Every day, I bury myself in the walls of this tomb, wearing only a loin cloth and a necklace made of human finger bones, waiting for Indiana Jones to come and steal the crystal skull. It’s a lonely job, a boring job, and I only get two breaks for food and water. I’m not even allowed a paperback to read (yes, we have books; we’re tribal warriors, not philistines, you racist.) The hours tick by slowly, particularly because, being a Peruvian native, I don’t have an iPhone to occupy me while I wait, and even if I did, all this dirt would scratch the screen. Furthermore, what if I missed Indy’s arrival because of an intense Bejeweled session or an article on “The Top Ten Ways to Avoid Poison Darts in the Throat”? That would be so embarrassing! My fellow warriors would flood my Facebook wall with posts like, “WTF, man! We just saw Indy Jones roll out ur tomb w/ the c-skull! Ur so dum!” It’s okay, though, because it gives me time to ruminate on why, even with the wisdom bestowed by technologically advanced alien gods, we only have spears while all these Caucasians have guns.
I remember when the chief first said, “Bury yourself in the wall and be perfectly still for twelve hours.” I was like, “Say whaaaaaaat?” because the chief had only recently been promoted, and he’s already assigning busywork, acting like he’s Con-Tici Viracocha Pachayachachic, you know? He goes, “Hey, don’t be a pussy,” and I was like, “Can’t I just hide around this corner instead? We’ll still have the element of surprise if we–,” and he said, “No, it’s way scarier if you pop out of the walls like corpses come to life.” It’s so mind-numbingly monotonous, I want to quit, but in this economy, any job’s better than no job at all. In the neighboring village, I heard nearly a third of the hunter/gatherers were laid off. And by laid off, I mean gutted to sate a bloodthirsty fertility god. And by god, I mean space alien.
The only perk of this job: no one can tell if you’re napping while buried in a wall. Any other office environment, you take a nap, the boss can instantly tell because your eyes are shut and your head’s on the desk. Buried in a wall — no indications. You could be sleeping for ten hours, no one would know. It’s dark and quiet, and I smuggled in a memory foam pillow for maximum comfort during the endless time spent waiting for tomb raiders. You might be asking: “Agunthu, what if tomb raiders actually arrive while you’re napping?” and to that, I say: what are the odds of that happening? Really. Besides, I can always blame my boss for overworking me; maybe sue for occupational safety violations in regards to being buried alive for twelve hours a day.
Personally, I feel there are more efficient ways to protect a sacred tomb like, for example—and I’m just speculating here — a padlock. Maybe a good strong deadbolt. Better yet, call ADT home security, install alarms, a keypad, 24 hour monitoring service, and they’ll also pay our insurance deductible in case of a burglary. I mean, I know our isolated tribe operates on a barter system and has no concept of a token economy, but a professional home security system can cost as little as a dollar a day, which I’m sure we could come up with if we charge these National Geographic reporters for photos. Now, is an alarm system as terrifying as a legion of spear toting warriors bursting out of the walls? No, I don’t suppose it is, but on the other hand, our tribe isn’t wasting hundreds of thousands of man-hours lurking in walls, choking on the musty scent of dead ancestors—because don’t forget it’s a tomb we’re guarding, not a damn Bath and Body Works.
What’s Indiana Jones’s deal with robbing native people of their beloved relics anyway? He’s always like, ‘It belongs in a museum!” but the end of that statement is, “…for pretentious white people.” Our jewels, statues, and talismans belong to us, you ruggedly handsome imperialist! You’re nothing but a thief, a roguishly charming one, but a thief nonetheless. In a just world, Legends of the Hidden Temple would be a show where children stay the hell out of our goddamn temple, and the temple guards spill their innocent blood on Olmec’s stony gray lips—for even the smallest child knows: a bountiful harvest can only be purchased with blood. Do Scrooge McDuck, Lara Croft, and Indiana Jones think we don’t value our ancient artifacts, that we don’t care if our cultural heritage is slowly stolen from us object by object? Do they think I’m buried in a wall with all my orifices clogged with dirt for fun? Because it’s not fun. Not at all.