Youre Marco Polo On The Route To China. Can You Get Your Hands On Some Cinnamon?

Ah, Venice! The city of romantic flooding. You’re the famous world traveler Marco Polo, and my, oh my, do you feel happy to finally be back home after being gone for an entire year on a trading voyage to the East.

Your journey was arduous, boring, horrible, bad, and basically everyone died on it except you, but in the end, it was worth it because you brought back to your beloved homeland a treasure from the East that no Venetian had ever before set their eyes on: ketchup.

Yup. Yuuuuuuup. Yeahhhhhhh.

That is it for sure, Marco Polo. That is the red sauce that you almost died trying to haul back to Venice during your year-long voyage on the Silk Road. But it was definitely worth it because now it’s basically all anyone around here eats anymore. They suck it straight out of the bottle, Italian-style. And everybody thinks you’re a fucking hero!

“Hey, Marco Polo, thanks for the ketchup!” shouts one man.

“Marco! The ketchup guy! You fucking rule, dude!”

“Hey, Marco! Big fan. Is it cool if I invent a pool game about you?”

“Awesome, thanks!”

Even the king of Venice wants to talk to you!

“Marco! I have to talk to you. Please, won’t you sit down, or at least squat real low?”

“First of all, I would like to thank you for introducing ketchup to Italy. I am sorry everyone on your journey died except you, but it was definitely worth it. Ketchup is very good. I’m drinking some now out of this mug.”

“But I’m afraid that I need you to go back to China.”

“I know, I know. I’m sorry. But the fact is that I want a cinnamon roll.”

“It’s a roll with cinnamon in it.”

“I don’t have a fucking clue. And you want to know why, Marco Polo? It’s because we don’t have it yet. We have basically nothing. We just got ketchup, and two weeks before that, we got peanuts.”

The king blinks twice before continuing:

“So basically, what we got right now is peanuts and ketchup, Marco Polo. And tasty as they are when served either individually or together in a kind of chunky smoothie, you can’t make cinnamon rolls out of ketchup and peanuts. You need cinnamon. Now, get your ass out on the Silk Road, and don’t come back until you’ve got your hands on some goddamn cinnamon.”

“Oh no, Marco! Why do you do this to me? I must have that cinnamon roll, otherwise I will fucking kill you. I will do it. I will murder you, Marco. Oh no, Marco. Why do you make me do this? This is so sad!”

“Yay! Marco, that’s such good news! I’m so glad I don’t have to kill you. That would have been so weird. But I definitely would have done it. Okay, well, I can’t wait to eat some cinnamon, whatever the fuck it is. So long, friend! Go say goodbye to your family, and then head on out.”

Well, the king killed you because you refused to go get some cinnamon for him. You’re dead now. But hey, at least you still did that ketchup thing. Nice!

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“Awesome! I can’t wait to eat some cinnamon, whatever the fuck it is. Well, so long, friend. Go say goodbye to your family, and then head on out.”

You break the news of your imminent departure to your wife, Lucia. You barely make it through telling her without bursting into tears. She is clearly despondent.

“Okay, sounds good!” says your wife, clutching your infant sons who will surely grow up in the time that you are gone. “See you in, like, 20 years or so, I guess. Oh, and don’t worry about the kids. William will help me take care of them while you’re gone.”

“Yeah, Marco. I’ll make sure to keep your wife and kids company while you’re gone. It’s really…no problem at all.”

“Thanks, William. I really appreciate it!” says your wife. “See you later, Marco!”

“Bye, Marco.”

All right! You’re all packed and ready to go. It’s almost time to set out on a super long journey that you’ll probably die in the middle of. But before you go, you have to assemble a team to accompany you on this great trek. How do you want to find people to join you on your cinnamon-chasing suicide mission to China?

You whip this poster up real quick and slap it on a big pole in the middle of town.

Immediately, a bunch of people show up.

“I’ll go with you.”
“Sure, I’ll go.”
“Me too.”
“Yeah, okay.”
“Sounds good.”
“Fine.”
“Okay, fine.”
“Sure, fine.”
“All right.”
“Yes!”
“Both of us will go.”
“Yeah, I’m going.”
“I guess I’ll go.”
“I’m going, and I’m bringing my dog.”
“You know what? Sure. Why not.”
“Okay.”
“Yes.”
“Okay.”
“Okay, yes.”
“Fine.”
“Yeah!”
“Yes. Okay, sure!”
“Take me on your journey, Marco Polo.”
“I’m coming with you.”
“Sounds good.”
“Yup, sounds good.”
“Okay.”
“Okay, yeah.”
“Let’s go!”
“Yes.”
“Yes.”
“I’ll go.”
“My name is Michael, and I’ll go as well.”
“Okay, I’ll go.”

They all shout at you.

You set out on the Silk Road with your many companions. The sign to your right says “China: 5,000 miles.”

Fuck, that’s far.

After walking for countless days and nights, you come upon a fellow merchant you recognize from your previous journeys.

“Greetings, Marco Polo! Remember me? I’m Gussley, the Rock Merchant. Thirty years I’ve carried this godforsaken rock on my back and no one has bought it. You don’t have any interest in buying my big-ass rock, do you?”

After running for countless days and nights, you come upon a fellow merchant you recognize from your previous journeys.

“Greetings, Marco Polo! Remember me? I’m Gussley, the Rock Merchant. Thirty years I’ve carried this godforsaken rock on my back and no one has bought it. You don’t have any interest in buying my big-ass rock, do you?”

After somersaulting for countless days and nights, you come upon a fellow merchant you recognize from your previous journeys.

“Greetings, Marco Polo! Remember me? I’m Gussley, the Rock Merchant. Thirty years I’ve carried this godforsaken rock on my back and no one has bought it. You don’t have any interest in buying my big-ass rock, do you?”

“What the fuck is cinnamon?” asks the Rock Merchant.

“I don’t know, but you need it to make cinnamon rolls,” you reply.

“All right,” sighs the Rock Merchant. “I’m off then. So long, my friend.”

“What would you be willing to trade for it?”

“I have heard stories of ketchup, but never have I actually tasted the mysterious red sauce that is okay to eat entirely on its own. I’ll take it!”

“Brian!” you shout. Brian, by far your worst companion, comes forward carrying a cooler filled with mosquitoes.

“Hi, Marco Polo. I brought mosquitoes because I thought we were supposed to bring mosquitoes.”

This guy is such a fucking idiot. You’d be much better off with a huge fucking rock than Brian.

“Yeah, sure,” says the Rock Merchant. “I guess I could use a subpar companion for my travels.”

“Sounds good!” says Brian.

Jesus Christ, what an idiot.

“Wow, what an inspiring image. I’ll take it! Finally, I am no longer Gussley, the Rock Merchant! Now, I am Gussley, the merchant of the drawing of an anthropomorphic human leg making out with an anthropomorphic human arm. Thank you, Marco Polo! Here is your rock!”

Cool! You have a big-ass rock now. You never know when it might come in handy.

You walk for months and months. And then you walk some more.

You walk for months and months. And then you walk some more.

You walk over a goddamn mountain. Ten people in your party fall to their death. Another guy gets a sore throat and has to go back home to Venice. Morale is low. But you journey on in search of cinnamon.

You walk over a goddamn mountain. Ten people in your party fall to their death. Another guy gets a sore throat and has to go back home to Venice. Morale is low. But you journey on in search of cinnamon.

After traveling for, like, five years, you’re still not even close to your destination. Dang, you wish you had an airplane so bad. This would be so easy with an airplane. It would still be a pretty long flight, but it would be astronomically shorter than this journey. Plus you’d just get to sit down in a chair. Maybe read a book. Or just sleep through it. Fuck, it would be nice if you had an airplane.

After traveling for, like, five years, you’re still not even close to your destination. Dang, you wish you had an airplane so bad. This would be so easy with an airplane. It would still be a pretty long flight, but it would be astronomically shorter than this journey. Plus you’d just get to sit down in a chair. Maybe read a book. Or just sleep through it. Fuck, it would be nice if you had an airplane.

Finally, you arrive at an ancient city. Perhaps you will have some luck trading here.

Finally, you arrive at an ancient city. Perhaps you will have some luck trading here.

You encounter a gentleman at the city gates.

“Greetings, Marco Polo,” says the man in a language that you evidently understand. “What brings you to our noble city?”

You encounter a gentleman at the city gates.

“Greetings, Marco Polo,” says the man in a language that you evidently understand. “What brings you to our noble city?”

“Says it on your shirt.”

“Oh, right,” you reply. “I forgot I was wearing that.”

“So, what business do you have in our city?” he asks.

“Says it on your shirt.”

“Oh, right,” you reply. “I forgot I was wearing that.”

“So, what business do you have in our city?” he asks.

“You are in luck! We have Cinnamon!” exclaims the man.

You can hardly believe your ears. Is it possible that you could return home with cinnamon early and still catch the last five years or so of your sons’ adolescence? That would be incredible!

“Yes, we have Cinnamon! But Cinnamon is very important to us. The only thing we would be willing to trade Cinnamon for is a big-ass rock. Like, just a massive honkin’ son of a bitch of a rock. We need it so that we can drop it on a bug. You don’t by any chance have a rock that would fit that description, do you?”

“You are in luck! We have Cinnamon!” exclaims the man.

You can hardly believe your ears. Is it possible that you could return home with cinnamon early and still catch the last five years or so of your sons’ adolescence? That would be incredible!

“Yes, we have Cinnamon! But Cinnamon is very important to us. The only thing we would be willing to trade Cinnamon for is a big-ass rock. Like, just a massive honkin’ son of a bitch of a rock. We need it so that we can drop it on a bug. You don’t by any chance have a rock that would fit that description, do you?”

Looks like you screwed up. You could have gotten your hands on some cinnamon if you had traded the Rock Merchant for his rock. But you didn’t. And now who knows where the Rock Merchant is. Overcome with regret, you drown your sorrows by consuming a lethal amount of ketchup and die shortly thereafter. What a disaster.

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“Awesome! We have wanted to squish that bug for a long time, and now we will finally be able to do it with this massive rock. Very well, then. Give me the rock, and I will give you Cinnamon.”

“Here he is!” the man exclaims as a pig emerges from a nearby shed. “Our beloved Cinnamon. Well, so long, friend, you belong to Marco Polo now.”

“Yeah, Marco Polo. The pig’s name is Cinnamon. Is this not what you meant when you said you were looking for Cinnamon?”

“No, man,” you reply. “I meant ‘cinnamon.’ Like, the thing you make cinnamon rolls with.”

“What are cinnamon rolls?” he asks.

“Fuck if I know, man,” you reply. “But what am I supposed to do with a stupid pig?”

“Perhaps you will be able to trade it for some cinnamon,” he says.