My Life Is A Quest Now
Reimagining life as a fantasy epic quest and bartering a rubber duck
Last week I talked a big game about embarking on a quest. I compared this newsletter to the journey Frodo took in Lord of the Rings to save the world. I don’t think that’s an overstatement. This thing really could save your life. I can’t say for sure - apparently science isn’t ready to study it just yet. But I’m confident there’s a non-zero chance it is the medical advancement of a lifetime. Laughter being the best medicine and all that.
What really IS a quest though? Luckily someone made a little book called, and I’m told this is true, a “dictionary” that has all the answers. They even took one and put it on the internet so I could find the answer faster (again, another true fact). This is what it told me:
A quest is a journey toward a specific mission or a goal. It serves as a plot device in mythology and fiction: a difficult journey towards a goal, often symbolic or allegorical. Tales of quests figure prominently in the folklore of every nation and ethnic culture.
This is a pretty grand description. Many big, important words. Mythology, symbolic, allegorical, prominently, folklore, a. You might not think just “a'' is a super important word, but look at how many times it’s in those three sentences. I know we all forget about her a lot and honestly, her self-esteem has been pretty low lately. So everyone just say out loud, “We appreciate you, Mrs. A,” and hopefully things will get better for her, cause right now she just really has to sneeze:
ANYWAY, you may also notice that they left nonfiction off the list. I don’t know if that’s just an oversight or editing issue but I’m here to add it in. Because this is a (mostly) nonfiction publication. And I’d really like to go on a quest. So I think I’m just going to start delineating my life into different quests like a role-playing game, where you have main quests and side quests.
For example, one time I went to Quest Diagnostics to get my blood drawn. Then I passed out on the nurses and hit my head on the wall. Once I woke up, they gave me apple juice and let me drive home in my totally safe state on the totally safe, nothing bad ever happens here, roads (again, all true). That may not seem like much BUT it has “Quest” right in the name soooo it has to count as at least a side quest.
Another time in college I valiantly fought off a vicious, killer bat who had infiltrated my apartment. Okay, so I just captured and released it. BUT most superheroes let their villains live to fight another day, just so they have something to do again. So it was still pretty heroic. I even saved a damsel in distress (my girlfriend at the time). Granted, we had to get rabies shots afterward because you’re supposed to keep the bat so they can test it. BUT that’s just part of the overall quest, getting large shots injected directly into our legs and then going back several times for the booster shots. No self-respecting quest story can just end without a little bit at the end about the hero’s life afterward. Definitely main quest energy here.
That’s already a lot of adventure for one life and it’s just two little stories. Both of which oddly involve medical settings. I didn’t set out to find adventure in those moments, however. The adventure just found me. The truth is, I’m not as adventurous as I’d like to be.
One time, a girl I was flirting with asked me to rate how adventurous I was on a scale of 1-10. It felt like an odd question, as if I was filling out a survey for the Census Bureau. I figured next up were the other standby questions: what’s your adjusted gross income, are there any additional people living in your apartment, and how much are you prepared to spend on a date because I’m not the kind of girl who likes to split the check?
I just answered 5. Right down the middle. I knew she was aiming for a higher answer. I also knew I didn’t go on many of what she would consider adventures: brunch, strawberry picking in the autumn, and loud music festivals for lame artists with overbearing light shows. I mean, they have strawberries right in the supermarket, why would I want to pay EXTRA to pick my own??
Anywho, that rating still rings true today. I’d really like to get some more adventure going though. Maybe pump that 5 all the way up to a 5.5 or even a 6. Absolutely wild times could be right around the corner. So I’d like to officially announce:
I’m embarking on a trading quest.
For the unfamiliar, a trading quest is where you start off with one object and continue trading it until you decide to stop. You may have heard of the red paperclip quest before. That’s where a guy named Kyle Macdonald started with a red paperclip and eventually traded up for an entire house. This all happened back in 2005-2006, so I’m sure today he’d probably need at least TWO paperclips to get to the house, given inflation and all.
Another example comes from the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time video game. A masterpiece of a game that people still love today. The main character, Link, begins with a single egg and trades his way up to a Biggoron’s Sword. Which is just a fancy name for a really big sword. Excellent for killing bad guys, a little less wieldy when buttering the morning toast.
I don’t have a particular end goal in mind for my trading quest. I don’t expect I’ll end up with a house or a giant sword. Mostly, I’d just like to use the quest as an opportunity to write more and leverage it all as an excuse to meet new people and trade for cool objects. To that end, I do know what I’d like to start with. This cute lil guy:
Everyone, meet Darby the Duck. He’s an adorable mini rubber ducky looking for a new home. His primary function is to look super cute and brighten everyone’s mood. He also squeaks when you squeeze him because he has a little opening right where I guess a real duck’s asshole would be? I don’t know and I’m not looking it up.
(I’m kind of tempted to look it up though because what if I just put a giant picture of a duck’s anus right here? The shock factor alone would get some attention. I bet there’s only like 3 articles on the whole internet featuring a duck’s chocolate starfish. No Rick, this is a bad idea. You should delete this aside. Why would you even tell people you were contemplating it? And now you’re arguing with yourself in the middle of the post? This is just weird. Delete it. Stop typing more…)
Let’s just focus on how cute Darby is instead. He’s got the classic orange beak, a white feathered stomach (it’s flat cause he’s rubber though), a classic set of puppy dog eyes even though he’s a duck, and protruding pink rabbit-like ears (very odd for a duck). Plus he has the squeak box and you’ll never sleep at night if you’re squeaking it, so it’s just like that The Who song.
I’m open to any and all interesting trade offers for Darby. I’m only considering bartering for other items. Cash simply won’t do unless you want to trade like a million dollars for him. I normally wouldn’t compromise a serious quest like that but he told me that would be totally cool with him. I have to respect his wishes in this.
I’m not sure what avenues I’ll explore for trading yet. Here on Substack, social media, Craigslist, trades from readers - who knows. I might do all of it or none of it. I do expect this quest to take awhile and I’m not living on any sort of timeline, so I’m hoping to periodically provide small updates in these posts.
In the meantime, I have officially added it to my quest list. My parents are definitely both rolling their eyes right now and internally screaming, “WHAT IS THIS STUPID DUCK? YOU’RE AN ONLY CHILD. OUR FAMILY LINE IS IN DANGER. CAN YOU PLEASE JUST FINISH THE MAIN QUEST OF GETTING MARRIED AND HAVING GRANDCHILDREN???”
And it’s like, woah guys, you’re internally screaming really loud because I’m a thousand miles away and I can still hear you. Don’t sweat it, I’m totally going to get around to the main quest once I wrap up all the smaller stuff. After all, I’m only 33 and this whole adventure thing is really just getting started.
How will you ever know what happens with Darby if you don’t subscribe now? Don’t promise to come back and check in manually, we both know you won’t. Just subscribe for updates. Already subscribe? Then share the post to help me in my quest.
3 Funny Things
1 - Work Wife Sketch
What if we took the term work wife literally? This video has all the answers.
2 - New Streaming Service Dropped
I know everyone is tired of getting the run-around with these streaming services. Now, you can cut right to the chase and get the price increases you’ve been dying to have in your life.
3 - How to Live Forever
Fun commentary article I read this week about the human obsession with living longer. Click the picture to check it out for yourself.
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