Tahoe Pine Nuts: Canna Island, and the seven deadly sins | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Pine Nuts: Canna Island, and the seven deadly sins

McAvoy Layne
Special to the Sun-Bonanza

Yesterday, I had never heard of Canna Island. Today I am preparing to move there. Police on that Scottish Isle were recently called to investigate a theft of six woolen hats, the Island's first theft in more than 50 years.

A community that has inoculated itself from the iniquity of theft for half a century must also be immune to other deadly sins. In full disclosure, I had to look up the seven deadly sins, and they are wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy & gluttony.

Let us examine these transgressions that the Cannasians are now free of …

Wrath: There are two kinds of swearing. One kind of swearing is colorful but free of wrath. Mark Twain was characterized by a trusted 30 year household employee, "He swore like an angel." We can only guess the good citizens of Canna swear like angels.

Greed: If nothing has been stolen in Canna in 50 years, well, they know not greed. Wealth, property and power must not be highly regarded on the Island, and this is a good thing.

Sloth: A sloth could never make it in Canna, it's too far north, and besides, there are too few trees from which to hang upside down.

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Pride: You won't hear a Cannan bragging about exceptionalism, though they have more of a right to do so than some countries that shout it from the rooftops.

Lust: If you had to farm in that soil, you would not know lust either. When one comes home from scratching that unyielding crust, well, there is no energy left in the tank for lust.

Envy: Are you kidding? The only worry the Cannans have is keeping their idyllic Island lifestyle a secret, so people like me do not descend upon them.

Gluttony: We witnessed mega-gluttony on the Fourth of July when Matt "Megatoad" Stony gorged himself with 62 hotdogs in ten minutes to win the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island. The folks on Canna turn their noses up at hot dogs and all things gluttony smiles upon. America, without apologies, holds the belt for gluttony.

So there we have it. People who don't steal have tidy souls, they don't litter and they don't use coarse language or puns. The citizens of Canna are a role model, a virtuous society standing tall as a prototype for cultures new and old to emulate.

Oh, did I mention the population of Canna Island? At last count it was 67. I don't know if they would welcome a Mark Twain impressionist, I might have to start portraying Robbie Burns, and learn to recite, "The Red, Red Rose."

Though even as Robbie Burns, I doubt I could fill the hall every Friday night. I might have to become Robert Louis Stevenson, "Aye, Jimmy Hawkins!"

Then again, once they tire of Twain, Burns and Stevenson, what would I do on a Friday night on the Island of Canna?

Perhaps I should sit tight and stay at home, where the only thing stolen from me in the past 50 years was a garden rake, and I never used it anyway.

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at ghostoftwain.com.