Ben Trovato’s Art of Survival – Part 2

Chapter 10

Surviving Acts of God

(and some things for which he is not prepared to take the rap)

God is blamed for a lot of bad stuff that occurs in the world. But he is a Teflon God and nothing sticks to him for very long. In fact, people often end up thanking him after something terrible has happened. I have never understood why. They just do.

South Africa is not a country that is blessed with natural disasters. Natural resources, yes. Too many, if you ask me. But disasters are thin on the ground. This doesn’t mean that God is happy with us. Far from it. You would be mistaken in taking this as a sign that you can be complacent. Complacency can be lethal, especially if you combine it with alcohol and then try to operate heavy machinery.

When it comes to survival, the words of Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, spring to mind. “Be prepared,” he said.

Then again, he also said: “To get a hold on boys, you must be their friend.” Lest we forget, Robert was the one who insisted on the boys wearing tight-fitting khaki shorts, gaily-coloured scarves and leather woggles.

The world is a dangerous place and it is getting more so by the minute. But instead of honing your survival skills, you are eating more red meat than ever before. You smoke anything you can get your hands on and you drink half a dozen double gins during your lunch break. And, unless you are reading this in hospital, you probably believe that nothing really bad will ever happen to you. What makes you think you are so special? I am sickened by your arrogance and can only hope that you find yourself embroiled in a series of unfortunate incidents in the near future. If crime doesn’t get you, God will. Luckily for you, this book can save your life. On the other hand, you may not want to live but are one of those wishy-washy types who lack the courage to commit suicide. Again, luckily for you, this book is just what you need to help ensure that death comes as swiftly and painlessly as possible.

Surrendering To Fate’s Fickle Finger

The survival instinct is a peculiar thing. Even when a person has lost everything he holds dear, like his car keys or even his wife, he will refuse to give up and will instead fight on in the face of insurmountable odds. Of course, not everybody is that stubborn. Perhaps you are like me and would prefer to die flamboyantly rather than be caught on amateur video weeping, screaming and begging for help. Resistance to the inevitable is unseemly and common.

If you have no intention of putting up a struggle in the face of disaster, then now is a good time to begin preparing. Draw up a daily schedule of drinking heavily, eating plenty of carbohydrates and watching a lot of television, preferably from a reclining position. This will slow your reflexes right down.

If you have successfully lost the will to live, you may find yourself sitting around the house waiting impatiently for God to come along with one of his show-stopping acts. You may even be tempted to help things along a bit by blindfolding yourself and running around your apartment with a pair of scissors in your hand. Unfortunately, this only works for children.

The important thing is not to regain hope. Put your trust in God. Sooner or later, he will answer your prayers and deliver unto you something forged in the burning pits of hell so that you may enter the valley of the shadow of death and be done with this business once and for all.

I have a nasty feeling, though, that God’s interest in us might have waned a little over the centuries. I suspect that a new project has come up. Things were never quite the same after Adam and Eve blew it for all of us by eating that goddamn apple. What was Adam thinking? There he was, well on his way to celebrating his 931st birthday, and he has to go and screw it up. Silly bugger.

Anyway, don’t stop despairing. Half the fun of losing the will to live is in coming up with your own creative ways of avoiding a lifetime of pointless struggle and heartache. However, if somebody owes you money or a round of drinks, you may want to survive long enough to be able to collect. This is why you need to pay attention. As I have said before, this book will save your life. Or not. It depends on you, really.


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