The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.10 – Extreme Parsimony

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‘In the jungle the miser is king.’ Cook’s translation of Lobo’s little epigram kept circling round my brain.

The Capybara hunt had simply been an assessment of our frugality.

We had failed.

A complete restructuring of habits was in order. The incident with the boots had only been a taste of Lobo’s OCD.

I understood military precision. I understood the psychological and physical necessity of ritual of tidiness. I understood the fastidious caution of the seasoned outdoorsman. But I did not understand Lobo.

What I had mistaken for reticence and a stiff upper lip was actually just energy conservation. The guy was a human sonar. Taking in every little thing and every little thing beyond the smallest thing ad infinitum. When we’d go into town for meetings and supplies he was as gregarious as anyone. He liked to sing and could play a little guitar. The instrument dwarfed comically by his cyclopean hands.

Despite speaking excellent English he opted to communicate in Portuguese more often than not. Even to us. I figure he was trying to get us used to the language. Or that he was just being an ass. It was always difficult to tell.

‘In the jungle the miser is king.’

I found the thought a touch odd. The jungle is a place of extreme abundance. Fertile and fecund beyond belief. Rain, game, and fuel was for all intents and purposes boundless. Yet we were supposed to exhibit: ‘extreme parsimony’?

It took a while for an obvious fact to dawn on me. Every calorie expended in the jungle was a huge withdrawal. Food might be everywhere and even if you are a skilled hunter you still must hunt. Rain may be everywhere but you must catch it. River water must be purified. All things that take time and energy. Time and energy that here beneath the canopy would tax an Olympian.

As such the utmost must be done to promote efficiency. Even minor setbacks like a scrape that went a little too deep could quickly escalate far beyond control. Infection, death, etc.

You had to move quick, you had to move light, and you had to move tidy. There was little room for error if any. Even in as propitious a season as we had chosen to embark. The lack of flash floods was not the lack of snakes, bacteria, or mercurial natives.

Everything must be conserved because everything took a fortune to replace.

I understood this after a few exercises. After really letting the fatigue of even the most mundane tasks seep in. But still…

“Yeah, but aren’t we gonna have 24/7 comm lines and air support?”

All I got in response was a condescending grin.


Part I – Kentucky Door

1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe

1.2 The Cajun Prayer

1.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter One: The Cambridge Gable Scene (‘Gator is Waitin’)

1.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.4 – The Cambridge Gable Scene – (Horticulture)

1.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.5: ‘To Luckadoo Cove’

1.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.6 – ‘Is there anybody out there…’

1.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.7: ‘Jesse’

1.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.8: ‘Lungful of Bees’

1.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.9 – ‘Precedent’

2.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.0 -Calvinist Neuroses

2.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.1 – Mirage

2.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.2 – Estate Planning

2.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.3 – High Tech Summons

2.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.4 – Amazon Stonehenge

2.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.5 – Jung

2.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.6 – Dee

2.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.7 – Meeting 211

2.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.8 – Itinerary

2.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.9 – Fact and Fiction

2.10 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.10 -Kaffeeklatsch

2.11 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.11 – Catnap

2.12 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.12 – ‘One Pair’

2.13 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.13 – Reentry

2.14 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.14 – Phoenix

2.15 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.15 – Apollo and Dionysus

3.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.0 – Inherit the Wind

3.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.1 – Stardust

3.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.2 – Loyola

3.3 Chapter 3.3 – High and Dry

3.4 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.4 – One Dream

3.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.5 – Pensive

3.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.6 – Feijoada

3.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.7 – ‘Good food and good work…’

3.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.8 – A Good Egg

3.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.9 – Oregon HillThe Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.9 – Thera_

3.10 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.10 – ‘Thick Bushes’

4.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.0 – No room at the Inn

4.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.1 – The Union Jack

4.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.2 – The Genevive

4.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.3 – Ecclesiastes 1:18

4.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.4 – Bleached

4.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.5 – Marty

4.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.6 – Highland Deep

4.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.7 – Sunshine

4.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.8 – What is it?

4.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.9 – Thera

4.10 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.10 – Father Crespi

4.11 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.11 – Why this?

Part II – The Wizard’s Nod

5.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.0 – Thurible

5.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.1 – Parlour Tricks

5.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.2 – Tropical Brutalism

5.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.3 – The Dreamers in the Wood

5.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.4 – Les Goddams

5.5. The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.5 – Lobo

5.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.6 – Madonna

5.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.7 – Basic 2.0

5.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.8 – The Least Dangerous Game

5.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.9 – Bichanos


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