Friday, March 8, 2024

Lost in the desert

Here's a wee test for you. 

If you were stuck in the desert, what would be of most use to you?

The situation is that you and three friends have gone on a hike and got lost.
Your party were expected back by 3pm, and there's been no sign of you.
So what do you do to survive?

As this is a fictional bit of fun, you can rank the following items in order of most useful to aid survival to least useful to aid survival.

The 15 items are

a parachute
2 quarts of 180 proof vodka
5 quarts of water
.45 loaded pistol
cosmetic mirror
large plastic raincoat
one topcoat per person
salt tablets
a magnetic compass
one pair sunglasses per person
a sectional airmap of the area
a book about edible animals of the desert
compress kit with gauze
jack knife


Some further info? There's a few cacti about and the temperature is well over 100 F

If you were to rank the 15 items with the most important first, what would you put first? What would you put last?

And how far down the list do you get before you say.... well,  can I fire a gun?
Why would I have a parachute with me?
Who am I in the desert with?
Do I owe them money?
Why am I in this mess?

Has anybody read Ice Cold in Alex?
Given my current circumstances, which of my life choices are to blame?
Do I like vodka?

As anyone who has read Desmond Bagly knows, the most important item is the cosmetic mirror. It's hugely powerful in its ability to reflect sunlight for signalling.
And you can ensure that your corpse looks fabulous.

The second item is the topcoat, it helps reduce sweat, helps reduce dehydration.
Sounds counterintuitive but it seems to be true.

The third item is the water. You could last three days on that amount of water. My suggestion that I'd use the jackknife to stab the other three to death so I could have all the water was largely thought to be unacceptable. 

The fourth item was the flashlight - once we had acertained it had batteries! Used for signalling, or battering the others to death- again a suggestion of mine.

The fifth most useful item was the parachute. To use with a cactus as a tent ( Cactus as the pole, drapping the parachute over), the bright colours will attract attention.

The sixth item was the jackknife, seemingly used to get juice from the cactus.

Seventh was the raincoat- use as a roof over a hole for shelter, then lick the condensation off for a little water.

The eighth item was the pistol to attract attention. I can't fire a pistol - they have many safety catches.
I'd hit my colleagues over the head with it and steal their water, topcoats, parachutes and cactus juice.

Ninth was a pair of sunglasses per person. I put a complaint in here as blue eyed peple are much more sensitive to sunlight than brown eyed people air, so should be allowed the sunglasses higher up the list.
Why were we in the desert without sunglasses anyway?

Tenth was the compress with gauze, the desert is sterile, seemingly, so we don't need elastoplast to keep cuts and bruises safe.

Magnetic compass. Any MIE peole know how to use a compass properly? The idea is that disorientation and confusion will set in early so trying to use a compass will simply move you from an area where the rescuers might think you are. To an area they might not search.
Any magnetics rocks in the desert?

Sectional air map of the area was the 12th on the list - so pretty useless. Best use it as toiler paper, or a hat. Not  toilet paper then a hat.

A book about edible animals of the desert was number 13 but it was last on my list. No clues on how to catch them as are they not mostly nocturnal and... fast...or underground...

The second most useless item was the vodka. I had that a number four on the basis that you could get so drunk drunk you just don't care. I was told this was a very Glaswegian answer.

The most useless  item? The salt tablets- totally useless seemingly... mmmm but .. medically? What about all those films?

Here are some random pictures of a bit of desert.

Once you have build the tent, slaughtered the fellow hikers, you could sit sippimg vodka while admiring the view through your sunglasses.






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