I’m in a standoff. There is no way Shantell is going to hand over the keys to my rental Jeep until I initial the form she’s thrust at me that acknowledges, in legal-eze, that she has given me a map of the island of Lanai with most of its off-roads stamped NOT ACCESSIBLE in one-inch-high red letters and, should I ignore her emphatic instructions and drive on said roads and need to be towed or, god forbid, cause any damage to the Jeep, I will be one sorry kanapapiki. Which is Hawaiian slang for sonofabitch.
The problem, as I see it, is that the roads she has forbidden me to navigate happen to be the ones also marked with funny little symbols of a stick man with his arms out like a scarecrow, signifying places on the island where one might find petroglyphs. And searching for Hawaiian petroglyphs is the main reason Macduff Everton and I have come to Lanai in the first place.
When I explain this to Shantell, she frowns and says, “Why you want to look at petroglyphs anyhow? Not much to see.”
I explain that Macduff, a California-based photographer, has lured me here in a search of authentic Hawaiian culture. Which confuses Shantell even more.
“Like that old time-y Lanai stuff. Stories about the pineapple plantation days, paniolo songs, old archaeological sites. That sort of thing. Know what I mean?”
Shantell just frowns. “If you don’t sign, you don’t rent Jeep.”
At which point Macduff leans in close to me and whispers. “Just sign the goddamn form. I’ll drive the Jeep. They’ll never know the difference.”
Yeah, right. As long as he doesn’t get us stuck on one these unpaved roads marked NOT ACCESSIBLE. Against my better judgment, I sign the form promising I won’t drive anywhere I’m not supposed to. And I won’t. Macduff will. Let’s just hope it all works out.