I went to get a drink from the tiki bowl and had to queue behind a Jungle Cruise skipper, a creepy monkey, an Elvis impersonator, and three toucans. I thought to myself …
This is a really funny punchline.
Keith is a Jungle Cruise skipper turned Elvis impersonator. Sissy grew up with a grandfather who told stories of military service days in Hawaii. Keith remembers flirting with the dancers of the Tahitian Terrace. A native – and often cold and wet – Oregonian, Sissy grew up dreaming of the warmer climes of the South Pacific. With all of these influences, the couple feels quite at home with a creepy monkey and three toucans in the Enchanted Jungle Room, their home tiki bar. As you might deduce, the Enchanted Jungle Room pays tribute to two tiki influences, the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland and Elvis’ Jungle Room at Graceland. You’ll find shag carpets like those from Graceland. You’ll notice toucans that might start singing at any moment. You’ll see an impressive collection of black velvet paintings including (of course) an Elvis. You’ll sit in booths from the (now gone) Trader Vics of Portland and admire tikis from Thatch Tiki Bar (the predecessor of the world-famous Hale Pele). You’ll catch a sparkle from rhinestone Elvis capes and belts. You’ll notice a stone wall that looks suspiciously reminiscent of the back side of water at Schweitzer Falls. All together, the vibe is perfect for Sissy and Keith’s 1950s home escape.
As we toured the Enchanted Jungle Room, I stopped at the glass case with the sign “Break in case of hippo attack!” and felt the sudden urge for puns. In case you don’t know, I love puns. Give me a dad joke any day. I will laugh loudly and inappropriately at the worst of them. And, I knew that a former Jungle Cruise Skipper would have a few up his sleeve. I didn’t think that Keith could up that ante, but he did. What would be better? Forbidden puns. I was beguiled when Keith starting sharing his favorite taboo puns. These were the one-liners that Disney would not allow him or other skippers to tell on the ride:
Over here we have three toucans. Y’all know what toucan plus toucan plus toucan makes? …. A six pack.
Oh, my. Scandalous. It suggested a six-pack of alcohol. Taboo.
And over here we have the African Bull Elephant, the second most feared creature in the jungle. On the other side, we have the first-most feared creature, his mother-in-law.
We don’t want to frustrate the mom-in-laws in the crowd. Taboo too.
Or, was it? Back in the day, when Keith was unloading his boat, a mother-in-law got close to Keith and called him out: “You did not do the mother-in-law joke. I’m very upset.” Keith quickly responded: “Ma’am, please, my name is Keith. Go to City Hall. Complain that I did not do the mother-in-law joke. We love the mother-in-law joke. We want it back. If you complain, it might just come back.”
Apparently, mother-in-laws rule. I understand that it’s ok to joke again about mother-in-laws at Disneyland.
I was also surprised to learn that Keith is not a fan of rum. He’s a tequila and bourbon kind of guy, and he makes an amazing margarita using top shelf tequila. He served me one in an Enchanted Jungle Room glass commissioned and designed by Tony Canepa. As I took a closer look, Keith pointed out the design elements on the glass including the background from Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii, Sweitzer Falls, three toucans, a creepy monkey, and lighting bolts from Elvis’ “TCB” logo, (taking care of business).
I took one sip, grinned, and resisted the urge to respond with “thank you, thank you very much.”