This week's writing prompt is "What would I invent if I were stuck on an island?"
One would hope that the island is located in a more or less tropical location, because I don't relish the idea of being stuck where temperatures dip below freezing. After all, being marooned on an island generally entails not having things like an extra change or twelve of clothing.
Being generally helpless and incompetent at the usual skills that our ancestors took for granted, I'd exhibit no outstanding creativity in fashioning radios from coconuts or anything else the Professor did on Gilligan's Island. I'd be occupied with the more immediate concerns of survival: food, shelter, protecting my hide from bloodthirsty insects and other predators. Luckily, if I were marooned now, instead of when I was a young woman, I wouldn't have a younger woman's biological issues to add yet another layer of monthly misery to survival.
When I read books that deal with such situations, I always wonder about such things, things that don't even make on a man's radar. After all, what man has to worry about menstrual cycles and cramps? What man has to worry about having a baby in primitive conditions?
When I read stories about men and women--especially in contemporary times--who survive a shipwreck or airplane crash or whatever and find themselves isolated on a deserted island, the authors almost never mention issues of getting sand in uncomfortable places, biological problems, the lack of modern toiletries, etc. Modern society prizes women with hairless bodies; "stuck on an island" doesn't lend itself to disposable razors or depilatories. I suppose all those lovely heroines ensure they're denuded of body hair through extensive laser hair removal applications before they head off on those ill-fated voyages.
Also not mentioned are the intestinal difficulties that come with a sudden change of diet and a lack of clean drinking water. Really, if nothing but fresh fruit and possibly potable water suddenly replace your usual diet, then you will suffer intestinal issues. Not only does that become uncomfortable, but it also brings up another question of personal hygiene.
Like I said, my mind wanders to practical issues when faced with such questions. Unfortunately, I seldom see answers.
Authors, in general, like to pretend such inconveniences of real life don't exist. I don't know whether we assume that our readers would also prefer not to dwell on such inconveniences or whether we haven't the courage to deal with these valid concerns of survival. Well, not the shaving. Shaving doesn't rank highly in the list of survival necessities.
So, what would I do? I wouldn't invent anything. That requires more scientific and engineering knowledge than I possess. I'd concentrate on the practicalities of survival, pray for rescue, and then pray that rescue wouldn't be worse than being marooned.
3/2/2018 01:26:09 pm
This was a funny read, so thanks! I, too, dwell on such mundane but practical issues as well, but when I watched enough Korean dramas (romance dramas, mind you) that include puking, diarrhea, using the bathroom in general, period blood, and farting in public, it takes SO much edge off the romantic aspect of the story! Yeah, it's reality, but NO, I'd rather not see or read about it in a Romance. :D
3/2/2018 04:10:03 pm
Thanks for your perspective. I always wonder what readers think.
3/3/2018 09:46:49 am
Considering the horror stories of human trafficking, the thought of being rescued doesn't necessarily sound like "rescue," but more like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Yet another thing most men wouldn't particularly worry about.
3/2/2018 05:34:43 pm
Oh, so true-- "Pray the rescue wouldn't be worse..." Scary. I thought of the movie The Blue Lagoon and all they had to learn to survive, and to grow up not knowing what to expect from their own bodies. At least by now, I'd know what to expect and do a lot of groaning. Great post, Holly.
3/3/2018 09:47:29 am
Thanks! There are certain advantages to being a woman of a certain age.
3/4/2018 05:12:17 pm
I just watched Blue Lagoon a few months ago, Mary....that would scare me too!
3/5/2018 02:58:33 pm
People from the 19th century would have better luck surviving being on a deserted island that most would today, because they aren't accustomed to the modern conveniences that we think we can't live without.
3/5/2018 10:02:37 am
hahaha loved your post!!! So very true. Makes me think of that TV show, Lost, I think it was. They were all stranded there and the women were of age to have all the concerns you mentioned.
3/5/2018 02:57:18 pm
I can't help it. When I read (or watch) stuff like that, my mind just goes off in those directions.
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