Kimberly's Run

Greetings, fools. I am Doc Kimberly. After embezzling 2000 dollars from the bank (where I am some sort of bank guy) I have decided to flee the law. Gathering together a crew of imbeciles who all want a better life on the west coast, I prepare to set out. My party consists of Robot DX-33, an experimental flesh-devouring humanoid who seems to have pissed off the mayor by seducing his daughter and then eating her; Gallagher, the infamous prop comic who has destroyed one watermelon too many; an ox, who has some theory whereby oxen should have equal rights; and Sweepy.

Before we leave, I give an introductory speech. "There will be no eating of meat on this trip," I announce. "I will buy fruits and vegetables only. We will not hunt. We will not buy bullets. Animals deserve the same right to life as do we." DX-33 seems inclined to argue, but the ox seems pretty OK with the new rules I am laying down.

April 1, 1848
We started down the trail with:

We will now travel at a more strenuous pace.

April 3, 1848
   An ox is sick.
   Good. We will now travel at a more grueling pace.

April 4, 1848
   We have arrived at the Kansas River Crossing. We are still preparing to cross the river. I sense coming tragedy! I could bankroll a ferry, if there was one. Failing that, I offer to fund a massive canal-building effort to redirect the course of the river. Nothing doing. We will have to caulk the wagon and float across. I hope we don't die.

April 5, 1848
   The wagon tipped over while floating. We lost:
   3 sets of clothing. We still have two, I think. I myself am not prepared to look down at myself and check. My nudity disgusts me. Robot DX-33 couldn't be happier about losing his own clothes. He hated the comic pince-nez that we made him wear.

April 6, 1848
   We will now travel at a less strenuous pace.
   Gallagher has dysentery. No one seems to mind particularly. Gallagher might, but I'm guessing his wild, tortured cries of "oh, the pain" are staged for the general amusement.

April 7, 1848
   We have arrived at the Big Blue River Crossing. This might be a good time to bring up the fact that we are all communists. Or it might not. You can never tell with those things. Anyhow, from watching old film strips about Russia we've discerned that being a communist incorporates wearing big fuzzy hats. We like the idea, and had we any such hats we would certainly wear them. Mostly, however, being communist is just a tissue of justification for the fact that we stole two grand.

April 8, 1848
   The wagon tipped over while floating. We lost:
   36 pounds of food. I hate rivers! They give me the willies. I have a premonition that I will die by water, like that guy in that book I read one time. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." Yeah, I know why. Because he will die by water!!

April 9, 1848
   We lost the trail for 3 days. We finally found it, perfectly preserved in some peat. We notice that one of the oxen has two legs. With the benefit of hindsight, it is possible to imagine that a flesh-devouring robot was not the best choice of companion on a vegetarian voyage. We'd kick him out, but his knowledge of Marxist rhetoric defeats us. He keeps on calling us oppressors. On the other hand, the oxen are pretty unanimous in their belief that his habit of eating their legs makes him an oppressor.

April 10, 1848
   Robot DX-33 is sick with typhoid fever. We are still trying to figure this one out. Surely he should be immune to human diseases? I mean, if it was the Michaelangelo virus, that would be one thing.

April 15, 1848
   Gallagher is well again. Thank the lord! We are close to a house with a flag, incidentally.
   We have reached Fort Kearney. Oh. That's what it was.
   We will now travel at a more grueling pace. I don't understand why this is more grueling. All we did was whip the oxen more. How hard is that. The vocal ox seems to be complaining. So we whipped him. Then we whipped each other. It hurts more than you'd think, but it passes the time.

April 18, 1848
   Robot DX-33 is well again. In the little "get-well" graphic, it was apparent that Robot DX-33 wasn't a robot! That was a guy. And he had clothes on too. Why does everyone seem to have clothes on all the time? The robot says, "What is this human emotion of suspecting that I am really a guy?"

April 20, 1848
   We have reached Chimney Rock. Boy, good thing we stop here every time. Makes life just a little more worth living, ya know?

April 21, 1848
   We have reached Fort Laramie. We need some money for souvenirs and film--it turns out no one remembered to load their camera before we started out! We want to trade some of our delightful vegetarian food for money, but not one person here has fifty dollars--or so they claim. Bastards! We concoct a plan to rob them while we sleep. I meant while they sleep! Damn. A simple pronoun error and the whole plan falls apart.

May 3, 1848
   We have arrived at the Green River Crossing. Our wagon is so laden with garden burgers and egg beaters... we'd better not try to caulk the wagon. What if we sink? I decide to hire a ferry.
   The others laugh at my cowardice. That's fine for them... they don't have a premonition that they will die by water.

May 8, 1848
   The ferry got our party and wagon safely across.
   Bad water.
   Broken wagon wheel.
   We couldn't fix the broken wagon wheel. We will have to trade for one.
   We traded 26 dollars for 1 wagon wheel. We couldn't fix it, because of bad water.

May 10, 1848
   Heavy fog. Lost 1 day. We lost a day! A whole day! I can't ever get that back. I feel a bitter depression spiral coming on. The other day, Sweepy said "good morning" in an odd way. Not mean, but a little strange. I think she hates me. I don't know how to go on anymore.

May 12, 1848
   Our health is poor! This is unbearable. Also, Sweepy. What am I to do? She's a little distant. I decided to rest for 2 days.

May Somethinghth, 1848 (?)
   Sweepy has the measles. Oh! That explains it.
   As a side note, we've lost our calendar.

May 19, 1848
   Robot DX-33 has dysentery.

May 21, 1848
   Bad water. Could things get any worse?

May 22, 1848
   We found some wild fruit. This makes up for the bad water as wild fruit contains natural water juices. But nothing can make up for Sweepy's bad health. Oh Sweepy. Heart of my heart. I think. Anywho.
   We decided to rest for 2 days.

May 24, 1848
   Sweepy is well again. Yay! Now we can continue, even though the robot still has dysentery.
  The robot says, "What is the human emotion called not stopping when I'm sick, you bastards?" Ha ha. He's becoming more human every day.
  I may ask Gallagher to marry me.

May 25, 1848
   Heavy fog. Lost 1 day.

May 26, 1848
   No water.
   We have reached Fort Hall. There are some teepees outside of it as a warning to all Indians who may dare to trespass. The teepees are diminutive, as if to suggest, "We look down on Indians." I like them. I may move in.

May 28, 1848
   Robot DX-33 is well again. "Bastards," he mutters, almost inaudibly, but the flashing lights on his mouth teeth board give him away.

May 29, 1848
   No grass for the oxen.

May 30, 1848
   Still no grass for the oxen. The ox is getting pissy.

May 31, 1848
   Bad water. Gallagher is getting pissy (not literally).
   We have arrived at the Snake River Crossing. "It looks like an easy crossing," says Sweepy. "Let's just caulk." I scoff. "I'll take that under advisement," I say loftily.

June 1, 1848
   We had no trouble floating the wagon across. An Indian helped us in exchange for two sets of clothing. Well, of course it went fine, because an indian helped us.

June 2, 1848
   The trail is impassable. Lost 3 days. For some reason the new definition of "impassable" is "passable after waiting three days".

June 3, 1848
   Sweepy has the measles. Life? Sucks.

June 4, 1848
   We decided to rest for 2 days. I asked Sweepy to marry me, but she was asleep. Later, I dreamed I kissed the robot.

June 8, 1848
   No grass for the oxen.
  Also, the robot and I are just friends.

June 9, 1848
   No grass for the oxen.

June 10, 1848
   We found some wild fruit.
   No grass for the oxen. Fine, fine. We'll rest for two days. That will provide grass.

June 13, 1848
   No water.
   It's my birthday.
   Gallagher is getting pissy (literally this time).

June 14, 1848
   Sweepy is well again. Just in time!
   We have reached Fort Boise.
   Broken wagon axle.
   We didn't fix the broken wagon axle. Now we must try to trade for one.
   We traded 108 pounds of food for 1 wagon axle.

June 15, 1848
   No grass for the oxen.
   Gallagher was bitten by a snake. We think it didn't like his unique brand of prop comedy. Gallagher died, but we inducted the snake into the party. We expect the next few hundred miles to be much better. Let's face it, looking at a naked Gallagher is no picnic.

June 16, 1848
   Bad water.
   Robot DX-33 was bitten by the snake. We are beginning to have second thoughts about bringing the snake along, but we left it in the party. It can only bring us joy now, right? Besides, we already left Gallagher floating face down in a pool of bad water.

June 17, 1848
   We found some wild fruit. I think it was the snake's doing; it made eyes at me today, and I plan to marry it when we reach Oregon.

June 18, 1848
   No water.

June 19, 1848
   Robot DX-33 has a broken leg. Luckily, he can only have one ailment at a time, so 'broken leg' has supplanted 'snake bite.' The snake is furious. It won't speak to any of us, and is sulking in its room, which is a cardboard tube from a paper towel roll. I tried to lure it out with promises of marriage, but it shook its rattles menacingly at me.
  Sweepy wants to see the new Jane Fonda movie.
   We have arrived at the Grande Ronde in the Blue Mountains.
   Sweepy has dysentery. The name of the movie was "Great Abs in Thirty Days."

June 21, 1848
   We have reached Fort Walla Walla. Isn't that wild? No one ever goes here, so it's just a ghost fort. There are just some Indians attacking mildly. "Hoot hoot hoot," they murmur as they lie face-down on the grass.
  We chose to go here 'to buy supplies,' but on second though, we are quite well-off.

June 26, 1848
   We have reached The Dalles. Someone made a snide comment about my mascara. Sweepy won at roulette. The robot serenaded me. It was mostly beeps and sine waves, but it was still special. I plan to marry him when I'm done marrying the snake.
  Sweepy and I had a private ceremony behind the wagon today. She's my girl and I love her with all my heart. The only thing that worries me is the recurring dreams featuring the ox in various outfits.
  Now we head down the Dalles to Oregon and happiness....
  Never mind. I have decided that boating down the Dalles would be too dangerous. We will take the Barlow Toll Road. The others complain, but I'll pay the toll myself, so I don't know what their beef is.
   Broken wagon wheel.
   We didn't fix the broken wagon wheel. Now we must try to trade for one.
   We traded 54 dollars for 1 wagon wheel. The man we traded to was fresh-faced and larcenous-looking. I love him.

June 27, 1848
   We found some wild fruit. I plan to marry it when... oh, never mind. Sweepy and I are quite happy together, except she has confessed to dreaming lustily about Boy Larceny over there, who haunts our wagon with his, trailing us, flashing us grins and clutching the fifty-four dollars we traded him like grim death.
   On a related note, no grass for the oxen.

June 28, 1848
   Robot DX-33 got sick and died. Oh, no! If only we'd rafted down the river, we wouldn't have lost anyone. Now the robot is just a pile of metal and germs left to rust in our hearts. We're salvaging parts to make a can-opener.

June 30, 1848
   Sweepy is well again. I forgot she was sick, so engaged was I in forgetting my vow and eating the remains of the robot.
  I burped tin. I think she could tell.
   We found some wild fruit.

  The Doc Kimberly party reached Oregon safely in three months. They lost only two party members-- Robot DX-33 and Galleghar--although Doc Kimberly died soon thereafter, killed by a larcenous-looking bandit, who was composed 90% of water.

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