My Experience on a Desert Island: Things 'Lost' Got Wrong
So by now Lost has ended, and we've found out the truth behind the island, which was actually a Home Depot Garden Center, and that the whole story never actually happened and was merely the fever dream of a dying syphilitic prostitute who was herself living in a computer simulation powered by a child's imagination that was sent back in time to stop everything that didn't happen from not happening even once.
I never actually watched the show.
DID YOU KNOW?
I also don't know how spoilers work.
Truthfully, I was really unlikely to watch a show that dredged up so many bad memories from my own time trapped on a deserted island. That's right, I once crash landed on an abandoned island in the middle of the Pacific. And let me tell you: It was no epic adventure with broad appeal to multiple demographics. No, it was terrifying, tedious and, due to coarse language, nudity and coconut related sexual content, would have been unsuitable for sensitive viewers.
First and foremost, a lot of people died. And not extras. Real people with hopes and dreams and spines. Quite frankly it was a miracle I survived myself, and I think that if I hadn't made an absolute nuisance of myself requesting pillows on that flight, I doubt I'd be here to tell the tale. "More pillows!" I bellowed. "I can still feel the plane vibrating!" After the crash, seeing the crumpled form of all the neighbors who I'd taken pillows from, I couldn't help but feel much, much smarter than them.
The first few hours after the crash were a blur. You know how at the beginning of dodgeball, everyone runs to the middle of the room and grabs the dodgeballs? That's what this was like, except instead of grabbing dodgeballs, everyone was crying about their dead friends and the plane was sinking. It was pretty fraught times, and conscious thought took a back seat. I don't even remember how I ended up sitting on the beach with all my pillows and four wallets that weren't mine, quietly watching the plane sink beneath the waves. A handful of other survivors lay scattered on the beach around me.
Shortly after that, a guy began introducing himself to everyone. I immediately forgot what his name was, and began referring to him as the Professor, probably because he was wearing a shirt with buttons on it. The Professor said that we would need to find a source of fresh water, because we would die if we did not drink water. I happily agreed with his reasoning, as the flight had left me pretty dehydrated. (Though not from drinking, I can happily report. I was actually sweating quite a bit under all those pillows.) Fortunately for us, there was a shallow stream a half mile or so from where we'd washed ashore. We were grateful to see it, me for multiple reasons.
"For the love of God, don't poop there you idiot!" the Professor yelled, beginning a pattern of him suddenly making arbitrary rules to stop me from doing something. "I can't even believe I have to tell this to you," he said, shaking his head at me. Everyone else looked pretty shocked too.
"I had a lot of beers last night," I offered. "You know what that does to the old pipes," I continued, thinking that was a pretty good excuse. "Does that make things better now?"
Judging by everyone's reaction, it did not.
Our food situation took a little while to get sorted out. After a day or so, one of the survivors began eating some of the nearby plants to see if they were edible. In the sense that they were easily eaten, the plants appeared to be edible, but when the guy's heart and lungs stopped working, opinions on the definition of "edible" split. I'd like to say that Wheels' sacrifice was worth it (I have of course forgotten his name), but when we found the grove of coconut trees just around the corner from the stream, well it actually made him look kind of dumb. Later on, gathered around the fire we'd talk and exchange stories about Wheels, pantomiming his final moments while others laughed and clapped.
Until those coconuts showed up, I was at least a little worried we might end up resorting to cannibalism, even to the point of loudly discussing the horrible diseases I surely had from all the urine I was splashing on myself while peeing. This was probably unnecessary, but seeing as I didn't get eaten, I'm going to say it worked. In truth, for most of us cannibalism was never really an option, because you have to be really hungry to even consider it. The one exception of course was Hungry Ted.
"I suppose you know why I've come to talk to you," Hungry Ted whispered in my ear one evening while we were eating coconuts.
I did know. "You want to eat someone, Hungry Ted?" He had been looking for supporters for his scheme for a couple hours now.
Hungry Ted nodded. "Don't get me wrong. I don't want to kill anyone. But if anyone dies, or is slowing down a bit, I think it'd be foolish if we let them go to waste."
"I don't know that that's really necessary any more Ted," I said, making a show of stretching out, the pee stains etched in my dirt-caked legs clearly visible. "Once we figured out how to break those coconuts on those rocks--which did not take long incidentally--our food problems really were solved. I'm just a little worried how eating a fellow will look when we're pushing aside food to do so."
"Stop worrying how people will judge you!" Hungry Ted hissed. "This is our chance to finally live like nature made us! Besides, no one can blame us for trying to survive!"
"Professor, Hungry Ted got out of his pen," I raised my voice, tattling. Hearing me, the Professor came over and dragged Ted back to his pen, which on my advice and due to our concern that Ted might try to eat himself, was also our latrine pit.
Day to day life was pretty dull. Unlike certain Tom Hanks movies I could mention, if you ever get trapped on a deserted island, don't count on having fun with your friend the volleyball. I'll tell you what the hard truth about living on a desert island is: Your friends are people you washed ashore with who don't like you because of all the pee on you. You're not in Kansas any more Dorothy. Unless Kansas is a place where dudes pee on themselves to ward off violent crime. It very well might be. The Wikipedia page is unclear.
Also, if you want to play volleyball, you're playing it with a coconut. In fact, all of our sporting events were played with coconuts. We had a lot of different sports. Partly a way of improving our spirits and fitness levels, they also provided a forum for low stakes wagering, which occurred readily with the only currency available: sexual favors.
You know how Gilligan wore that same red shirt every day for 23years? Bullshit. Modern clothes are incredibly cheaply made, and will not stand up to the sort of wear and tear that a life of coconut farming and rigorous coconut sporting will inflict upon them. Expect to be completely naked within three or four days. After that, depending on the moral norms that develop, investigate replacement clothing as necessary. In our case, garments fashioned from woven palm leaves and coconut shells quickly became popular, and modified as fashion dictated.
It's funny, coconuts will have a lot to do with your day to day island existence, but not in the ways you'd think. You will be eating them of course, and wearing them, and playing with them and getting in heated screaming matches with them. But you won't be inventing anything with them. After some early experiments, we concluded that as a tool, the average coconut is primarily useful for hitting things. They can also be sat on. Standing on them is tricky, but possible with practice, and again provides another avenue for low stakes wagering. Other things worth knowing about coconuts:
- Throwing coconuts at things is fun.
- Throwing things at coconuts is also fun.
- Talking into a coconut and pretending it is a phone is great fun.
- A coconut will never love you back.
In the first few days--with the poo still fresh on your hands and guys eating plants and dieing--you'll be too preoccupied with your own survival for your libido to rear its ugly head. But once you've established yourself a bit and everyone's wearing coconut thongs and bowler hats, you'll notice those old familiar urges creeping up on you. Which made things awkward for me, having been on a prison relocation flight at the time of the crash, transporting exclusively male violent offenders from West Virgina to Colorado, apparently by way of the South Pacific. (I should have known something was up when the pilot kept coming in to the cabin and peering through the windows, sweating.) Anyways, there was, to be frank, an awful lot of violent homosexual sex going on. I don't think this is typical of most deserted island situations, but can only report what I saw with my own eyes, and continue to see even now when I close my eyes.
We eventually set out to explore the interior of our island, to find out whether we were on an island after all, or illegally squatting in a city park, nakedly playing coconut soccer with a recovering cannibal. We'd have done so earlier, but had hesitated for fear of the wildlife. The Professor reminded us that some of the most terrifying monsters from science and mythology have been island dwellers, such as the Komodo dragon, the Cyclops and the Irish. Eventually the Professor and three others set out into the wilderness, taking Hungry Ted with them for protection. I don't know exactly what happened to them, hearing only the screams in the distance a few hours later. One of them did manage to make it back to the beach, and told us a confused story of Hungry Ted breaking his restraints and attacking the group. All the mocking and spitting and horrible debasing of Hungry Ted by us now seemed less funny, knowing that he was going to murder us all for it. We all agreed that this was a valuable lesson on perspective.
We were finally rescued when a passing ship spotted the smoke rising from one of the many fires we'd set to keep Hungry Ted at bay. When the rescuers finally reached shore, they found the 11 of us that remained, covered in coconut bruises and urine.
"You people have been missing for six days," one of our rescuers said incredulously after hearing our story. "How? I... I just don't... Is saving you even the right thing to do?"
I sympathized with him, as indeed the same thoughts had been running through my head, though I had no answer for him. I attempted to console him with a hug, which he declined._________