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Telling Tales: Man vs. Wild has nothing on this wild life

Becky Andrews and Angel Kane • Updated Apr 29, 2018 at 12:00 PM

While watching Man vs. Wild recently, I realized two things. One, if I were ever stranded in a jungle with nothing but my wits to survive, I wouldn’t make it. I don’t even think I’d try. Instead, search and rescue would find me curled up in a fetal position sucking my thumb. And two, Bear Grylls’ accent can get annoying after about 30 minutes.

I do admire how industrious the star of the show is and freely admit I’m no match for his knowledge about all things survival. But, I wonder how well he’d do in my jungle?

In this jungle, you don’t need to know the proper way to disembowel a wild boar before eating it. You will, however, need to know how much time it takes to cook three slices of bacon – in the microwave – to get it to the crispness needed or your teenagers won’t eat it. 

If you plan on taking last night’s leftovers for lunch, you better hide it in a place the boys in your house can’t find and eat for a midnight snack. 

I would much rather remove a leech from my leg than get halfway to work and remember I forgot to turn on the Crock-Pot that has a $15 roast in it just waiting to go bad. There’s no time to think about being late for your meeting though, because you’ve got to move, move, move.

Survival in my world isn’t stranded in a desert and resorting to drinking urine to pull through dehydration. Survival is managing to find a half full water bottle under your seat and giving it to your son during baseball practice because you forgot his at home.

Spearing a catfish, cutting its head off and eating it raw? Try looking under the seat of the car and finding a half-eaten pack of peanut butter crackers and deciding to go ahead and eat them because you don’t have time to stop. Besides, you left your wallet at home.

When the show ended, my youngest asked his father, “What does it feel like to be stung by a scorpion, dad?”

I could tell my husband was trying to envision our child in a survival vest and using a compass deep in the jungle to find a waterfall that has clean drinking water. He looked so proud to hear his 14 year old express so much interest. Almost as proud as I’d be if he came home and told me he wanted to do anything that would not involve contact with poisonous insects. “I’d say it’s painful. But with training, you could handle it.”

He turned his focus to me and asked, “Do you think it hurts to get stung by a scorpion, mom?”

“No more painful than childbirth, and until Bear does that in a jungle, I’m not impressed.” 

Then we changed the channel.

Comments? You can email Becky Andrews at [email protected] Andrews and Angel Kane are the brains behind Telling Tales, a weekly column in The Democrat.

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