If I Were On Survivor

I. Day One

(This hornet’s nest taking up residence in my left foot–gnawing at my joints, nerves and psyche–would make me a strong candidate for either weak link target to foist foremost from the island or prized goat to ride someone else’s sturdy coattails all the way to the end. We shall imagine this body several degrees removed from its currently irritable state of flare up. Picture, if you can, that I shall run and jump and swim and climb–all on day one, of course–in an effort to prove that this gimpy old gal, Mrs. Fend, can truly fend for herself in a more primitive world than a mere weekend Earth Tribe gathering in Big Sur.)

It will be clear to all–hour one–that you are that kind of non-charismatic philosopher weirdo only few will ever grow to love, most likely to be dubbed Chicken Lady in addition to She Who Cost Us Another Challenge. Either short-term comic relief or a handy and harmless goat you shall be.

Fortune favors those who can master at least one of the 3 core Survivor Os. Outplaying was never your forte when coupled with physicality; outwitting is an enigma (as even the most far-fetched dopey plan may manipulate a hungry chap into unlatching his karabiner and handing it to the most precariously perched scrappy woman dangling beside him). So you’ve got to play the Keith Richards/Sandra game. Nobody thinks this ol’ lady will outlast all those young bikini laden lovelies, so you’ve gotta bank on getting looked over at tribal all the way to a one in three chance at victory.

When the majority of your tribe mates head out for a communal piss in the ocean to solidify their surefire day one alliance, you and the other goats head off to collect firewood and scheme over which of the core alliance’s biggest threats y’all need to bah about first–if any of you has a sliver of hope of surviving beyond day 3.

II. Day Two

Pre-dawn, arise before tribe mates to sup last drops of water from all canteens. Gather kindling until mid-morning. If the sun gods favor you, make fire with glasses before the other four-eyes on your tribe can think of that. If you lose the elimination challenge for your tribe, they may still decide to keep you because you know how to make fire when the sun shines. You also (we’ll say accidentally) rolled over onto that other nerd’s specs in your sleep last night.

III. Day Four

You only made it this far because you’re on a tribe with a yoga instructor, Biology professor and bounty hunter, which, as it turns out, was just the combo needed to solve yesterday’s elimination challenge puzzle–a huge comeback from what Jeff Probst said was about to be an unprecedented blowout (fully thanks to you and your inability to run without petering out 10 yards in, and that dang foot of yours popping like a firecracker every step of the way). You also have some truly flummoxed puzzlers on the other tribe to thank for keeping you in the game for a few more days.

IV. Night Six

Your tribe won immunity again, no thanks to yours truly. You can hear whispers in the dark, see a huddled mass of bodies standing across the dying fire. You think for sure you hear your name and the words “liability” and “gotta throw the next one” but you’re probably just paranoid.

V. Day Seven

Your tribe won today’s reward challenge, possibly due to the fact that they insisted you sit out. Guess they couldn’t stand the thought of losing their chicken dinner because of you. So they won another one for the whole tribe.

You’re probably going to cost them the next immunity challenge. Maybe they really do want to throw it, so they can oust you next time. Point the finger at Ethel. She sits on her ass all day like it’s her job to grow hemorrhoids. She’s also afraid of the chickens; she thinks we’re all going to get lice now. (I bet that won’t make the final cut. Nobody wants to think about lice when they’re scarfing on Wednesday night’s dessert, do they?)

VI. Day Eight

You’re certain they’re all gunning for you. Maybe you playfully alluded to Whitman or Addonizio oh so too many times to be entertaining; your attempts at idle wordplay were met with derision in favor of redundant stories about favorite foods.

The most memorable thing you can do now is set the chickens free and make it look like an accident. You weren’t going to let anyone eat them anyway. (You would fly them home and add them to your backyard flock if you had your druthers, and you know it, chicken lady.)

But alas, your tribe’s best asset, and biggest target, has hatched a plan to save you. He trusts you more than anyone else on the tribe, he says. Of course you both know that your odds of winning individual immunity or currying any favor whatsoever with the jury are virtually nil, but you play along that it’s your trustworthiness that sets you apart from your fellow tribe mates and grants you this newfound elite status as his number one alliance.

Now you want to keep playing the game, with renewed zeal, if only long enough to blindside this  #1 derphole. For every other John Cochran -esque player out there, you heed the call to keep all the barbies and kens, every last hopeful Parvati, on her toes…

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