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Monday, 29 March 2010

Survivor Island

By Dani Ferguson of The Musings of a Middle Aged Woman

I've been thinking lately that life is like the reality show, Survivor. We are all in the game to win and we try to make it to the end of the game with as many of our major organs as possible.

I did pretty well at this game until age five and that was my first time I didn't make it out of tribal council with my tribe still intact. My tonsils were the first to be voted off the island.

The rest of us made it through the next few years pretty successfully. We dodged all the challenges and even won immunity a few times thanks to numerous vaccines like polio and smallpox. Unfortunately, there were a few roadblocks such as measles and mumps acquired long before immunity was offered.

We (my major organs and I) were holding our own until age 32 when 30 of my fellow teammates conspired to vote off the wisdom teeth. They were the victims of a conspiring alliance established by a few deciduous molars who had arrived later in the game. Fortunately, none of the fallen players had been essential to my overall strategy to this point and frankly, were hardly missed after being exiled.

It wasn't until the next year when another secret alliance formed and those players conspired to vote off another, smaller yet powerful, alliance. The larger alliance became aware of this smaller group's ability to multiply and decided to go after them with gusto. In one vote the entire alliance of female reproductive organs was voted OFF the island.

It was about this time that I realized just how quickly one's own tribal members can turn on their own. I decided I'd better improve my strategy if I was going to sustain myself in this game. No more members of my tribe fell victim to tribal council until suddenly the gallbladder starting behaving in such a manner as to cause all the other members of our tribe to react with disdain.

The gallbladder just started going nuts without provocation. There were sudden outbursts of venom and bile with no apparent cause. We didn't know if the island was just getting to be too much or what. This time I had to agree with all my other teammates that voting him off as quickly as possible was our best strategic move.

So, here I am, still in the game and it's my 60th year. I still have some strong players in my tribe. However, we are down to the essential players and although I have a few more that can be spared the majority of them are vital to our tribe's survival.

Tribal councils are getting rougher and the challenges are definitely picking up; upper and lower GIs and that one evil challenge the colonoscopy (I don't know who thought that one up). But we've survived so far and I'm still in this game to win it.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


What a clever, funny and truthful piece. I'm going to share this one with my fellow survivors.

This would be a good one for the AARP magazine to print.

Right now I'm going to read this again!! ;-)

What a delightful story. I like your imagination.

This is a great story, Dani! I've never watched Survivor but I know enough about the premise of the show to laugh at your clever analogy. I agree you should publish this piece. Well written!

Something's weird with my computer, I guess. I couldn't comment or read others' comments yesterday--now I can only see a few and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your funny and clever post. Maybe this one will register.

Forgot to say--the reason I KNEW there were comments already there is because I emailed Ronni to see if it was my problem or the blog's and she said there were 12 comments.

Loved the story, Dani, and think most of us on this site can relate to your ornery tribe. Definitely submit it to AARP. Your off-beat sense of humor is delightful! If you ever get to Atlanta, I'd love to meet for a few giggles and a long lunch.

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