My idea was a simple one: Eat like a Survivor for 39 days and get a wee taste of what the food situation is like on the hit TV show.
I’m halfway through Day 2 and I can tell you this: Yowza! This is no small thing.
My food yesterday consisted of rice, kidney beans, raw coconut and banana. With no salt. (That’s a biggie.) And I fell 500 calories short of my 1,500 calories per day goal.
But that wasn’t the worst of it.
I made the classic Survivor blunder. I neglected the social game.
In other words, I had no idea what my wife had lying in wait. The Host with the Most has turned my little experiment into something bigger than I expected.
I was getting hungry and I hadn’t gone to the store yet. I needed my rice and beans. After skipping my normal cup of coffee to start the day (which was hard) I was ready to eat. My wife told me to wait.
Finally I received an email from her, which was odd because we were in the same house. She told me that Abyss Island was about to start. It was time to check “tree mail.”
I showed up, she made me sit in the baby chair, and she explained there was a surprise challenge. I was issued my “buff,” a thingie all Survivors have to wear to challenges.
She explained that I had to get my own rice, beans and bananas. And I was going to have to get them using the mountain bike I really wanted a couple of years ago but have never used. I had 25 minutes to pump the tires, ride the thing to the grocery store, get the food, then return home. Inside the house I would have to visit three locations to pick up items that might be useful for the next 39 days.
What the? I didn’t sign up for this! I think she’s enjoying making me suffer.
I put on my buff and the challenge was on. I won’t go into detail but damn. I burned a lot of time in the grocery store trying to find the rice and beans. Luckily I knew how to find bananas, but the rice and beans in the bulk section took a long, long time.
Back home I found the coffee table in the living room, the dining room table, and the kitchen counter covered with items, including my beloved iPad. That had better not be one of the choose-able items, I thought. I put the stuff I gathered in basket and hit the landing mat to complete the challenge.
She stopped a timer. I came in under with 45 seconds to spare. Sweet victory! And she did pause the game long enough to make sure I wasn’t stroking out. You never want to have Medical called in on the first day.
Food items I gathered included coconuts, mangos and papayas. I also picked up a toothbrush (this is too real). A beer bottle with a candle was given to me as the “torch” I have to take to every tribal council. And a toilet plunger (luckily new) and a piece of cloth that I have to decorate to be my tribe flag.
I had guessed I’d be forced to pick a tribe name and I was ready. ZeitGuru is the name of my tribe. You figure it out.
I think I’ve created a monster and with all of the sinister laughter going on I’m more than a little worried about what else she has planned.
The rest of the day was spent getting used to my new diet. I opened a coconut using a hammer. (Hint: Tap that thing around the coconut’s equator until it opens into two pieces.) News flash: Raw coconut tastes like shit. I drank coconut water for the first time ever and described it as “swimming pool water.” Oh, crap. I asked for this? I did reserve about one cup of the water which I used to make rice. FYI: That makes a dish called “Rice That Tastes Like Swimming Pool.” Bonus FYI: rice and beans without salt are incredibly bland. The bananas were the highlight of my day.
I don’t plan to blog about my food digestion every single day but I will occasionally recap, especially the parts the humiliate me the most. Be sure to stay tuned for the full 39 days. This is gonna get grisly. (And no, that is not whining.)