Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Island Story

How many time have you played the game with friends about what you would take with you to a deserted island?  Probably a few times, at least.   Recently, while watching an episode of "Naked and Afraid" I wondered about the question again. 

One of the concerns left out of the "What three things would you take to a desert island?"  is how to survive without shelter, food, and the basic necessities we enjoy.  Back in my early 20s I had formally training in what is called "bush craft" - being able to survive outdoors in various conditions.  My uncles had this kind of training and I heard stories about how well they did out in the elements for a period of training.  Bush craft includes being able to build a shelter in any condition, how to build a snow cave if you find yourself stuck outdoors in the winter, how to search/hunt for food, what you vegetation you can eat, and so on.  I have not done it in a long time but I used to be able to light a fire using sticks and rocks. 

In my family, the men and the women of my grandparents generation were taught how to fend for themselves and perform basic things for themselves and around the house.  They were taught the same things.  The men knew how to sew and cook.  The women were taught these things as well but also learned how to perform basic maintenance on their cars, change tires, defend themselves if attacked.  No one batted an eye when I announced I wanted to take a course in bush craft.  I was already proven to be the type of person to go on impulsive road trips and travel when the opportunity presented itself.  Such things were sometimes done in the dead of night.  This wanderlust was fraught with potential danger.  What if the car broke down?  What if someone tried to rob/attack me?  I was encouraged by family members to pursue the bush craft lesson just as I had been encouraged to take classes in Krav Maga (a self defense system originally developed for Israeli soldiers).  I believe that every woman should take this class a self-defense class.  Men are physically stronger and usually the ones who attack.  Learning how to defend yourself from an attack is just a common sense thing to do.    I would feel confident I could survive if I was cast off on a deserted island, just in case the trees uprooted and tried to chase me.  Yes, sir, I'd show them!

Well, a deserted island is just that - deserted so I would have no need for Krav Maga, knowledge of car maintenance, etc..  There is nothing to attack me except maybe some nasty bugs.  I like to engage in the fantasy of what I would take with me if I could take anything (nothing electronic).  What would I have to occupy me? That's a fun thing to talk to friends about: what would you take with you?  

I have over 1,000 books.  I would probably take those.  The books feature a variety of subjects but a good number include tomes on the history of organized crime and biographies of the players in the underworld.  Other subjects that dominate my book collection are ghost stories and studies of the supernatural, the history of Ireland, its literary and national rise to world prominence in the early part of the 20th century,  psychology and a host of Norton Anthologies.  I read and re-read many of the books I own.  One of the greatest things in the world is the Kindle and being able to download and read books from many applications.  I have built up a substantial collection on Kindle.  But, the rules are no electronic devices on the deserted island.  Sad, 

Would being alone be an issue for you?  Personally, I enjoy being with friends.  I love going to parties but I am just as glad when I go home.  I am the type of person who will deliberately go to a movie or even a restaurant alone simply because I only want my company or I just don't want any conversation.  I would miss human contact on the island but I would not go crazy without out.  At least I don't think so - guess it depends how long I would be on the island.  Hopefully I would not get to the point of talking to a volleyball with a smiley face drawn on it.

So, I am curious as to what my readers would take with them? How would you fare on an island do you think? 

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