Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Inflatable Travel Companion

Sometimes I fantasize about dressing up as a man and travelling around the world, possibly on a pirate ship. I would hack off my side braid, let my leg hair flow freely, and wear unflattering pants. Perhaps I would also don a top hat and waistcoat, like George Sand. After the metamorphosis is complete, I would probably look like this:

Perhaps a woman can legally travel anywhere save the interior of a mosque, but she has to fight to justify it every time. People always make a tremendous fuss about a woman who travels alone. The world is not her oyster. More than half of the world – Asia, Africa, most of South America, the frequently forgotten Antarctica, and even half of Europe – is considered too rugged and volatile for the gentler sex. If her exploration destination is at war and she is going to have to wear a burka, it almost seems like too much of an effort anyways.

It is commonly accepted that a travelling lady needs protection beyond the soothing warmth of a cast iron pan clutched in her lily-white hand.

With whom are you travelling? the inquisitors ask the travelling woman. For less threatening sojourns, like the Jane Austen museum or a day-trip to suburban Iowa, a small group of women will suffice, as long as they hold their rape whistles firmly between their teeth while crossing parking lots. Sometimes other women are acceptable companions for a trip to New York City or touristy European cities because there is safety in numbers.

For more extensive or long-term excursions, a travelling woman is expected to have a strapping and assertive male companion, gifted in boxing and the martial arts, a sort of white knight to protect her from baby-punting gypsies and the sex trade. But women, be wary, for white knights only want one thing… unless they are gay. God forbid the travelling woman should be ravished by her white knight.

Therefore, a woman needs a strapping and assertive homosexual boxer. No straggly arms and plucked eyebrows for this job. A woman needs a burly, gay boxer to escort her through the gritty, dangerous world and give her the freedom to wander where she will. Paul Bunyon meets Paul Mitchell.

But there is a sore lack of burly, gay boxers in this country. The demand far exceeds the supply. And this brings me to my ingenious invention: The Inflatable Travel Companion. Think Autopilot, but more lifelike.

Rather than posting an ad on Craigslist for a “Travelling Woman seeking Gay Boxer for trip to India,” the travelling woman can dial a phone number, talk to a friendly automated representative named Heather, and purchase what is essentially a blowup doll that respects her need for platonic camaraderie. A male companion that isn’t going to poke her awake in the middle of the night to request that she “help a guy out.”

The Inflatable Travel Companion is made of 100% LEAD-FREE vinyl manufactured in the USA. For $39.95, you will receive one Inflatable Travel Companion with a drawstring nylon storage bag and a free bicycle pump. A hundred dollar value, yours for only $39.95, plus shipping.

But can you really put a price on that kind of freedom?

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