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Under the Big African Sky, last part

So many times, traveling in third-world countries, I find myself in bizarre situations, like being in the back of a tiny grocery store in rural Zambia and hearing David Cook and then Adam Lambert songs on the radio (American Idol contestants).

We went on a late-night safari and as Shari and I were sitting and looking for wild-game animals with floodlights, I said, “You thinking what I’m thinking?” Turns out we were both deciding, “What would I do if I were left out here all alone all night?” (Does the capacity of the human brain to think about completely inane subjects ever amaze you?)

We had a long debate only slightly less pointless than the one my kids had, driving across Nebraska a few years ago. I was amazed at how hot under the collar Cade and Emma got discussing, “Who is more famous, Akon or Gwen Stefani?”

Anyway, our consensus was that we’d climb a tree. And then if an elephant came along, we’d walk alongside him. (Trust me on this. It’s a good plan. We can defend our thesis. We know stuff, now that we’ve been to Africa.)

One time we were sitting waiting for the night-safari bus and our guide, Nick, Shari, and I had this convo as “Tiny Dancer” came on the radio and Shari didn’t know who recorded it:

Me: It’s Tina Turner. She’s gotta be pushing, what, like 70? And she has the most amazing body, still.

Shari: Thanks to a lot of plastic surgery, I’m sure.

Me: No, it’s her LEGS. They’re ridiculous. Did you see her on American Idol a couple years ago? Any 20-year old would love to have those legs. There’s no plastic surgery for great legs.

Shari: Whatever! Calf implants. Lipo. Cutting out the skin above the knee.

Me: Oh.

Nick (snorting): Geez. You Americans. That’s stupid. Just move your body around and eat salad.

Well, doesn’t that just sum it up. It’s such simple logic, you know. How much pain and agony and premature death could be avoided here in the First World if we all did that. (Around the world, by the way, women are far more natural–far less cosmetic surgery even in other First-World countries.)

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