Is it the Great Pumpkin, Mark Trail?

Why, for the love of all that is Trail, do women launch themselves at Mark and first sign of danger?  Such an old and tired trope…  But there’s Genie, at best an acquaintance, seeking Refuge in Mark’s Pink Chamois Cloth…

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Rustle, rustle…  It’s… it’s… The Great Pumpkin rising through the Pumpkin Patch?  Monty Python’s Flying Circus?  Nope.  Just an old bovine wandering around at night…

Tension!

As Mingma starts to spin the yarn that his Grandfather taught him… that keeps all the Seekers seeking… Mark continues to display skepticism, if not utter contempt for the whole thing…

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I am happy that Pemba is back in the picture.  I was afraid we were already down one Sherpa…

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Really?  NOT Amazing, Dr. Camel.  For those of you curious, a Dzo (pronounce Zhou) is a hybrid between the yak and domestic cattle. The word dzo technically refers to a male hybrid, while a female is known as a dzomo or zhom. In Mongolian it is called khainag.

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That’s right everyone!  Stay calm!  And Genie!  You don’t have to tear your top off, although that would make for interesting Trail-jinx…

Where’s Pemba?

Thank you Mark, by process of elimination, we now know that it’s Pemba that seems to be out of the picture…

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How in the heck did Mark know one from the other?  Are they wearing name badges?  And if it’s your grandfather’s tale of “The Snowman” the creature must well over 100 years old by now…  I guess what really blows a hole in the ‘whole Yeti thing’ is the fact that no one has ever found any remains…  I mean, what, are they given to interring their dead with great care?  Leave no trace, as it were?  We have been stumbling on the bones of our evolutionary ancestors for generations now… and Nary a Bumble!!

Giraffe Flowers?

What the heck are those in the foreground?  I sure can’t find anything…

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Why in the Trailverse do we always have to pitch camp in the broad daylight?  At 27 degrees North Latitude, Num should have a reasonably long twilight, somewhere between Miami and Los Angeles.  Not like on the equator where the sun literally falls into the sea with an alarming speed, experiencing first hand how fast the Earth is spinning…

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Meanwhile, it appears that we might be down a Sherpa?

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Well, don’t they look happy!

Dr. Camel returns from the Sherpa Union Hall with Mingma and Pemba in tow…

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Sherpa and Bearer?  All in one?  Are there credentials?  Do they get the red hoodie as part of the deal?  And how well will they be treated?  Western Civilization has long “used” the local population in Nepal to achieve their greater glory, and while Sir Edmund Hillary made a special effort to share the light with Tenzing Norgay, the history and story of the Nepalese Sherpa is darker than that

Num to Seduwa   It’s a thing.  On Trip Advisor…  Brought to you by Himalaya Treks.  Might be a little crowded where they are going…

Hertz Rent-an-Elephant?

OK, let’s start with the premise that it’s broad daylight…

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…and the fact that bats, vampire or otherwise, are nocturnal creatures… why would they be swarming now?  Also, so-called vampire bats are tiny… about 3 inches in length.  Dr. Camel, you are nothing but a showman, a  huckster. The fact that people have this thing called google allows them to fact-heck your ass!

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Do you have to return the elephants with a full tank?  Or did you pre-pay upon picking them up?  And how exactly does one “get” a Sherpa?  Talk about working for peanuts!  <HA HAW> And how high are you planning to go in search of Squatch?  Hey- that would make a great show- Tonight on Animal Planet, “In Search of Squatch!”  Has a nice alliterative feel to it…  and it seems that we already have the opening song… and oops, seems that Leonard Nimoy beat me to it…

I think the elephant gets the joke!

Work for Peanuts!  HA-HAW!  That is such a creepy laugh!!

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Even from a distance one can see the look on Genie’s face… As if to say, WTF?  What did I do or who did I piss off to deserve this lot in life…  Riding an elephant being driven by a lunatic?

Good thing they came upon the elephants- no way their Land Rover could have forded that river!!

Meanwhile, Mark’s entire lower body appears to have disappeared inside the elephant’s neck.  He’s becoming one with Nature!  Ahhhhh!

Triggering…

Mark is doing a mighty fine job of getting under Dr. Camel’s skin… by now it’s obvious he’s doing it on purpose, given that it seems very easy to set the guy off…

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And why didn’t Genie get a ride of her own?  There always seem to be cues, subtle or explicit, that remind the reader where women stand in the Trailverse…  always the underling, always the assistant.  I recall one time (pre-blog) when a woman played a crooked, money grubbing, nature-be-damned CEO… and of course she had her reckoning with the obvious and eventual outcome of that story line…  but not in recent memory.  Every woman has been positioned as subservient to the male dominated world.  Huh.

Oh, zip it, Mark…

This is too easy…

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Dr. Camel will brook no negativity from anyone… certainly not his assistant…

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Exploitation?  Really?  These are working animals, Mark… would you consider any animal powered conveyance to be exploitative?  Elephants have been partnering with mankind for millennia.  I guess I underestimate just how “woke” this strip has become…