Ben

Ben was born in 1845 in a small Alpine village. The son of Druidic parents expelled from England in the 1830s, Ben's childhood was uneventful until 1853, when Switzerland deported Druids who refused to convert to Swiss Druidism. Ben and his family relocated to Andorra, mistaking it for Andora, and Ben subsequently began a storied career in the Andorran Navy. Although Ben swiftly rose through the ranks, his career was ultimately hindered by a staunch belief in a round Earth, despite the overwhelming evidence that the Earth is, in fact, an oblate spheroid. Also, Ben is a cat person, and the top brass of the navy were dog people. So it goes.

Summit of Coma Pedrosa

In 1862, Ben led a Navy expedition to climb Coma Pedrosa, at that time the highest peak in Europe owing to a clerical error and a bizarre affair between a European High Commissioner and a French Parliamentary secretary.

Expedition Fate

Ben's team was stranded near the summit for three days during a freak rainstorm. While at first forced to subsist on their boots, Ben and his aide de camp hit on the inspiration for what would one day become SPAM. Not coincidentally, this expedition is also credited with discovering the first (and only) naturally occurring Fountain of Ham, whose location is still a closely-guarded state secret to this very day.

Although all members of the expedition safely returned home after the third day, the fate of the 1862 Expedition is ultimately unknown.

This is the first time Ben died.

Scandal in the Andorran Parliament

The 1862 Expedition's mixed success touched off a brief crisis in the Andorran Parliament. This culminated in the resignation of most of the Cabinet. Ben's expert testimony was responsible for the conviction of several high-ranking officials. In the wake of the scandal, the Parliament dissolved and an election was called. Although Ben briefly launched a campaign for a seat, he withdrew his application before the closing of nominations, and threw his support in behind the Druid Pirate Party (not to be confused with the Pirate Druid Party, those bastards).

Ben's celebrity support for the Druid Pirate Party came at a crucial moment in Andorran politics. He crystallized popular support for a party that, until that point, had always remained on the margins. The Druid Pirate Party went on to win more than 1 seat in the election, far surpassing both the Pirate Druid Party and the Party of Piratical Druids (those stinking rat bastards). Soon after the election, however, Ben announced his resignation from the Andorran Navy and retirement from public life.

Discovery of Antarctica

Ben hitchhiked across Europe for several years, no mean feat considering the dearth of automobiles in those decades. In 1884, he arrived in a small French village on the Spanish border. He encountered a discouraged mad scientist whose failure to construct a working doomsday device made him the laughingstock of the small, and frankly much too critical, village.

His motivations behind helping the beleaguered scientist remain unknown. However, Ben and the scientist together managed to perfect the doomsday device by the summer of 1886. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for us, the device backfired. Although it obliterated a sizable chunk of western France, it took the rest of Europe a surprisingly long time to notice. As of 2015, many countries still have not gotten around to updating their maps.

This was the second time Ben died.

No, Actually, Discovery of Antarctica

In 1895, Ben reunited the survivors of the ill-fated 1862 Expedition, and set sail to obtain proof of a round Earth. They embarked on a rigorous program to obtain empirical measurements in three separate hemispheres of the globe. Although this task ultimately proved ontologically impossible, the attempt remains one of the boldest feats of geographical rebellion since the European claims to have discovered an entire continent already populated with people.

The Second 1862 Expedition, as it unfortunately came to be called, set sail on October 1895. It circumnavigated the Earth twice, during which time the expedition recorded several new landmasses. The most notable of these continents, of course, would be Antarctica. Originally located somewhat northwest of Australia, in the now-Indian Ocean, Antarctica was relocated to its present location by the Second 1862 Expedition at the behest of the International Association of Cartographical Aesthetics.

Critics remain divided on the Second Expedition's success. Obviously, Ben did not topple centuries of evidence in favour of the Earth's oblate spheroidal shape. However, the numerous contributions of the Second Expedition to geography, medicine, and late night television remain incalculable. It is speculated that the Second Expedition advanced the cause of human development by several decades. Ben remained sceptical of such grandiose claims throughout his lifetime.

The Early Twentieth Century

To be continued.



staff/profile/tachyon.txt ยท Last modified: 2016/01/18 21:49 by Ben Babcock