Going Somewhere? Sure, I Can Help

By Edacosis. Art by Rocket Grunt.
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My uncle was full of aphorisms like "clean your plate every time" and "give it all you've got."

I think he died, but he imparted unto me the ability to give others helpful and priceless information. As a seasoned traveler, my ability to inform the public of inherently sleazy locations is unmatched (I have the gold medal to prove it). Now is the time to sit down and listen to my wisdom, so go ahead and do that.

Relax already. You need not worry about wasting your time traveling to unsavory locations; I'll do it for you. As my uncle also said time and time again, "let's shift it into first and get started here!"

Great Marsh

Rating: 5 estuaries / 20 : Why are you even bothering? Stay home.
Redeeming Qualities
Notable flaws

There's a quote from one of my favorite books, Entertaining Yourself and Your Peers on a Budget, Vol. 3, that I feel is appropriate to cite:

Barraging beavers and dragonflies with clumps of mud: does life get better than this? (Binderless 363)

I'd quote the whole passage, but I get emotional when reading through it. It's too much for me. Where are the Kleenex?

The quote reminds me of the joys of assaulting wildlife with thrown objects. Can someone say "NOSTALGIA?" Ha.

Aggressive behavior sure is fun, but the Great Marsh does not lend itself well to the sort of reckless activities that I'd like to engage in. Wandering around the marsh, you'll often find yourself neck-deep in what I can only assume is mud (or perhaps a mud-like substance—pretty surreal if you think about it for, oh, 2 to 3 minutes).

One of the enduring elements of the "human condition" is having arms and other bodily extremities. When my arms get stifled, I become outraged, naturally, so one could say that stifled arms are more or less the bane of my existence. I cannot throw mud with stifled arms. I cannot throw stones with stifled arms. I cannot throw my "special bait" with stifled arms. In moments like these, I wonder why life is unfair.

I've got several pairs of binoculars at home. I think it goes without saying that they get a lot of usage—one for looking out of the window upstairs, one for the window downstairs, and of course one for the laundry room window.

That's a lot of time spent viewing things.

The Great Marsh lobby has got some binoculars for looking over the scenery. Imagine my surprise when I find that they cost money to operate! Do I look like I'm into the charity scene? My reactionary facial expression to this blatant highway robbery had subtle undertones of both the "indignant protester" persona and a frothing pit bull.

Wetlands have been getting a bad reputation these days—that has been documented. The Great Marsh's unfriendly atmosphere, besides having the power to misalign my chakras, doesn't give wetlands a good name. This is a modern day tragedy.

I think I'm done here.

Fortree City

Rating: 2 barrels tree sap / 10 barrels tree sap: I certainly won't give this another go
Redeeming Qualities
Notable flaws

I guess plants give off oxygen, but ignoring that, I could do without them. The most notable thing a plant ever did for me was poison me, giving me a cluster of sores on my left thigh. My once tender and supple segment of skin was tarnished, though not irreparably, by a caustic plant oil. The ailment lasted about nine days. I won't forget it.

I mention my thigh sores because they remind me of Fortree City, a place with abundant plant life. From what I've gathered, the "people" here live in huts nestled in the treetops. These huts lack quality, vision, and most importantly, a sense of moral fiber. They are certainly not flame-retardant, and I don't see a fire extinguisher anywhere—a clear safety violation. I guess the fire marshal is too busy tending to his thigh sores to care, eh? I'm only kidding!

Mosquitoes, gusts of wind, and burglaries are all great to experience in moderation, but on a regular basis? That just won't do. The Fortree residents are oblivious to such a concept, as it seems they have an aversion to doors. You aren't likely to find a severe lack of filtration of this caliber anywhere else, except maybe in some poorly made coffee. All sorts of delinquent riffraff can walk on in to any home at any time. I'm especially wary of the meteorologist trash from the neighboring Weather Institute; if I can't trust your forecast, how can I trust you in my home, you hack?

Beware of the toddler-sized chameleons that impede and harass you in your travels. After equipping your Devon Scope, make sure to remember the mnemonic device:

Lavaridge Hot Spring

Rating: 11 / 25 : I'm confused... was I supposed to enjoy this place?
Redeeming Qualities
Notable flaws

After being told that water is the essence of all life, I was reassured that my recent hot tub purchase was a smart move.

The jets have seven varying speeds (oscillation optional, now that's nice). The most interesting feature by far, though, is the inclusion of LED lights. They offer some really stimulating color choices. Sometimes I can't even tell if I'm at a rave or if I am submerged in water. Gosh, my imagination really is fertile these days. Anyway, you should know that these LED lights really deliver the goods.

So I tried out the Lavaridge hot springs in an attempt to broaden my horizons (pertaining to watery fun, of course). Now that's what I call an open mind!

Mainly, I accrued injuries. Here's a timeline I recorded of my pain-related events:

  1. (4:53 AM) Received abnormally large splinter from wooden bridge leading to hot spring.
  2. (4:59 AM) Tripped over small rock outcropping while on bridge and started to careen in all sorts of directions, eventually culminating into a face-first collision with something solid.
  3. (5:14 AM) Upon entering hot spring, aggressively scraped both knees on rocks containing the water.
  4. (5:14 AM) Inhaled large amounts of falling soot from nearby volcano, triggering violent coughing spasms.
  5. (5:19 AM) Hot spring water was in fact too hot and seriously aggravated my splinter wound.
  6. (5:46 AM) A mental injury: elderly women in hot spring called me an "unlikable putz" with "nothing to offer my family, my book club, or society."
  7. (6:07 AM) Ate Lava Cookie to help relieve splinter wound pain, but its incredible dryness irritated my throat and severely worsened my now alarmingly loud coughing episodes.

I had more entries, but my sheet of paper fell into the hot spring, making some stuff illegible.

Pokémon Tower

Rating: 2 tablespoons ectoplasm / 10 cups ectoplasm: When I tell you to explore, this shouldn't be one of your destinations!
Redeeming Qualities
Notable flaws

It's no secret that I love burial sites. Back in the spring of '06, I took the opportunity to take a lengthy tour of some of the world's most renowned resting grounds. As you might have guessed, I returned with an SD Card filled to the brim with all sorts of interesting .jpeg files, the contents of which included the likes of Pokémon tombstones, cemetery gates, and my engagement in some good-natured tomfoolery. I'd share these pictures, but unfortunately, my AOL account has been acting up lately, so I've got to wait until their customer support team gets back to me.

Upon visiting the "Pokémon Tower," however, I started to tune out a bit. I had finally found a burial site that just didn't do it for me. No pizazz.

The whole vertical cemetery craze is really getting out of hand. I'm not going to go up a flight of stairs each and every time I want to snap a photo of an especially intriguing grave site. If I'm going to be disrespected by being made to ascend what is essentially a five-story walk-up, why not just slap me in the face? How about twice for good measure? Aggressively?

It's really all about the atmosphere. The combination of grass and tombstones makes for, shall I spontaneously say, a dynamite combination! Linoleum flooring, on the other hand? If you've got some serious remembrance to do, it's just not going to cut it. This is some downright unclean linoleum flooring, I might add. And if I'm going to get a good snapshot of a grave, I've gotta get myself some good, natural lighting. All I'm seeing in this tower are a bunch of fluorescent light bulbs, 35% of which don't even work properly due to supernatural interference. What is this, the '90s?

I also wasn't looking to get bronchitis. You walk about seven steps in this place and balls of toxic gas come and parade around you while you're trying to adjust the zoom level on your camera (tip: making sure the tombstone is in the frame makes for a better picture). It was cute at first, seeing their tongues wriggle about, but I then realized that they more or less had no restraint. Hey, I mean, I like licking rocky road ice cream cones with my tongue, but getting licked myself as though I'm ice cream is a totally different story, ha! No ice cream here, guys.

Expect their wafting fumes to give you mild-to-severe lung damage.

Burned Tower

Rating: 2.75 / 100: Look, this one's not worth it!
Redeeming Qualities
Notable flaws

I'm not sure which serial arsonist was trying to be funny here, but I'm not amused. If you're going to set something aflame, be tasteful about it. Leveling a pagoda is never appropriate. In case you're curious, I learned of the word "pagoda" after inquiring about the artwork on my Chinese take-out box this one time a few years back. Cultural enlightenment comes from unexpected places (I never knew learning could be so tasty, ha).

This "landmark" is apparently the source of folklore in certain Ecruteak circles, which honestly sounds like a bunch of metaphysical nonsense, really. I mean, look, I've got wind chimes at my place, so I've got spiritual fulfillment, but there comes a point when the whole new age fad really wears thin. The locals were saying something about some sort of sacred bird, but I wasn't really listening (it's hard to hear people when you're jamming to some of the newest hot tracks on your Zune), nor did I care for their peculiar brand of mysticism. I'm not here to be regaled with tales of fiction. Please, let's get our heads out of the library, Ecruteak. It's 2014.

My verdict of the Burned Tower? Steer clear of this place. The rats are abundant; one of them bit me and gave me hantavirus, which I hate. Oh, and hey, Ecruteak City Council: someone should really do something about the feral wolves meandering around in the cellar. What is this, the '90s?

I was told there would be beauty here. Instead, I got smoldered wood. This is a ruse if I've ever seen one, and I'm angry about it.

Olivine Lighthouse

Rating: 0.03 stars / 5 stars: Hey, wait, don't go here!
Redeeming Qualities
Notable flaws

Lamps? To answer your question, yes, I do think they are one of the better inventions to come along recently. In fact, I love them. Upon discovering their existence, I realized that I no longer was relegated to eating my Thursday dinners in complete darkness. It's hard to eat ham sandwiches without light; trust me, you're gonna get mayonnaise and other condiments everywhere.

Anyway, here's the point: my love of lamps has led me to seek out nature's big lamps: lighthouses. They're certainly majestic, (not unlike lions, one of nature's other creations) but the Neanderthals over in Olivine City have managed to botch theirs completely. No, I'm not making this up!

So I get to the front of this lighthouse and its light isn't operational. Defiantly, I exclaimed, "This can't be happening again... no, no, no, NO!" This is one scandal I just would not stand for, so I began my ascension of this lighthouse to get to the bottom of this travesty.

Wading my way through the hordes of homeless sailors to get to the top was certainly a nuisance. Yeah, I'll grant you that.

Then, an interesting development: I find out that the source of light (or in this case, a lack of light, unbelievable) for this place is an apathetic sheep with an alarming disregard for the plight of the common maritime traveler. Is this the sort of degradation I must now come to expect from the year 2014? This slacker just sits there, complete with that infamous sheep-like lethargic gleam in its eye. What is this, the '90s?

I later find out that this bumblebee-looking jokester needs some Benadryl or something to start illuminating, whereupon I, a tourist, am asked to cross the sea to retrieve it (without light, I might add). In response, I said, "A flagrant mistake! I'm no pharmacy hopper." Treating people like servantsI guess that's the Olivine way? Definitely not one of the Criteria for Cool Places®.

In closing, the Olivine Lighthouse is a perfect destination for those looking to break into the potion-shuttling industry.


I've got a zero tolerance policy for ignorance. There is no excuse to travel around blindly with the hope of finding some sort of fulfillment. Fulfillment, eh? What a concept. Smells like yet another conspiracy. Fortunately, I have the power to cut through many flavors of pretense.

I think it's pretty safe to say that knowing where not to go will save you years of heartache and, incidentally, taxi cab fare. I'll leave you all with a pertinent quote from Staying Festive on the Road: Every Day is a Party.

I once stayed at a hotel with no continental breakfast. That doesn't jive with my high-octane lifestyle. I won't be returning there, ever.

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