The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure
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The legendary Deep Thoughts and New Yorker humorist Jack Handey is back with his very first novel-a hilarious, absurd, far-flung adventure tale.
THE STENCH OF HONOLOLU
Are you a fan of books in which famous tourist destinations are repurposed as unlivable hellholes for no particular reason? Read on!
Jack Handey's exotic tale is full of laugh-out-loud twists and unforgettable characters whose names escape me right now. A reliably unreliable narrator and his friend, who is some other guy, need to get out of town. They have a taste for adventure, so they pay a visit to a relic of bygone days-a travel agent-and discover an old treasure map. She might have been a witch, by the way. Our heroes soon embark on a quest for the Golden Monkey, which takes them into the mysterious and stinky foreign land of Honolulu. There, they meet untold dangers, confront strange natives, kill and eat Turtle People, kill some other things and people, eat another thing, and discover the ruins of ancient civilizations.
As our narrator says, "The ruins were impressive. But like so many civilizations, they forgot the rule that might have saved them: Don't let vines grow all over you."
words on the sign would give a chill to any sane man: Entering National Park. A ranger came out from a rustic, unpainted hut at the end of a ramshackle pier. Admission to the park was five paleekas. “Five paleekas?!” I said, as Don paid it. The ranger gave us brochures. Hawaiians love brochures. We had to hang a pass on the boat. Suddenly the ranger’s face began twitching. His features twisted and contorted into a horrible, snarling monster. His eyes flared. It was the scariest thing I’d ever
someone had not fixed it very well. We struggled against the raging foam like a cigarette in a latrine. At last we eased into a rippling pool, fed by a thundering waterfall. “Looks like a great place to take a shower,” I said to Leilani. “Anyone shower under that, he very stupid,” said Leilani. Man, lighten up, Leilani. We tied the boat to a crude dock that looked like it had been built by ancient, primitive people, or by the Hawaiian Park Service. Above us loomed Mount Regina, named after
would probably have to be shot. I was sentenced to six months of community service. The service was to stay in jail. I plotted an escape. The key to my plan would focus on one central element: waiting until the guard left, and then, before he got back, escaping. For complicated reasons, the escape never worked out. Uncle Lou made it back to America with the Golden Monkey. Hawaii requested that it be sent back, but Uncle Lou told them to perform oral sex on him. Am I angry that Uncle Lou stole
the Golden Monkey from me? Of course I am—what kind of a question is that? I thought about going back and stealing the Golden Monkey from Uncle Lou, or at least vandalizing his house. But every time I mentioned this idea to anyone I got an electric shock in my tooth. At least I got to keep the Nobel Prize and the gun. And really, what else do you need in life? In case you’re worried about the black pepper bug, don’t be. I released him in Honolulu. The town never had black pepper bugs before,
I shouldn’t have done that, because the wood released a smell that was ten times worse than the normal town stench. Don and I covered our faces and staggered to the window. Every step we took broke through the floorboards, releasing more stench. We moved in slow, stinking motion. We finally got the window open. Don took a deep breath, and threw up on the ground below. A mangy dog came by and ate the vomit, then emitted a gas so foul that we had to close the window. Then we passed out.