A classic question, revisited: what are the five items you must have on a deserted island?
Well, I guess I’m going to some deserted island somewhere. Thanks Daily Post. Are you going to maroon me on the island of my choice for this Daily Prompt? Or do I have to take the island that I’m dealt? I’d prefer one with a recently closed but still fully functional Michelin 5-star restaurant, if you please. If I had my druthers.
On a deserted island, alone I’m assuming, all Tom Hanks-like, and I get to take five “items”. The Boy Scout in me screams, “Be Prepared!” That’s one of those bits of indoctrination they do in the Boy Scouts of America. There’s some other bits that have come to light recently, but that’s for another post.
The Boy Scout says I should take a flint and steel set so I can start a fire. That’s assuming you’re going to strand me on an island with combustibles. There will be combustibles, right Daily Post? It’s not one of those Pacific atolls, is it? I’ve been told coral and sand do not burn well.
I’m counting the flint and steel as one item, because this is my post and I make the rules here. Next, the Boy Scout wants water purification tablets. At least a lifetime supply. Again, that’s assuming there’s water on this island. It’s not a deserted desert island, is it Daily Post? That would be my just deserts. An island suggests the ocean, or at least a lake, which suggests rainfall, so maybe there’s water. Let’s hope.
A Swiss Army knife is the next item the Boy Scout wants. He also wants me to thank the Swiss for having an army in the first place, given the historic neutrality and all, and for outfitting them with those nifty knives, so the rest of the world could copy them. Again, I’m counting this as one item, because, well we went through that already. The new Swiss Army knives have all kinds of neat widgets and whatzits, like can openers and tooth picks and solar cell phone chargers. They’ve come a long way.
Next the Boy Scout suggests a folding shovel. You know the kind, with a handle that’s too short to use like a real shovel, and a blade that’s too big to use as a hand shovel. One that has a lock on the folding mechanism so you can use it as an axe, as well. You never know when you’ll need to dig a hole to hide in. The spoon on the Swiss Army knife is wholly inappropriate for this task. Remember, Be Prepared! The shovel could also come in handy to bonk unruly flora and fauna.
Finally, the Boy Scout wants a Dutch oven. Yeah, I thought that was kind of weird, too. So I asked him, “Hey, Betty Crocker, what’s with the Dutch oven?” He scoffed at my ignorance, and proceeded to inform me that the Dutch oven was the single most useful and versatile piece of cooking equipment ever invented. You can fry in it, as well as bake, and you can whip up a wonderful palm frond and coconut meat stew that is out of this world. He also asked me to thank the Dutch for their amazing contribution to survival haute cuisine. I’ve heard palm fronds taste just like kale! Yummy!
After I finished with the Boy Scout list, I asked the artist in me what he would take.
“Dude, you are gonna be so bored with that Boy Scout stuff. Take your library, your cell phone with all your music on it, and a lifetime supply of beer, tortilla chips and salsa. You’re golden!”
Sounded good. One problem. “Hey Michelangelo, how will we charge the cell phone?”
“We’ll just borrow the Boy Scout’s Swiss Army knife and use the solar cell phone charger. I got this covered dude! Relax, will ya?”
Image: Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.