Diary of a Famous Explorer
Today I have decided to become an explorer. Everybody else is doing it so why not me? You'd think there wouldn't be anywhere left to explore by now, unless somebody has put up a big umbrella to hide from Google Earth and all those satellites and spy planes, but apparently there is still the job of explorer and I intend to apply for it.
In case I don't come back from one of my expeditions, I have decided to write my memoirs before I go. You can't be too careful these days, what with savage penguins and pointless meerkats and feral TV crews waiting around every corner to pounce on you. Plus it gets a bit parky in the North Polar Bear regions and I might shiver myself to death unless I take the central heating with me. Must have a word with the plumber.
The first thing I did, or will have done once I've done it, was to go to Equatorial Guinea Pig. While I was there I suffered terribly from sunsuck and grew an extra finger, so my next expedition will be to somewhere cold to frostbite it off again. No, don't applaud my bravery, it's all in a day's work for an explorer's autobiographer.
I have looked up Equatorial Guinea Pig in Wikipedia to see what I found there. I was already expecting a lot of principal exports; most countries seem to have them scattered about all over the place. There's no health and safety in the explorable regions so I was very careful not to trip over them. It's always puzzled me why they don't just put them on a ship and export them, but perhaps ships don't go there, or maybe they're afraid that without them they would stop being interesting enough to be in geography books, or geography tweets as they are called nowadays
I also experienced some annual rainfall in cm. It was quite good, as rain goes, with about the right amount of wetness.
It isn't politically correct to have black people any more so everybody I met was white, or possibly Chinese since they are now rich enough to be allowed. As they were Chinese it was okay for them to live in mud huts and have names like Kung Fu M’gumbo and dance around with their boobies showing. They said it was tai chi which, in their quaint but wealthy Equatorial Guinea Pig accents, means cheese from Thailand.
I asked their shaman if he had any spiritual advice for me, but he just went on about mother earth, which made me think he'd probably been watching Sting on the telly. Or maybe he said middle earth, in which case he'd been at the Tolkien. Either way he didn't seem to know any winning lottery numbers and couldn't guess my star sign.
I showed the villagers my iPhone, which must have looked like magic to them. They all had Blackberries. They sat around me in rapt attention as I regaled them with stories of free text messages, introductory offers and cheap weekend calls. All except the shaman, that is, who threw meaningful glances at me as he sat outside his hut sharpening his spear. I felt proud to have bonded with a people so in touch with the real things of life, the things that really matter, like frontal nudity, superstition and disease.
As I expected, they asked me to stay and be their chief. The old chief, who doubled as shaman, jumped up and down and made strange yipping noises to show his joy, or maybe he was far away in the spirit world. The palace turned out to be just another mud hut and the crown was made out of monkey droppings and tinsel, so I declined. Then they offered to trade with me. They are very keen on glass beads, which they ritually stuff up their noses to keep out the demons of the air. I knew at once that air demons must be the cause of my own malaise, primitive but wealthy Chinese people know so much about these matters, and I longed for some ancient glassy wisdom to poke up a nose of my own. But I hadn’t brought enough gold to buy any. As I left they threw a few good-luck stones at me and released the dogs to have a farewell bite. I was touched, although rather sore.
I thought of going next door to Equatorial Gerbil, but I’d had enough of exploring for the time being and was anxious to begin the next chapter. That’s the one where I gave up exploring, without ever having done any, and took a course in domestic plumbing. Don’t worry, I’ll write about it first. Maybe, if I ever do the course, I will be taught from my own textbook.