Didn’t Mark Tell You to Wait??

Seriously, Carina…

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A rock formation left undisturbed for a millennium … and you find yourself sliding down it into what?  Oblivion?  After Mark told you to “Wait…”  On the other hand, it looks like she might be sliding into second base… “Safe!”

She calls to Mark… not Gabe.  Imagine, if you will, Gabe’s back story.  Always a little short, round, clumsy, too smart for his own good.  Not popular, at least with other kids.  Hung around the lab at school, even was lab assistant during what might have been a “study hall” hour…  Made his way to the State University on scholarship, first of his family to go to college- so proud!  Continued on in his studies, earned a PhD, his dissertation on, well, of course, White Nose Syndrome in Bats.  Dedicated his life to it.  But never lost hope that he might find “the one…”  He hears his mother’s voice constantly- “Don’t lose heart… There’s someone for everyone, Principito…”  But alas, the story playing out now has been repeated so often in his life, he can’t even count how many times…

Talking rocks?

That’s right boys and girls!  That makes total sense- keep heading down, not up, because we certainly don’t want to get to the surface any time soon… (Thanks, Faithful Reader Dan for “throwing the flag” yesterday…)

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Poor Carina.  She’s willing to give anything a try, so long as it increases her chances of meeting with death’s sweet embrace, rapture in the hands of the cave gods…  which she now realizes is her destiny…

But wait, Carina!  Mark’s head is snapping around as if he sees something in the pale light of the cave… What is it, Mark?  Thank goodness it’s only Friday and we can find out tomorrow!!

Nice Finger!

And yes, hang on, Carina… as the vulnerable and delicate female of the troop, make sure you are within reach of the Alpha Trail…

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But what’s with Gabe’s finger?  All hyper-extended and in our faces…  And how about the fact that they could probably have heard the waterfall well before they saw (again, using what for light??) the waterfall…  and yes, ladies an gentlemen, it’s another thrilling twist in the man vs. nature theme in this riveting story of what?  escape?  Karmic forces seeking balance?  Testing readers to the very end of their patience?

 

 

I know I have asked this before…

…but where the hell is all the ambient light coming from?  And I know I’m not supposed to end sentences with prepositions…  But hey man, this is a new age, where rules appear to be broken daily and the order of things seems, well, out of order…

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With Gabe’s shadow hanging in the background, we are presented (again!) with the prospect of having to wade into the waters- with unknown consequences ahead!  With Carina (again!) striking a very unnatural and unproductive pose… as if she knows that she is “on stage” and being “watched.”

So lets take stock of time here… I marked 100 days 8 days ago… so is my impatience growing?  Must be, since it feels like it’s been a hell of a lot longer than that… Oh Gods of Mark Trail, I beseech thee… deliver us from this story line… please let something happen!  Make us not to wander this desert any longer!! Amen!

Mark showing ultimate patience…

…with Gabe as he seems sincere in his desire to continue the dialogue about the impact of flowing water on the landscape…  But ‘Mr. Last Word’ Mark Trail, with a withering glance, has the final say… “Water still flows through it today!”

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Meanwhile, ‘Miss I am looking for a gig with Maxim Magazine’ shows the two guys “the way.” She assumes that the water is going to run somewhere productive, rather than deeper and deeper into the Bowels of the Earth…  Mark is right behind her, but Gabe, as usual, is taking up the rear, seemingly in simian form, his silhouette faintly reminiscent of Dr. Zaius from Plant of the Apes

What… has she had work done in the cave??

I’m sorry, but Carina’s lips just keep getting more and more full… like she’s getting injections or something…  compared to this picture, something is really up here…

carina face

Never mind the fact that she’s been without her glasses for months now…  with no apparent impact to her ability to navigate.  Maybe they were just for show, or maybe someone told her that glasses would make her look smarter…

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Anyway… back to the story, I mean lesson… Gabe tries to join the conversation- it’s not clear whether he is being snarky or desperate when he offers up his example- as in “Yea, real interesting, you two… what about the Grand Canyon?” As if to top Mark and his little “Obie Falls”  reference… I mean, who the hell has ever heard of “Obie Falls?” Especially since it is found on one of the largest private domains in the lower 48… remember Lost Forest is a “Private Nature Reserve,” either passed down to or accumulated by the Davis Family, now under the stewardship of one “Doc” Davis, soon to be inherited by daughter Cherry, wife to Mark.  Mark’s no dummy… he knows that decades of writing articles for a magazine won’t land him in the tall clover… he needs a meal ticket…

Clip-art Saturday

Those are terribly familiar faces in panels 1 and 2, but what the heck is happening to Carina in panel three?  It looks like she’s just bitten down on a lime… I feel like I am trapped in a PBS animated kids show about nature- let’s verbalize every dumb question- and yes, boys and girls, there is such a thing… just to make sure that everyone is staying in step with the”story.”  And I did mean to put “quotes” around the word “story…”

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At least the color team hasn’t run out of Gabe’s-shirt blue, Carina’s-top green or Mark Trail Khaki…

As Gabe falls back into the shadows again…

…Mark and Carina are making hay? Discoveries??  Like Cooling Temps?  And Flowing water…  what on earth (or in a cave system) could that mean??

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It might mean that there’s another reason to hope that they might be able to find a way out… but out to where?  The middle of nowhere without any form of transportation.  One thing we know is that they have kept moving away from where they had been- no secret/hidden beach or crashed airplane (again, what was the point of all that??) to confuse them.

So maybe their next move is to lay Gabe on his back, (neutral buoyancy) climb aboard, and see where the current takes them…

uh oh… Gabe’s pissed!

He’s had enough of this shaking!  “Plagued by aftershocks” is how he is choosing to phrase it…  And it would seem that we are still writing the term paper for James Allen’s kid…  Ormori-Utsu?  Describes the decaying relationship between time post-quake and aftershock  intervals… Sort of the opposite of labor pains, I would image, as I’m a guy, where contraction intensity grows and intervals shorten as birth approaches…

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Of course by now Mark is growing weary of this discourse…  and you can see on his face the fervent wish that he had Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers, the heels of which he could click together and get back to his own version of Kansas…

Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

“I Lost my pack?”  Boy, that’s a long walk for a mighty short drink of water…

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OK, not much else to say here… so let’s move on to another, more interesting topic.  If there are any fans of Breaking Bad out there, I have to recommend the prequel series, Better Call Saul.  I am currently resisting the Big Binge urge, but am up to episode 7 of season 1 on Netflix.   I  admit that I was really skeptical.  I really liked Breaking Bad, and I couldn’t abide the idea that a poorly done prequel (like so many are) could spoil that party… that the character of Saul the attorney could drive a back story that is remotely interesting or compelling.. well, I was w-r-o-n-g.  Wrong.  It’s brilliant.

So, with Gabe out of harm’s way, we can now re-join our cast of trapped travelers in their never-ending journey to nowhere…  stay tuned!!