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Published March 04, 2011
Editor’s Note After much scheming, conniving and outright shenanigan-ing, Cobra has delivered the first entirety in our friend Shane’s travel diary. The reader should be made aware of the fact that, rather than simply referring to this volume as diary or “Dear Diary” as so many keepers of such record do, our friend Shane has taken a step further. He has named his diary Euphegenia  G. Grahamhammer, or EGG and all of his entries are addressed as such.

 

Without further ado, the entry:

 

Dear EGG,

 

            Today, after a journey of more days than I care to recall, I have seen the Great Pyramids at the Giza Necropolis. As you well know, this is a culmination of months of research and one of the most harrowing trips I have ever endured.

 

            The trip it’s self began, as most do in this age, on an airplane, this one in particular, bound for Cairo International Airport. I knew from the start that this would be a remarkable journal when I was directed to my seat only to discover that the fellow in the seat next to me was not a fellow at all but four penguins in a trench coat situated so as to approximate, poorly if I do say so, the shape of a man.

 

            Feeling that the business of the penguins was simply that and in no way my own, I took my seat next to them, the one on the isle, said good morning to them and tried my best to distract myself with Dan Brown’s latest novel which I picked up at the airport bookstore, a task which is difficult enough when one isn’t sitting next to four penguins in a trench coat.

 

            After a long pause on the runway for all, and ten painfully inelegantly written chapters for myself, we were given the go ahead for takeoff.  We weren’t sixty feet in the air when my arm was gripped tightly by first one and very soon four, smooth black flippers. What could I do but pat them gently until they’d calmed enough to release my bicep from their vice-like grips.

           

            When at last I had calmed them to the point of releasing me I tasked myself with discovering what it was that was troubling them before the conclusion of the flight. Penguins, though loyal and caring creatures, are poor communicators on a good day and damn near unintelligible when frightened and these four were terrified. Still, though a series of elaborate hand and flipper gestures, I was able to determine that these four penguins were emissaries of penguin kind, determined to take their place in the skies with the rest of their species.

 

            Intrigued, I suggested that the penguins lay back their seat and make themselves as comfortable as they could. In this manner we discussed the situation, how they were each feeling and what things could be done about it. Throughout the session I was able to help the penguins to remember through past life regression, that they once were birds of flight but gave it up voluntarily due to a crippling fear of heights. By the time we touched down in Egypt the penguins happily disembarked with a plan to give up planes and, instead, develop a high speed rail system.

 

            I too disembarked with a spring in my step. I was happy to have helped the birds but ecstatic at the prospect that I would soon be standing before the Great Pyramids, a personal dream of mine.

 

            A car was waiting to take me to Giza where I would meet with my friend Achmed who would lead me on camel back to the pyramids. The short drive could not have ended fast enough and I was stepping out of the car before it had come to a complete stop. I ran to Achmed, embraced him, and allowed him to lead me toward the camels.

 

            As we walked Achemd pointed out one of the camels which he said was to be mine and told me that its name was, JAYYAD LI AL AKL. I repeated this to myself again and again until I had the pronunciation just right. Confident, I climbed onto the camel, waited for it to stand and said, loudly and clearly, “JAYYAD LI AL AKL.”

 

            I’d forgotten what a kidder my friend Achmed could be. As it turned out JAYYAD LI AL AKL was not the camel’s name, rather it was a command telling the camel to bite it’s rider in the face. The camel did as it was instructed and I was so shocked that I scolded it by loudly shouting what I thought to be it’s name which cause it to again bite my face and, conversely, to my scolding it yet again. This went on for some time culminating in my visiting the hospital is Giza, but having quite a laugh at the wonderful practical joke none the less.

 

            When I was released a fortnight later, I was more ready to see those pyramids than ever. Again I let my friend Achmed guide me, I’ve never been one to hold a grudge, though I did refuse to say anything to my camel unless I first another rider say it to his own.

 

            The trek to the pyramids was winding but eventually they came into our view. I can’t tell you the emotion that came over me seeing them in front of me, the idea that I was seeing things that people millennia before me had seen, it was overwhelming.

 

            As you know, I grow uncomfortable when I become too emotional and tend toward making terrible jokes. This was such a time and I couldn’t help myself from making a terrible joke that went, “Wow, those IHOPs look really old.” As fate would have it, someone snapped a picture just as I said this and it caught my word bubble in full. I don’t have to explain to you, but when I thing is said with emotion enough, a camera can actually pick it up as a word bubble. It is that reason that photographers started having people say cheese as they were being photographed. They once had them say things about love, charity and friendship but those were too often showing up on the film. None but the most ardent enthusiast feels that strongly about cheese.

 

            But none of that matters now; the picture, the thirty seven stitches, the Antarctic light rail express, because I have seen one of the seven wonders of the world and I now move on to my next adventure.

To learn more about my friend Shane and his adventures, look up MyFriend Shane on Facebook and add him as a friend.

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