A guest post by David Peterson
It was a dark and stormy night when the last of the fierce competitors arrived not at their destination but at a small village along the Amazon River dripping with rain, sweat and tears from the long and difficult battle with the mighty river which pushed them back a meter for every two gained and left them breathless, fatigued and hungry notwithstanding the sumptuous meal they had enjoyed only days before at the way station while still walking the dry portion of their journey but carrying their rafts and supplies prior to plunging into the water only to discover kiman, paranans and head hunters who did stop short of taking their heads but took all their food leaving our intrepid explorers to paddle like mad to reach the next place with salable consumables and more importantly drinkable beer which the famished men consumed straight away prior to plunging ahead only to find that very quickly they were lost in the dark and stormy night.
To the committee for the raft race I propose a companion competition for those of us unable to compete by oar. Indeed there are many who would compete as to the Best Oar or Best Oar House or skinniest oar, prettiest oar and so on.
I’m talking serious here. The competition would be the best “Dark and Stormy”, a touch of the literary, although at 168 words the example above hardly rates a glance. Can you do better? Do you care?
This is “no rules” literacy, except for a very few:
- Each entry must start with “It was a dark and stormy night”
- Must be raft race related
- Must have at least three verbs. (If you are unsure what qualifies as a verb please consult your local dictionary)
I suggest one prize for the absolute longest, another for the absolute worst, and a grand prize for the “darkest”, that entry which sends a shiver down your back.
We could award the prizes before the race which gives us something to do during the time the racers are preparing the rafts since every entry has to be read.
I am not able to serve on the evaluation team since in all likelihood Linda will appointment me to be Tamshiyacu reception committee or some such thing.
Speaking of which, I did speak with Gustavo Rivas, director of tourism for the aforemention town and our last stopover during the race itself. Gustavo knows Linda by name but was very unclear about the race since he is not even from Tamshiyacu.
However in the best tradition of bureaucrats he promised to get back to me and the good news is that he will start pumping the alcalde for funds to collaborate on the cost of a full scale reception for all racers. I don’t know what that means yet but at a minimum we are talking a reception pavilion, water, map of the town, welcome pack, and maybe a dance or live music. Certainly drinking in the streets and reveling to all hours.
Friends, it’s April already, the race is a few short months away. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood, enjoy and prosper. To those who chose not to oar their way during the race, I say let the worst among you be first, the meek shall inherit the earth (minus taxes, can you imagine how much that would be) and never let a good Dark and Stormy go to waste.
A Dark And Stormy Night
A guest post by David Peterson
Dave has some suggestions to help you survive when you arrive in the Jungle. Be sure to stay safe by reading Dave’s Top Ten Rules For Walking In The Selva.
Bill Grimes is Dave’s friend and the publisher of this Captain’s Blog which contains over 340 articles about Iquitos, the rivers, rainforest, Dawn on the Amazon, and more than 15 articles about the Amazon River Raft Race.
Submit the article you write, “It Was A Dark And Stormy Night…,” to Contact Capt’n Bill, and he will publish them here on the Captain’s Blog. Use your imagination, go out on the metaphorical limb, (we’ll do the sawing). Have fun. See what you can come up with.
If you have a web site or a blog, we will link back to you. Send a photo of the author or authors, and if you want, your friends, or crew members. Collaborate. We will publish the your photos at the bottom of your article. See, we’re already having fun.
With your permission it seems likely the best articles will also be published in the Iquitos Times and possibly even in Living in Peru. Bill has already started working on his dark and stormy night. How about you? Consider writing a post race companion piece. We’ll publish that, add a link, link the two articles together and you will have two link backs to your blog or web site for free.