Initially, we all agreed the angry Hawaiian shot at us with a BB-gun.
We were barely 10 hours into Matt’s bachelor party and we were already getting shot at by an upset owner of littoral land. He owned right up to the halfway mark, he explained, in irate shouts, gestures, and expletives. With my legal background, I knew he was only half right. While his title ownership on paper may have extended to the middle of the stream, for a few different reasons, he did not hold the right to exclude others from that portion of “his” stream. Nevertheless, this man was the type not-to-be-bothered by the nuances law. And with good reason. We were deep in the back-country of the island of Kauai, he had a gun, and we did not.
His wife had spotted us first, likely drawn out of her damp plywood hole of a house by the shouts of eight Drunk Dudes On A Bachelor Party.
“Who the fuck are you!?”, she screamed, at the first three fellows of our floating envoy.
“I don’t even know how to answer that question!” responded Matt, the bachelor.
“Where the fuck you from!?”, she inquired next, to which Matt politely responded, “It’s complicated!” Which wasn’t far from the truth.
Knowing local people, and their thirst for Respect, I quickly chimed in: “I’m very sorry! We launched from a friends house. We mean no disrespect!”
Our assurances did not assuage the wife of the angry Hawaiian. Unfortunately for all involved, this was a slow moving stream, and the whole event had the feeling of a slow-motion car-wreck.
While we were being greeted by Ms. Angry Hawaiian, Mr. Angry Hawaiian emerged from somewhere, probably the shitter, where I imagine his fat-ass spends most the day. He was shirtless, pot-bellied and had long, wildly curly hair down to his shoulders.
“Get da FUCK of my Property,” he roared. “I’m sorry! We mean know disrespect!”, I reiterated.
As we slowly drifted around a bend a slightly overweight preteen girl, hair in pigtails, swinging with serene eerieness on a tree swing that straddled the bank of the stream, came into view. This was Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Angry Hawaiian. As she smiled placidly, her parents tracked us along the embankment, which was roughly three feet above the stream.
“Get da FUCK of my Property,” he roared again. His wife provided his backup with an indiscernible babble of hatred. Matt, with college-educated politeness replied, “We’re working on it!”
We then hit a section that sort of pooled off, and the stream all but stopped moving. Perfect, I thought, now eight Drunk Dudes On A Bachelor Party could accumulate at the toe of the Angry Hawaiian’s Property. Matt, his brother Luke, and I slowly revolved in concentric circles while we waited for Some End To This Nightmare. I was floating on two hot pink inner-tubes, Matt was on a pink mattress-type float, and his brother was on a giant inflatable swan. I kept my back to the Angry Hawaiian Family so as to not escalate the situation further.
A projectile entered the water nearby. Is that girl-from-the-shinning throwing fucking rocks at us?, I thought.
Matt, partly because he’s naturally a low-energy dude who only gets excited jumping out of a plane or dropping into a huge wave, and partly because he had had eleven spiked-seltzers by that point, very calmly asked, “Are you really shooting at us?”
“I’m entitled fo do ta’get practice,” the Angry Hawaiian informed Matt.
Four more bros, larger and drunker than the initial three, trickled down stream and into the Scene. The Fat Angry Hawaiian was not pleased with this development.
“WE NO LIKE DIS STREAM COME LIKE HANALEI RIVAH” he shouted with the fervor of decades-worth of frustration.