We set out at the crack of dusk. Somehow I think we screwed that tradition up. Our journey was designed to be an expedition into the long-lost continent of Europe.
I am told our country’s ancestors came from this mythical land hundreds of years ago. Since then, many Americans have journeyed to find this continent, but all have returned with strange tales of drinking, drugs and fornication at odd hours, leading me to suspect that they got lost and ended up in New York. That would also explain reports that the natives did not speak English.
As leader of the expedition, I attempted to get government grants for our research, but I could only manage cheap airfare with free drinks on the flight. My grant application was dismissed by the congressional vacation committee for lack of a congressman in our crew. It wasn’t a total loss. The idea of free drinks subdued the men sufficiently so that I believe my position as leader is still secure.
Apparently, several reporters have questioned the ethics of the expedition. I overheard one of them saying something about red lights in Amsterdam. I would like to assure my readership that we will not even have a car, so I find it improbable that we could do anything unethical or immoral regarding red lights — outside of a walking violation.
Through some stroke of luck on our departure, we managed to escape the normal formalities of speeches and a parade. I am told that it was Zebulon Pike Day, and those sorts of activities are forbidden in Colorado Springs unless you have a signed exemption from George Pike, Zeb’s brother and executor of his estate. George, having been dead for over 100 years, has been difficult to reach. We managed to sneak out while city officials searched for him.
Our trip began with a drive from Colorado Springs to Minneapolis, where we were to meet with a knowledgeable guide who has reportedly seen the lost continent.
As we approached Hubert H. Humphrey terminal, I noticed that it is located directly across from Memorial Cemetery. Should we return from our perilous sojourn, an accurate landing could provide us with free burials and the possibility of a ticket refund, making up for some of the grant money we did not receive.
Before boarding the plane, I briefed the men on the next leg of the expedition. They were particularly interested in learning about the free drinks on the plane. Their anxiety regarding this delicate matter was understandable, as spilling some of this toxic liquid can be very dangerous, especially since our scientifically selected spare clothing would not be available until we land. Even then, there was no certainty that the natives would not be eaten by strange beasts, causing the loss of our baggage.
The flight to Europe went smoothly, and I am happy to report no casualties from our encounter with the free drinks. The men, eager for danger, managed to dispatch with dozens of these hazards. It was not long before our drinking prowess was recognized, and we were invited to join the pilot for more consumption.
Following four hours of reverie and the passing out of the co-pilot, we all took turns talking over the intercom. From the noises the passengers were making, I assume that they were enjoying our descriptions of the pilots difficult stunt maneuvers.
When we reached what the navigator figured to be a fairly large piece of land, either that or a large beer stain on his monitor, the pilot used his skills to bring us all safely to the ground. We helped carry the co-pilot off the plane and bid our new friends farewell.
As leader, I have decided it would be best to get a good day’s rest before we set out tonight to explore the continent. I will return to my report at the next available opportunity.
Copyright © 1991 by David A. Kilman