The inquisitive one, after that terrible ordeal in London, was in possession of a passport, but no money with which to return home to America. And so the inquisitive one began wandering along the River Thames, looking for a ship to stow away in.
The inquisitive one spent many hours and days hanging around places where there were ships and boats. The inquisitive one struck up many friendly conversations with people who seemed like seamen and seawomen, trying to tease out any information that might help.
One day, the inquisitive one met a rich, middle-aged couple who, bored with corporate life, had decided to take some time off work and have an adventure. They were planning to sail a small sailboat across the Atlantic Ocean! The inquisitive one complimented them on their bravery and sense of adventure and expressed great interest in learning more about their proposed travels. And so they became friends, particularly since the couple appreciated the inquisitive one’s sense of humor.
One day, the couple invited the inquisitive one to join them on the sail across the Atlantic. “We’ll buy all the food you need for the trip, if you help us manage the sails and do other tasks that need to be done.”
“I would be honored to join you on your adventure,” said the inquisitive one.
“Plus, the two of us know each other well and are tired of each other’s jokes. So we will be happily entertained if you will keep joking around during the voyage.”
“I can do that. I’m like a court jester!” said the inquisitive one, doing a little jig.
“Plus, if things go terribly wrong, and we have to resort to cannibalism, you will come in handy.”
“I used to suck my thumb when I was a kid. That’s some tasty stuff!” said the inquisitive one, pretending to gnaw on a thumb, and hoping they found this joke funny, while reflecting that it was not actually funny in the least.
Luckily, they thought this was hysterical. And so the three of them embarked on their adventure. The inquisitive one learned how to sail a sailboat and endured many hard times on that boat—too many to recount here. There never came a time when they needed to resort to cannibalism; and one day they landed at Plymouth Rock.
The inquisitive one kissed the dry ground with excitement and patriotism! No one bothered to check the passport, for some reason, there at Plymouth Rock. (This was probably a good thing, since it had gotten repeatedly wet and salty and was no longer very readable.) And so the inquisitive one hitchhiked back to the beloved Washington, D.C.
Soon after returning home, the inquisitive one saw a bunch of friends at a party. The friends all crowded around the inquisitive one, asking about the trip to Europe and begging to see photos.
“I didn’t take any good photos, sorry!” said the inquisitive one. “But I promise you, it was an adventure! I met some interesting people, ate tea and crumpets, saw some sights, and took sailing lessons on the River Thames!”
“Cool!” said the friends. “And by the way, your email was hacked.”
“Oh. Yeah. Sorry about that!” said the inquisitive one. And the partyers moved on to other topics.
Later, the inquisitive one met up with a few—just a very few—very close friends. These were discreet, trustworthy people with enormous hearts. To these friends, the inquisitive one told the whole story: the theft of the money and passport, the drug dealers, the political agitators, the prince, the U.S. Embassy, the sailing couple, and everything else. And the friends were compassionate and kind and always still discreet and trustworthy.
And none of the friends, even once, during that whole evening, suggested eating any other of them.