Archive for the 'Autobiography' Category


Blanka Potter and the Rainforest Sojourn

It’s been weeks, and I’m still unwilling to leave the safety of my jungle retreat.  Every time I try to walk more than a quarter mile, my legs start to hurt, so I turn back.  And why not – this place has everything I need.  Except ice packs for my legs.  Maybe I can rig something up with strips of tree bark, freshly chilled by the night dews.  Yes… chilled bark.  I’ll make a note of it.

I spent most of the last week constructing a banana-leaf latticework to fence in the clearing, securing the panels with strips of leather.  The leather I found in a surprisingly large space beneath one of the nearby forest giants, which I suspect is a fig tree; at least, the area around and under its spidery roots is littered with green, sticky lumps, sweating droplets of sap that ooze out and then congeal before they’re fully formed.  I stepped on one by mistake and it burst like an outraged balloon.

It gets worse.  Ant swarms large enough to ballroom dance with roam the area, carrying fruit away by the bushel.  There are so many wasps and mosquitoes around that it’s like the tree has attracted its own atmosphere: 78% buzzing wings, 20% chitin, 2% instant madness.

I’ve given the tree what I feel is an appropriate name: the Deathly Hollow.  Yeah, that seems catchy.  Because, you know, there’s a creepy hollow space underneath.

The tree, approximately. Any resemblance to a tree from the Harry Potter franchise is wholly deliberate.

The tree, approximately. Any resemblance to a tree from the Harry Potter franchise is wholly coincidental. I mean, deliberate.

Only the promise of something useful, something man-made gave me reason to approach at all – a sparkle in the shadows.  In the a pile of tiny bones tucked beneath the roots (no doubt this place was the ancient den of some undersized predator), I found both my useful leather scraps, and the source of the sparkle: a belt buckle.  It’s the damndest thing to find in the middle of the jungle.  I cached it in an unused hammock along with the rest of my things.  Maybe I’ll look at it later; no need to spoil the surprise.  The only thing I have in large quantities, after all, is time.  As long as you don’t count the vast informational wastelands of the Internet.


My blog-writing colleague (or, as I prefer to call him, my blolleague) earlier made comments about leaving me locked out the office during his absence.  I have to assume he is speaking in metaphors, as the only triumphant return I can make right now is wholly electronic.  Freedom of information notwithstanding, I am a prisoner here, with nature herself as my jailer.  That is, until I recover my strength and find my way back to civilization.

Perhaps I’ll find a clue to my quest on the official Harry Potter™ website, featuring tons of cool games, message boards to discuss the raddest new Potter trends, and also instructions on how to perform real wizardry – everything from transforming a glass of water into a Gin and Tonic (alcoholus anonamus!) to, later that evening, magically fooling a sobriety test (breathalyzer malfunctiono!).  Visit today, Uncomma commands you!


J.K. Rowling and/or Warner Brothers: please send all money to Uncomma, c/o Jungle Clearing, Unexplored Interior, Borneo.  Make out checks to Blanka Hsudler, not Tom Huxter, who apparently has no interest in being reimbursed for his myriad pop culture references.


On my partner’s escape from Azkaban

It has come to my attention that my partner in crime, whom I shall refer to by his nom de guerre as Guy de Maupassant Blanka, triumphantly returned while I was away fishing off the harbors of Tahiti.  A truly harrowing tale it seemed.

But the way he fought off the demons of yesteryear via Googling and Youtube videos was truly an amazing feat.  Despite his apparent victory and return, welcome was not so forgiving as the door to our office was locked when he arrived and I had the key.  To you, Blanka, my friend, I apologize for being a rudimentary dickhead nice person.  I just felt that you were dead for sure and that I had no need to leave the keys under the welcome mat (which I also took with me since I did not feel the need for one.)

If this is any consolation, I have brought with me some paintings by Gauguin which he inexplicably hid underneath the sands of Tahiti.  Can you guess what the painting is of?  Let me just say one word, paint Gauguin.

Your humble writer’s note: Azkaban is not a prison located in the Middle East.  It has no relation to any of current conflicts abroad or domestic.  It is not located in Guantanamo Bay, but rather, a fictional locale masterminded by an uncertain individual of the female orientation from the British Isle.  Uncomma has no relation to the said individual or any individuals of interest with the individual’s intellectual property or properties.  Uncomma was not paid in any way by the individual for any promotional affair relating to the mentioned individual of British citizenship.


A New Player Has Joined the Battle!

*receiving packets*

Tom Huxter?  Are you there?

Call me Blanka.

The Author as a Young Man (image may not be visually accurate)

The Author as a Young Man (image may not be visually accurate)

Those Borneo jungles sure do a number on a guy.  Baroque constructions of mahogany and vines bar the way in every direction.  That darkness, so oppressive you think you can hear it breathing just behind you.

At least leaves are pretty awesome, right?

It’s been 2 months since I entered this primordial labyrinth, and I had nearly given up hope of communication with the outside world.  Late last night, though, I stumbled into a ramshackle encampment, little more than a collection of hammocks strung up beneath the canopy.  Exhausted from hacking my way through the undergrowth and famished from two solid weeks of eating nothing but crunchy and terrifyingly ugly beetles, I collapsed into the soft embrace of an abandoned firepit and was overtaken by the night.

My dreams were strange ones.  I found myself in my childhood, attending a series of Memorial Day barbecues thrown by a series of increasingly unnatural beasts, each serving food more poorly prepared than the last.  When, finally, a subhuman Lizard-man handed me a hamburger that was little more than a cinder between two slices of charcoal, it was the last straw.  I awoke coughing up firepit ashes.

But this choking, dusty cloud brought with it a silver lining.  While still lying prone among the charred logs, I spotted the reassuring wink of a wireless router at the edge of my vision.  I had missed it, concealed as it was beneath the dazzling blues of a stumpy rhododendron at the edge of the clearing.

I can’t tell you what happened to the owner of this network.  All I know is LinksysHelpMeI’mTrappedInTheBorneoJungle is unsecured and working at speeds of up to 3 mb/s.  For now, I’m just going to write for a while and hope the cable company doesn’t notice it’s no longer getting paid for service.


Anyways, on to business.  It was fully my intention to help Tom Huxter christen the Uncomma blog.  Really.  In an alternate, better reality it would have been me smashing a bottle of champagne on the hull of the HMS Uncomma before its maiden voyage into the great unknown.  Then again with my luck the maiden voyage would probably have ended up something like this (That is, top heavy and without the weighty ballast of actual ideas).  So maybe it’s ok that here in our dimension I end up being the guy who shows up three hours after the ship has left, and falls into the harbor.  And by the way, where’d this empty champagne bottle come from?

Confession time: I like writing, but I can’t promise I’ll always be readily available to clumsily spill my thoughts all over the Internet; after all, I am on a mission.  This jungle has got to be good for something.

Now, bear with me.  There’s got to be a three-pronged outlet around here somewhere…


Next time… I stick my hand into a random grab bag of uninspired topics and complain about whichever one comes out.