This is the last part of a three part series as I read through T.J. Matthews Choose Your Own Adventure Series. CYOA books place the reader as the main character who must choose his or her own path. In the past adventures I was bitten by a rabid dog and almost contracted cholera from Lake Victoria. Today I’m reading The Village Safari.
For the third summer in a row I am visiting my friends in Tanzania. On the trip over I’m having deja vu all over again because everything is the same until page 6. We use the same dialogue, I have the same thoughts and fears, and we take the exact same airplanes. I’m hoping for a little variety here.
Dave and Danielle start fighting about what to do. We can go to the market, go to a wedding, or stay home. Danielle is the one who suggests staying home and I instinctively check my breath. I’m ready for go time. Dave makes fun of Danielle because she has a doll house and then Dave starts bragging about the African house he’s building with his friends that has a sloped roof and grass walls. Danielle says her doll house has a fridge and a swimming pool and although the book doesn’t say this but I’m about to go grab my swim trunks and sunscreen. Debbie is making a cake for the wedding this afternoon and Danielle asks me what I want to do.
I turn to page 11 because I’m told weddings, in similar fashion to full moons for werewolves, turn women into romantic carnivores. Darryl and Debbie go ahead to the wedding before us kids. Finally Danielle is ready to leave. After walking a ways their black cat shows up behind us. Danielle wants to take the cat back home, but David doesn’t want to wait. Danielle asks me if I want to go with her and take the cat back, or if I want to go ahead with Dave.
I decide to play it smooth and go with Dave. The book doesn’t say this but I’m actually allergic to cats. I didn’t want to turn into the red eyed sneezing monster on our little walk back. We get to the church and “Jingle Bells” is being played. I guess it’s the music used for the wedding march because it’s a demo programmed into their keyboard. Danielle comes in right when the wedding is about to start. Two girls walk down the aisle and spray aerosol cans and then baby powder everywhere. The book doesn’t say this but it gets into my eyes and starts burning. Suddenly, right as the bride is about to appear, the family’s dog, Simba, is standing at the church entrance. Darryl runs to go get and motions for Dave to follow. Everyone starts laughing, but I’m too busy trying to see where I am.
I choose to stay at the wedding with Danielle. The bride and groom and pastor are saying things to each other. The book doesn’t say this but I can barely see because my eyes sting so bad. They’re watering and tears are streaming down my cheeks. Danielle mistakes my tearing up for actually crying and pats my hand. I do a few sniffles and push out a few more tears. Finally it’s almost over and the bride and groom instead of kissing sign a contract of how much the groom is going to pay the bride’s father. Which I thought was a pretty crappy deal for the groom.
Then everyone starts dancing. I naturally do a few moves of my own. The Sprinkler, the Q-tip, Roll the Dice, The Lawn Mower, the Bum Jump, and The Elaine. I can’t see much but I imagine it’s glorious, the crowd is probably gathering around me chanting my name. David returns from taking Simba home and we leave to go the reception.
On our way to the reception we are joined by a bunch of African kids. The suddenly, without warning, we are attacked by bees. The sound is deafening. My options are to outrun the bees or run for the house that might be locked. I try to run. I’m stung twice and then I kill one with my bare hands. I look behind me and Danielle is carrying a crying child. The bees leave as quickly as they came. They stung everyone.
The book asks if I’m allergic to bees and I am so I turn to page 74. Danielle runs to the reception and gets her mom Debbie who puts some medicine on my stings and then makes me lay down. The book doesn’t say this but I want to go to the reception and pull off some more of my dance moves and woo Danielle, but she says she’ll stay with me and make sure I don’t die from the stings, which we all know means she wants to make out with me. The End.
I tried to find the author of this series, T.J. Matthews, on the internet. The book says that T.J. is a woman attending the University of Tennessee, but I’m not so sure T.J. isn’t actually a man posing as the bassist of Sunset Black. We may never know.