April 14, 2006

Surviving 10 weeks in the Outback on leeches and frogs.

The BBC reports:
"The last thing I remember was driving up the road and getting a bit dazed and confused.

"The next thing was waking up, face down, in a hole. There was some plastic on me with some rocks and dirt thrown on top. What woke me was that there were four dingoes scratching the rocks to try to get at me."

After wandering for more than a week he stumbled upon a natural dam.

"I ate the leeches raw, straight out of the dam," he said. "Grasshoppers I just ate them. But the only thing I really sort of had to cook was the frogs.

"I slipped them onto a bit of wire and stuck the wire on top of my [shelter], let the sun dry them out a fair bit until they were a bit crispy and then just ate them."
Sun-crisped. I'm picturing fancy chefs adapting that technique for haute cuisine. Did you watch "Top Chef" this week? Harold made some bacon appetizer doing the cooking entirely with a blowtorch, and the judge was all I love blowtorched food. And what was with Stephen winning? That wasn't an appetizer, that was a painting.

But back to that amazing struggle in the Outback. There are lots of gruesome stories of folks who did not walk out alive like Ricky Megee. But we love the stories of the horrible struggles of people who do survive. Do you watch that TV show "I Shouldn't Be Alive"? I love that. Trapped under a boulder!

16 comments:

bill said...

Outside Magazine is a great one for these types of stories

Current issue has an excerpt from a new book by one of the "Alive" survivors (cannibal rugby players): The Long Way Home

Aron Ralston is the guy who cut off his arm.

Raising the Dead was f a National Magazine Award Feature finalist.

Anthony said...

Also see the show Survivorman on TLC. He just goes out for 7 days, but with little survival gear, but he does so assuming this type of scenario (plane crash, lost mountain biker, kayaker etc.) Fascinating show.

SteveR said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Townleybomb said...

Oh man, if they made Steven from Top Chef have to survive on dried frogs out in the desert for 10 weeks, that would be the sweetest show ever. I don't see the problem with him winning-- of course, it's impossible to tell through the screen how things tasted, but if I'm dropping enough $$$ to eat in a place with a sommelier, I expect some artistry on the plate. Ideally he would've taken a blowtorch to it as well, but you don't always get what you want.

brylin said...

Is this the story about "trapped under a boulder?"

Joe T said...

Top Chef is on the verge of losing me. Surprises and hardship are definitely things a chef will have to put up with, but it's boring TV when there's a "big twist".

The producers need to let the chefs go and do their thing with relatively few restrictions soon. In addition to making the show more interesting, I suspect that placing fewer restrictions on the chefs will give Stephen more rope to hang himself with. At least that's what I hope.

Ann Althouse said...

Brylin: No, but I remember that one too. The "I Shouldn't Be Alive" one had the guy's leg under a rock in the middle of nowhere, with one guy to help him, who couldn't move the rock, who leaves to go a long way for help. Then there was also a problem with rising water, and a giant crayfish began feasting on his toe.

Michael Farris said...

My favorite survival story in the Outback is actually a non-survival story I heard from an anthropoogist (details are a little hazy, but the punchline remains the same).

A team of British explorers' truck breaks down out in the middle of nowhere in the outback. As they wrote in their diaries, they decided to not panic, but to patiently wait for the people who knew the general direction they were going in to come and get them and maybe if there are friendly aboriginies in the area, they might help.

Unfortunately they had ended up going in a somewhat different direction than they planned and the rescuers couldn't find them. To conserve energy, the men spent their days in the truck until they ran out of provisions and soon after with not water or food and no people around, even aboriginies, they died of heat and dehydration.

Years later, other explorers were in the area and trying to reconstruct the events. They talked to the local aboriginies who remembered the case very well.

The aboriginies had been in the area but had assumed that the men were trying to commit suicide. They didn't understand what drove the men to such a desparate measure but they were going about it in a very determined fashion, and so the aboriginies decided to respect their decision and not intervene or show themselves openly.

What really impressed the aboriginies was the mens' _discipline_ in being able to stay all day in the enclosed truck (the hottest place around) and in refraining from eating or drinking anything despite the abundant food and water supplies in the area.

chuck b. said...

It's the eating leeches I have the hardest time with.

brylin said...

Hey Chuck, if you don't chew them very well then maybe they will attach to your insides and suck away!

brylin said...

But then again, doctors of the last century thought leaches were good for you.

chuck b. said...

What if the leeches don't even make it to my insides? What if they use their gristly, rasping mouthparts to attach to my tongue? Or the insides of my cheeks? What if leeches hang from my uvula?

I really don't think I'm cut out for that.

chuck b. said...

One could use leeches very effectively in the Aristocrats joke. And it probably hasn't been done.

Gahrie said...

Personally, I'd like to see someone take a blow torch to Stephen. I keep waiting for Tiffany to lay him out.

John(classic) said...

Hmmmm, leech. Tastes like chicken.

Nathan said...

I ate a leech tonight... chewed that sucker for like 20 seconds.