpy, calling to see how Snowball and Mello are doing?"

Phone Girl: "Snowball and Mello... I think they went home yesterday."

Dr. Grumpy: "WHAT?!!!"

Phone Girl: "Yeah, they... Hang on, let me check with Casey."

(Panicked, I'm put on hold, listening to horrible, unseasonal, Jingle Dogs Christmas carols)

Phone Girl: "Okay, they're here. I had them mixed up with someone else's."

Dr. Grumpy: "Thank you."

Phone Girl: "They're going to the bathroom and everything."

Whaler's Village is an outdoor shopping center on Kaanapali. It's been there a long time. In fact, I saw it on my first trip in 1973. My mother made me keep a diary, and my entry for that day was "Today we saw the skeleton of a whale." Obviously, I was impressed. The skeleton is still there.

Scattered among the stores are some interesting displays about whales, and they have a museum about whales and whaling on the 3rd floor. This kind of stuff fascinates me. These are the biggest living creatures today, and the Blue Whale is the largest living animal EVER on Earth.

How big is it? Some have been measured at nearly 100 feet (30m) long and 195 tons.

Yes, that's you on the upper right. And the flippers make you look bigger.

But the really cool thing is this: the whaling museum has a statue of a strange creature in the corner, which looked like a cross between a lizard and a medium-sized dog. It's a long-extinct animal called Pakicetus that lived on the shores of what's now Pakistan 50 million years ago. This is it, also with Homo sapiens:

Somewhere along the way, dinky Pakicetus returned to the ocean, adapted, branched off... and became the cetaceans (dolphins and whales) of today. Including the biggest living creature on Earth.

The rest of the mall, in keeping with Lahaina's history as a major Pacific whaling center, (sarcasm) is a collection of souvenir shops, restaurants, expensive clothing, jewelry, & shoe stores, and (inevitably) one of the ubiquitous ABC Stores.

One overpriced boutique apparently caters to individuals with grossly asymmetric arm lengths (and, on your left, missing a finger):

"I had a half-scholarship for basketball in college"

If you have teenage boys, by the way, KEEP THEM AWAY from ABC stores. Oh, sure, they'll tell you they want to buy a Diet Coke, or sarong for Aunt Thelma, or a souvenir toothpick holder, but the real reason is that ABC sells picture postcards of young, topless, Hawaiian women. And calenders. And probably stained glass windows. It's kind of an all-purpose Hawaiian boob center. In the interests of fairness, however, they do sell similarly themed stuff with hunky Polynesian guys, too.

In the 1980's, during one of our family trips here, I routinely walked over to an ABC and bought topless postcards. A LOT of them. I figured, being a college guy heading off to medical school, it would be fun to have some to use over the next few years to mail to friends around the country as a joke.

It's been over 25 years since then. There's still a pile of unused cards from that batch in my desk at home. In fact, here it is:

I put a less-revealing one on top

As you can see, the stack is still almost an inch high. So, the take-home lesson here guys is never over-buy the topless postcards at ABC. As good as the idea may sound at the time, you'll never get rid of them. I mean, who the hell sends postcards anymore, anyway? Some day, while settling my estate, the kids are going to wonder why the hell I have a bunch of these in my desk. Frank and Craig will likely have their own stockpiles by that time. And won't be able to get rid of theirs, either.

We went for Mexican food tonight. Craig is convinced lettuce is the most deadly substance on Earth. It's not enough for him simply not to eat it. He actually has to scrape it off his plate so it doesn't contaminate the other comestibles.

And that's the way it is.


Officer Cynical said...

I can't imagine ever thinking that I would just send away anything with pictures of topless women on it or in it. Ever. OK, well, maybe if I had them walking around the house or something, but even then.....

peace said...

Your grand kids will love you Dr G. You are a talented story teller.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Craig should tote his own composting pot?

Anonymous said...

Decades ago, before political correctness was the order of the day, a female lab mate and I each had a wall over our respective desks covered with provocative postcards (mine was boobs-n-butts, hers was beefcake-n-banana hammocks). We had a running contest who could find the most salacious cards. Nowadays both of us would most likely get disciplined for sexual harassment in the workplace.

kjax said...

Craig is a kid after my own heart. Lettuce is some nasty stuff. (I'm not into kids, so Craig is safe. I probably couldn't handle his hair anyway.)

Packer said...

You aren't thinking this thing through, Doesn't Dr. Nerve deserve a card send to his home, signed by Bambi.As in

Missing you , Bambi.

M said...

I collect postcards, but somehow managed to miss out on the hubky Polynesian guys on my visit!

Loren Pechtel said...

Will your kids recognize what postcards are by then?? It's reaching the point that personal letters are only for the left-behinds. Some years ago my wife concluded that she could communicate more for her money with the phone than with a letter and these days it's usually Skype.

And the topless postcards surprise me--I didn't realize it was legal to mail such things.

Hattie said...

Enjoying your Hawaiian adventures. We on the Big Island are now experiencing a new lava flow (our property is OK, thanks for asking).
Maui is beautiful; Big Island more exciting.

Heidi said...

I feel the same way about pickles as Craig feels about lettuce.

No pickles anywhere near my plate - and where there are pickles there is the only thing more invasive...pickle juice.

cliffintokyo said...

I'm with *peace* on this....
Dr G, your vacation diary is sooo much a better read than any newspaper holiday supplement!
Luv your writing, dude!
Our kids used to be allergic to lettuce too....but then they grew up!
Life is much less interesting these days. ("Interesting" as in the ancient Chinese curse - may you live in 'interesting' times!)

tbunni said...

Packer, you have an evil mind! But why stop with his doctor friends? A few well-placed cards around the town could make both the PTA and the town council meetings more exciting.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see a blue whale skeleton, the museum in Edinburgh has one, and so does the Canterbury Museum in New Zealand. Both Scotland and New Zealand are fun to visit.

Locations of visitors to this page