|In the Gardens of Sugar and Pineapples, Part Five: The "Borrowed" Boat|
|Written by Ismael Tabalno|
A new school week started and I sat gazing out the clear windows of my history class room towards the Nawilliwilli Harbor. The lush green and brown mountain range ran down to unexpected cliffs. The deep blue ocean waves roar and slam the jagged cliff walls with towering splashes of white spray. The small stretch of beach and safe harbor haven beckoned to me. During our lunch period I ran into Mando. “Hey Mando, you want to go swimming?” “Who’s going?” “Just you and me, I think Randy is stuck in his English class.” “Oh, the poor guy trying to learn predicates prepositions and shit.” “Yeah, we can preposition and catch up with him later.” I laughed. “Let’s take the bikes and roll down the hill so nobody hear us.” “Good idea, S-mile”
I had no interest to sit idly by in a classroom. I was on a quest for more adventures. For me, high school was very boring indeed! Therefore, with mischief flowing in my blood, I did everything to make it more exhilarating. I skipped classes and went to the beach often. Of course, Mando, my friend, was with me all the way. We started our bikes once we were passed the bend of the hill going down to the harbor. We parked under a large banyan tree for shade and hung out. “S-mile, let’s borrow one of the small boats over there. Just for fun let’s row out to the breakers over there.” Mando pointed at the mouth of the bay. “You’re crazy, that’s a long ways out towards the breakers. The owner no going like it too kindly if we are using his boat to fool around with.” I cautioned Mando. “Heck, I know, but he’s probably not going find out unless we break something or sink it, or somebody reports us.” After a few minutes of quiet pondering, we both undressed down to our swimming shorts which we had on under our school clothes. We both locked our school clothes and IDs in our motorcycle seat compartments. . We rowed the little 7 foot dingy into the calm bay and started enjoying the solace of the voyage. It looked safe at first but we noticed it too late that the little waves were becoming bigger for our miniscule ride. We could see the shore getting farther away and smaller to see as we bobbed up and down with the toying of the swells and waves. Later on, we saw a bunch of people on the shore by our motorcycles.
The crowd was growing in number minute by minute. We were already a half a mile away. Puny as it was, our boat started taking in water. Each wave swell spilled water into the small dingy. We were not going to make it back to shore with the boat! “Mando, I don’t think we can row this freaking boat back to shore.” “I don’t think so either, S-mile. What are we going to do? S-mile, you’re the captain of the ship, so you can go down with the boat.” Mando said jokingly. “Definitely not, asshole. You can be captain of the ship. You’re bigger than I am and because of your fat Haole ass we are sinking.” Quickly, Mando and I prepared ourselves, jumped out of the boat laughing and began our long swim back to shore. There, the police, the boat owner and some fascinated spectators were waiting for us. “Hey guys, what the heck you think you are doing with Mr. Paka’s boat?” asked the officer as he met us at the edge of the water. “Officer, we were just borrowing it for a little while and were going to bring it back.” “Yes, but you guys didn’t have Mr. Paka’s permission to take his boat in the first place.” Mr. Paka was standing with his arms folded in front of his chest staring at us. They were definitely not happy about what just happened. “Mr. Paka, do you want to press charges on these guys for taking your boat?” “Eh, you guys know you not suppose to take anybody’s boat without asking permission. Just lucky nobody got hurt.” “Yeah, we know, sorry bra, not going to happen again.” I said with remorse. “Eh, I know you”, Mr. Paka pointing his finger at me. He paused and stared at me. “You got a sista name Bonnie with a husband name Nacio?” he asked inquisitively. “I bowed my head and said, “Yeah, as my sister and brother-in-law.”
I wasn’t sure if he knowing my sister Bonnie was good or bad. “Officer, Talapit, as okay, I no going press charges, just let them go.” “But Mr. Paka, how about your boat?” “As okay bra, my son is already out there with his fishing boat to tow it back in.” Just then we all looked out by the breakers and saw Mr. Paka’s son attaching a tow rope to the dingy and son’s huge fishing boat. Wow, it’s a good thing it happened in a small island with a population of 25,000. Most people knew somebody you know. We discussed the situation with police officer, Talapit, the owner, Mr. Paka, cousin of my sista’s husband Nacio and reached an amicable settlement. (Some good size fish for his family the next time my friends and I we went spear fishing.) We all were spared from all the questioning and paper work and above all we were saved from getting arrested.
Pineapple Sam originated as a fictional character from the mind of Ismael Tabalno from Hawaii. He is a Kauai local individual of Asian descent who decided to write as a hobby when he retired. Pineapple Sam loved to “talk story” as they say in the islands, now many of his friends and family can still listen or read about his adventures.