Monday, October 12, 2009

Is there serious trouble at the DBD? —An exclusive interview with Earnest Shackleton, the second in command at the DBD…

In what can only be surmised as a calculated effort to head off the advent of potentially damaging media coverage of what has been described by many pundits as a “disastrous month” for the prestigious, albeit secretive, even cryptic, DBD Adventure Club, Sir Earnest Shackleton, second in command @ the DBD, has agreed to sit for an unprecedented interview session (even though suffering from snow blindness, exacerbated by his untimely death). The interview was held at the majestic DBD Smoking- Room within the fabled Kitchi Gummee Club situated in old Duluth. Note: Shackleton insisted that he speak in a rare Highland Sherpa dialect, so much of the interview involved an interpreter (of Shackleton’s choosing). Also, while Mallory was indeed in attendance, he refused to answer any and all questions, but he freely imbibed, with disconcerting gusto, upon the generous stocks of aged whiskey and other hand crafted libations.

Interviewer: Sir Earnest Shackelton is there indeed a schism developing within the DBD?

Shackleton: Please call me “Ernie.” Do you mind if I smoke my pipe? Please feel free to do like wise. Can I have my Man-servant get you anything? A little brandy perhaps?

Interviewer: Are the rumors true? Sir Shackleton, is there serious internal divisiveness within the DBD?

Shackleton: Please call me “Ernie.” Would you care for a bit of pickled caribou?

Interviewer: Ernie, are the rumors true?

Shackleton: We are not unaware of the public perception that there is currently a degree of tumult within the club. But you must remember that we are a group of unrestrained individuals that do not hide disapproval or discontent, even when other club members are involved. When Hillary and Tensing stepped onto the summit of Everest, Mallory and his boyz cried foul due to the use of bottled oxygen by the 1953 team. When Amundsen ate his dogs, Scott’s crew was quick to criticize. When Tilman sank his beloved Mischief in the chilly waters off Norway, Slocum openly snickered. When Eki left Farrow for dead during the Trans-Iowa V, Mallory went on a drunken binge and broke a bottle of Remy Cointreau cognac over a pro-Eki club member’s head in this very room. These spats are nothing new, they happen from time to time, and they always resolve themselves in fact I find the whole matter rather invigorating.

Interviewer: Our sources indicate that The New York Explorers Club recently leaked to the New York Times that Mallory had gone completely berserk upon news of the Heck of the North debacle, yet out of fear for their personal safety, the powers-that-be at the NYT opted to not publish the leak. Can you shed some light onto this?…Is this true; is the DBD involved in some kind of extortion or cover-up?

Shackleton: It would be inaccurate to convey to you that our group has never ever engaged in active disagreement with the New York Explorer Club. We acknowledge that our people in the American colonies have, of late, had a tough time of it. But let me remind you that Eki has done something like ten enduro-cycling events this year, something like 140 hours of racing (an amazing number), so of course the hinge factor will swing against him from time to time. Eki has done the club proud with his efforts at the Trans-Iowa and his work at the WEMS races. We are not uninformed as to Farrow’s propensity for erratic behavior, but the same can be said of both Dr. Cook and Mawson, who upon maturing with age (and untimely deaths) have become model club members.

Interviewer: What do you make of the young up-starts, Kershaw and Buffington? Buffington has gone on record as comparing the DBD with a “Barney Fun Club for the Aged.” And Kershaw has raised eyebrows with his implied tendencies to reject conventional religion for the occult with his attack on the religious affiliation of the recipients of Farrow’s heroism during that recent fire rescue.

Shackleton: It would be to mislead to deny that we know nothing of these two young men. Of course Buffington’s comment was simply a manifestation of his frustration in learning of the long road ahead, should he pursue his dream of being chosen. We cannot confirm nor deny that Kershaw’s effort to craft a DBD-like cycling event within the barrens of the Northern reaches of America met with approval. Perhaps some among us felt that it was too short, while others may have conceded that it was a great expression of distaste for the direction most cycling events are heading within the colonies. But as you are no doubt aware, entry into the club nowadays requires one to have met with an untimely, albeit honorable death or to be grandfathered in by those few among us that are still among the living. To answer your question: Yes. We know of them, we know of Buffington’s impressive effort at the recent WEMS event at the Thunderdown where he rode to an overall second place finish on a single-speed. And we know that he was in the lead going into the final lap; he could have won and next time he will win. We were privy to Kershaw’s effort at last February’s Arrowhead 135 where he skied the arduous route in impressive fashion. A feat that is not easily achieved and has thus defeated many solid men. As to his supposed tendencies towards supernatural phenomena, who cares! Is he a Devil Worshipper? It matters not for again we accept all, or nearly all, as long as the fellow is tough-as-nails! Itz none of our business! Let me take a moment to convey to your readership that the DBD is proud of itz efforts at maintaining diversity within our ranks. Henson, Norgay, London, Vonnegut, Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta, Dylan, Crazy Horse, and Uemura are all life-time and post life-time members and we pride ourselves on complete tolerance of any and all belief systems (sans fascism, alcohol & caffeine abstainers, serious people, and the like). If someday Kershaw would be asked to join he would clearly fit in well with the group regardless of his spiritual leanings.

Interviewer: What is ahead for the group?

Shackleton: We intend to have a presence at this upcoming weekend's final WEMS event at La Crosse. The club shall also be represented at the classic Arrowhead 135 as well as the two upstarts, the Tuscobia and the Northshore Ultra. Oh my! Look what time it is? Sorry, I need to get a move on as Mallory and I due to have tea with the Queen Mum…Cheerio…I hope this helps to quell any rumors…all is worries...


  1. I just finished reading Endurance. What a story.

  2. I am the son Shackleton never knew about...CPF