Clint Tyree, aka “Skink,” has become as much a part of the Florida landscape as mouse ears, thanks to his featured role in seven Carl Hiaasen books. Here, we first meet Skink when a teen named Richard finds him hiding in a faux turtle nest, planning to pummel anyone who tries to disturb the “eggs.” Turns out, Richard could use a friend like Skink. Richard’s flakey cousin Malley has gone missing, and Richard has become convinced that no one is taking the search seriously.
So the team of Richard and Skink take off across Florida to hunt down Malley. Naturally, a road trip means music. Skink’s choice is what Richard describes as a “Deep South Rocker” entitled “Run Through the Jungle.” The band is Creedence Clearwater Revival, appropriate since the pair are headed for Clearwater.
Richard is a little off, geographically, when he refers to CCR as Deep South. The band members hail from California. Lead singer John Fogerty wrote the lyrics for “Run Through the Jungle,” which include:
Thought I heard a rumblin’
Callin’ to my name
Two hundred million guns are loaded
Satan cries, “Take aim”
Fogerty later explained that this wasn’t an anti-war song, or that he was anti-gun. He himself is a hunter. But it seemed to him that “…so many guns were uncontrolled that it was really dangerous.” (Los Angeles Times, 1993)
-Diane Colson, currently reading Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker
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