Questing

by Johnny McNulty

           When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I ask myself is, “Am I prepared for a quest, should the need arrive?” I’m not talking about when your friends grab you after class and say “McNulty. We’re going to Vegas.” To which to which you respond “Who’s McNulty? (Note: only if you’re not me.) Secondly, wouldn’t Atlantic City be more convenient?” and they say “Yes. We’re going to Vegas. Pack a tux and some ludes.” No, the ‘Lost Weekend’ type of adventure is not the kind that keeps me up at night and worries me during lecture. I’m referring to being suddenly pulled aside by an old man/foreign princess/space machine wearing a tattered robe/shimmering veils/robot garb and asked to do something of the utmost importance for humanity/elfanity/galactic federalism.
           Lacking, as I am, magic powers/secret agent training/laser expertise, I mostly don’t concern myself with the problems out of my control. As a for instance, if I was asked to retrieve a Staff of Great Importance, I would trust my guide to impart upon me a book explaining more or less everything I would encounter, after I paid $79.99 for a one week intensive course in reading runes, of course (everyone’s got an angle, especially the wizards). And that chests would be left unlocked in my path containing weapons and armor of untold wealth (my theory is that this is from when America was a safer place, and people left their front doors unlocked, and their mythical armaments open in case a neighbor needed them) which would assist me on my way. Furthermore, whomever had been accompanying me as my trusted assistant/converted enemy would use his dying breath to say “That key, remember? God, it’s in your pocket, no not, YES THAT ONE! Use it! We’re all saved! Hurrahaghdeathrattle….” Furthermore, I believe that even a beaten up space junker concealing a surprising amount of fight would come with GPS (Galactic Positioning System…good one) and will be voice activated/use a videogame interface.
           So, seeing as I’ve decided that the actual questing part should be more or less a cakewalk (unless it turns out it’s a quest to discover myself, in which case I’d rather just do a semester in India) what do I concern myself with? Mostly layering. Honestly, this is a serious problem because some quests lie beyond both a snow-bound mountain and a desert. But at the same time, you can’t have dinner with a vampire or a Habsburg wearing jeans and Nike Dunk Lows, so at the very least you’ve got to have a collar, if not slacks. Space adventure, again, provides the most interesting problem, because it could be basically a like a submarine with hundreds of sweaty dudes heating up the faulty ventilation or we could be slowly leaking heat into space, and I could have to fight the hypothermia that’s debilitated the rest of the crew to re-activate the controls. And then there’s the fact that other planets could have literally any atmosphere, I don’t even like thinking about that because it gives me an ulcer.
           So what, do you ask is the ultimate adventuring gear? Brown shoes, khaki-colored denim, t-shirt, button-down, sweater, jacket, well-crafted non-white underwear and long socks. And a backpack with an extra pair of underwear and socks. Simple logic. Oh, and keep some Wet Ones and Immodium AD on your person. And an iPod. And money. And a passport. And a pen and some paper. And a pocket knife. And some Tylenol. And some cigarettes (for the guards you need to distract). And a bottle of water. And a memory stick. And a non-Mac laptop (I doubt spaceships or magicians need the video editing capability). And a book. And some soap. Shit this backpack is heavy…

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