Journey of the fox

An Internet poem
by the lowercase fox
thefox.jpg

Our journey took us through steppe, taiga,
mountainous regions, and around the southern shores
of Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world.

Our journey took us in a direction
I had never before travelled. The further east
our journey took us, the more adventurous it became.

Our journey took us through another A road.
I held out our sign as we walked, and was amazed
when someone stopped for us.

Our journey took us from the casual meat eater
to the self-reliant human. After lunch
our journey took us to Pattaya, about three hours away.

Our journey took us across five time zones
and through one or two villages, but they had been
reduced to ghost towns.

The next part of our journey
took us to Bath, England. Our journey
took us into dialogue with women.

Our journey took us past a small salt flat
where we stopped to take some experimental photos.
The next leg of our journey

took us to Holland. The weather deteriorated.
We were having scattered showers. Not the best of weather
for a beach holiday! Our journey took us

to explore a new realm of consciousness. Our journey
took us beyond the electric lines, telephone,
paved roads and television. We built our own house,

grew salads year-round in a solar greenhouse,
and taught our children at home. Naturally, our journey
took us past small settlements and isolated homes,

most of which were adorned with a variety of
Christmas lights. At times, our journey took us
through some rather desolate and depressing places.
 
Our journey took us on a rickety bus that broke down
after 10 minutes. Our journey took us across
a massive waterfall visible from far.

Some years our journey took us only a few hundred miles;
other years we traveled coast to coast. The final part
of our journey took us north again to the quaint village of York.

Our journey took us straight uphill. Our journey took us
to Mount Horeb, where God once spoke so loudly.
Our journey took us to the beautiful Argentinean city of Mendoza,

full of great plazas, restaurants and, of course,
the ultimate life style choice. This part of our trip
put the icing on our cake!

-signed, fox

[*]

“Deep!”
  -The Elgin Street Irregulars

“All heart!!”
  -Asteroidea press

“Jolly good!!!”
  -The Queen of England

My name is Joe Daniels. I’ve just been contracted to join the BSI team on a temporary basis, to provide navigational support and technical assistance for a trek they’re planning. (I’m actually an adventure travel agent, but somehow I got talked into this BSI gig, and the deal is I’m their sherpa. Seriously.)

My job normally entails booking people on ecotours in the Galapagos, or hiking trips in the Alps or canoeing expeditions on the Nahani, that kind of thing.

People often overestimate their own abilities, or underestimate the challenges they think they want to tackle. I’ve even seen little old ladies in their fifties who wanted to climb Everest. My challenge is to tactfully channel these kind of adventurers into more realistic adventures. Like maybe instead of Mount Everest, they might want to climb Owl’s Head. I deal with this kind of thing all the time. I’ve seen it all.

So I wasn’t all that surprised when an eyeball rolled in here today, accompanied by a dizzy blonde in spiked heels, an elf and a mangy looking fox, and said he wanted to hire a sherpa.

“Have a seat,” I said.

The fox whistled, and a red couch came clippity-clopping in from outside. The fox, the eye, the elf and the dizzy blonde in spiked heels all squeezed onto the couch.

“So. A sherpa,” I said, “Everest?”

“Elgin,” said the Eye.

“Elgin??” I asked, “The county?”

“The street,” said the Eye.

I chuckled. I was thinking Manny must have put these guys up to this. Manny and me, we trade practical jokes back and forth, and it was Manny’s turn. This did seem a little elaborate though. Dizzy blondes are a dime a dozen, but it couldn’t have been easy coming up with a talking eye and a walking couch and a trained fox and a half-drunk elf.

I showed them a city map and marked our location on Bank Street and their destination on Elgin Street. I explained that they could walk there in twenty minutes.

They all looked at the map like it was hieroglyphics or something. I tried to explain maps to them, how each of those lines was a street. They listened politely and then the dizzy blonde pointed out that even one street was bigger than the whole map, so it made no sense. The others nodded. The Eye kept saying “I see, I see,” but I could see that he didn’t.

By the end of it, I’d been engaged to provide sherpa services to this crew (and some of their friends who I haven’t met yet), to escort them to Elgin Street and back. I’m not sure when we’re going to do that, because they said they had to do a bunch of things first. 

The crazy thing is I think they’re for real. I don’t think Manny’s got any part of this. Manny’s practical jokes never cost  anything, and the dizzy blonde paid me a big retainer.  They’ve insisted I be called Sherpa Joe from now on. I figure what the hell, it’s got a nice ring to it and for that kind of money they can call me whatever they want.

That’s it for now. Fox and Elf and me, we’re going out for beers now.