Thursday, June 26, 2014

Story 38: The Adventures of Archibald Dalrymple, World Traveler

30 November 2013

Dear Journal,

I am absolutely thrilled to have finally booked my cruise `round the world with my dear friend, Evelyn Pike-Smith.  We sail out of Dover and will conclude our journey in Dover, with stops across the globe along the way.  The point is, I will have sailed the seven seas and at last taste the freedom akin to that tasted by pirates of yore.  Plus, I have arranged some cost-saving measures, of which I feel Evelyn should heartily approve, considering that the expense of this expedition is simply ghastly.

7 July 2014

Dear Journal,

Dear Evelyn is laid up with lumbago and has issued her regrets in not being able to join me in our quest for world exploration.  She had trip insurance, so this is no real financial loss for her.  As for me – well, as I am not getting any younger and could be dead tomorrow, I am proceeding with this endeavor sans bosom friend.  She can gaze upon the photos I will be posting for public consumption and go on her own cruise at her leisure.

9 July 2014

Dear Journal,

I’m off!  The ship embarked in all its petrol-dumping, smoke-spewing glory this afternoon, and I already feel a changed man.  The cares of the world slip away when you no longer need worry about accommodations, meal preparations, or going to the office every day.  The crew is efficient, and the cruise staff have a busy schedule of entertainment to leave us all exhausted by the time we reach our first port.  All in all, life could not be improved by much.

13 June 2015

Dear Journal,

My apologies for not corresponding in a more timely fashion.  Relaxation has been quite time-consuming, plus my cost-saving measures as mentioned previously in these accounts have occupied much of my days.  Of course, I refer to my extremely reasonable prices for this all-inclusive cruise in exchange for doing my own housekeeping in my cabin.  I also negotiated a waiver of gratuities by hoovering my entire level, both sides of the ship, every other day, which has been quite invigorating.  I received a further reduction in my fare that would have covered my use of the pools and hot tubs by swabbing the decks once a week – I truly am a pirate now, matey, arrr!  I also was invited to dine with the Captain at his table once a week due to my special status as honorary crew member, but after the eighth meal with him I could see the effort in entertaining his passengers after a long day on the bridge was taking its toll.  I then offered to take the night’s watch a few times a week, and in turn received yet another reduction in fare that would have covered my use of the telly (which is fortunate, because I love the telly).
All in all, by the time we returned to Mother England I had seen more of the ship than the world we were sailing, but isn’t that the price of freedom?  Plus, I received an invitation to the cruise line’s training camp for their staff, which I am seriously considering as a second career.  As they say in the business, this was definitely a Bon Voyage!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Story 37: The Interrogation

“Where were you?”
“Who with?”
“Where’d you go?”
“To the lake.”
“To go out on the boat.”
“Because… it’s fun.”
“Because it’s fun.”
“Oh.  Where’d you go?”
“Just out on the lake.”
“Out on the lake.”
“With who?”
“With who?  Who’d you go with?”
“I told you, my friends.”
“My friends.”
“Jack, Susie, and Rebecca.”
“Why – what?”
“Why were you with them?”
“I already said, we went out on the lake.”
“Because it’s fun!”
“Oh.  OK.  When did you go?”
“I just got back.”
“You just asked me where I was earlier.”
“Just finish your peas!”
“OK, Mommy.”

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Story 36: They’re Everywhere

Entry 760 in my video journal: At last, I have discovered the nefarious plot that they have been concocting.  They’re watching us at all times, making sure we toe the line in our safe little worlds of working in our pointless jobs, "connecting" in our meaningless social networks, and buying, buying, buying as much garbage as we can.  We float throughout the day in our little bubbles, bouncing from situation to situation, and they make sure those bubbles never go “pop!”  Otherwise, then we’ll all know the truth that they've concealed but I’ve revealed.  The reality is that we could have advanced to the next level of consciousness and been using 50% of our brains by now, if our minds hadn’t been deadened by consumption, by pettiness, by inadequacy.  By them.
Fear not, loyal followers, for I have deconstructed their modus operandi.  I came to my eureka moment when yet another Burger Doughnut Land opened in our town.  There are already seven within a 10-block radius, so why would we possibly need anoth- then it hit me.  That’s how they spy on us.  Everyone goes to Burger Doughnut Land, and this latest location has now provided them with the final piece they needed to establish a surveillance grid of the entire town.  They’re probably watching me right now, so I should wrap this up soon.
My theory is sound – especially since the coffee at all of those places is terrible, and how can you mess up coffee? – and I can prove it.  Next time we go to one, which will be in five minutes, I will excuse myself to use the bathroom and surreptitiously sneak into the supply closet, which is where the secret doors for all evil organizations are always hidden.  After unlocking that door with the mop bucket release, I will head to the computer lab that doubtlessly will be hidden in the underground lair, dispatch the ninja guards, and destroy whatever heinous machinations are in place.  I will then stroll nonchalantly into the waiting arms of the reporters who will be there to capture my moment of glory.  That reminds me – I have to call the newsroom before we head out.  (Sounds of a car horn beeping)  All right, Mom, I’m coming!  This is the moment of truth, brothers and sisters.  Wish me luck in my endeavors; if I don’t make it back, you know what to do.  Live free or buy!