Humorous Quotes from Tom Robbins' Wild Ducks Flying Backward
In downtown Seattle, for some reason, most of the excess buildings are beige. Seattleites complain of beige a vu: the sensation that they’ve seen that color before.
If something is so hazardous and destructive and ugly and spooky that we don’t know what to do with it, we stick it in Nevada.
Much of it is nutty and most of it is crude (the Nevada state song is the exaggerated belch)...
For two blustery days, we holed up in the hotel, chasing fruit around the cylinder of a slot machine.
(Of the Okavango) The water is pure enough to drink, warm enough to bathe in, although if you splash for more than ten minutes, a drooling crocodile will usually show up and demand a wine list.
It knows that it looks as if it were carved out of bubblegum, as if it mutated from a radioactive conch patch, as if it leaked from the vat where old flamingos go to dye – but the Don CeSar (Hotel in Miami) doesn’t care.
In the Selous (in Tanzania), one doesn’t catch a safari bus to the corner of Zebra and Watusi. To see the Selous, one hikes and one paddles. And when an aggravated hippopotamus is charging one’s rubber raft, one paddles very hard, indeed.
Perhaps they (family and friends) sensed that after my recent dealings with editors, agents, lawyers, producers, and reviewers, I might be primed for the company of crocodiles.
From the port city of Dar es Salaam, we have traveled into the interior on a toy railroad: one locomotive, one car, and narrow-gauge track, all three built by the Chinese. It was definitely not a main line. It was a chow mein line.
Our first day in the bush finds us up at dawn. Having only seen dawn from the other side of the clock, I never imagined daybreak might actually be pleasant.
The refreshment we’re served is Rufiji punch: raspberry Kool-Aid made with river water that has been purified via medicine kit. The water is eighty degrees, buzzing with silt, stinking of iodine, and no doubt heavily laced with crocodile drool and hippo pee. We welcome it as if it were French champagne.
Characteristically, hippopotamuses make a noise that is a cross between scales being run on out-of-tune bassoon and the chortling of a mad Roman emperor.