Saturday, September 4, 2010

One more thing not to do before leaving for the Arctic

And I am not referring to extra credit reading on the stomach ailments attendant upon eating too much giviak* at one sitting.

Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to sit in a booby-trapped hammock. This is what I did late yesterday afternoon. After much busy-work all day long I imagined a short respite in the Nicaraguan hammock (from Masaya, from whence come the best hammocks in the world, until yesterday) on the lawn, slung between the outstretched metal pipe arms of the hammock stand, reading the Georgette LeBlanc’s story (Souvenirs) of her passionate love affair with Maurice Maeterlinck.
It was neither short neither a respite. Heavy metal made sudden contact with a skull.
If, however, you are going to be so foolish as to incur a head wound from a disengaged hammock stand, and require nine stitches to ensure no leakage from your already taxed brain pan, then I would strongly recommend going to the ER attended by a Princess in full Princess regalia.
I did, and I have no doubt that the excellent service I received was in a large part due to the fact that I was accompanied by royalty.

(Being essentially a very humble princess, she left her crown at home.)

*Giviak: Eskimo Specialty. First you kill a seal and flense it in “a special and difficult way”. Then you take the hollowed bag of sealskin lined with blubber and fill it with as many little auks as possible. When completely stuffed, you place the bag in a secure place, cover it with stones & keep it out of the sun. The blubber seeps into the birds and cures their meat. After several months, enjoy the feast. This is considered most delicious, especially “the lump of blood collected around the damaged heart.” (As described in Peter Freuchen's excellent Book of the Eskimos.)

1 comment:

Rebecca Rice said...

I'm so sorry about your unfortunate accident with the hammock. I'm so glad you are not seriously hurt. And I loved the idea of Princess L. getting you better attention in the ER!

The accident has clearly not affected your sense of humor!