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Satire: Bob's Travels

Xander Harris

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We just finished reading "Gullivers Travels" in English class. In it, Gulliver travels to various strange countries, and uses the inhabitants of them to satirize current events, society, and human nature.

We were supposed to write a satire of our own. I am breaking historic ground as the first person to write something in the same style as "Gullivers Travels". No one else has made up their own strange land before.

I decided that after 6 years of living in small town Iowa, it was high past time I wrote about it. So here is: Bob's Travels.

(Note: Any constructive feedback would be greatly appreciated. Also note that this is only my first draft, so it isn't perfect. But anyone who lives in small town Iowa ora similar region will appreciate it, I think.)


Bob's Travels

A voyage to the Blitherdewivles

It was on the fourth Sunday of January, In The Year Of Our Lord 2004, that I set out from Des Moines airport on a flight to Japan. I intended to sell my brand of energy drinks to the natives. During the flight, a great storm tossed our plane about. We lost contact with the mainland, and our plane crashed into the ocean. As the water filled the plane, I smashed a window and climbed out. Everyone else was so busy panicking that they died. Oh, well.

I swam for several hours, while sea gulls circled overhead and currents threatened to pull me under. Finally, I felt land beneath my feet. I struggled onto the shore of a small island. As I lay there breathing, I wondered if I would ever see my pet parakeet again. Then I passed out.

When I awoke, I saw surrounding me a bunch of strange looking people. They had smooth purple skin, and had two mouths. The stood there looking at me for a few moments, with bemused expressions. Finally, they lifted me to my feet and gave me a shove to make me walk. They led me across the beach to a desert. After walking in the desert for a good hour or two on a perfectly straight road, we arrived at their city. The crowd led me to what must have been their palace, and presented me to their king.

One of my captors spoke to the king in a strange gibbering tongue, using his left mouth. The king laughed at whatever the man said, and they both gestured at me mockingly with their left hands. At the same time, the captor was speaking to me out his right mouth, in perfect English. "This is the king. He will decide what accommodations we can provide for you. We are the Blitherdewivles, greatest race in all the world. Thank you for visiting our city!" He extended his right hand, and I shook it. The king questioned me for several minutes, wanting to know where I came from. I told him about the United States, and the great state of Iowa. He was fascinated by me, and asked me to dine with him that night. I agreed.

At the dinner, I continued to be amazed at the incredible hospitality of these marvelous purple people. Each one of them shook my hand firmly, and took the time to learn my name. The fact that they took the time to do this was amazing, since it was clear that they had far better things to talk to each other about using their left mouths. I quickly picked up their language that night, having a certain skill with words. Most of their conversation revolved around the sacred games of "Glibiwibi". I later had the joy of attending one of these holy tournaments, which I will recount shortly.

The king asked me many questions about my place of origin, and seemed quite interested in tales of the United States. His left mouth kept laughing at me the entire time, which was quite disconcerting. It turns out that everything we thought was good about our society is pathetically inferior to the Blitherdewivles. I told him of our televisions, and he told me of his city mimes. I told him of modern medicine, and he explained the effectiveness of leechcraft and ritual bleedings. I told him about tractors, and he informed me of the benefits of Mlikiti labor. At this, I became confused. I asked him what a Mlikiti was. His right mouth explained that Mlikiti?s are valued members of society, like any other Blitherdewivle.

His left mouth was chattering away about how Blitherdewivles with lighter or darker purple color than other Blitherdewivles were Mlikitis. I didn?t quite understand this, as all the Blitherdewivles I saw during my stay in that land had exactly the same level of purple in their skin. He said that good Blitherdewivles used a local herb known as Nhiahia to ensure that their skin stays the right color purple. He also said that all Blitherdewivles were required to attend Glibiwibi games, and talk of them whenever possible in their spare time. Those who did not were Mlikitis. Mlikitis were also those who had come from other Blitherdewivle nations, and those who participated in other ceremonies than Glibiwibi (and likewise state sanctioned activities) were Mlikitis. He said that some types of Mlikitis were put to work in the sewers, others had the job of making other Blitherdewivles feel superior, and some were eaten as delicacies.

I of course believed his most noble right mouth on this matter. Although I was a Mlikiti in that land, Blitherdewivles would occasionally crowd around me in the street and sing my praises for a minute or two. Their left mouths explained to each other that it made them feel good to befriend a Mlikiti. They would then give each other pats on the back as a reward. I wondered sometimes if the concept of friendship in that land was different than in our own, since none of the Blitherdewivles so much as talked to me at other times. But I felt so special during those times when they would honor me.

Like I said, I attended a game of Glibiwibi while I was there. The king?s left mouth said he would chop my head off and feed me to the other Mlikitis if I didn?t go, and the right mouth said I could go if I wanted to. I had been favoring the right mouth so much, I decided to humor the left one and go see a game of Glibiwibi. In this game, the most honored and respected Blitherdewivles meet in the center of town, which is reserved for Glibiwibi games. They then proceed to strike one another repeatedly with sticks. A point is scored for each whack. There are judges for these games, and they are the ones who declare every point. The residents of the town don?t care much for these judges, however. The crowd screams at the judges with both mouths continually, lay all blame on them, and occasionally excrete feces upon them.

This is just one of the brilliant social inventions of the Blitherdewivles. They don?t wish to cause hard feelings, rivalries, and hatred by blaming the participants for their failure to beat their opponents rapidly enough. And so the judges fulfill their civic responsibility by taking all the blame. If only we could apply this system to our own nation, life would be so much better.

Another interesting thing about the Blitherdewivles is their Assembly Houses. Each Blitherdewivle must belong to one of these exclusive clubs, even the Mliklikis. The assembly houses are large, ornate buildings where Blitherdewivles assemble to dress in fancy clothes, and gossip over glasses of steaming Juri Juice. I myself joined the King's Assembly House, which had a bitter rivalry with an Assembly House located exactly seven inches away from it. Occasionally, the various Assembly Houses join together to for massive contests. One involves the children of the town, who are to be entertained by various members of the Assembly Houses. Whichever house does the best job of entertaining the children wins!

After several months of living among the Blitherdewivles, I spotted a plane flying past above me. I quickly built a fire, and the flames attracted the pilot. He picked me up and took me back home to Iowa. My parakeet was overjoyed to see me! Unfortunately, the person who had been house sitting for me had taught it a bunch of bad words, and all it could do was swear. So I had it put to sleep.

The End.


For added discussion value: who else here has read Gulliver's Travels? What did you think of it? Has anyone else written any satire in a similar style?
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