Thursday, April 9, 2009
The Ballast of Professor Barnum's Balloon.
In Professor Barnum's balloon it is hard to hear anything other than the sound of the wind, seagulls, and of course that damned slide-guitar he carries everywhere with him. Last week I almost threw it over the side of the basket. But when the old coot pointed out that the guitar provided some of our precious ballast, well I had to acquiesce. The irritating thing is he never stopped playing the guitar. He kept finishing his arguments with a chorded strum of the slide guitar's strings. Even right now he's still playing that damn thing.
We haven't gone hungry yet. Thanks in large part to the seagulls. The butterfly net I brought has seen to that. We hang seagull guts over the side of the basket. Even though the smell is atrocious, the seagulls can't get enough of it. When we get down from here I am never, ever going to eat seagull again, unless of course I've got some of that spicy chinese mustard. My only concern is the similarity between Barnum's incessant slide guitar antics and those of an experienced Guqin player. Of course you and I know the difference between the elegant Chinese instrument and Barnum's backwater bastard of a banjo.
Yesterday it rained, which was actually the best possible thing that could have happened. Well, rain or a sighting of land, a place to set the balloon down would have been nice. The Professor and I reckon we've got enough water to last us another four days, and if we keep steering into thunderheads I don't think we'll have a problem making it to the mainland. The Professor must be tired, I didn't see him lift his head once yesterday. Yet, the whole day he played that damn slide guitar.
I'm only writing this note in case we do crash on the mainland. I'm tired of eating seagull, and I can't stand the sound of the slide guitar. If I threw everything over the side of the basket then I wouldn't have to listen to anyone blather on about the relation of balloons and twelfth century scottish folk dances, the relationship is negligible, tenuous at best. I think the Professor might suspect my plan though. If he wasn't dead I'm sure he would say something. Who knew someone could be allergic to seagull down? I might've angered him when I made fun of his hives, but it has been over a month, and he hasn't said a word. All he's done is driven me mad with that infernal slide guitar.