Home > 2012-13 Season > Return to Hoover Island: Part IV

Return to Hoover Island: Part IV

January 10, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Dick Oakes, Jr.
Senior Staff Writer
File photo

Tucker has sent a plane ticket and a palace press pass. “I will be rejoining the Pondischerries [sic] Association,” he has written hastily on a scrap of paper. I huff it out to the airport.

I am seated in a cramped private plane (indeed, few visitors are permitted access to Hoover Island). There is a short, silent man seated next to me who, for reasons unclear, is wearing a red toupee held in place by an elastic band beneath his chin. For forty-five minutes, no words are said in the cabin. We make a stopover in the Teets Island Chain and again, for reasons unclear, several bags of garbage are loaded aboard.

As we take off, red toupee leans towards me.

“Wondering if you might be interested in a lift-off mold ring?”

I stare at him over my crossword.

“It’s the 8-inch or 12-inch,” he adds, senselessly.

When I say nothing in response, red toupee becomes aggressive.

“You’ve done this before? Have any idea at all what you’re doing?”

More garbage bags are suddenly thrown in from the cockpit. Red toupee goes silent.

The flight finally over, I leg it out to the palace and am admitted straightaway. Tucker is in the middle of a strange photo session. He is wearing a top-hat and leaning against a mirror. Everyone seems instantly pleased with the effect. During breaks in the shooting, Tucker produces a handheld plastic game of the type where one attempts to navigate a ball-bearing through a maze. He is not faring well and is starting to show it.

“FUCK!  Damn these whorish games!” he yells and then instantly apologizes. The photographers pay no attention.

A man is ushered in and a chair and a hassock produced. The man places his briefcase on the hassock and opens it slowly. Tucker stares inside and a look of pure wonder crosses his face.

“What is in there? What is that?”

“These, Mr. Tucker, will bring you great, great luck,” says the man. And he presents a series of masks, each more beautiful than the last.

“You wear one of these, you don’t even have to worry about throwing up,” the man notes.

“I see. I see,” says Tucker, taking the mask of a bronzed, athletic blonde man into his hands.

“They’ve got tubes in there, see.”

“Astonishing,” says Tucker. He places the blonde on his face and his voice becomes slightly muted. “It feels so natural.”


Tucker and the man step into the next room as the photographers continue to fiddle with their equipment. I wait another hour.

Finally, Tucker’s man-servant appears.

“Mr. Tucker is involved with masks, Sir. You will need to come tomorrow.”

I am presented with a hotel key. They give me a ride back to town.

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