Days of Exploration
Instance Banjoweasel became an official government experimental parachute testing operative at the age of 27, after failing in her attempt to be the first person to circumnavigate the globe on a steam-powered sofa, using the very tricky north-west Tipton route that so many previous explorers, especially those utilising furnishings as their preferred mode of transport, had thus far failed to do.
Banjoweasel had hoped to be the first great Victorian female explorer to using items of furniture to travel the globe. Even in those early days of exploration the general public were getting tired of trying to summon up any great interest in people who felt an urgent need to go around the world, or deep into some unexplored country, for no adequately defined reason. Consequently the sponsors of such trips became keen that the putative explorers – very much like today – had some sort of gimmick that would lure the punters in.
So, instead of going down in the history books as a great Victorian female explorer Banjoweasel went down – rather more rapidly than is usually recommended – and ended her days as a rather flat, and somewhat bloody, stain next to an unopened experimental parachute on one of the more pointier bits of Snowdonia.
However, not all Victorian furniture-utilising explorers were so universally forgotten. For example, it was only after Wainscoting & Sons, Cabinet Makers to the Gentry experienced massive increases in sales when Canoe Trailblazer became the first person to travel up the Amazon using a teak writing desk that furniture-based exploration really took off with scores of other furniture makers keen to get their particular furniture associated with some feat of exploration.
Also, everyone remembers, somewhat vaguely it is true, the attempt by Wales of the Artic to attempt to sail the Northwest Passage on a wardrobe, which tragically sank when he opened both its doors in the middle of a storm in order to change his wave-moistened trousers. Every school-age learning unit can also recall Dr Deadrock the African explorer, who went off in search of the source of the Nile using only a dining room table, and his subsequent infamous meeting with a man called Steve who had set off to find Dr Deadrock and deliver vital supplies of furniture polish deep into unexplored Africa.
It was, however, a short-lived fad, especially when it became apparent that English domestic furniture could not stand up to the extremes of temperature, climate and rough usage of an expedition into uncharted areas. This was especially true when Hamstrung Poodlechin lost both drawer handles from his exploration sideboard deep in the Congo and survived only by hand carving cutlery out of tree branches to refill his dangerously depleted cutlery drawer until he was able to reach the relative civilisation of a Norwegian Missionary hospital where he was generously provided with just enough furniture polish to give his sideboard the gleaming finish it so desperately needed before he returned home a defeated man, thus helping to bring about the end of the domestic furniture-based days of exploration.