Our hero’s college assignment is to do a report on an aspect of island life. He chooses betelnut and decides to investigate why so many people chew. Dodging streams of spit and puddles of slime, he interviews chewers to find out more about the habit.
Along the way, he makes some first-hand observations about dental hygiene, sanitation, health hazards, and the impact of the habit on the opposite sex. Betelnut use has come a long way–from Yap, where betelnut is an old tradition, to his own island–but in the end he decides to pass on it. This wild ride through the world of betelnut offers plenty of laughs and lots to think about.