Thursday, 10 November 2011

Waterproof Monk

The summer of 2011 was wet in the Willapas. Very wet. And cold. But mostly wet. For a monk sitting his 100 Days on the Mountain, sleeping in a cave-like tent and living under a piece of Tyvek, it presented unique challenges. These included (but were not limited to):

  • Six-inch banana slugs that got snarled in my robe while I was meditating and then snotted out a plate-sized patch of slime all over it and my zabuton while panicking.
  • The same going "squish!", rather dramatically, underfoot when I crawled out at 0300 to pee.
  • Mildew covering even the nylon effects stored in my tent.
  • The inability to launder clothing or bedding, because I couldn't dry it.
  • Bare feet eternally muddy; rain-softened sandals sliding out from under them on any but perfectly level ground.
  • And perhaps the worst, being imprisoned in my little jungle clearing, because leaving it meant getting soaked in high grass or dense brush. (Remember: no drying things.)

A week or so of this, and the Oh-Look-How-Zen-I-Am shtick ceases to umbrella one's morale; one begins to swing from vociferous obscenities to deep depression. And so it was that I envisioned this movie, starring me as The Nameless Hermit, one midnight while sitting on my sleeping bag, under the driving rain. If the lines seem a little wobbly, it's because they were drawn by flashlight. Also, the pose was meant to be some kind of scary kung fu stance. Sadly, in the cold light of day, I just look like an angry folk dancer.

I derived creatively from the Chow Yun-Fat grinder Bulletproof Monk. Chicago Reader film critic Bill Stamets said of this movie: "The fight scenes are routine, the humor juvenile, and the Toronto locales rendered drab through muddy cinematography." So there you go. Change "Toronto" to "North Coast," and you've got my whole life.

So what do you think? Does the idea have legs? Frankly, I think I could kick Chow's butt. Commercially, that is.

This is exactly what my ango was like. Except
 I wasn't angry. Or Asian. Or armed. But aside
from that, this is exactly what it was like.

(Adapted from 100 Days on the Mountain, copyright RK Henderson.


  1. I like the drawing captions. I mean moldy children and a rating of "cannot be seen". I had to click the link to see if there really was such a movie as "Bulletproof Monk". Sad but true. I think I'll pass even though 19 people on Amazon gave it the highest rating.


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