Tarzan’s Embarrassin’ Adventure

Written By Galen White

If you are gonna give a speech, you need an audience. If you are showin’ a movie, you need an audience. If you are tellin’ a joke, you need an audience. But if you are ten or eleven years old and playin’ Tarzan, you sure as heck don’t need an audience watchin’ ’cause it could be embarrassin’……., ‘specially in such a case as follows.

It was about this time of the year when the June sun bore down hotly and was scorchin’ an already dry land. ‘Bout the only relief from the heat came from a dip in Uncle Lonnie’s pond.

As I have often told you, Tarzan was my childhood hero. And with my imagination, I was every bit as strong, bold, agile, and smart as he was. Guess the only thing I didn’t match Tarzan with was my eyesight and hearin’.

You seen, growin up in a jungle as Tarzan did, one had to develop a keen sense of eyesight and hearin’ for there were all kinds of lions, leopards, and rinosuruses…., rinnostrus…., there were all kinds of deadly animals that would do you in if you didn’t detect their presence afore they jumped you.

Well, on this particular occasion, Tarzan, portrayed by yours truly, lit a shuck to Lonnie’s pond in an effort to cool off as well as prevent poachers from killin’ my animal friends. As I approached the pond at a dead run, I shucked all remnants of civilization and was nekked as a jungle jaybird by the time I was ten feet from the cool water.

Into the cool water I ran; splashin’ water every which way while pretendin’ to rassle a crokodile…., a croackadil…., while pretendin’ to rassle a gator into submission. Once the gator was conquered, I broke out into a classic Tarzan yell. Of course, the yell had to be accompanied by the beatin’ of my chest.

I then turned and dove into the depths of the pond, swam across to the other side and….., okay, okay, Maybe I didn’t swim all the way across the pond, but this here is my true tale and I’ll tell it like I want.

Anyway, as my head broke the surface on the water, I listened to see if I could hear the drum beats comin’ from the village of cannibals. Well, I didn’t hear any drum beats, but I did hear some talkin’. It suddenly dawned on me that imaginin’ that I was gonna fight cannibals was one thing, but actually hearing their voices was something else!

Didn’t take but a nanosecond to spot two women sittin’ on the bank fishing! I believe it would be safe to say this was one of the times that Tarzan’s position was more than he bargained for!

What could I do, though? I had already ruined their fishing; my Tarzan yell had probably given them a start; my chest beatin’ had to have caused them to laugh, and I sure as heck couldn’t get out of the water since I was….., what that phrase….aw-so-naturale?

Well, I believe that once the women realized that I knew they were there, they packed up their fishing gear and left. Here’s where I let you in on a little known fact about Tarzan. Tarzan was shy. Really, really shy! Wanting to be sure they had left the country, Tarzan stayed in the water long enough to look like a sun dried prune when he climbed out! Even Cheetah would have died laughin’…

My mother told me when I got home that I had been gone so long she had begun to get worried. I told her there was nothing for her to be worried about ’cause Tarzan could take care of himself. On the other hand, Tarzan was a bit fearful of runnin’ into the two fisherwomen up at Will Ross Henry’s of Lawrence White’s store.

It was bad enough havin’ ’em as an audience; meetin’ ’em face to face may have led to an early demise of Tarzan! I can see his tombstone now: Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, Born and raised amongst the deadliest denizens of Africa. Died from embarrassment.



Galen WhiteGalen White has written articles for several papers in North Louisiana and is now retired.

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