The Adventures of Ishi, Last of His Tribe

Buying Books

Clerk: OK, Ishi, this comes to $54.35.

Ishi: Can I write you a check?

Clerk: Sure, I just need to see your Cal ID or driver’s license.

Ishi: My Yahi ancestors believe that when a person is photographed, the camera captures their soul. And without a soul, a brave Yahi must forever wander the Great Forest, unable to join the spirits of his ancestors in the Happy Hunting Grounds.

Clerk: Um, so are you gonna pay cash, or what?

The Holiday

Roommate: Ishi, wake up! You’re late for class!

Ishi: Is this not the second Monday in October? Is this not a holiday?

Roommate: Yes, but Berkeley doesn’t celebrate Columbus Day, dude.

Ishi: Curse the white man’s treachery!

The Housing Crisis

RA: Let me get this straight, Ishi. You sold your housing contract for $24 worth of beads?

Ishi: It is the truth.

RA: Why did you do such a thing?

Ishi: Can anyone truly own the sky? The earth? The sun shining down from overhead? The green grass? The cool water? All things belong to the Great Spirit, not mortal men.

RA: So, where are you going to live next year?

Ishi: Perhaps I can lay my moccassins beside a friend’s couch. What a fool I have been!


Roommate: Ishi, would you like to come over to my house for Thanksgiving?

Ishi: (pause) No.

The Relationship

Ishi: Squaw, if you are not busy Saturday night, would you like to walk hand in hand with me through the forest? And, perhaps later, lie beside me in my wigwam?

Girl: First of all, don’t call me squaw. Second, I wouldn’t go out with you if you were the last Yahi Indian on the face of the Earth!

Ishi: But I am…never mind. (silently weeps)

The Smokeout

Roommate: Thanks for smoking me out, Ishi, but I think this bowl is cashed.

Ishi: I will try to smoke it.

Roommate: Seriously, it’s just ash.

Ishi: My Yahi ancestors taught me not to waste any part of Mother Nature’s bounty. I will use every part of the marijuana.

Roommate: It’s your funeral, dude. Aw, don’t drink the bong water!

Ishi: (burp) Every part.

April Fool’s Day

Roommate: Ishi, I got you a new blanket.

Ishi: What a kindness this is! Why such a kindness?

Roommate: It’s infected with smallpox. April Fool!

The Football Game

Roommate: Hooray! Go Titans! What a game!

Ishi: Once again, the white man has continued his legacy of deception. Just as he eradicated the buffalo from the Great Plains, he has callously removed the Buffalo Bills from the NFL playoffs.

Roommate: Aw, Ishi, you’re just sore that Tennnessee covered the spread.

Ishi: Dammit, you know that was a forward pass, and not a lateral!