Captive’s Choice

Despite having a ridiculously busy schedule in almost every aspect of it, my life has not been noteworthy enough as of late to write anything out of the ordinary or super interesting on here. I know, it sucks. I’ll work on that. But today’s daily prompt is too good to pass up. For those of you who haven’t seen it – or don’t want to click on that link in case it drags you away from a blog entry that already has you captivated – check it out;

You’ve been kidnapped and given a choice: would you rather be stranded on an island, dropped into an unknown forest, or locked in a strange building?

It’s a good one, huh? I thought so.

I think the first thing to note here is that actually, my kidnapper probably isn’t all that bad. I mean, look at him. He’s giving me a choice of where to go, and that’s not something you get every day. This is a luxury kidnapping if ever there was one. Given this, the conditions at any of the three locations possibly aren’t all that bad. My mind is already at ease, letting me think logically about where I’d like to end up on this little adventure.

Let’s think about the island. There are a huge number of questions that have to be answered her – first and foremost, where is the island? Realistically thinking, my answer would vary hugely depending on whether the island was in the South Pacific or off the north coast of Scotland. Long, sandy beaches with swaying palm trees, or ginger men wearing kilts in the rain. I would of course be the only ginger man wearing a kilt (as long as hair dye and a kilt were provided), but you can see the issue here. Aside from the cabin fever and potential to develop some kind of solitude-related illness and probability of never being rescued, an island might not be that bad. Especially if it’s thirty degrees every day and you can make a little beach hut. Maybe this would be a good call.

We then have the forest. Now, I’m one of those weird outdoors-y people who loves forests and woodland. It’s beautiful. Whether the forest is unknown to me or not makes no difference; I have a compass tattoo on my left wrist but this in no way is a sign of any sense of direction on my part. There’s nothing quite like the sound of a forest with birds flapping about, leaves rustling and an ominous animal noise in the distance. It’s exciting. It’s fresh. It’s alive. And, as a result, you begin to feel alive too. Advantages of choosing the forest option would almost certainly include a treehouse (hey, if I can build a shack on my desert island, I’m building a treehouse in my forest), and an unlimited supply of food and water – even more so if it’s a rainforest. However, we cannot ignore the fact that it’s more than likely there’s going to be something bigger me in said forest who may see me as an unlimited supply of food. Not ideal.

This point actually brings me on to the final location – the strange building. Now if there’s one thing I’ve learned from TV and movies, it’s that when one finds oneself locked inside a strange building, there are almost always zombies in there with you. Despite the obvious excitement of fighting off the undead for a bit, I can imagine this would get boring very quickly. If it was a small building, like my island shack, probably not a massive problem. Kill one or two and boom, you’re okay. But if I’m trapped in an apartment block… not so lucky. It is for this reason alone that my immediate answer to the strange building is no.

So that narrows it down to two; the island, or the forest. Despite the whole ‘feeling at one with nature’ that I might achieve in a forest, I’m not entirely keen on the idea of a puma feeling at one with me in its belly. Besides, if I’m lucky my desert island will have a little forest in the middle. Though this forest may also be inhabited by pumas and the like, LOST went to great lengths to teach me that you’re safe on the beach… most of the time. And that’s a major factor for me. It’s got to be the island.

It’s almost exciting, actually. Sun, sea, sand (unless it’s Scotland). Getting back to basics with bonfires and hunting. Building a little shack. Actually sounds pretty fun. So, Mr Kidnapper, I’d like to jet off to the island please. I appreciate the choice, I just hope you’re as generous with your chosen location. Just FYI… I’ve always fancied Fiji.

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The Environment

I like the environment. Trees and all that. And I’ll do my best to preserve it within reason. You know, recycling, turning off the light. Stuff like that. But some people take it a bit too far. I’m looking at you, Thomson Airways.

I read an article today, saying that Thomson Airways – the world’s largest charter airline now that ThomsonFly and First Choice Airways have been merged – have successfully operated several commercial flights with their aircraft running on fuel made from chip fat and vegetables. I was impressed with this at first; airlines are one of the main cause of pollution, and using environmentally-friendly fuel is far from inexpensive. It can cost up to four times the amount of standard aviation fuel, apparently. But regardless, they’re powering ahead with it. I’m not sure how I would feel if I was 30,000ft up in the sky, in an airplane operating on what’s leftover from my local chippie, but it seems to work for them.

Anyway, as I was saying. I was impressed that they were doing this – until I read the next paragraph. The next paragraph explained that this fuel is not available in the United Kingdom. Or Europe. To use this fuel, they ship it over from the United States. By the time the fuel has been produced, driven to the ships, shipped across the Atlantic (4,830km at its widest point), driven from the ships to the fuel storage facilities, and then put onto a plane, it’s actually released more emissions than it would have done had they used the standard fuel. I fail to see the point in that.

Presumably if the fuel ever took off (excuse the pun) they would make some kind of facility to produce the fuel in the UK, what with airports such as London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham being the airline’s main bases. Who knows.

It’s like those leaflets people put through your door, telling you to save forests. If there is a more hypocritical thing on this planet, I would love to see it. Those companies have a choice – leave things as they are, or cut down half the forest to make these leaflets, that everyone will throw away without reading, and probably only 30% of people will actually recycle when doing so. Someday they might figure this out, and stop. My letterbox lives in hope.

I know that ‘every rose has its thorn’, or whatever the can’t-have-the-good-without-the-bad saying is, but sometimes I can’t help but feel it’s all a bit ridiculous. So, Mr Thomson Airways CEO, if I were you I’d just stick to putting your old newspapers in the blue bag, and turning the light off when you leave the room. Let the chippies keep their fat.