Cheat Your Own Adventure: The Cave Of Time

      It seemed like a good idea at the time. An interactive novel. An... adventure of sorts. But there was a problem. Within the pages of this brilliant literary innovation, there was an x-factor. Something the creators had not forseen: by the time children have learned to read, they've already learned to cheat. As a result, the line of text that was meant to strike fear into their hearts was only a mild annoyance at best. You know the line of text I mean:

You die a tragic and terrible death and must start the book from the beginning.

Oh yeah? Fuck you, random author no one's heard of. I'll just go back to the page I was on. I was gonna do the other answer anyway, I just wanted to see what this one said. This is my journal. I am going to attempt to read a Choose Your Own Adventure book without cheating. If I die or get a bad ending, I will start over until I get the real ending. I was going to use a space adventure book because the artwork looked EXACTLY like Jay Leno as an astronaut. Unfortunately I had to pump out this article posthaste, so I have chosen a new book. I have chosen the first book in the series, The Cave of Time. After all, what better place to start than the beginning? How many attempts will it take me to get a happy ending? Can I do it without cheating? Will I go batshit crazy and give up? Let's find out! Let that record show that this is attempt #1.


Jeebus' Log, Day 1:

      “You’ve hiked through Snake Canyon once before while visiting your Uncle Howard at Red Creek Ranch, but you never noticed any cave entrance.”

      Wow, one sentence in and I’m pissed. This is why you should never write in the second person. I don’t have an Uncle Howard, I’ve never been to Red Creek Ranch, and I think the day I hike through a place called “Snake Canyon” will be the same day I go for a dive in “Hungry Shark Cove” or take a shortcut through “Anal Rape Alley”. That aside, I can’t help but assume this is the magical “Cave of Time” the author is so excited about. Apparently I go into the cave despite not having any source of light. I look around the cave and find that it’s some sort of long tunnel. I go in twenty feet, find it curves, and get scared so I came back to the entrance to find that “the sun has long since set”. I walked twenty feet into the cave, less than the distance of walking from one end of my house the other, and the sun is now long gone. Also I “must have fallen asleep and woken up hours later.” I understand the whole suspension of disbelief thing and I’m just supposed to accept what this author is telling me. I mean, by nature these books have to be in the second person. But seriously I’m a fucking narcoleptic now? I also don’t feel like I’ve been sleeping. Now I have to choose: do I stay here until dawn or risk walking home in the dark on losing my footing on the steep and rocky trail. Time to get in character. I don’t feel like I’ve slept so I’m probably a little tired. I’m in a scary cave, and it’s night. I also don’t know that this is the cave of time, so fuck it. I’ll take my chances with the steep trail and go to my bed instead of sleeping on rocks.


Jeebus’ Log, Day 2:

      All right, it’s not really a new day since I just started walking home, but I’ve turned to page 4 so I’m just gonna pretend it’s a new day for the purposes of the article. I’m taking poetic license to a whole new level, motherfucker! I turn to page 4, only to see it is right next to page 5 which was the other page I could turn to. Page 5 has one sentence on it and a picture. It catches my eye and I read it before I read page 4. No wonder it was so easy to cheat! Both outcomes are right here next to each other! Good planning, author Edward Packard. Or should I say Edward “Fudge” Packard. Hey, not every line can be gold. Luckily, I’ve waited until morning so this really is my second day of this bullshit. You may be wondering about the one sentence on this page:

      “You wait until morning, but, as the rosy wisps of dawn begin to light the eastern sky, a chill and forbidding wind begins to blow.”

I can either seek shelter or “brave the freezing wind to see more of the world”. Funny how I’m no longer interested in going home. Regardless, this decision seems like a no-brainer. I’m a lazy fuck, and I’m in a cave. Seeking shelter seems pretty easy; I’ll just stay where I am. Has my family noticed I’m missing yet?


Jeebus’ Log, Day 3:

       I step back into the cave and lean against the rock wall. You know, for shelter. The wall crumbles and I fall backwards and land in a pond. A knight comes by and not only finds the situation hilarious, but offers to take me back to the castle to get dry and clean up. Now, the character is actually described as “a knight out of the history books”, but I don’t remember knights to concern themselves with the affairs of peasants, let alone bring them back to the castle. Luckily, he shows no concern for the fact that I’m wearing blue jeans and a long sleeve Godsmack shirt with a flaming pentagram on it. While I could accept the ride, I’m going to decline the invitation and try to find my way back into the Cave of Time. Anything to end this ridiculous adventure.


Jeebus’ Log, Day 4:

      I decline the knight’s offer, and he smiles menacingly at me. Come on, look at the picture. He doesn’t seem like a friendly knight at all. I bet he wanted to take me back to the castle to sodomize me. After he taunts me a little bit, he and my virgin asshole go their separate ways. Don’t worry Sir Rapesalot; we may meet again when I die and have to start this goddamn thing over again. I go back up the slope I tumbled down and after an hour, I find a tunnel leading underground. Since I fell down here I can’t imagine going down more is going to help much, but I don’t have a choice this time, so down I go.


Jeebus' Log, Day 5:

      I slide and knock myself unconscious somehow. Apparently these books aren’t concerned with the “how” so much as the “what”. I wake up by a lake, bordered by woods. Apparently the cave of time can only send you to places filled with water. A boy about twelve years old is fishing nearby, and he isn’t concerned with me appearing, unconscious and possibly naked, out of thin fucking air. Fine, I’ll roll with it. I introduce myself and find out his dad is in business selling candles and soap, and is the best in the Colonies. I can’t imagine that candle making and soap making require similar skills, but I assume there’s some sort of “hilarious” joke coming. So do I say I’m from the future or do I make up a believable story? Well I’d like to pretend I’m from the future and try to mind fuck him, but telling prophecies of a great plague while wearing a flaming pentagram on my chest isn’t a great idea, so I’ll go for the believable story I guess.


Jeebus' Log, Day 6:

      The kid doesn’t believe me, so he packs up his shit and leaves. Whatever, I don’t need you, Nick. I don’t need any of you! I start walking down the road and reach a settled area. A constable approaches me, and for some reason I decide to tell him the truth. Clearly a man of the law, and not even my law but the King’s law, can be trusted with something like this. So yeah, I get thrown in jail for disorderly conduct. “Later in the day, a big, stupid-looking guard comes to bring you a ration of soup and bread.” Wow, stupid-looking? Nice to know that books were meant to teach us that you can tell someone’s stupid by looking at them. Barney Fife is extremely interested in me and asks if I’m in league with the devil, like the rumors people are saying. Judging from my shirt I’d say he’s got my number. I can either try to run past him and escape or tell him I’m innocent. I don’t like either of these ideas because he seems so in awe of me that I’d rather tell him I’m evil and see what happens. Ah well. I don’t want Andy Griffith to come kick his ass for letting me trick him into going free, so I’ll just run for it.


Jeebus' Log, Day 7:

      The guard is too stupid and too afraid to stop me (Forum members may replace that phrase with “too hot and too tired”) so I just run down the street. Yeah, no one will notice the crazy fucking devil worshipper running from the jail. As I stop to catch my breath, someone pulls up in a coach and asks if I need help. Too tired to make up a story, I just go with it. After all, I wouldn’t go with a fucking knight in shining armor to the castle, but the eighteenth century version of some creepy guy in a van offering me candy is my new best friend. He takes me to a nearby tavern (yeah, I could’ve gone to the castle and now I’m in a fucking tavern. Way to go, me!) where I have my first good meal since I left the Red Creek ranch. My host barely eats anything, both is pale and has a bad cough. I hope he’s pale because he’s sick and this isn’t a “don’t trust whitey” story. I don’t have a choice on this one though, so I’ll just go on to the next page like it says.


Jeebus' Log, Day 8:

      The guy tells it’s funny we met because he’s dying of tuberculosis and no doctor in Boston can help him. He thinks his only hope is to get to the future, which I agree is my only hope too. We shake hands and agree to set out on our quest the next day at sunrise. The very next sentence after that? “Together, you are successful in finding your way to the present time.” Again, not really big on the “how” aspect, cause I think that’s kinda important. You know, giant gaping hole in the fabric of time that MIGHT need to be closed. Anyway, he gets cured and “becomes a history teacher who is known throughout the country for his amazing knowledge of life in colonial America.” And that's how it ends. Nice to know he didn’t need any time to adjust or anything... or a college degree to become a teacher. And what about background checks? This is the same fucking guy that likes to drive around town picking up little boys, and now he’s a teacher? Not in my child’s school! To humor myself, I’m gonna read the next page as well. I can clearly see that is has an ending on it, so I’m curious how else this damn thing could go. So much for not cheating.


Jeebus' Log, Supplemental:

      The next page reveals what happens if I told the guard I was innocent. I’m brought to court for disorderly conduct. The judge is pissed that they talk about my clothes and say I tell stories invented by the devil. He says they’re trying to charge me with witchcraft and he's having none of it:

The judge not only sets you free, but afterwards gives you a home to live in and helps you on your way to a good and happy life in the Eighteenth Century.

      Uh... wow. My family never sees me again, I destroy the entire timeline, and I get the most bullshit ruling from a judge that I have ever heard of. I'm pretty sure that’s way worse than the lady that got millions from McDonald's for spilling coffee on herself.

      Hmmm... apparently there won’t be a second attempt. Not only did I get a good ending, but I don’t think there *is* a bad ending judging from the other one I read. I really remember there being a lot more dying and stuff in these books. All I can say is that unlike a fine wine, these books do NOT get better with age. For the first time ever, I made it through without cheating... sorta. This concludes my second article in as many years. I hope you enjoyed reading it a lot more than I enjoyed reading this book, otherwise I've failed you all.


Posted by: Dr. Jeebus