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Rich Barr
08-28-1999, 05:36 PM
Here's a hypothetical question to sink your teeth into.

You are on a ship with the person you love most in all the world (spouse/significant other, child, parent, sibbling, friend--whoever it would be). In the middle of a Pacific storm the ship explodes and sinks. You and your loved one manage to get to a lifeboat and ride it out. The storm sends you hundreds of miles from the shipwreck, but eventually you wash ashore on a tiny deserted island, shattering the lifeboat on the rocks.

The island is completely baren, except for rocks--no animal life, no plant life, no nothing. Miraculously, however, there's a freshwater spring in the middle--you have no idea how that's possible, but you're in no position to argue. You and your loved one settle in to wait for rescue, hoping it won't take long--the water is great, but there's no food. You make jokes that it sure would be nice if that little old lady with the Freshetta Pizza would show up.

You wait. And you wait. And you wait. You see no ships. You see contrails, but no planes low enough to see you. You can't believe that no one has found you yet, but no one has. You wait...and you starve and get weak. And you realize that when someone finally finds you it may be too late.

Your loved one is in even worse shape than you are--in despair you watch her/him slip away. Knowing the end is near, she/he tells you that what he/she wants most is for you to survive. She/he tells you what you must do. Then your loved one says "I knew we shoulda stayed home and watched preseason football!" and dies.

You are going to die of starvation yourself within a couple of days, which is not what your loved one wanted. But he/she told you there is a way you can hold on longer, a way you still have a chance to be rescued. Do you do it?

Do you eat your loved one?

Supplementary question--would your answer change depending on whether you could cook dinner? In other words, would you be willing to chow down on the dear departed if you could roast them, but not if you have to eat her/him raw?

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"Yummy Yummy Yummy, I've got love in my tummy...." (Ohio Express)

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Rich Barr
massivemaple@hotmail.com
AOL Instant Messenger: Hrttannl

Persephone
08-28-1999, 05:41 PM
Rich, did you just watch "Alive," or something?

I don't know if I could eat my loved one. But I can say this...if my loved one had to eat my dead flesh to survive, I'd be okay with that.

Babar714
08-28-1999, 05:56 PM
I think I'd start eating the rocks/twigs first. No, I dont' mean 'twigs 'n' berries'. There has to some nutritional value to sand, twigs, leaves, dirt...

I'd chow down on that long before consuming my loved one even pops into my mind.

Stoid
08-28-1999, 05:56 PM
My answer has nothing to do with cannibalism of a loved one, which I think I could do in the case of anyone except my fiance. If it were him, I don't think I could or would simply because if he died (especially under such circumstances as these) i don't think I'd care to go on living.

08-28-1999, 06:26 PM
How about starting on your self? You could slice some of that excess meat off of your own body and keep both of you alive. Seriously, start on your calves and then maybe your thighs. I'm not too sure about the abdominal area 'cause things get a little tricky there. I mean, I'm not sure if it would be a simple matter of cutting off some extra flab. Buttocks might be another spot that could stand some trimming. The real secret here is the freshwater spring. If something like that exists on your island, you can be reasonably sure that birds have discovered the water and will paying you a visit - and then you can have raw seagull!

aseymayo
08-28-1999, 06:37 PM
Clearly, we have very different ideas about what "fun" is.

Nope - don't want to chow down on the old boy. But if he wants to eat me...

Sorry, started thinking about something fun...where was I?

funneefarmer
08-28-1999, 07:10 PM
Supplementary question... so what you gonna roast him with, hot sand? And where are ya gonna find a knife, and what kind of moron can't swim out a couple of yards and catch himself a fish or something crawling along the bottom, are we in a former a-bomb test zone or what?

BoBettie
08-28-1999, 07:12 PM
I probobly would have clubbed him long ago and finished the body a week into my stay. I expect he would do the same if we were deserted together somewhere!

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An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

Persephone
08-28-1999, 07:22 PM
Re: radar ralf & starting on yourself

Stephen King wrote a really interesting short story about that...can't remember the title, though. Can someone help me out here?

Stoid
08-28-1999, 07:37 PM
I can't remember the title, but I do know that it was in one of his collections, it's a short story.

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*************
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures...Remember, when
someone
annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown BUT it only takes 4
muscles to extend your arm and SMACK the person right upside the head.

Pooch
08-28-1999, 10:00 PM
what kind of moron can't swim out a couple of yards and catch himself a fishI have wondered about this when I watch films of the starving-on-the-deserted-island nature. Unless your Tarzan, you just don't grab a fish, especially in the ocean. However, it seems like you'd be able to fashion a net or something and catch fish, or perhaps play with holes and the tide. Spears?

Before I eat the body, I'd consider using it for bait.

Satan
08-28-1999, 10:39 PM
Re: Eating yourself

That could be the new diet fad! Eat all the calories you want - as long as you are chopping them away! Watch those love handles melt away... In your stew pot! Shear off the cottage cheese on those arms - We all know it's healthy! Hey - It's all natural, and no pain no gain!

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Brian O'Neill
CMC International Records
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08-28-1999, 11:47 PM
This is a very personal issue to me, because I myself once had to face a similar situation and yes, I had to consume the flesh of someone I loved to survive. Do not condemn me however unless you have gone through what I went through. If you have not, you don't know what you would resort to if you were stuck in an elevator for thirty minutes.

Wicked Blue
08-28-1999, 11:51 PM
The Stephen King story is titled 'Survivor Type' and it can be found in the book 'Skeleton Crew'. My family and I all love King, and one of the most popular saying around my house is "I'm so hungry I could eat my own foot." Another version, said in response to an unappealing food offering, (for example, liver & onions) is "I'd rather eat my own foot."
Blue

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"I wore an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time..."

BoBettie
08-29-1999, 12:00 AM
Super Creepy- if you want a good creep out, listen to the Audio Book version of that story...MAN does it give you the willies...really nasty...
Survival Type...tough to read, but excruciating to listen to...engrossing..

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An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

Rich Barr
08-29-1999, 11:09 AM
Cristi: [[Rich, did you just watch "Alive," or something?]]

Oh, I forgot to mention...on the ship you're coming back from the World Series of Rugby.

Actually, this is a question I once posed to a discussion group I was in. I have another good one, too, which I'm saving for a rainy day.

[[I don't know if I could eat my loved one. But I can say this...if my loved one had to eat my dead flesh to survive, I'd be okay with that.]]

I suspect this is what most people would say. It would be my own answer.

Babar714: [[I think I'd start eating the rocks/twigs first. No, I dont' mean 'twigs 'n' berries'. There has to some nutritional value to sand, twigs, leaves, dirt...]]

You're trying to change the hypothetical. There ARE no twigs or leaves. And, no, dirt and sand have no nutritional value that I'm aware of. (I suppose that if you could force them down it might make you FEEL less hunger, but you'd be dying at the same rate as before.)

Stoidela: [[My answer has nothing to do with cannibalism of a loved one, which I think I could do in the case of anyone except my fiance. If it were him, I don't think I could or would simply because if he died
(especially under such circumstances as these) i don't think I'd care to go on living.]]

Certainly a legitimate position.

radar ralf: [[How about starting on your self? You could slice some of that excess meat off of your own body and keep both of you alive.]]

What you'd most likely do is either bleed to death or die of infection, in which case the question would be whether your loved one would finish the job. (But some people don't like to eat leftovers.)

[[The real secret here is the freshwater spring. If something like that exists on your island, you can be reasonably sure that birds have discovered the water and will paying you a visit - and then you can have raw seagull!]]

The real secret here is that there are no birds in this hypothetical--no birds, no twigs, no nothing. Your loved one has died. You are on the verge of doing the same. To eat, or not to eat--that is the question.

aseymayo: [[Clearly, we have very different ideas about what "fun" is.]]

I get the feeling you won't be inviting me to your next party.

[[Sorry, started thinking about something fun...where was I?]]

I knew SOMEBODY would bring that up.

funneefarmer: [[Supplementary question... so what you gonna roast him with, hot sand? And where are ya gonna find a knife[...]]]

Remember the broken-up boat here. I didn't say you had nothing combustible, and I think we can assume there's a knife in there (or in your pocket, for that matter). There'd BETTER be a knife--otherwise you have to tear chunks out with your teeth.

[[[W]hat kind of moron can't swim out a couple of yards and catch himself a fish or something crawling along the bottom[...]]]

Have you ever caught a fish with your bare hands? And, if so, were you nearly dead of starvation at the time? There's no fishing gear in the boat--that I would have mentioned.

Zette: [[I probobly would have clubbed him long ago and finished the body a week into my stay. I expect he would do the same if we were deserted together somewhere!]]

True love is a wonderful thing. I'll count you as an outright "yes."

Cristi: [[Re: radar ralf & starting on yourself Stephen King wrote a really interesting short story about that...can't remember the title, though. Can someone help me out here?]]

As noted below, the story is "Survivor Type," which was in King's short story collection "Skeleton Crew." The protagonist is a disgraced surgeon and drug smuggler--he not only knows what he's doing, he has a large supply of heroin to anesthetise (spelling?) himself. He starts by amputating and eating a gangrenous foot. Mmm mmm good, as the Campbell's Soup commercials used to say.

Pooch: [[However, it seems like you'd be able to fashion a net or something and catch fish, or perhaps play with holes and the tide. Spears?]]

Sorry, no nets in the boat. Since I postulated a knife above, I suppose that could be used as a spear of a sort. I doubt that you'd have much success with it, especially as you continue to weaken.

[[ Before I eat the body, I'd consider using it for bait.]]

Very creative. But one in the hand is worth two in the bush, as the saying goes.

Satan: [[Re: Eating yourself[...]That could be the new diet fad!]]

You are what you eat, as the ad used to say.

Mike King: [[If you have not, you don't know what you would resort to if you were stuck in an elevator for thirty minutes.]]

"Damn Otis!" [Rip! Chew! Swallow!] "Damn Otis!"

Next time you'll carry some Lifesavers in your pocket.

The responses so far follow the pattern that came out in the discussion group I mentioned earlier--people are so uncomfortable with the hypothetical that they try to change it to avoid answering the question.

Here's another supplementary question. If you wouldn't/couldn't eat your loved one--or if you did, but no rescue was forthcoming in the extra time--would you wait for death by starvation? Or would you decide enough was enough, throw yourself in the ocean, and take a deep breath?

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Rich Barr
massivemaple@hotmail.com
AOL Instant Messenger: Hrttannl

Persephone
08-29-1999, 11:33 AM
Oooooh Rich, I don't think I'd want to join any of your discussion groups ;0

Upon reflection, I think I could eat my mate. Especially if my kids were still at home, waiting for me to get back to them. I know that my family would take excellent care of them, but still...I'd want to do anything to get back to them.

Here's another poser-if in fact this did happen, and I did eat my husband to survive, would I be prosecuted for cannibalism, or doing bad things to a corpse? I've never looked into the laws regarding this. Never really been an issue. But now that Mike has brought up the elevator thing...well, the elevators where I work are crappy, and it may become an issue if they don't so something soon. ;0

funneefarmer
08-29-1999, 01:51 PM
1) You seem to think that I'm going to wait until I'm weak from starvation, I don't plan on waiting.
2) You don't need spears to catch organisms that are crawling along the ocean bottom, or the algae that might be floating around.
3) If you're looking for good human recipes just come right out and ask for them, we're pretty non-judgemental here.
4) What you going to light that fire with by the way?

aseymayo
08-29-1999, 02:58 PM
Rich said:"I get the feeling you won't be inviting me to your next party."

No, you can come to the party - I just won't ask you to bring the snacks.

E1skeptic
08-30-1999, 01:15 AM
Ahhhhh! Yummi! But Rich hasn't told you everything....

The rescuers will never arrive! And you'll die anyways. It'll just take longer for you... he, he, he...

Better to eat each other, and die happy...

AuraSeer
08-30-1999, 01:48 AM
Constrained hypothetical situations never make for very satisfying discussion. Someone can almost always reason an end run around the constraints; if the situation is designed to eliminate any possible "out", it becomes so contrived as to be nearly absurd.

The desert-island setup is rapidly approaching the second extreme. You have exactly two survivors of a shipwreck, but no other bodies washed ashore. They possess sufficient materials to dress, butcher, and cook a carcass, but no food of any kind. The survivors have access to the only fresh water within hundreds of miles, but not a single living thing is nearby to take advantage of it.

Maybe it's a neat excercise if you're a freshman philosophy student, but IMO there's very little point in hypothesizing an impossible situation.

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I'm not a warlock. I'm a witch with a Y chromosome.

sunbear
08-30-1999, 06:00 AM
I know more about bears. The animals in the Sarajevo zoo were all abandoned, left in cages. The male polar eventually ate his spouse.

08-30-1999, 07:30 AM
Hypothetical questions involving terminal starvation, the death of loved ones, and cannibalism usually don't fall into the fun category. A fun hypothetical question is "If you could see any celebrity naked who would you pick?"

barton
08-30-1999, 11:55 AM
If my soulmate was dead, I'd commit suicide ala Romeo & Juilet.

Better than the other possibilities of 1) eating her and dying anyway when no one comes and 2) surviving but being haunted by the experience and shunned by society.

Killing yourself has a romantic feel to it, and we might even get a cover spread on TIME.

Rich Barr
08-30-1999, 11:45 PM
Cristi: [[Oooooh Rich, I don't think I'd want to join any of your discussion groups ;0]]

Coward.

[[Upon reflection, I think I could eat my mate. Especially if my kids were still at home, waiting for me to get back to them. I know that my family would take excellent care of them, but still...I'd want to do anything to get back to them.]]

Good point. There can be reasons to try and survive the situation beyond simply continuing to breathe.

[[Here's another poser-if in fact this did happen, and I did eat my husband to survive, would I be prosecuted for cannibalism, or doing bad things to a corpse? I've never looked into the laws regarding this. Never really been an issue.]]

I've never looked into them either (oh, stop being surprised), but I can say with reasonable certainty that you'd never be prosecuted under US law. It's never stated whose jurisdiction this speck in the ocean falls under, but I doubt you'd be prosecuted under foreign law either. (This is for eating your deceased loved one--it's a different matter if you CAUSE them to become deceased in order to eat them. That would be murder, and maybe poaching.)

funneefarmer: [[You don't need spears to catch organisms that are crawling along the ocean bottom, or the algae that might be floating around.]]

Or might not be floating around. As for what is or isn't crawling around on the ocean bottom, you're not going to be able to explore very much of it--whatever shallows there are next to the island is gonna be it.

The question, stripped down, is this: would you, in the gravest extreme, eat the flesh of a dead loved one to attempt to survive? The question is NOT whether you'd avoid it if you possibly could--I assume the answer for everybody would be "yes."

[[If you're looking for good human recipes just come right out and ask for them, we're pretty non-judgemental here.]]

I'm pretty non-judgmental myself--if you actually HAVE recipes for human, by all means post 'em.

[[What you going to light that fire with by the way?]]

The Bic lighter that was right next to my pocket knife. Next question.

aseymayo: [[No, you can come to the party - I just won't ask you to bring the snacks.]]

Hey, I could bring dip. First I'll go catch a dip....

E1skeptic: [[Better to eat each other, and die happy...]]

Didn't we already have the obligatory play on "eat?"

AuraSeer: [[Constrained hypothetical situations never make for very satisfying discussion. [...] Maybe it's a neat excercise if you're a freshman philosophy student, but IMO there's very little point in hypothesizing an impossible situation.]]

And there's even less point to complaining that other people are doing so. If you don't like such things that's fine, but it's the same as a TV program you hate--don't whine about how bad it is, change the frigging channel and watch something else.

sunbear: [[I know more about bears. The animals in the Sarajevo zoo were all abandoned, left in cages. The male polar eventually ate his spouse.]]

Polar bears are not especially gentle creatures. I have no idea whether they have what could be called emotional attachments to their mates or not.

Mike King: [[Hypothetical questions involving terminal starvation, the death of loved ones, and cannibalism usually don't fall into the fun category.]]

You have your idea of fun, and I have mine.

[[A fun hypothetical question is "If you could see any celebrity naked who would you pick?"]]

My answer would be Stevie Nicks...but she's now over 50, and I have a personal crisis when I realize that I'm so old I find someone over 50 attractive. I take my mind off that fact by posing bizarre hypotheticals to uncooperative subjects.

barton: [[Killing yourself has a romantic feel to it, and we might even get a cover spread on TIME.]]

I doubt it--suicides are a dime a dozen. But if you eat your loved one, you have a good shot at the NATIONAL ENQUIRER.

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Rich Barr
massivemaple@hotmail.com
AOL Instant Messenger: Hrttannl

aseymayo
08-31-1999, 02:05 AM
Rich said: "The question, stripped down, is this: would you, in the gravest extreme, eat the flesh of a dead loved one to attempt to survive?"

Well, yes. that's how I interpreted it and that's what I answered. Since you deemed my first reply too frivolous, I'll try again.

No - life is not so dear to me that I could look at the corpse of my adored one and think, "Hey - snacks!" He, on the other hand, is welcome to tuck into me once I have rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. He's always been partial to ribs.

funneefarmer
08-31-1999, 05:34 AM
OK, I'll stop avoiding it.
Couldn't eat my loved one.
They are welcome to my meat, as long as I'm dead first.
As for seasoning, Is that a bottle of BBQ sauce in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
- Both

GregAtlanta
08-31-1999, 08:52 AM
Dave Barry once wrote that whenever he flies he always packs an extra soccer player, just in case.
But he figures he'll have to fight off the other passengers who didn't think ahead: "Hey, you haven't even touched the pilot yet!"
-- Greg, Atlanta

08-31-1999, 08:57 AM
First, no one has mentioned: are these people literally naked when they arrive? You can always fashion an impromptu fish net by tying your pantlegs shut, tearing your shirt/skirt/blouse into strips for line, and then trolling, literally. Fish in that area of the ocean have no natural aversion to humans if you don't act aggressively; you just very gradually pull the net through the water until it surrounds enough fish to make a meal. Then it's sushi time.

As long as someone's brought up King and his cannibalism story, has anyone here read 'Desire and the Black Masseur' by Tennesee Wiliams? Have that read out loud and see if your skin doesn't creep!

Rich Barr
09-03-1999, 06:33 PM
aseymayo: [[Well, yes. that's how I interpreted it and that's what I answered. Since you deemed my first
reply too frivolous, I'll try again.]]

All replys are good, frivolous or otherwise.

funneefarmer: [[Is that a bottle of BBQ sauce in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?- Both]]

I'd rather bread 'em and fry 'em, myself, but to each his own.

GregAtlanta: [[Dave Barry once wrote that whenever he flies he always packs an extra soccer player, just in case.]]

I think the incident immortalized (if that's the word) in "Alive" involved a plane-load of rugby players. It's been awhile though, so I may be mistaken.

DIF: [[First, no one has mentioned: are these people literally naked when they arrive? You can always
fashion an impromptu fish net by tying your pantlegs shut, tearing your shirt/skirt/blouse into strips for line, and then trolling, literally. Fish in that area of the ocean have no natural aversion to humans if you don't act aggressively; you just very gradually pull the net through the water until it surrounds enough fish to make a meal. Then it's sushi time.]]

No, I never mentioned, since it has nothing to do with the question--it's another way of AVOIDING the question. But, since you asked, I'd say you and your loved one are probably clothed when you arrive on the island...depending on what you were doing when the ship blew up.

However...it IS stated that there are no trees or anything else on this island, and the boat is broken up. You'd run into a problem if you tear all the clothing up to make nets--you and your companion are liable to get sunburnt to death before starvation gets you. (You guys keep fighting about MY scenarios, so I'm gonna fight about yours.)

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Rich Barr
massivemaple@hotmail.com
AOL Instant Messenger: Hrttannl