Saturday, November 11, 2006
Garrison Keillor: He came to Hawai'I from El Paso the Lord had told him to come and to stamp out the hula...
Tim Russell (PREACHER): Swaying your hips back and forth while you do the hoochie-koochie with your arms those are not the movements of a Christian! They are the movements of a snake! Yea, verily. A serpent.
GK: And he formed a church, the Church of the Upstanding and raised millions of dollars for a church building on flat ground, a rectangle, with no undulating lines, and he put forward an amendment to the Hawaiian state constitution--
TR (PREACHER): Dance shall be defined as a polka between a man and a woman-hopping from side to side, with the parties fully clothed and at least 6 inches of daylight between them.
GK: And that's when the truth comes out. Photographs of him in a grass skirt and a coconut bra dancing (HULA MUSIC) in a club in Honolulu. And he lies about it.
TR (PREACHER): That is not me, my head has been PhotoShopped onto the body of another man. I have never danced any hula-type of dance.
GK: And then he confesses...
TR (PREACHER): For years I have struggled with dark urges that drive me to move in an expressive manner and so on three occasions I performed the hula. I am ashamed. I regret the pain I have brought to my family and my congregation and I have resigned and I am moving to northern Minnesota immediately.
GK: And he moves to Bemidji (BLIZZARD, WOLF HOWL) and he takes up an expressive movement known as shoveling (EFFORT, SHOVELLING, SNOW PLATS). He takes up skating. (SKATING) And snowmobiling. (SNOWMOBILE DRIVING OVER HUMPS OF SNOW). He joins a Lutheran church. (TR MOURNFUL SWEDISH) and he's okay until one night in February he goes to a potluck supper and somebody's brought a glazed ham with pineapple, and he loses control (HULA GUITAR) and he dances and he slips on the ice (CRY OF ALARM) and he twists his back (CRACK OF VERTEBRAE) and he goes to the hospital and they have to fuse his vertebrae (BLOWTORCH, HAMMERING, RATCHETING) and now he has a perfectly straight back and he can no sooner hula than he can throw a curve ball but he still has hula dreams (HULA GUITAR) in which beautiful dark-skinned women whisper to him (SFX) with their long expressive hands and tiki torches burn and surfers surf (SURF, GULLS) and the climate is mild and one night he walks in his sleep during a dream and (DOOR OPEN, BLIZZARD) out into the snow he goes dreaming of Hawai'i (HULA GUITAR) and there they find him in the morning. Dead. But happy. A smile on his face. A frozen hibiscus in his hand.