Sunday, May 18, 2014

Worst-Case Scenario

I received a gift in the mail yesterday from a friend who lives in another state. She said she was cleaning out one of her bookcases and found a book she knew I could use. I’m not sure if she is familiar with the area I moved to but I’m going to assume she thinks its particularly troublesome.

I started thumbing through the chapters of this book titled, The COMPLETE Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. Yes, the word complete is in capitals and bolded to emphasize the thoroughness of the edition and I realize there’s more here than I anticipated.

How to escape from a mountain lion might come in handy here in Frazier Park and the advice is exemplary. Make yourself look bigger than you are is first and foremost. Quite a challenge since I have spent most of my life trying to look thinner than I am.  Open your coat as wide as you can, it suggests, but what if it’s summer and you’re not wearing a coat? How do you make yourself bigger? I was in complete suspense. I turned the page.

The next step is to try to talk him down. Hmmm. Either the suggestion is to calm him or criticize him. I’m no mountain lion expert, but I would probably be best with criticism.  I think I would mention that his fur looks ridiculous sticking up like that, his teeth are yellow and his breath smells of bushy-tailed wood rat.

Keep your voice even and low. Remind him it’s only a game and it might help to take a few deep breaths. If he threatens to strike, quickly move into the center of his potential swing. Now the only way you could get me to be that close to a mountain lion is to drug me beyond reason or offer me a very large sum of money.  Neither is a distinct possibility.

Grab his club. Really? I wonder what country allows mountain lions to carry clubs? He would scare me enough just as he is but I should know what to do in case I am faced with a club-carrying mountain lion, so I shall read on.

This sounds a little scary but you must grab the club in mid-swing, near the grip. Pull down until you can wrap your arm around it and secure it with your armpit. Using your elbow, give him several sharp jabs in the chest until he lets go. So, armed with an elbow and an armpit (no pun intended) I will be able to survive a mountain lion attack? I’m ready.

After inspecting the pages further, I found them to be stuck together by a peanut butter thumbprint (peanut butter is my friend’s weakness). It seems the directions involving the club was how to disarm an irate golfer. 

Wow, this book truly does have nearly every worst-case in it ranging from how to make an emergency Menorah to how to survive sand in your swimsuit. I can’t wait to check out the CD that is pasted on the inside of the back cover. For the life of me I can’t figure out why my friend wouldn’t have already opened it.

In addition to solutions to hundreds of dire situations, with illustrations no less, the book itself can stop a bullet. I’m certainly not going to test the validity of that claim but I am impressed.

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