The Last Cartographer On Earth

Spring '10

As a Harvard-educated cartographer, I never imagined there would come a day when my office telephone ceased to ring. Unfortunately, that day seems to have arrived. To be perfectly honest, many a lonely night was spent sipping artisan Amantillado sherry at my late-Baroque drafting desk, which was bequeathed upon me by my men- tor - the dean of Cartography at Harvard Dr. Prescott G. Prescott IV, when I wondered if my expertise was still in demand.

That being said, as a Harvard man, a scholar, I gracefully extended my services to my former Cambridge mates. Yet despite my outreach to the Crimson community, the response has been lackluster. It would seem almost as though my fellow alumni were colluding against me out of a bitter and deep-rooted envy; of the seventy some handwritten letters I sent out on hand-pressed Egyptian papyrus with genuine Tierra Del Fuegan squid ink, there were just two responses, both of which were quite rude indeed. Charles VanderMeer(Harvard ’58) wrote, “Al- though I appreciate your talents, please take me off this list. I’m tired of your junk mail.” Wilson “Heavyhanded” Leadbellows (Harvard ’56) wrote, “G., cut this shit out, everything was mapped before we even graduated; I’m surprised you ever found work. Go play golf or . . . something.” These responses appalled me and I realized ex post haste that to stay afloat amongst these woe begotten currents I needed to expand my services to the teeming masses. After many trying Sunday dinners at the Harvard club, followed by agonizing hours of tossing and turning on my Eagledown mattress upon my Jeff Gordon #24 racecar bed (because I am of the belief that we all deserve a treat now and again, yes?), I finally came to the conclusion that as a true Harvard man, I would adapt. This brings me to my present query:

Dear John Q. Public,
I am offering my services to you for any of your cartographic needs. I have and will map anything from dreams to dinner plates. If you can name it, I can map it. In accordance with my thorough classical training, the average 16x20 map will take me anywhere from three to twelve weeks and costs roughly $46,000. I expect to be onsite for the majority of the project but will do the final coloring in my Cambridge office. These works are of archival qual- ity and can be framed with either Alpine cherry oak or an exquisite and rare Polynesian rosewood, both from my special collection, for an additional $7500.

Sincerely,
G. Walcott Underwood ‘57