The Truth About Honduras
A letter originally printed in the Bryant Family Newsletter, Early 1993 -- (Don Bryant, Editor and Archivist)
[Just to set the stage... My big sister wrote a letter to
our family newsletter about how I "wandered off again" in Honduras.
My sisters, in times of stress, always treat me like I'm two years old. Such
I ask, how can you "wander off" and get lost when you're staying in one place...]
originally printed in the Bryant Family Newsletter, 1993
FROM WALLY -- THE REST OF THE STORY
Greetings from Key Largo, and don't tell my boss I'm here! She thinks I'm sloshing through the Northeast, trying to close as much business as I can before my company begins to shut down my division. Takings somebody's money when you know you're about to shut down operations isn't ethical in my book, so I've solved the dilemma by strapping on a tank and going diving.
I must have set some record for having my name mentioned in the newsletter! Marilyn has a fascinating and arguably revisionist perspective on my contributions to her Central American experience. (That's my thesis statement.)
There are some important matters requiring clarification. I NEVER GOT LOST! I always knew exactly where I was. I just didn't know where anyone else was. Here's what really happened in Honduras.
I was standing at a fence looking at a Zebu Bull. Not a Brahma! A Zebu is an odd looking creature, with a face like a Hoodoo Spirit Mask. It's long and triangular, topped with small satanic horns and peacefully malevolent eyes. The ears are long and broad, and hang about the head like they don't really belong, like they were stolen from an enormous lop-eared rabbit. The torso rises to a pyramid at the shoulders, then falls dramatically, while the abdomen mimics the shoulders by creating an inverse pyramid with a thoroughly disgusting flourish on the end.
I turned to make a remark to Marilyn, and she was gone! So was everyone else! The day suddenly took on a surreal aspect. I was trapped in one of those children's books -- the kind with thick cardboard pages and lots of simple pictures but few words. It read like this:
Where did everyone go? (Turn the page.)
They're not by the horses. (Turn the page.)
They're not by the front of that little house. (Turn the page.)
They're not in the back yard. (Turn the page.)
They're not on the left side. (Turn the page.)
They're not on the right side. (Turn the page.)
They're not visible through the window. (Turn the page.)
They're not up on the hill. (Turn the page.)
I noticed a young girl on the back porch of the little house. Summoning my best Spanish, I asked, "Is where others are here there?" Apparently the child didn't speak Spanish, because she looked at me as if I were an alien from outer space, and then she ran away.
That's when I suddenly understood -- they had all been kidnapped by aliens. Mystics and palm readers have often attempted to connect the ancient Maya with extra-terrestrials. I realized with horror that it was still going on. The Zebu bull was probably in on it. The extra-terrestrial kidnappers had passed me by because they had seen me at the fence "mooing" at their confederate. It was only a matter of time before Marilyn cracked under interrogation and told them everything. They would come back for me.
Quietly I climbed partially over, then partially through, then around the end of the barbed wire fence in the back yard. The hill was steep, but I fell down it without any difficulty. I returned to Copan Ruinas and headed for the Tunkul Bar, anticipating a cold Salva Vida (Life Saver) Lager. The place was closed, so I hiked out to the ruins. Along the way I met a little girl carrying fresh tortillas to sell to tourists at the ruins. I didn't tell her about the aliens. After spending most of the afternoon at the ruins, I hiked up to the valley's rim to check out the view, then returned to town for a quick taco.
Later, as I settled comfortably in the hotel bar with a book and a Salva Vida, Marilyn and Jeff reappeared. Actually they walked through the door. I hid my relief and studied them closely for signs that their minds had been scrambled by aliens, though in Marilyn's case I wasn't exactly sure what to look for. Jeff joined me at the table, said hello, and generally acted as if nothing had happened. Marilyn began speaking. It took some time for me to understand what she was saying, due to the fact that we were speaking simultaneously and in loud voices. It became clear that she and Jeff had been removed from the normal space-time continuum by their abductors, then returned with no knowledge that anything had happened. From Marilyn's perspective she had gone nowhere, and it had been I who disappeared.
Reaching an impasse, we called a truce, though for the remainder of the week I monitored her for signs of alien behavior.
And that's what really happened. As I look back, I remember one time when Marilyn tried to tell me that as late as the 1940's the Isle of Roatan had been home to small bands of sailing pirates, who sailed the skull and crossbones against modern ocean liners, such as the Queen Mary. The nagging question remains: Was that really my sister being funny, or was it a slip-up by a spy from outer space, who had been improperly briefed?
At this point in the letter [ed note: 1993], I'm back in New Jersey. Don't worry about telling my boss, as she's gone. Corporate reorganizations are always disruptive, and it's time for me to head back west before the dust settles. Harold has inspired me. I'm going to load up the truck with the bikes, wetsuits, tanks, and camping gear, put everything else into storage, and take off in search of adventure, The Grateful Dead summer tour, or both!
I'll be down in Key Largo until the end of August, and then "Wally's Adventure, Travel, and Underwater Video Productions" will be heading to the Harl Reunion to film the Historic Natchez Trace Bike Rally. This documentary will only be successful if a lot of people show up with bicycles. Assuming that my dad will let me use his house for video editing and soundtrack mixing, (since I will be not only unemployed, but also "homeless") copies of this historic event will be provided to all participants. Um, when exactly is it, anyway? It is this year, right?
Wal - - - [end of quoted story]