Every bar needs a story.
Kim asserted this truism as a matter of fact as she poured the six of us a grog. The rains had finally taken a break, and the recent floodwaters had subsided. Mixed with the sounds of Delstroyers surf and the Kentiki Jungle Box bird calls, I could hear the lapping of the waves against the boathouse walls and feel a gentle rocking as the hideaway floated on the lake. We settled in for story time.
Once upon a time, there were three headhunters that lived in a boathouse on Summit Lake near Olympia, Washington. There was Papua headhunter, Mama Vic headhunter, and Baby Doe headhunter.
One morning, the three decided to head out on a tiki bar expedition. With so many offerings in the Pacific Northwest, they’d be gone for days. While they were out, a couple of enthusiastic tiki folks – Kim and Mark – discovered the hidden boathouse. The adventurers had been to several public tiki establishments and needed a permanent place to hang their heads. They knocked on the door, and when no one answered, stumbled inside.
On the table, they saw three freshly crafted cocktails: a Mai Tai, a Honey Nut Glazed Punch, and a Patton’s Grog. They were quite thirsty and figured it’d be ok to taste a sip of each. When Kim tasted the elixir from the first tiki mug, it was clear the headhunters had made it too tart, so she adjusted up the sweet. Mark tasted some from the second tiki mug, but it was too sweet, so he added a little sour and a float of overproof Rum Fire. Then they tasted the third grog, and it was just right! It was so delicious they drank it all.
Kim noticed the headhunters had some routers in the boathouse shop and felt the sudden urge to create an entire set of intricately freehand-carved trim in less than three days. She thought it would frame up the hut quite nicely. She designed a pattern, made photocopies, traced them with carbon paper onto the wood, and plugged in the router to get started. Sadly, the first router was too big! She couldn’t see anything she was carving. The second router too small and hard to control. To make matters worse, she had a blow out. So, she headed out to the local bamboo shack and procured a third one, and it was just right! She started carving, burning, and staining and didn’t sit down until the entire hideaway was decked out – bow to stern and port to aft.
Mark admired the collection of Papua New Guinea headhunter’s masks. The first mask was just perfect. The second mask was just perfect. And the third one was too! When he asked Kim which one they’d save if the hideaway flooded, Kim got confounded and said – “All of them!” Mark was more practical and suggested the one closest to the door, but Kim would have none of that. She loved the eyes of every mask. It was definitely her aesthetic. In fact, she was so enamored by the carvings that she called up Tiki Tony and asked him to create a home bar sign inspired by the collection. Tiki Tony took a few pictures of the masks, came up with a design that honored their travels to Adventureland, and the Headhunter’s Hideaway was aptly charted.
A short time later, the three headhunters came back from their tiki expedition. They saw at once that someone had been inside. Papua headhunter looked at his collection and said, “Somebody has been admiring the ceremonial masks!” Mark responded, “I did, and they are all awesome!” Mama Vic headhunter said, “Somebody has been using my router!” Kim responded – “I did! Doesn’t the trim look fabulous?” Baby Doe headhunter said, “Somebody has been drinking my tiki, and it’s all gone!” Kim and Mark answered in unison this time – “Yes! We drank all three! Want another?”
They enjoyed a good laugh together and started squeezing white grapefruits for another round. All was well in the jungle, and Kim, Mark, and the three headhunters cohabitated peacefully in the hideaway happily ever after.
As Kim drew the story of the Headhunters Hideaway to a close, I was suddenly feeling a little uneasy about losing my head. No, it wasn’t the alcohol. I had to admit, I’d never shared space with three headhunters before. I found myself sitting a bit nervous between Mama Vic and Baby Doe on the bamboo lounger as they sipped quietly and stared intently at my neck.
Kim immediately offered another grog to take the edge off. As the rum soaked in, she reminded me of their family motto: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”