Tropical Paradise Lost

short story, Survivor, Modern Philosopher, humorI deleted the show from the DVR and then shut off the TV because Jeff Probst had announced that the tribe had spoken.

I reached into the cooler for a Snapple because watching Survivor always made me thirsty.  Maybe it was some sort of imagined solidarity with the contestants, but I refused to eat or drink while watching the show.

“Don’t get me wrong,” The Devil began, which only assured he was about to say something with which I was certain to disagree, “but I don’t think being on Survivor is nearly as difficult now as it was when the show first started.”

As always, he wore in an impeccably tailored suit, so it seemed a tad ironic for the well-dressed pretty boy to be disparaging the marooned folks in the same grimy clothes they’d been forced to wear for the last three weeks.

But he did have a point.

“I actually agree with you,” it pained me to admit, but I did it.

I took a huge gulp of Snapple to wash the taste of that out of my mouth.

“I know Jeff and the producers work hard to make us think the contestants have it rough, but the Survivor experience would never make the short list for potential rings of Hell,” Lucifer informed me in a smug tone.

“That’s how you judge how difficult a reality show is?” I asked in utter confusion.  “I will pray that you never get a television production deal.”

“The show would be called Hell Yes, and I agree audiences aren’t quite yet ready for it,” The Prince of Darkness admitted.  “But when the time is right, it will be the most watched show on television, and it will win all the EMMY Awards.”

I just stared at him and watched the devilish smile grow on his handsome face.  Then I rolled my eyes and got back to the conversation.

Jeff Probst, short story, Survivor, Modern Philosopher, humor“They have it too easy,” I declared.  “Sure, they’re on an island, cut off from the real world, but they are also surrounded by cameras and a production crew, so they are never truly alone.  They know there’s a medical staff on hand should anything happen, and they have each other to help them survive.”

“Plus, Jeff is constantly giving them food and drink and day trips as reward, along with items to help them build shelters and start fires,” Satan pointed out.  “They are about two steps down from an all inclusive Club Med vacation.”

“I could probably survive for thirty-nine days under those conditions, but I couldn’t deal with the social part of the game,” I confessed.  “Having to kiss up to and work with a bunch of total strangers would drive me bonkers.”

Something lit up in The Devil’s dark eyes.  “Do you think you could survive on an island alone for thirty-nine days?  No one else around.  No challenges to win.  No tribal councils to tolerate.  No medical crew to rescue you.  Just you and the elements.”

I raised an eyebrow as I gave his proposal some Deep Thought.

“Do I get a million dollars if I make it to the end?” I had to have all the facts before I made my decision.

“Sure,” Lucifer answered with a shrug.  “And maybe there are cameras on the island to film it all, since this is a reality show and the network needs to make money in order to pay you the prize if you win.”

Tom Hanks, Castaway, short story, Survivor, Modern Philosopher, humor“So the world would still get to watch me go all Tom Hanks in Castaway, but there would be no one there to bother me during my stay…” I said it aloud as I pondered.

“Yeah, I’d do it, but I’d have a few demands before I agreed to allow the network to turn my odyssey into prime time must see television,” I stated.

“Let’s hear them,” The Prince of Darkness encouraged.  “And one of them better not be a volleyball with a face painted on it.”

I took one more sip of my Snapple before laying it out for my future Executive Producer.

“The island would need to have a fresh water source,” I noted.  “They don’t have to tell me where it is, but I need to know it’s there.  Also, since this is, in my mind at least, a shipwreck or plane crash scenario, I should be allowed to have one bag with me.  Because anyone in that situation would grab for supplies before the ship or plane went down.”

My guest made a face at that one.  “I’m not sure if I can allow that.  After all, this is supposed to be about surviving alone against the elements.”

Lost, short story, Survivor, Modern Philosopher, humor“I’d still be alone, but in every movie or TV show like this, there’s always wreckage that the survivors go through, and they always find something useful,” I reminded him.

“Okay, I will allow it,” Satan relented, “but no radios or laptops, etc.”

“I wouldn’t want those things,” I agreed.  “I want to survive on my own, but I’m afraid I’d never be able to start a fire.  So I’d want a lighter.  And a knife so I can cut branches and palms for a shelter, pry open coconuts, and sharpen a stick to use to spear fish or fight off  wild animals.  There would be extra clothes because I’m not wearing one outfit for thirty-nine days, plus I can put on all the clothes at night for added warmth.  Finally, I’d want some books to read, and notebooks and pens so that I can write.”

The Devil looked at me suspiciously.  “That’s all you’d want in the one bag you could grab before being stranded all alone on a mystery island?”

“Yup,” I replied without hesitation.  “This is the perfect opportunity for me to get my writing career on track.  Five weeks away from work and other people.  It’s an introverted writer’s dream vacation!  Plus, with my castaway diet, I’d finally be able to lose the last few pounds to get to my ideal weight.  Sign me up now!”

That earned me a very judgmental look from the other end of the couch.

“You are one very strange dude,” Lucifer informed me.

Like I already didn’t know that…

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About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Humor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Tropical Paradise Lost

  1. markbialczak says:

    You’re going to get the role, Austin.

  2. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    STRANGE DUDE OR NO—LOOK AT HIS ABUNDANT READERSHIP FIGURES!

  3. I DON’T KNOW….the slimy one seemed hesitant at the end…no mention about souls being taken, I suppose? Hey Austin—hows the posh life of a TV writer doing???? 🙂

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