Thursday, January 11, 2007
Papau's got a brand new bag
I might take a little flak for this one, [deep breath] but that’s what separates the men from the boys. (Take a seat ‘lil man.) So, I ran into a friend of mine at the gym last night. For the purpose of partially hiding his true identity, but not really, we shall call him Red. (Yes, he is a redhead, but not a slut, contrary to popular belief.) He looked like half the man he used to be. He was indeed the same person, but from what I could tell, just a much smaller version. Red looks like a regular kind of a guy really, with a goofy demeanor. Short and pudgy with bright, closely cut red hair, and pale skin fraught with freckles. I noticed him sitting at the bench press, intently staring at his shiny black IPod. I thought it a perfect opportunity for a salutation. As I approached him, I observed that his pale neck was adorned with a hand made wooden necklace that seemed indigenous to tribes from the pacific islands. His right wrist also bore a similar trinket. He looked up at me and flashed his familiar warm smile. We exchanged greetings and proceeded to engage in small talk. As he spoke, I noticed something much different. (not pertaining to his weight.) He had a calmness about him, like that of a Buddhist monk. The conversation immediately gravitated towards the explanation of the two most obvious things about his materialization. Where had he been for the past year and why was he so skinny? “Man, I had the most amazing experience of my life,” he said in a quiet voice. “Well, spill it dude. Where the hell have you been?” I asked with childlike excitement. In his deep but tranquil voice he says, “I’ve been living in Papua New Guinea for the past year, and this was my tribe.” He turns his IPod towards my face to show me actual pictures of New Guinea natives, wearing the same type of jewelry he was! Now, for those of you geographically handicap, New Guinea is just north of Australia and is the world’s second largest Island. (Australia being the largest.) It is a tropical paradise with a high percentage of its species found nowhere else on earth, thousands of which are still unknown to Western science! (So I’m a nerd, shutup) He then shows me pictures of where he lived, a straw and bamboo dwelling standing high above the ground, and the beautiful surrounding jungles. (I’m from a tropical paradise myself, but these pictures were truly amazing!) I was completely dumbfounded. Noticing my obvious bewilderment, he says, “I lost 40 lbs, while I was there.” “No shit,” was all I could muster. “We ate nothing but rice, vegetables, and some meat (well that explains things.) And I’m going back in six months,” he says, now taking a certain enjoyment at my astonishment. Red proceeds to tell me about how his job sent him there for humanitarian work, how he learned the language (one of almost a thousand dialects,) and how he was the only white man in the whole tribe. (shocker.) It was a wonderful story, and a rather surreal encounter really. Red isn’t the type of guy you envision going to a place like that to begin with, much less to return with an aura of enlightenment. (they probably ran out of key chains.) In that moment, I realized I was jealous. (And not at losing 40 lbs. either. Believe me, I couldn’t afford to.) How fitting for someone other than myself to visit a remote place on earth far from Western civilization, live amongst a native people completely immersed in their culture, and achieve a peace with life that I have so intently sought in futility since my existence. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to settle for obtaining the knowledge of this revolutionary new secret diet plan, that I call “Big Papau’s Diet Enlightenment”. I’ll have a cook book as well, “Come to Papau”, and maybe even an exercise video, “You down with Papau?” That’s right ladies. Go ahead, count your calories, tally up your points. We’ll see who has the last laugh.