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Man vs Wild
30-July-07 | Ron Pickrell

Posted on 07/30/2007 7:58:07 PM PDT by pickrell

Man vs Wild...

"Hello, my name is Bear Grylls, and I'm going to teach you how to survive in some of the harshest, most barren surroundings possible.

"I've parachuted into the most forbidding frozen wastes, dangerous jungles, and blazing deserts. For our next adventure, we are going to set aside our parachute, and instead catch a ride on a helicopter....

"... as we survive a trip through a Democratic fundraiser."

As cameraman for today, I panned around the surplus military "Huey" helicopter gunship. The pilot ignored my filming and kept his mirror sunglasses fixed on the horizon. At some unknown marker, however, he suddenly dipped the nose of the bird sharply, and came roaring in low. Reaching into his flight suit, he pulled out an old-style cassette, and pushed it into a player, jerry-rigged under the instrument panel. The volumn control was then twisted up to the "Max Pain" marking.

"Flight of the Valkeries?" Bear guessed.

The pilot shook his head. "Naah..." Suddenly the booming voice of Lee Greenwood singing "I'm Proud to be an American" came thundering over the copter's PA system. "It scares the hell of of them," he smirked.

Flicking aside the trigger cover, he began a series of low passes over the frightened natives, launching 3 inch rockets, with rather unusual warheads. By the third pass, smoke and flames flickered everywhere. He flared the ship briefly, and just as suddenly, we were on the ground! I shouldered my camera, as Bear and I made ready for the opening narrative.

Before the survival expert had gathered his breath, however, the pilot hopped out to survey the panicked inhabitants amid the smoke and burning charcoal briquette shrapnel from the Kingswood model "A-1" ordnance. As committed herbivores, the horrified natives stepped around several unexploded barbeque condiment packets.

A ferocious smile displaying entirely too many teeth tore across the pilot's face, as he boomed, "Gawd, I love the smell of burning steak sauce in the morning..."

With ill concealed relief, we began putting distance between us and our insertion vehicle...and her unsettling pilot.

As we manuevered our way across the lawn, Bear began, "In any survival situation, the ones who will come out alive, are those who never lose hope. All around are nature's assets which can be used to survive. For instance, we will need to capture food before too long. And the best place to set a snare is on a game trail. Right here, now, you'll notice-"

I panned the camera down and focused in on some dark depressions in the ground, "these are clear indications that a herd moves along this trail. These are carbon footprints, and deep babies at that."

He felt around the edges of the trail. "These prominent prints come from the green-headed dupe-masters, a top predator at gatherings like this. You'll see where they start beside the ruts carved by the limousine, and continue unconcernedly through the carefully manicured poinsettias, demonstrating the commitment to nature felt by the Alpha Female. Too dangerous for us to tackle. We need to clean, spit and fry one of the little gamma males."

We suddenly found ourselves halted.

"You'll notice more of nature's terrifying beauty, in this cliff face. Since it will take too long to double back, I'm going to prepare an old special-forces setup to negotiate this obstruction."

In no time he had unravelled his socks, and fashioned them into a rope harness. It was the first time I had ever seen anyone rapelling up a concrete wall.

Since the camera was unwieldy, I elected to use the gate instead, and stepped around to where he was coming down on the other side. It wasn't a bad shot.

We found ourselves in an inner sanctum, where a number of the natives were browsing on leafy canapes, and murmuring in what seemed to be a bitter, inadequate manner. Deftly avoiding them, we worked our way closer to the structure. The rules of our adventure specified that only a dwelling housing intelligent beings could be considered a successful return to civilization. We needed to find a way in, and then through back to civilization.

Bear, meanwhile, had located a water source, and was preparing to boil the water. As I surveyed the people in the pool, I had to admit he had a point. The thought of the organisms in that water... well... I would be glad when we were safely back.

"As always, I begin these adventures with only a flint, a roll of dental floss, and a VISA card in my pocket. In a time like this, we have to improvise to start a fire. It will be the only way to keep from picking up parasites." Hearing his words, a delicate looking nearby male suddenly lost the hopeful look he had been casting towards Bear, and wandered away disheartened.

I watched as he studied the surroundings, wondering what tree or vine would be appropriate for kindling. Suddenly noticing a hair spray can on a wicker side table, he made up his mind. As he flicked his flint, I couldn't help but notice that he had the can, uhhh, spraying the wrong way... towards his face-

Urgh. Ouch. I'd edit that later. Oooh.

"The thing to remember, at a time like this," he breathed in a pained manner, "is that eyebrows and hair can be regrown. The important thing is first to survive."

I put the camera down and helped him beat out the flames from his hair and clothing.

"Fortunately, the natives often use the sap from a particular tree, the bedonkidink, to treat burns," he gasped. "You can recognize it from it's distinctly shaped leaves..."

After a brief look around he breathed, "Blow this for a lark, I'm going after the guacamole dip."

A few minutes later a green-covered and soothed adventurer resumed the trek.

We had many dangers ahead.

We noticed a small herd of Buddhist monks chanting nearby, suitcases full of freshly cleaned and pressed currency, and avoided them... careful not to rouse them from their deniable trances.

Ahead was a new challenge. It was a large, high-impact plastic bobble head, with the expected "Bush lied and kids died" bumper sticker wrapped around it's base.

"It's a testosterone sensor. These are sometimes set around a perimeter in order to warn of maddened beasts. At the sound of splintering plastic, the natives quickly grab candles, and begin droning vigils. It is part of nature's wonder that such things have evolved to enable these creatures to remain at all viable. We'll circle around."

He surveyed ahead, and pointed, "You'll notice that the females line their nests with the detritus found within easy reach."

I couldn't help but notice the "Newspaper of Record" pages torn into shreds and woven into a bowl-shaped depression. Glancing up at a bowl-shaped female passing nearby, much became clearer. Several strips of a "Celebrity Secrets" magazine untidily clung to her native garb, assuring me that Brad and Jen were on the outs, and that Paris had just been defunded. Imagine my rapt fascination.

Hacking our way through the thickly woven Berber carpet, we emerged into a vast cave-like structure where the Alpha Female and her pack were dodging and weaving.

"It's a behavior unique to these creatures," Bear deciphered the odd body language. "She must assure the flock that she is at the lead, facing and defying their enemies, while making subtle gestures towards the enemies of their enemies. She must assure them that she is leading them to placid pastures, unmolested by wolves, and that the jackals are really their useful friends. And anyway, it is all really just a bumper sticker."

He suddenly frowned, "If I am understanding the dialect correctly, it apparently, uhhh, '- takes a child to raise a village.' "

I nodded somberly. That also explained much. Looking at the glazed eyes of the herd I suddenly wished to be back on the freezing slopes of Mt. Everest, and far, far away from the frigid slopes of Mt. Hillary.

"Bear," I recommended. "Let's get really smart right now. What say we stay at a Holiday Inn Express tonight. Like right now, would be favorite."

Glancing both ways, he nodded. "After all, who would ever know?"

We walked out, hailed a cab, and left that awful place... to those who were adapted to it.

TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: survival

1 posted on 07/30/2007 7:58:10 PM PDT by pickrell
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To: pickrell

Kingsford. Liberals grill with propane and contaminate the temple with garbage like eggplants (shudder).

2 posted on 07/30/2007 9:02:48 PM PDT by NewRomeTacitus (nativist)
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To: pickrell

not even Bear Grylls is willing to survive 4 years of hillary

3 posted on 07/30/2007 9:47:58 PM PDT by ari-freedom (Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.)
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To: pickrell
I like his show, but I really have to question how real it is. He has a camera crew with him, and surely they are not "surviving" like him and have a full complement of supplies for their own comfort and saftey.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if he utilizes them.

4 posted on 07/31/2007 8:08:11 AM PDT by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: Phantom Lord

Last week, the producers admitted some of it was fake, and they stayed in motels, etc. during part of the filming. I still like it, and never really expected it to be 100% real.

5 posted on 07/31/2007 8:12:57 AM PDT by Clam Digger
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To: Phantom Lord

6 posted on 07/31/2007 8:14:05 AM PDT by Clam Digger
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To: pickrell

LOL! Thanks for that!

7 posted on 07/31/2007 12:04:38 PM PDT by Titan Magroyne ("Shorn, dumb and bleating is no way to go through life, son." Yeah, close enough.)
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To: Phantom Lord
I have watched and compared the show to Survivorman, who is a hippie who barely sustains himself, constantly makes the wrong shelter before freezing then rebuilding a new one later. He half asses everything and actually "survives" barely.

Bears show is more about "how to survive" he demonstrates techniques and shows them working, from eating recently killed Zebra meat raw, to drinking his own urine, from jumping into quicksand to show you how to get out, to crafting an anchor system out of parachute chord then jumping off a snow covered cliff to show how the anchor works. Bear is ex Special Forces and although he probably has people there to get him out (I believe the Mojave beat him) he does some amazing stuff.

8 posted on 07/31/2007 12:11:41 PM PDT by normy (Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft.)
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To: ari-freedom
I think the real question is: Can hillary survive 4 years of hillary? It was something about strawberries........
9 posted on 07/31/2007 12:11:47 PM PDT by lmailbvmbipfwedu
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To: NewRomeTacitus
"...Kingsford. Liberals grill with propane and contaminate the temple with garbage like eggplants (shudder)..."

I've looked at that stupid charcoal package a million times, and yet when I get to typing fast, I still blow it!

10 posted on 08/01/2007 6:04:52 AM PDT by pickrell (Old dog, new trick...sort of)
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To: pickrell

We aren’t libs, and we use gas to grill. Maybe not as good as charcoal, but fast, efficient, cheap and less messy.

11 posted on 08/01/2007 6:10:58 AM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: Phantom Lord
"...I like his show, but I really have to question how real it is. He has a camera crew with him, and surely they are not "surviving" like him and have a full complement of supplies for their own comfort and safety.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if he utilizes them..."

I certainly would. His show is no less entertaining, and no less valuable, for him and his crew avoiding the risk of pneumonia at night. We are no longer in our twenties, and some accomodation must be made by sensible people to geriatrics.

I was only picking on him because so many of us like his show, and enjoy the times when techniques go wrong. The authenticity of his show lies not in laying inside a cave all night after filming, but rather in plausible, effective tips and techniques, which the SAS surely may use, that could be of value when caught in such a situation.

Plus to which... I have always wondered what a giant grub would taste like raw.

12 posted on 08/01/2007 6:13:56 AM PDT by pickrell (Old dog, new trick...sort of)
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To: pickrell; NCLaw441

pickrell: Don’t sweat it; I know people from Memphis who automatically think of anything else when the name “ford” comes up.

NCLaw441: There’s really nothing wrong with gas grills...I was going with the humor flow after reading pickrells amusing story. Down here in barbecue country, though, most people DO prefer charcoal for the flavor enhancement and figure to hell with the carcinogens.

13 posted on 08/01/2007 12:28:03 PM PDT by NewRomeTacitus (Hey Grandpa...what's for supper!)
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To: NewRomeTacitus

I know people get picky about their barbecue. No offense taken, for sure.

14 posted on 08/01/2007 12:32:46 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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