Monday, January 27, 2014

Between the Lines: Phileas Fogg

This week, Between the Lines is back with a fun interview with the accomplished world traveler, Phileas Fogg. He spent the last 80 days traveling around the world on a bet. I see him now just landing in a hot air balloon. Hello Phileas, how was your journey?

Fogg:  A might chilly I must say. it gets colder the higher up one goes, but I must say it's a simply splendid mode of transport.

Greg:  Did you really travel around the world in that contraption?

Fogg:  Oh heavens no. You see as part of my wager I had to use exclusively earth-bound means of conveyance. No, it's only since I've returned that I have had my head in the clouds so to speak.

Greg:  Oh I see. This bet that you made, what were the terms exactly?

Fogg:  I made the wager with the fellows down at the Reform Club--er, that's a club for world travelers, naturalists and explorers, not a school for miscreant youths. I made the statement that I could circumnavigate the globe in 80 days by ship, rail and any other means of grounded travel that I could dig up. My friends at the club thought I was balmy and wagered 20,000 pounds that I could not do it. Well, that was quite a tidy sum back in those days, so naturally I leapt at the opportunity.

It was only after I had left the club that I began to wonder exactly how I was going to accomplish the feat. Naturally, I hurried to the railway station to obtain a schedule.

Greg:  So you accepted the bet without really knowing if going around the world in 80 days was really possible?

Fogg:  Er, um yes. Sounds rather daft when you phrase it like that doesn't it?

Greg:  I'm sorry, I wasn't making fun. It just  seemed a little rash. Are you a risk taker?

Fogg:  Well now that's the truly amazing thing. Up until the moment I accepted the wager I would have said no, definitely not. I am normally very calm and rational by nature. In fact, some might say that I am too rigid. I don't know about that, but I am extremely precise. Mathematics is my passion, if one can be passionate about such things. Normally I would have charted out my course, check rail and steamer itineraries and so forth before stating it was possible. For some reason, though, I leapt before I looked this time. I daresay that in the end I was glad I did.

Greg:  It certainly seems that you landed on your feet in the end. Did you travel alone?

Fogg:  No, my faithful servant Passepartout accompanied me the entire way. I daresay I would not have made my journey in the allotted time without his assistance. It was he that informed me I had arrived home in time rather than a day late as I had first thought, you see.

Greg:  You had many adventures along the way. What was the most thrilling for you?

Fogg:  That is a poser. Hmmm, let me see.  Of course being mistaken for a bank robber and being pursued by that inspector Fix for most of the journey was quite difficult. I think rescuing and finally marrying the fair damsel Aouda would have to be the most thrilling aspect of the journey. Yes, quite thrilling indeed.

Greg:  Well, well, I guess it would be, wouldn't it? Thank you so much for spending some time with us today. It really was most enlightening.

Fogg:  The pleasure was all mine, I'm sure. Now if you'll excuse me, I really must get back. Passepartout will be putting the kettle on for tea shortly and I really can't be late, simply no excuse for it. Ta, ta!

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