The Friday Jinx: Adventures in Africa


No paintings regarding this adventure have surfaced, but artists have rendered images of what they believe Bloomingdales was attempting to portray.

Owen Wickman, Staff Writer

Documents recovered from the wreck of Sir Benedict Worcestershire Bloomingdales III, esquire’s ship, the HMS Dinghy, found in April gave readers and historians new insight into the Age of Exploration. The journal left by this previously unknown explorer portrayed Nubia as a landscape eerily similar to the Deep South, and provided new information about occurrences there. Now, eight months later, more documents have been recovered from The Dinghy and shocking new developments have arisen regarding Bloomingdales and his redneck Nubian associate’s trips around the world. The newest batch of astonishing historical discoveries take place in what Bloomingdales calls “Australia.”

[The following is an excerpt taken from one of the personal diaries of Sir Benedict Worcestershire Bloomingdales III, esquire. It is dated around 1451 CE.]

After about 731 galactic weeks of travel, Bo and I have finally arrived off the coasts of Australia. I swear, either he must have gotten off the seaway at the wrong exit tributary or my Siri compass is terrible at directions, because we seem to be so far out in the boonies that the road [here road is scratched out and river is scrawled under it] is ending. The scenery is what I expected, however. These tropical jungles and bountiful trees with hanging fruit seem to be perfect fits for the legends of Australia and its totally not barren land. In fact, the creatures here are more marvelous than I had ever envisioned! I only wish I had gotten to them first.

I was standing on a hilly tussock, surveying the Australian landscape and noting all of the wonderful beings I noticed. As I watched, a small heard of kangaroos stamped by, slowly and majestically moving their massive bodies.

“Look, Bo!” I said. “The tusks on those kangaroos must be worth a fortune! And their trunks! See how the kangaroos use them to gather up food!”

Bo looked at them quizzically and raised an eyebrow, “Actually Mister B, I do reckon that them there animals is…”

Before Bo could finish his sentence, however, a strong pair of hands shoved him off of the hill, and she appeared. Ugh, I can never seem to make wonderful natural discoveries without one of my many jealous rivals stepping in. Natalya Petrovna Borschokov, my Russian explorer counterpart, HAD to step in and ruin my moment.

“Da!” She exclaimed triumphantly, tossing her beautiful blonde hair over her shoulder and sticking her battleaxe in the ground, inches from my feet. “I have found the legendary animal that the legends speak of at long last!” she said, in a heavy accent. She charged down the hill, past the sprawled out Bo at the bottom and toward the kangaroo. I swear she yelled “Come here, elephant!” as she hurtled toward the ‘roo, but I cannot be sure. Who has ever heard of an “elephant” anyway? Those crazy hot [hot is scratched out here, but it is unmistakably there] Russians are always yelling about some odd thing or another. Regardless, she barreled into the creature, tackling it to the ground and raising a small dust cloud. Screaming in Russian and refusing to let go, Borschokov wrestled the kangaroo until it was pinned beneath her. She kept her feet pressed firmly down on its throat and a hand on each tusk, pushing down until it stopped moving. “A good supply of ivory for Mother Russia!” she said, hauling the kangaroo over her shoulder and off past me, out of sight.

I hurried down the hill where my poor associate Bo was unconscious, knocked clean out by the charming lady Borschokov.  I whistled and his Chevy carriage rolled up, pulled by his favorite V8 horses. “There, there, Bo. We’ll get you to an Australian village in a jiffy. Dream of throwing off the shackles of the oppressive Northern Egyptians in the meantime.” At my words, the unconscious Bo appeared to grow more complacent and placed his thumb in his mouth, mumbling about fishing. I hoisted the man into the back and set a course to the nearest village.

Our experience at the village was interesting, to say the least. The Australian people were less welcoming than I had been led to believe, and few of them spoke any English. After a few minutes of failed sign languages involving middle fingers and thumb biting, an elderly looking man stepped forward. He pointed a long staff adorned with bones, feathers, and a singular kangaroo tusk at me and declared, “I am the shaman. You are trespassing here; leave or be forever cursed.” The people of the village continued growling and making strange sign language gestures at me with their middle fingers.

I motioned to my associate. “This man was knocked unconscious by a fearsome and gorgeous woman from a faraway land. Can you heal him?”

The shaman appeared bemused. “What part of ‘forever cursed’ don’t you understand? Leave now!”

I ignored his silly greeting. “Come now, there’s no time for this small talk. He needs help! Do you have smellingsalts or any type of special Australian medicine to heal him with?” I asked them. At this point I was beginning to grow quite worried about Bo. In his slumber he appeared to be awake, sitting up and looking around him in terror.

“I wake up and you’ve brought us into sacred tribal lands! We’ll be killed, I reckon!” He stammered.

I looked at the shaman, pointing at Bo. “See! The poor man is delirious! You must help him!”

The shaman rolled his eyes. He muttered something that sounded like “he seems to be less delirious than you” and waved his staff. “Fine!” He said, louder. “So be it!”

I clapped delightedly. “Thank you! I knew you’d come around!”

“I… Ugh..” The shaman facepalmed. “I meant I’m going to…”

I looked at him in alarm. “Sir!” I exclaimed. “Why have you hit yourself?”

He looked up at me with one eye, holding the bridge of his nose. “You know what? You deserve it. Never have I met someone quite like you. Prepare to be cursed!” He waved his staff wildly, shouting in a weird language that I suppose is native to Australia. The rest of the memory is  a blur. After he waved the staff, my vision went purple, and I felt my eyes get heavy. The next thing I knew, I was aboard the Dinghy again, and Bo was standing at the helm. I stood up groggily, and quickly fell down again.

“You ain’t in too good of shape, Sir Bloomingdales,” Bo said. “Neither are our wallets. It took all the gold and silver we had to pay off those natives.”

I crawled over to the railing, peering over. “So that’s why the ship is so high up! What an expensive service they rendered!”

Bo looked at me and rolled his eyes. “Yessir. I ain’t gonna argue.” He lashed the helm in place and assisted me in rising. “You’re the boss.”

“Good! Set a course to the lush jungles of Antarctica!”

[The next section of Bloomingdales’ diary is still missing. Marks on the ship’s hull indicate that it was raided, possibly indicating that the remainder of the manuscript was stolen. Further investigation will ensue.]