Wednesday, July 4, 2007

"...dead in Iraq. Elsewhere on this, our 231st anniversary of independence, people are hunkered down in trenches across America, waiting in line to purchase the new iPhone. And presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue to amass millions, to the shock and secret relief of the nation, further solidifying the inevitability of Democratic takeover in 2008.

"And now, for our special interest piece, we go to our correspondant in Tennessee, Crapper Reason. Crapper?"

" [chhhh chhhh chhk] It's actually Osceola, Arkansas, Bob! Or actually ten miles up, floating on the river! Motorboats are flying past, shouting 'crazy motherfuckers!' to us, and the project members are drunkendly belting Shenandoah. And I don't know what to tell you! They're being rather difficult...[chhh chhhhh] Utter mayhem... [chhhhhhhhh] ...taken me hostage... [chhhhhhhhh] It's hard to describe... [chhhh chhhh] They've come down through Kentucky now, camping on sandbars, and now there's... [chhh] [chhh chhh]The whole dynamic's become rather odd, as you can see behind me they're just sitting there shouting obscenities into the air, apparently as a means of entertainment... [chhhhhhh] Earlier they were swordfighting with foam swords and speaking in French accents, and dropping the cat in the water... [chhhhh chhhhhh]"

"You're breaking up, Crapper."

"Bob? [chhh] Bob? [chhh] Can you hear me? [ch] As I said, the project members are refusing to speak... [chhh chhhhhhhh] Holed themselves up last night in the tent and said they'd talk if I brought them women... [chhhhh] It's extremely difficult to tell if they are being serious... [chhhh chhhhh] One keeps talking about tolerance and self-satisfaction, and refering to them all as a Possible Generation... [ch] Nonsense, I suppose... [chhh chhh] They keep saying that there is nothing to say and too much to say, that what they are doing is far too simple and boring and good for the tastes of our time, not enough explosions and special effects, I think they said, especially for the internet, [chhhhhhh] which they seem to be hinting is the fundamental irony, Bob, [ch] their journey being documented on a blog, a medium entirely polar to what they are experiencing, essentially 'using the internet to talk to people about escaping the internet...' That's a direct quote... [ch] 'And th!
at's at d
oing it only every three days, for godssake...' [chhh chhhhh chhhhhhhhhh] The small-town adventures are a nice touch, but just one side of the coin, and at worst a distraction, and still not nearly enough to keep up with YouTube clips of 'Dancing with the Stars.' 'The shimmering water and moving meditations get sappy in print' [ch] ...that's Gabe speaking, and quote, 'we can't continuously serve ourselves up on a platter of excitement and grit...' That's another direct quote... [chhhhhhh] How frightening a prospect, a world where the Mississippi River hardly exists, except online...[ch chh] Oh, wait... [ch] Hold on, wait! We've got some action! [ch] One of them is standing up! It's Kevin! He's leaning forward... [chhhh] He's... [ch] Yes, he's doing it, he's picked up a beer...And yes, he is, as you can see now he is in fact sitting down to open it... [ch] I repeat Kevin has decided to open a beer! [ch ch] [ch]. We'll update this story as it continues to develop... [chhhhhh c!

"They've asked me to pass along a couple notes... [chhhhh] although I can't say I understand them... [ch] They're asking everyone to, quote, stop asking about the damn cat, it's just a cat, and likely to end up eaten by alligators anyway... [chhh] They are, quote, still searching for the Snickers Well, and making progress, end quote. Also, quote, to those fuckers Peter True and Kevin Redmon, they should have pulled their pants up and gotten in the goddamn canoes. They don't know what they're missing, or maybe they do... [chhh chhh] And also, quote, America, fuck yeah...happy 4th of July, celebrating being able to do whatever we goddamn want, from the middle of everything, so far away. End quote. [chhhhhhhhhh] Back to you, Bob!

"Ah, thank you, Crapper. We'll keep you updated as this story goes on. In other news..."


Chris said...

Hey Guys,

I was just looking at the map and see that you're near the town where Johnny Cash is from, Dyess, AR. If you end up stopping there, post pictures!

Hope things are going well,

jenniferannsmith said...

Will someone tell Ryan i'm too jealous of his ability to find adventure? I hope all is going well.


Peter said...


The joke is actually on you guys. Me and Kevin have been tracking you this whole time (a la "Punk'd"). Oh and we blog with iPhones.


Mum said...

Hey MPers-I am following you-sort of-I think there is definitely a generation gap going on here. Crappers, crabbers, bloggers, floggers, whatever. I am still compelled (in a good way) to read and pretend I am floating along somewhere I will never go. or maybe I just miss my own kid who is out of communication. or maybe and most likely because occasionally your writing is inspiring even when it feels like sap to you it really is sublime. Good luck doing what you set out to do or doing what you want to do. I guess you always have a choice don't you??? There is a group of three Brits who may catch up to you. They are doing the whole river as you are-calling their trip the "Mississippi Challenge". They plan on 76 miles a day (is that doable?) Look for a canoe with a wheelchair in it and a guy named Hopwood-they did a video clip and got a blurb in the StarTribune today-you are not alone!!! Good sustenance to you all. Hopwood's video is at:

Mum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jamie-Lee said...


jennifer said...

Hope you guys have some damn good maps on you.
stay healthy and keep your heads up.
i look forward to seeing you danny when you get back in town.

Angela said...

Happy fourth!
Do you know what channel is broadcasting that? I'd like to tune in sometime. Never knew they allowed so much cussing. . .

Pfft. . Fuckin' kids these days. Cussin' all they fuckin' what. I think it's shit.

Peace, TMP!

small town gal said...

I'm from New Madrid....heard that you guys stopped in last week. I admire you guys......I always thought that it would be cool to float the Mississippi. Good luck

famille stoa said...

No blog since july 4...was the beer too good for you???? Still recovering????
Where are you now????? We love the pictures from St Louis....
Keep in touch, watch out for alligators and bad beers!
Ryan, on pense a toi!

davide said...

it's easy to get disillusioned when you take on a hardcore project like this one and then start feeling that it's all in vain, or no one is noticing. people certainly are. it's certainly nice to see Penn's writing program putting out people willing to go out on a limb like yourselves. you're definitely breaking some ground here. the beauty of a trip like yours is that it is whatever it becomes in its entirety, so don't be disheartened if parts of it seem mundane or unsuccessful. i trust you guys will have great memories and a serious accomplishment at the end of this. keep up the good work.


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