Satsuma Parallelparking is the first woman to win the Royal Geographical Society’s Award for the Most Pointless Solo Circumnavigation of the World. Up until Parallelparking’s attempt at circumnavigating the globe by pogo stick, Hedgerow Stickinsect held the award for the last seventeen years. In his world-record breaking attempt, Stickinsect used a space hopper to circumnavigate the globe in seven months, two weeks, 3 hours, 47 minutes and 37.243 seconds.
However, may experts in pointless circumnavigation say that Parallelparking’s time of five weeks, 4 days 7 hours and 32.897076 seconds will prove hard to beat. Mainly, they argue, because of her use of a specially-manufactured ocean-going pogo stick. There was some talk that Upskirt Instantsoup, the Norwegian explorer, would attempt to circumnavigate the globe by undersea supermarket shopping trolley later this year. But his prototype shopping trolley has proved rather too buoyant in his canal-based experiments for him to be confident of the sheer pointlessness of circumnavigating the globe using this method. Many critics have pointed out that there is a very real danger in going underwater by shopping trolley. They argue there is a chance of Instantsoup – however inadvertently – discovering a sea creature unknown to science. Or even of him discovering something else not previously known about the undersea environment. This would immediately give his globe-circling adventure some sort of reason, making it no longer pointless. This would, inevitably, then disqualify him from the Most Pointless Circumnavigation of the World award.
However, Parallelparking is claiming to be unconcerned about Instantsoup’s threat to her world record time. She has even pointed out that the shopping trolley is not quite such an absurd vehicle for navigating the globe, as first impressions would suggest.
‘After all,’ she explained at a recent press conference,’ the shopping trolley is designed to carry supplies. There is nowhere on a pogo stick to store even one day’s rations. But with a shopping trolley, every time their route goes past a supermarket the explorer has a chance to stock up. They even have an opportunity to get their hands on that day’s special offers. I don’t call that proper pointless circumnavigation.’
However, Instantsoup hit back a few days ago. He claimed that Parallelparking had an integral compass on the top of her custom-built pogo-stick, which enabled her always to know where she was going. ‘Whereas I have a normal shopping trolley, and as everyone knows they never go in the intended direction. So of course, I need more supplies. It is possible for a shopping trolley to go completely off-course or even in the opposite direction. If that happens while I’m undersea, there is no telling where I could end up… I could even end up in Hull,’ he claimed, shuddering in terror.
However, there are many who say that the whole idea of pointless global circumnavigation is more than pointless in this day and age. This is especially so amongst those who grow tired at the glee with which the media follow every aspect of these trips.
Nowadays, with cheap airline travel, GPS, and the worldwide web make the notion of global exploration or even circumnavigation seem like an adventure for an earlier less globally-connected world. As one commentator on Twitter said, ‘What is more pointless is trying to travel the world using a budget airline. There is no telling where you’ll end up.’
Except though, as we all know, wherever we end up, it will not be the same place or – often – the same continent as our baggage. Although, that is one pointless aspect of travel the contenders for the Most Pointless Solo Circumnavigation of the World award never have to face.