The fifth full day of reading Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa, Or, The History of a Young Lady leaves us very close to the end. Within two hundred pages. Still, food is almost nonexistent and I am barely alive. Oh, and the crew is all dead. Probably should mention that.
All day the crew talked about mutiny. They would tell jokes like: “Three guys walk into a bar. The fourth gets sick of the whole mess, refuses to participate, and goes home.” Needless to say, I didn’t appreciate the humor.
They even debated about giving me ‘the black spot.’ I pointed out that we weren’t pirates, and this had some effect on them. Besides, all we had was snow. They then debated about giving me ‘the white spot,’ but no one was even sure what that would mean.
Finally, the crew made me debate as to whether or not we would read Clarissa any further. Several of the crew were in favor of switching to The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein. This did not go anywhere as the only book we had with us was Clarissa. Besides, I pointed out that we were still marooned even if we stopped reading so the whole debate was pointless.
One crew member kept debating whether or not Punky Brewster was in the right in the episode where she wins a contest and gets a RC car instead of the tea set she expected because they mistake her for a boy and then she refuses to give it back because she insists girls can play with RC cars just as much as boys. He was summarily determined insane and left to die of exposure as we proceeded.
Finally, the discussion became moot when the entire remaining crew died in a freak can opener accident. It was quite strange, particularly considering that we had brought no canned food.
So, I trudge onward alone. Less than 180 pages remain in Clarissa, but the hunger, fatigue, total solitude, and frostbite are almost as difficult to endure as Richardson. I know not if I have any way of ever getting home, but I will at least finish Clarissa and then let the gods decide the fate of this poor soul.
(Here is a link to the initial progress report, a link to the first full day’s progress report, a link to the second full day’s progress report, a link to the third full day’s progress report, and a link to the fourth full day’s progress report)