You will pleased to hear that the spirit of adventure is alive and well within my hardy, optimistic soul. At least it is now that warmer temperatures have finally arrived and the Calypso of Spring is singing her alluring song. Last weekend, for instance, armed only with a GPS equipped smartphone, protein bars and refillable water bottle, I cycled down an unfamiliar path towards an unknown destination. Who knew to what obscure Jurassic wildernesses such previously unexplored trails may lead? I could have pitched up, Lord preserve me, marooned at some godforsaken Java Shack table, rather than discovering the promised land of that independently-owned, fair trade cafe I had heard so much about. Nevertheless, I embarked upon my expedition with all the optimism of an Argonaut of old, assuming they also rolled up their pant legs to prevent oil stains from getting on them.
As I rode pluckily along the dusty, unmapped road, flanked by alien chain-link fences, unkempt hedges, padlocked warehouses and all sorts of strange urban detritus, I was inspired to recall the epic quest of Odysseus in Homer's poem, eventually concluding that there were absolutely no similarities between his heroic seafaring exploits and my leisurely afternoon jaunt. Except that I also found my progress blocked by a man-eating cyclops. Alas, nice weather apparently brings out these classical horrors from their wintry lairs as well.
This cyclops was really just a novice rollerblader, dangerously flailing around in a ludicrous outfit of over-sized protective pads and lurid spandex. I'm only assuming he was also the one-eyed monster of myth because his peripheral vision was obviously severely limited. In fact, the ungainly beast seemed completely ignorant of any other objects in his immediate vicinity, be they animal, vegetable or plastic bag full of illegally dumped household trash.
I was filled with dread and apprehension as I approached, lest I be knocked down by a savage whack from his windmilling arms or one of his wildly dangling, wheeled feet. Fortunately, right before I entered striking distance, his knees buckled, his legs locked, the rollerblades skidded and screeched, and the cyclops uttered a blood-curdling yelp before veering off into a ditch at terminal velocity. Thus are the imitation terrors of antiquity hoist by their own petard.
Since this particular nemesis destroyed himself, I can't claim any great feats of strength during the course of my adventure. I'm more Argonought than Argonaut. It is unlikely that tribes would huddle spellbound around their campfires to hear sonorous bards sing tales of my uninteresting deeds; nor would any lyric poets be moved to compose lengthy verses about my relatively uneventful journey, except maybe Philip Larkin. So perhaps it wasn't worth writing a blog about it, either? Oh well. Too late now.