I have just finished drawing glaciers on my sleeping pad and topographic lines on my hand. "The Body As Chalkboard: A Study of the Peculiar Art of Outdoor Education." Sounds like an English department seminar. Appropriate high-falutin' title for a course that would inevitably attract the book-minded academics who only see the outdoors on their way to the library from the caves they call home. Does that sound bitter? It shouldn't. I mean, after all, I'm the guy whose yearly income helps average out Patrick Ewing's mega-million dollars a year. Thanks to me, GU Fine Arts majors boast an average income of a mere $800,000 or some such obscene amount. And we all know how much GU pours into the arts, don't we?
What does this mean, you may ask? Why all this cynical ranting on a page dedicated to absurdities and humor? Why does he start in such a way? The answer, dear fellows, is laughter. As in my laughter. As in: The Last Laugh.
For I have it! All those other slobs who labored away to satisfy the whims of some tenure-minded adjunct are, even now, slaving away at some mindless drivel destined to slowly chip away at the academic armor they so carefully crafted throughout their schooling in order to barely squeak by writing captions for travelogues or hanging lights in a neighborhood theater. I, on the other hand, am being paid to sit within sight of 14 glaciers in a remote part of Prince William Sound, and write a story for a website detailing the exploits of a motley crew of people whose chief claim to fame is the tendency to cause perfect strangers to spew beer from their noses while enjoying otherwise mess-free evenings.
How did I get here? I can practically hear you yell at the screen. Let's see...by way of Whittier, Anchorage, Portage, Palmer, Dinch, Reno, Denver, Evergreen, Provo, Salt Lake City, Shelf Rock, Boulder, DC and Seattle. Since May. Hence the catchy moniker "Rebel on the Road."
The irony of my writing this column is that I don't have access to the Internet. The occasions that I will see this page are few and far between. It was enough for me to get an e-mail account (free, by the way). But when have I ever let technology get in the way of humor.
For if it's stories you want, it's stories I've got. Like the one about the one-armed bicyclist and the chicken sandwich. Or the one about co-ed, naked, midnight, synchronized swimming? How 'bout the Salt Lake City vehicle jinx? Or the girl who was tripping on shrooms and stared to long at the sun? You want 'em? They're all right here, in my box set.
Coming soon to a domain near you.
The previous rantings were brought to you by none other than Gates Richards, that persnickety Rebel whose copious travels and amazing stories have earned him the dubious honor of "The Rebel on the Road". The opinions expressed above belong to Gates Richards alone and those of us who happen to agree with him. The ideas presented are free, but prices and participation may vary. Some restrictions may apply. See store for details. Not valid with any other offer. Excludes tax, title and license. Void where prohibited.