The first night quickly put my theory about New York to rest. We were in a place called Amsterdam, and the decadence displayed here made New York look like a Tupperware party.
Immediately I knew I was going to have trouble keeping the men focused on the mission. Within moments they began participating in shameless activities. I decided it would be best to keep the men together, so I reluctantly joined them.
We began with a familiar pastime — beer. It took me little time to break the language barrier and realize that bier meant beer. I am quite proud of this translation, and expect that it may be a breakthrough of considerable linguistic merit.
Next, I set out with a contingent of our group to find cigarettes. We stopped at a coffee shop to inquire as to where we could find some. An extremely friendly man personally rolled several cigarettes for us. His price was rather high, but we were desperate. The tobacco had a strange taste, and it seemed to have an intoxicating effect on us. When we stood to leave, a minor earthquake caused several of us to fall over, but we eventually regained our balance. The other people around us did not seem to notice the quake. I gather they are used to these tremors.
In the city of Amsterdam, cars drive on the sidewalk for lack of streets. Canals take up the places where the roads should be. Perhaps they sank during one of the earthquakes.
Roads are not the only problem in Amsterdam. The buildings are so old that they appear to be falling forward into the canals. Surprisingly, my suggestion to replace them with condos received a hostile response from the natives.
On day four of our mission we decided to begin exploration of the rest of the continent. I’m not sure what happened to day two and three, but they probably went towards honorable scientific research.
Our excursion began by heading south to a country called Belgium. The consensus among the men is that like the Dutch, the Belgians have old buildings, strong beer, and we have no idea what they are talking about.
One thing we did learn about this country is that “men of the cloth” have found a very effective method of lifting the spirit. They brew beer. Several of our agnostic members have gained a new respect for God after hearing that Jesus himself briefly dabbled in the wine business.
From Belgium, we again headed south figuring that it had been a beneficial direction so far, not to mention intoxicating. We ran into the border of a country called France.
At the border we were given what they claimed to be “customs”. The French have very strange “customs” indeed. They asked us to take off our clothes, and proceeded to go through all our belongings. Not wanting to offend our hosts, we complied, figuring we should follow the old axiom “when in Rome…” Oddly enough, when we asked them to do the same, they refused.
The first city we drove through in France was Dunkerque. This city was heavily bombed during a war some 50 years ago and by the looks of it, they are leaving it that way as a memorial. We briefly admired the wreckage and moved on.
In France we found no other Americans. If there had ever been any here, it is no wonder they left. The French people are more rude than Americans, and — more importantly — the beer stinks. I urged the men to bare these difficulties and continue the expedition to the east, but they would have none of it. We beat a hasty retreat back to Holland.
By this time, I had completely lost control of the men and decided to continue the mission alone. I met a Dutch girl, Melinda, and began to delve into the mysteries of these people. In the interest of science I did a thorough study of the Dutch female anatomy, the results of which will cost this newspaper extra.
In addition to the biological studies, Melinda showed me that the Dutch enjoy doing other things besides drinking and getting stoned. I had to wake up during the day for these activities, which took some adjusting.
The Dutch enjoy time at the beach, but have not yet invented the upper half of the bikini. We also visited some art museums. A brief study of Dutch painters has confirmed my theory that this area is constantly shaken by earthquakes.
The expedition is now drawing to a close, and I must try to find what is left of our expeditionary force. It should not be too difficult since they will obviously be in a bar. Next time you hear from me, I should be safely back in Colorado Springs, or buried in Memorial Cemetery in Minneapolis.
Copyright © 1991 by David A. Kilman