The Most Dangerous Language Game

Taking a break from the novel I'm working on, I came up with this little short story.

While holding his rifle in one hand and scanning the dense jungle, the hunter scratched his khaki pants. The pants held special significance for him. Back in 1880 his father had taken part in a conflict known as the Transvaal War, where he’d helped defend a garrison of his fellow Englishmen from a hoard of Zulu warriors. From this conflict, the term “khaki” became the popular term for the style of pants worn by British soldiers. The hunter’s father had gained something else from the conflict. Enamored with the sound of the word (and perhaps a bit nostalgic for his glory days), upon his return he’d convinced his wife to agree to name their third son “Boer”.

Boer rested the butt of the rifle on the plank on which he sat, holding the long rifle by the stock. Because Boer’s father had done quite well for himself in business during the Great War, his son could afford to travel the world, hunting for big game. Now the Englishman sat in a tree on another island, closer to South Africa than the south side of Brighton. The jungles of Madagascar held their share of game, and the lush vegetation made for picturesque scenery, but Boer couldn’t help feeling a bit of ennui. So this was his life, Boer thought. No particular purpose, no ambition beyond his own amusement. And this particular amusement had led him to a blind in a tree in a jungle, far from friends and family. It had led to more waiting.

While the hunter sat in the seat some three feet off the ground, obscured by the squat tree’s dense foliage, the large wild pig prepared to attack. Sneaking through the underbrush, the beast avoided detection by pure luck. Boer, distracted by his mild existential crisis, failed to notice the rustling below him. The pig, a hundred kilos of muscle, wiry hair, and rudeness, identified the hunter as a threat (and possible lunch) by smell, and prepared to use all 20 centimeters of its protruding tusks to pierce the wooden plank separating it from its prey.

So, to summarize, while Boer sat and contemplated his boredom, a boorish boar prepared to bore through his board.

This proves that English, even for the English, can be a pain in the ass.