Spud was sitting at home late one night watching old movies on TiVo when Indiana Jones and the Last Cursade came on.
Always a fan of the intrepid adventurer, Spud watched the movie intently and became enthralled with the Jones' pursuit of the elusive Holy Grail. While the chalice of eternal life slipped through Indy's fingers, Spud became inspired to set out on his own quest to find it. The tuber made note of the sandstone city where Jones had spotted it and then made a quick call to his travel agent.
Unfortunately, the tato did know exactly where this city was. The only clue he he had was that it was hidden away in a narrow Valley in a Middle Eastern Desert.
The Middle East is not exactly a hot bed for tourism; with political and social unrest in Israel and Lebannon on one side and Iraq and Afghansitan on the other. Hoping to find a more neutral territory to begin his quest, the tater bought a ticket to the tiny country of Jordan.
Upon arriving at the airport in the capital city of Amman, the potato rented a Land Rover and headed into town to see what information he could glean from the locals.
The language barrier would prove to be a formidable obstacle in trying to communicate. Indiana Jones never had to speak other languages in his films, so Spud assumed he would get by with the same ease. Unfortunately the people he ran into only spoke Arabic. After getting a bit discouraged, the tater decided to try to find a local tavern to drown his sorrows and try to develop a new plan.
The tuber was unable to find a cocktail lounge, but did discover numerous smoking parlours that the locals seemed to congregate at. The potato was standing outside one when a young Jordanian student grabbed him by the hand and ushered him in. "Come my friend, we have a Hookah!". The tater resisted the invitiation, stating that he had no time or money for any 'ladies of the evening'...
"No my friend", the student persisted, "HOOKAH ! Come come, we go!", and with that Spud was whisked inside. Turns out that a Hookah is a waterpipe that is used to smoke various concoctions. Within minutes the tater was sucking on a garden hose breathing in a mixture of mint & rose tobacco...and who knows what else!
Fortunately for Spud, the student had been studying English for years and was very fluent. He was also a history major, so he proved to be a wealth of information about Jordan's history and the approximate location of the Holy Grail. While puffing away on the waterpipe, the student drew the tuber a map of the Jordanian desert along with some directions roughly scrawled and annotated.
The next morning, after suffering countless bed spins from the Hookah, Spud jumped into the Land Rover and set out into the hostile desert plateau. For hours the potato rumbled across the shimmering, shifting sands under the scorching sun, but was unable to spot any mountainous regions. The potato had forgotten his box of tin foil to shield himself from the blistering sun and his tender, golden brown skin was starting to crisp up and crack. Fortunately, just over a rise in the distance, a vast body of water came into view.
The truck began to overheat as well and gasped out a geyser of steam, just as Spud arrived at the water's edge. The lake was enormous, but strangely enough no one was swimming, nor were there any sun worshippers on the beach. A sign posted on the shore hinted at the possible cause of this anomaly. It read, "The Dead Sea". Apparently, whoever named it certainly didn't work in the tourism industry.
"What's in a name" the sweltering potato mused as he dove into the depths and gulped down a mouthful of the sea. Instantly it became painfully apparent how fitting its name was. The Dead Sea is 30% salt; almost 9 times the salt content found in the Oceans. The potato coughed relentlessly, trying to eject every grain of salt he had ingested.
The tuber now faced a real dilemma. He was in dire need of thirst, his truck lay expired in the sand and he was in the middle of nowhere. The situation was almost as dire as having to sit thru a Dionne Warwick infomercial.
Just then, the potato heard the scraping sound of a broadsword being drawn from its scabbord. The potato turned around and found himself engulfed by the shadow of an enormous man clad in black armour.
"You seek the GRAIL..., but it is only your GRAVE that ye shall find!", warned the fearsome knight. "Prepare to be julienned!" he roared as he swung down his sword, just narrowly missing the side dish
The quick-thinking tater opened his rear compartment and pulled out a few pats of butter; tossing them on the ground behind hm as he fled. Raising the tremendous blade above his head, the knight began to run after the skedaddling Spud. Stepping onto one of the glistening squares of butter, the villain's legs flew out from beneath him, causing him to lose his grip on the epee and sending his immense frame crashing to the ground. His broadsword followed suit and the razor sharp blade sliced straight through his left arm like a hot knife through a stick of margarine. The evil warlord clamoured to his feet and stared blankly at his severed appendage lying on the sand at his feet. The tater looked back at his wounded attacker who muttered "Thankfully it's only a flesh wound..."
The knight bent over to grab his weapon as Spud spotted his foe's transport; a toothy dromedary laying down in the shadow of a dune. The tater scurried over to it as fast as his PVC feet could carry him. The tato jumped aboard the camel's back and pulled feverishly on its reigns, The camel struggled to its feet and began to speed off into the desert, leaving the black knight in its sandy wake.
Spud soon learned that the camel was ignoring any and all of his commands; instead the ship of the desert continued to drone on into the vast Jordanian desert. After what seemed like hours, the potato came upon a narrow rocky area with a labyrinth of immense sandstone wallls. Passing through a narrow gorge only about 10-15 feet (3-5m) wide, the shaft opened up to reveal the ancient city of Petra. A collection of grand structures hewn into the towering red rock walls thousands of years ago. This was the place that Indiana Jones had found. A place that was even older than recorded time. A sacred, mystical spot with a history as mysterious as its location. No one knows for sure who originally built the city, although it is mentioned in many of the earliest texts including the Old Testament and the Dead Sea Scrolls. A city so remote and hidden, it doesn't even have a Wal-Mart or a Starbucks.
A shiver enveloped the potato as he realized how close he must be to the elusive Grail. The tater was eager to lay claim to the chalice and hopped off the camel's back to begin his search inside the earthen temples. Forgetting how high he was, the carbohydrate bounced off the camel's shoulder and plummeted head first onto the stony ground; cracking his skull and spilling out an assortment of finely diced green onions from the resulting fissure.
The next thing the potato knew, he was sitting in a hospital back in Amman. A somewhat irritable physician stood at the foot of the tater's bed clutching a clipboard with a list of the potato's medical costs. Knowing he had no insurance, Spud realized that his quest for the Grail would have to wait another day.