I will do a more detailed entry for this port day later on, but I had to come back on to report that I had success in getting to “The Dog House” today – that’s what they call Duane Dog Chapman’s official store here on Oahu. Duane Dog Chapman, if you don’t know, is the infamous “Dog the Bounty Hunter” appearing weekly in a reality tv series on the A&E Network.
I took a Little Circle Island tour today – a 3.5 hour version of a full Circle Island tour I had taken a couple of years back. During the course of the tour, I asked the tour guide if it would be possible to get dropped off at the Dog’s Place, instead of back at the ship. I’m sure he thought I was an idiot, but he humored me and made the extra stop right in front of Da Kine Bail Bonds on Queen Emma Street (while all my fellow passengers looked at me getting off the bus as though I was nuts).
Sadly, “the Dog” was nowhere to be found, but the shop was being manned by one of his sons – Travis. Travis is not a regular on the show, though he has appeared in a few episodes. I immediately recognized him. His son – Dog’s grandson – is also a regular member of the “posse” this season.
Travis graciously answered all of my dumb questions about his family, and even showed me a model remote control helicopter he was putting together for the filming of upcoming episodes of the show. Apparently the thing will fly some 90 miles an hour and be entirely electric. Cameras will be mounted on it, so that it can take actual footage of the action going on down below, providing aerial shots to supplements the ones taken by the A&E camera people on the ground. God, I hope I have all that right – as I really don’t understand that much about this sort of thing. But what I do know is that the chopper sure looked neat, and Travis let me take a picture of it. I suggested he have the A&E network pay for a real one – then the posse could look for fugitives from the air. Travis didn’t think that was likely to happen.
Travis also graciously posed for a picture with me, and also took my photo against a large Dog the Bounty Hunter cutout that they keep in the store for just such a purpose. If you pose just right, it is very, very difficult to tell that the photo is being taken with a cardboard image.
The store is chock full of every item of Dog the Bounty Hunter merchandise you can think of, and within ten minutes I had spent close to $100 bucks on tee-shirts. Travis also gave me some wrist bands with the Dog’s famous saying – “No More Ice in Paradise.” Ice is a form of cocaine that is very popular on these islands. The Dog is one of the dominant forces in trying to discourage young people from getting into the drug culture in Hawaii by stamping out this scourge.
Travis told me that it was a shame I wouldn’t be on Oahu the 15th of this month. The entire Chapman clan would be hosting a “Fan Appreciation” event on that date, and he said that I could have surely met the Dog, and probably gotten my tee-shirts autographed as well. Sadly, the Statendam will have long sailed away from these islands by that time, and will be far into the South Pacific come October 15. Oh, well – my loss.
I realize this entry may seem silly to most people, but – hey, what can I say? I like Dog the Bounty Hunter just like others enjoy their favorite soap operas and the people who star in them. The only difference in my case is that I try to make my fantasies come true, and I’ve long wanted to see the Dog’s bail bond office, as well as shop his official store in person rather than just on the internet. Well, I made sure this trip to do that, and the accomplishment makes me feel good – just like the accomplishment of making a tandem skydive on the North Shore of Oahu during my last visit to these islands in 2006 made me feel good.
So, I’ll close this entry by saying always have dreams, and then go out and make them come true!
Note: I will try to get a small gallery of photos up just as soon as I can get my editor to post them.