"MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. SMALL WAGES, BITTER COLD, LONG MONTHS OF COMPLETE DARKNESS, CONSTANT DANGER, SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL. HONOR AND RECOGNITION IN CASE OF SUCCESS."
Naturally, Hugh wanted to rewrite it: "’Men!?’ If the dummy had hired women, he probably wouldn’t have gotten lost in the first place. ."
Anyway, for the fourth time in three years, Mortar has moved. This is our story.
30 August, 2006
The journey begins. All are in good spirits, the provisions packed safely away. We look forward to adventure.
3 September, 2006
Crew safely ashore. New surroundings spare, but roomy. Sled dogs and Todd seem comfortable.
5 September, 2006
A polar bear has taken Tim. Apparently it offered him Cardinals tickets and a martini. Jeremy bludgeoned a walrus to death (for insulting the honor of the South); we shall make lamp oil from its blubber. Todd is making mai-tais. He is beginning to draw the ire of the crew.
9 September, 2006
We are now locked in a desperate struggle for warmth, reminiscent of Shackleton’s expedition to the South Pole. While we have not yet resorted to eating the sled dogs, a couple of them are giving us suspicious glances. As the crew fights for survival, Nick has mentioned a side business of storing furs, (Renata has volunteered to wear those furs,) and Suzanne is installing meathooks in the ceiling. Much like the hardy-yet-beautiful marsh fleawort (Senecio congestus), Todd continues to thrive in this cold, barren moonscape.
Pray for us.
10 September, 2006
Polar bear has returned Tim. He had a receipt, so we had to take him back. (Apparently there was a disagreement about the use of ellipsis.) Todd is attempting to give hula lessons on an ice floe he keeps referring to as “the Lido Deck.” Attendance is low.
12 September, 2006
As the remaining crewmembers huddle around the faint glow of the walrus-fat lamp, I notice their eyes flicking furtively towards Todd, who, clad in naught but a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, is humming contentedly and trying to get the crew to choose sides for volleyball. Suzanne’s hand slides stealthily towards the harpoon gun, and I am ashamed to note that no one, myself included, makes a move to stop her. Oh, the humanity.
Footnote: Send food parcels (and resumes if you’re game) to Mortar at our new digs: 25 Maiden Lane. Top floor. San Francisco, CA 94108.