Dream Darbs: The Darb Tribe, How They Could Live–an Attempt at an Interview

Dear Karl,

Here is a fantasy inspired by your letter on the Carolina dogs, Caddoes, and Drop City.

“For a people who have never lived,”, said Jimmy, “I think the Darbs have done pretty darned good. Had they lived I would have loved to join them. I would still love to be an honorary Darb. I don’t hold the fact that they never lived against them. Heck, I know lots of folks who have never lived and people don’t hold it against them.”

Jimmy’s concept of a people who have never lived began to pull me in, and I wanted to know more about the Darbs. I asked Jimmy how many Darbs there were, and he said, “As many as there are people who want to be Darbs. It’s voluntary you know.”

I tried to get a definite answer. “How many Darbs are there now?”

Jimmy seemed puzzled by my lack of comprehension. “Remember these are people who have never lived. Go easy on them. Let me give you some perspective on this, how many dream lovers are there?”

Wow! He had me there. “As many as we want?”

“Now you’re getting it!”

“So tell me about the Darbs. Where will they live?”

“That’s easy,” he said. “Somewhere else. If life was ok where they are now they wouldn’t need to move. In fact, they wouldn’t even need to be Darbs.”

The Darb idea was starting to get to me, so I continued. “What do the Darbs do in Somewhere Else?”

“They live a simple, negative life. They are very happy that way.”

“They’re happy being negative?”

“Oh, sure. Let me illustrate. The Darbs have no debt, no mortgages, no car payments, no car repairs, no car insurance. And, maybe best of all, Darbs have no auto accidents!

“Although I must admit, two of their canoes bumped yesterday. One canoe driver was looking up at the trees overhead and the other was cheering his dogs on as they trotted along side him on the shore. The combined speed of their craft must have been almost seven miles an hour. If they had had drinks in their cup holders it could have been a real mess. Fortunately, it was just an ‘Oops!’ incident. They smiled, corrected courses, and continued.”

“Ok, with canoes, I can see where they have no car payments, but no mortgages! How do they manage that?”

“Well, building a hut can involve Obs, the exchange of favors. Help me build my hut and I’ll help you build yours. If we start in the morning you can sleep in it that night. The hardest part may be trucking in the materials.”

“Trucking! I thought Darbs used canoes.”

“The Darbs call rowboats trucks. Some call a three wheel dog cart a truck. A cart with three dogs is rated as a three dog power truck, 3 dp. They refer to two wheelers as chariots. One of the chariot builders has the motto, ‘There’s a little of the Ben Hur spirit in all of us.’”

I could go on about Jimmy and the Darbs, but I did challenge him on the dream aspect of the Darb world.

“Sure, it’s a dream,” he said. “But a lot of America is a dream, and for many it’s becoming a nightmare. I mean, who wants that?”


G. Prell


4 thoughts on “Dream Darbs: The Darb Tribe, How They Could Live–an Attempt at an Interview”

  1. Mr.Prell used the term “Obs” in his fantasy about the Darb tribe. It reminds me of a science fiction story “And Then There Were None”, by Eric Frank Russel where a people used “Obs” (short for obligations), instead of money.

  2. I wouldn’t mind being a Darb and having an Ob. It sure sounds better than the world I live in now. Everything in this world is so artificial and requires so much dependence. I would like to live free and barter for things.

    1. You’re sure right about the artificiality of the world now. Get your bartering goods or skills together because you may get the chance to put them to use one day.

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