Most of us have likely imagined what it would be like to be marooned on a desert isle, be it along with the quirky characters from Gilligan’s Island, all alone with a magnificent black stallion (that was my fervent wish, as a youngster), or perhaps with only the company of a soccer ball named Wilson.
It’s a classic game to play: What would I do if I were a castaway on a tropical island, like some modern-day Robinson Crusoe? How would I survive? What would I eat? How would I collect water?
And it’s a game that I play pretty much every day. Because, you see, when I spot trash and junk scattered along the road, or on a hike, or in the corner of a grocery store parking lot, I often examine it with the eye of a castaway, someone frantic to put every precious item to good use.
“Oh! That discarded cup could be used to preserve the water I catch dripping off the trees from the morning fog!”
Or: “Hey, that bent nail would work as a fishhook!”
“And that piece of string would make a great fishing line!”
The other day, while laboring up a very steep hill on my morning bike ride, I spied a stainless steel spoon that someone had discarded, and was so immersed in my castaway game that I was tempted to stop and pick it up. For that would be worth its weight in gold to a Robinson Crusoe type: a digging, eating, and leverage tool made of metal? Jackpot!
Not that I actually want to be stranded on a desert island, no matter how beautiful its coco palms and turquoise waters.
Though come to think of it, being marooned with Thurston Howell, III, and his seemingly endless supply of Mai Tais wouldn’t be all that bad….
Readers: Do you ever fantasize about being a castaway, and if so, do you play a similar game? What book would you take on the island with you, if you had to pick only one?