Abyss Island: S1E10 – Down To The Wire
Always a guessing game on Survivor it is, hmmm? And apparently talking like Yoda helps me deal with the stress. No, I’m not losing it. Not at all. But when my baby tells me, “I’ll blow your planet up,” I don’t take any chances. Usually she means it. With host, one does not mess.
It’s early in the morning on Day 31 (out of 39) as I write this recap post. Only eight more days to the big finale. There was supposed to be an immunity challenge on Day 29 but it never happened. Tree mail on Saturday never came. What did the Survivor gods have in store?
Friday – Gone Fishin’
Per the official rules, I have to cook my own food. Provided for me is an all-you-can-eat supply of red kidney beans and plain white rice. This has been the staple of my existence for an entire month. I’m also expected to eat three servings of fruit per day.
Since arriving on the island I’ve opened a coconut with an ordinary hammer (MacGyver-style), learned how to break down a pineapple and can expertly skin a kiwi. It’s amazing how blandness in your diet suddenly makes you receptive to learning that which you avoided all your life. “Sure, I’ll eat your pineapple, but only if I don’t have to do any of the slicing myself.” On the island you can’t live like that.
During the second reward challenge I won a fishing net. Normally I bend over and squat a bit and use the net to simulate the game of tennis. Whoosh! Uhhh!!! Whoosh! Uhhh!!!
Sometimes, though, if I put the net in the sink, I can fish up a real lunker.
My first catch was a tiny lobster tail. So, for the first time in my life, I used a knife to break that tail in two and carefully extracted enough meat for a dish I invented called Lobster Fried Rice. Oh man that was good.
Not long ago I caught a little tin of sardines that contained three tiny little fish that livened up my dinner one night. My wife stopped me from the act of actually drinking the “juice” leftover in the tin.
Then, Friday, the biggest haul of all: A nice cabazon filet. (See inset image above.) A little something we caught ourselves fishing off the coast in a boat thing with fishing pole things. This was gonna make a nice couple of meals.
Saturday – Something Fishy This Way Comes
My wife was gone most of the day. There was no tree mail. She had plans and was a busy person. I guess her existence can’t always revolve around me. Who knew?
I carefully portioned out my prized cabazon filet using my suddenly acquired knife skills. For lunch I took a few precious drops of my remaining cooking oil (a coveted but dwindling prize from a previous reward challenge), minced in a clove of garlic and brushed it on the fish. My wife had even kicked in the tiniest slice of her lemon. I broiled it. Sublime. That made for a delicious lunch.
The larger filet I saved for dinner, where I did the same thing, but added red pepper flakes, a dash of ground ginger, a squirt of hot sauce and salt and pepper and coated the fish. This turned out awesome. One of the most delicious servings of fish I’ve ever had. I’m told some people call cabazon the “poor man’s lobster” and on this day it lived up to the hype.
The day started with my wife wanting to make a trip to a local park. It was about 20 degrees out. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So I put on my coat, grabbed my camera and off we went. I had a hunch that she was going to surprise me with a challenge so I was ready for anything. But that didn’t happen. We enjoyed the park and I snapped a few nature shots.
On the way home, she was cold and announced she was “starving.” I had had breakfast of rice and beans before we went out.
“Oh, dammit,” she said. “You and your damned Survivor thing. I’d love to go out for breakfast right now.” I told her to go ahead. I’d be fine. Nobody ever said I don’t get off on being a martyr.
She graciously allowed me to order a cup of black coffee. It was my first time in a restaurant in literally a month.
Leave it to her, though, to kick things up a notch. She then ordered the special which turned out to be prime fucking rib, eggs, hash browns and toast. For my brunch I ordered, “fruit cup.”
Even the waitress had a nice belly laugh at that one. So it came to pass that I nibbled on my meal of fruit while watching my loving wife carnivorize prime rib and eggs, complete with horseradish sauce and dip. Dammit!
Finally tree mail had arrived:
Piddle peddle fast as you can
Then balace those suckers once you have a plan
It might wobble but don’t lose your marbles
Come on babe, don’t let it give you the garbles
I immediately started whining. “Oh great,” I moaned. “Not a challenge where I’ll need steady hands. What about my Alzheimer’s?” We still don’t have any clue what I meant by that.
The challenge turned out to be different than what I expected. I walked in carrying my tribe flag, immunity idol, and, of course, wearing my buff. Immunity was back up for grabs. And I needed immunity because, even after three clues, I still have no idea how to find the damn hidden idol stashed away somewhere in our house.
I was presented with a map of our neighborhood. Shit. My wife explained I had to complete the route on my mountain bike, then went back at home, there would be two bags of puzzle pieces secured by rope. I’d have to untie the knots, then bring the bags to the table where I’d have to complete a balance puzzle consisting of metal pieces and marbles.
Puzzle pieces? You have got to be kidding me! This really was just like Survivor. I took a moment to curse myself for ever introducing her to the show.
And I had nine minutes to complete the challenge. To be fair, my wife did show me a video of her completing the puzzle so I’d have a sporting chance.
Off I went on my bike. I think I burned through three minutes on this part of the challenge. News flash: Holding back your bile and vomit after over-exerting yourself does not make for a fun challenge. She wanted me out of breath. Damn her cleverness.
Back on the island, I noticed the bags could be slid right from where they had been tied. Awesome. I grabbed one and headed for the table. “Oh no you don’t,” my wife yelled. “You have to untie the knots.” Dammit! I’d just wasted precious time. Those knots felt like they took forever.
Finally I had the bags emptied of their contents on the table and I went to work. I instantly knew I was screwed. I couldn’t make heads or tails of the damn thing.
If I won I’d be safe for another week. If I lost, the rules stated I’d have to do some kind of unusual chore or, even worse, give my wife something like a one-hour back rub. I had to dig deep. I couldn’t allow that to happen!
Due to technical difficulties, only the final 3:30 of the challenge made it to video, but it does show the dramatic and climactic finish. Does a guru live to see another day? Or is he forced to grab the masseuse oil and get to work? Watch the video to find out.