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Friday, October 1, 2010

Greenland's First Bird Sanctuary--Brenton Harper Murray

The following is a description of the groundbreaking trip taken in the year 1919 by robber baron, financier, eccentric, and self described ‘Bully Fellow’ Marshall Burnham. Marshall Burnham made his fortune speculating in the town gas market and was blessed with continued financial success by his creation of popular remedies, including; “Burnham’s Miracle Suppository”, “Burnham’s Incredible Ear Tonic”, “Burnham’s Vapor Reducer”, and the mysteriously titled “Jittery Jim Injiction”, most of which were tinctures of heroin suspended in earwig honey.

Marshall’s grand scheme first came into form after he read of the first trans-Atlantic dirigible flight in the bottom of one of his many canary cages (he had an innate fear of gas leaks). He is quoted to have said, “I’ll be damned and blasted if I let those Injuns show us who wears the knickerbockers!”

It is to be noted that he called all foreigners ‘Injuns’.

He had always dreamed of flying over some ‘Grand Thing’, and when he accumulated his riches, purchased the largest dirigible available at the time. Once he acquired it, however, he could not think of a Grand enough Thing to fly over, so the great dirigible floated over his estate for years until the day he read the article. He was infuriated that the Injuns had thought of a Grand Thing to fly over before he could. He decided to do just what they had done, but would show the world that it could be done with class and ease,

“...and I shall be at such ease with my feat, I will enjoy a delicious breakfast the entire time.”

He set his man servants to readying the airship for immediate take- off. The first Intercontinental Breakfast was underway.

His ship was stocked with numerous carafes of coffee, tea, and orange juice. There were bagels and croissants and waffles with no less than four kinds of syrup. There was a selection of seasonal fruits and spreads including: cream cheese, ricotta cheese, head cheese, and a product of his own design, “Galloping Good Breakfast Spread”, which was a paste formed mostly of cocaine and earwig honey. The hitherto unnamed airship was dubbed “The Most Excellent Lord and Savior of the Stars”, and after a quick press release, he and two of his manservants, “Howley” and “Bigguns” set out from upstate New York and over the sea.

This is where the story becomes foggy. Few things were recovered from the Greenland crash site of “The Most Excellent Lord and Savior of the Stars” except for a gigantic pile of marmalade and a syrup-drenched logbook. Shared with you now, are the few surviving entries from that book.

June 19th—Anchors aweigh! I am exhilarated at this most Grand

Undertaking. With this first cup of coffee and warm syrup-drenched waffle I christen this voyage and begin my meal.

June 20th —I only wish that I had planned my condiment spread with more prudence, the barrels of maple syrup shift disconcertingly as the ship pitches to and fro. Bigguns has told me that we are on course, though I suspect that his pilot license may be counterfeit. Just a bit of the old Yankee paranoia, I'm sure. High spirits all around!

June 21st —I am growing weary of eating. Howley has suggested that we take turns eating, thus continuing the meal, but I fear he has designs on my food supply. I informed him sternly that he would only consume his ration of hard tack and chicory for the remainder of the flight. I am thankful for the ambrosia-like effect the Galloping Good spread has imparted unto me, as I am able to stay awake all hours to make sure no mischief is afoot.

June 22nd —I caught Bigguns sneaking a ladle-full of syrup from one of the drums just now. I pretended to sleep, and mere moments after my eyes closed he crept from the helm and pried the lid off of the lingonberry drum. This enraged me and I leapt to my feet and whipped him with my pistol until he fell to his knees. I kicked over the contents of the barrel onto him. Let him have all the syrup he wants! (syrup) The rest of the night passed in a fragrant silence. Halfway through my supply of Galloping Good Spread. I hope this trip finishes soon.

June 24th —They are both covered in syrup now, with no way to clean themselves! I am overcome with hilarity! How they stick to everything they touch! I pass my time throwing baked goods at them and noting which foodstuffs stick, and which slide off. Bigguns made an attempt on my life after a rather well-aimed cruller adhered itself to the crotch of his trousers. He had taken no more than three sticky paces before I forced him back with my pistol and he quaked with fear. In future journeys of this kind I will be sure to bring another gentleman along for civilized company. These savages are trying my patience.

June 26th—I used the last of the Galloping Good Spread today. (syrup) I hear the hissing day and night now. I fear one of my gunshots may have torn the balloon. Outside the windows I see nothing but water. (Syrup) Neither Howley nor Bigguns will speak to me unless I hold the gun to his head. I know their secret. Having not slept in over a week is taking its toll on my body, and the spiders that follow me everywhere cause me great distress, though Howley and Bigguns seem to enjoy their company too much. I believe they are in cahoots with the insidious arachnids. I have a plan that should remove these terrible violet spiders from my life for good. (Syrup) Boysenberry is the key.

June 28th- ...I’m stuck to the floor...(syrup)...why did I fathom a need for so much...(syrup)...I fear they will take my life before we make landfall, and I can see the spiders...(syrup)...out of ammunition...(syrup)

The charred and sticky wreckage was discovered on the coast of Greenland by whalers on the Fourth of July. No bodies were found. What was left of the ship was turned into a bird sanctuary.

Greenland’s First Bird Sanctuary was burned to the ground a year later by a group of anarchists that had misread a telegram.

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