Around the World in 100 Days

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

As of late, I have been dig­ging around my old col­lec­tion of child­hood nov­els with a strange feel­ing that I am miss­ing the pres­ence of some­one I am re­ally never around, but some­how know that they should be around. Funny enough, dur­ing my novella nostal­gia, I came across a book by Gary Black­wood- ‘Around the World in 100 Days’.

‘Around the World in 100 Days’ was the at­tempt to give a se­quel to the famed ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ ad­ven­ture, which we all grew up read­ing at some point. Here we find Harry (not so lit­tle as how he was in the pre­vi­ous ad­ven­ture) a grown man in body, am­bi­tious and wealthy but di­rec­tion­less. He seeks his own ad­ven­ture out­side the purview of his fa­ther’s claim to world quest. Along the path he gets into trou­ble, lots of trou­ble and al­though his am­bi­tions were as high as his fa­ther’s, he tum­bles and fum­bles (the fum­bling part more of­ten than his other short­falls es­pe­cially un­der pres­sure). Nonethe­less, he makes it.

As with all happy end­ing fa­bles, his suc­cess wasn’t with­out hic­cups. And oh did Harry have a few! Es­pe­cially sab­o­tage from within! The essence of the story (for all those who ne­glected col­lect­ing a li­brary card): Harry trav­els the world in 100 days in a steam en­gine car, with a gang of friends to ul­ti­mately win a bet with his fa­ther. The end. Or is it?

******* Fa­bles nor­mally tend to de­pict some form of re­al­ity, whether metaphor­i­cally or with an ex­plicit anal­ogy – and it doesn’t have to align in the same time con­tin­uum. As of now, I be­lieve Gary Black­wood lives in our lit­tle He­len of the West, rewrit­ing his tale of trippy trips ad­ven­tures. What a tale this one will be. Of trip af­ter trip guised as self­less sac­ri­fices of ex­tra leg room, Mediter­ranean dishes and Chiney Tup­per­ware. What a pain that must be!

Rac­ing against time, to cover the world in 100 days be­fore his 100 days are up (but who’s count­ing?), our Harry will have to ac­com­plish the great­est feat yet- spot­ting the in­side Ju­das be­fore he faces the same fate as his pre­de­ces­sors. Then again, from what I’ve heard, the brother is al­ready in camp. And he isn’t the one brew­ing the cof­fee.

It’s a good thing Harry doesn’t catch feel­ings; he catches flights. Be­sides, he al­ready won daddy’s bet. He can tum­ble fum­ble all he wants, ‘cause who is re­ally pay­ing at­ten­tion? Par­tic­u­larly when his gang mem­bers seem to be hold­ing down the fort in his ab­sence!

Adios un­til next time …

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