I’m standing in line waiting for a towel, of all things.
At our vacation spot, I’m holding my towel card at the Activity Desk, but four other people are ahead of me, and they all seem to be ready to rent chairs, kayaks, and surf boards. I may have a long wait ahead of me.
But one of the clerks behind the desk motions toward me in excitement. Since I’m four people behind the desk, I’m not sure what he’s pointing out. I smile, raise my finger to my new straw hat, and mouth “Thanks.”
He shakes his head no and points lower. Then he moves his head from side to side while holding his hands over his ears. Whaaa?
The clerk ignores everyone else in line, leaves his spot behind the desk, and races up to me. “You just need a towel?” he asks, conspiratorially.
“Yes,” I whisper back.
As if he’s waiting for the secret word first, he probes, “What’s the Hawaiian word for turtle?”
I really want that towel, but darn if I can remember. Then I look behind me at the bar sign and exclaim, “Honu!”
The young man smiles at me as if I’m the smartest student he’s ever had. As he hands me a towel, he asks another question. I wonder what the reward is if I get this one right.
“What would the world be like if it was filled with only Hawaiian turtles?” he asks, winking.
I move from one foot to the other. Come on, Pam, you can do this. Suddenly I shout out:
“A HONU world!!”
My inquisitor pats me on the shoulder as if I myself have just saved an endangered Hawaiian turtle.
And then he hands me a second towel.
I beam as if I’ve just won first place.