Survivor: Abyss Island

abyss-islandThis morning my wife told me to go outside and check our tree for mail. She’s the boss and the controller of the family coconuts so outside I went. Lo and behold I found this mysterious note near the place where I dug the modest hole I use to go potty:

Set in the jungles of hell for 39 long hard days, Abyss Island will freak your mind, test your feets of strength (yes I said feets) and challenge your brain. You will look forward to Tree Mail, Reward and Immunity Challenges, a Hidden Immunity Idol, Tribal Council for One and maybe even a visit from one of your unloved ones.

Outwit – Outlast – Outplay Yourself

Immunity is what you covet
If you lose don’t let your spirits plummet

Winning games and quizzes are what you’ll play
If you lose you’ll have to pay

Worth playing for?

The Wife

My wife playing the part of Jeff Probst? That’s role playing I can get into. I think. Maybe someone should check my brain.

I love Survivor. As a negativitist I dig the window it gives us into the true nature of humanity. Take a group of mostly people, put them in a remote location exposed to the elements, provide a dash of motivation (a taste of celebrity and a shot at a large sum of money), mess with their diets, and apply pressure in the form of challenges and elimination until the pressure transforms them into lumps of coal (likely) or diamonds (rare).


My wife knows how to plan. I wet my pants when I tried to sneak a cup of coffee.

Who knew something like this would be so much fun to watch? I love it.

I dream about being on the show. I mean that quite literally. Survivor is a recurring motif when I sleep. I dream that me and Jeff Probst are pals. I dream that I’m in immunity challenges. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, and sometimes it’s one of those circular never-ending slow motion things where I feel like I’m caught in molasses. Sometimes I dream about being eliminated and getting my torch snuffed out. My best finish, I think, has been third place. Hey, just like Keith the TV Chef in the Outback! Weird, but not once have my dreams ever had me winning. As a Guru of Negativity, even in my dreams, I have to stay true to myself and keep it real. That’s how a guru stays guru.

I’m too chicken to actually try out for the show and have a real-life chance to snuggle with the likes of Jenna Morasca and Parvati Shallow, but I still wanted, somehow, to partake of the Survivor experience.

Over the years I’ve also used Survivor as a way to tease my wife about food. Perhaps I try to make something for dinner. She sniffs it, pushes the plate away, and says, “No way.”

Then I say something astute like this: “Imagine you are on Day 36 of Survivor and this is what they gave you? Now would you eat it?”

One thing I learned from discussions like these is how to duck when plates of food are thrown at you.

But it did get me thinking. Perhaps I won’t ever be on Survivor but I can still literally have a taste of the Survivor experience. I know! I’ll live on rice, beans and all the rats I can catch for 39 days! Yeah, that’ll be just like being on Survivor!

I’m not saying it was the best idea of all-time.

So that’s the plan. Last night at the Christmas office party (gah!) I ate my last normal meal. As of now I’m no longer a regular member of society. No. I’m all alone trapped on Abyss Island with no hope of rescue for the next 39 days. I’ll be forced to live with myself and work with myself to form a new society while fighting the elements and each other (parts of myself, I guess). Actually, it sounds a lot like masturbation, but I can promise you there will be none of that!

Not only was my wife supportive of the idea, she offered to help. In fact, she was eager to help. A little too eager if you get my drift. Something tells me I should be afraid.

She took the bull by the horns and did all of the planning and work. I guess you could say my fate is in her hands. I’ve now got my own personal Jeff Probst. I can’t wait to see her Banana Republic outfit and baseball cap.

I’d like to stress that although there will likely be weight loss, this is not about going on a diet. My goal is to try to experience one small slice of the Survivor spectrum, to know what it feels like to be a Survivor, at least when it comes to the menu. I want to be able to do things the Survivors do. Like on Day 32 win some soda in a reward challenge and get “drunk” on it. (I love you, Skupin.) Or be forced to strip naked for peanut butter and chocolate. Or be served a bag of Doritos and froth at the mouth and say things like, “OMG! These are the best Doritos I’ve ever eaten in my entire fucking life!!!!!!”

Like I said, my wife seems a little too enthusiastic about this whole thing. Remember that for the next 39 days she’ll be eating whatever the hell she wants whilst I struggle with my experience.

And she just handed me these “official rules.” What the hell? How in the hell did chores get involved in this shit? And punishment? Chores and punishments aren’t part of Survivor! Geez. I think this is even more restrictive than the official CBS Survivor contract. Oh, God.

Coming soon: Lots of pictures of me in my underwear. I will be live-blogging the experience. Wish me luck.

Survivor Abyss Island  – 39 days of Hell
Starts 1/12/13

Reward Challenge

Every Wednesday you will look forward to a reward challenge. You may or may not win. Keep your brain sharp and your heart strong or you may go home empty handed.

This may be your chance to enjoy a culinary treat. Maybe some sweets or even some meat.
Sometimes you will have to choose wisely so don’t be a snoot, or you may be enjoying a delicious undeveloped Balut.

Come prepared to every challenge
You must wear your buff
You must always bring your tribe flag
You may require tennis shoes

Immunity Challenge

Every Saturday you will look forward to an immunity challenge. If you win you will receive an Immunity Idol which protects you from punishment.
All challenges will be based on the time it takes to complete a challenge. The time is set by your host.

Come prepared to every challenge
You must wear your buff
You must always bring your tribe flag
You may require tennis shoes
If you have won a previous challenge you must bring the Immunity Idol with you

Keep your balance, stay on track. If you lose you will rub my back.
Or if I decide you must complete a chore of my choosing, either way you will surely be losing.

Tribal Council … of One
If you lose, the immunity challenge will immediately be followed by Tribal Council. You must always bring your torch and get fire. At Tribal Council you may face bullying, badgering and harassment from the host … me. After said verbal harassing your sentence will be handed down and your torch will be snuffed.

Your sentence consists of either:
15-30 minute massage that you will give to the host.
One hour of chores. Not daily chores. Something unusual for you.

Hidden Immunity Idol
Once you find the idol, you may use it as a “get out of jail free” card. This means you are able to use it one time to pass on a punishment, massage or chore. Trust me, you‘ll want to use this. The clues to find the hidden idol may be randomly hidden amongst random reward challenge items. There will be four clues only. If you can’t find the idol, the pleasure will be all mine. The Hidden Immunity Idol has to be used no later than Day 32 of Abyss Island.

Luxury Item
There will be no luxury item. Your luxury is me letting you stay in the house for 39 days instead of sleeping out in the wilderness like a real Survivor.

Tree Mail
On Day 1 I will instruct you as to where you must check for tree mail. You will get instructions the day before or day of every challenge.

Rice and Beans

You will be supplied with:

red beans
white rice
a variety of tropical fruit
multiple vitamins

You must prepare your own meals – mandatory
Since you have no medical coverage and I want to spend any extra money we make on myself …
You must consume between 1500 and 1740 calories per day – mandatory
You must take one multivitamin per day
It’s up to you to manage your calorie intake
You must consume three servings of fruit per day

Sample calorie intake (approximation):

1 cup of cooked white rice per day = 205 calories
1 cup of cooked red beans = 227 calories
1 banana = 170 calories
1 cup of fresh pineapple = 82 calories
1 cup or 2 x 2 x 1/2 piece raw coconut = 283 calories
1/2 cup of fresh mango = 50 calories
1/2 cup fresh papaya = 25 calories

A scale will be provided to maintain safe weight loss.

There will be no spices, herbs, oils, etc allowed unless determined by the host.

There will be no whining.

Million Dollar Prize
Seriously, get real, there is no prize.

there walked a lonely man,
silent, mute, the only man
not knowing how, not knowing why
was he the sole survivor
why should he be alive,
breathing still while others died
and the only question
why was he the sole survivor
sole survivor, cursed with second sight
haunted saviour, cried into the night
sole survivor, cursed with second sight
haunted saviour, cried into the night
wind blew across the sand
he stood alone and he had no plan
and with the last rays of the sun
he screamed aloud, began to run
in his tears he sees his face
i am the end of the human race
when i’m gone there’ll be no trace
for i’m the sole survivor
sole survivor, cursed with second sight
haunted saviour, cried into the night
sole survivor, cursed with second sight
haunted saviour, cried into the night
one night when years had passed
the skies shook from a fiery blast
and there a starship – safe at last!
to come rescue this survivor
they beckoned him inside
but only man, he would not ride
instead he found a place to hide
for he’s the sole survivor
sole survivor, cursed with second sight
haunted saviour, cried into the night
sole survivor, cursed with second sight
haunted saviour, cried into the night

13 responses

  1. You know, Jeff Probst also used to host an awful version of Jeopardy,aired in the afternoons.
    Maybe it would be better all around if you and your wife shared that?

    Oh, and I already know who wins this season. Mrs. Abyss.


    1. O. M. G.

      My wife just jumped me with a surprise Day 1 challenge. She is taking this shit way too serious. I think I’ll tell the story in my next post. I’m too wiped out right now.



    2. El Guapo, you know me so well 😉


  2. So ya…Tom survived day one of a surprise reward challenge, but barely. I think he almost stroked out. He also violated one of the rules listed which was “NO WHINING”. I knew that would be the first rule broken. Almost 2 hours into his challenge and I’ve seen, whining, nervous giggling, tears from laughing, panting, sweating, red face, more whining, complaining and a lot of “I didn’t know this was going to be so hard”!

    Pick up your big girl panties wussy, it’s going to be a long hard 39 days of hell.


    1. There’s no such thing as a “no whining” rule in Survivor! In fact, the camera makes love to the whiners. Remember that. You’re now on notice.


  3. Sounds like a pretty amazing thing to do. Maybe I will come up with my own task for the next 30 days. But I’ve never been a Survivor fan. No, my geekiness lies with Buffy. Ooo… I can train to be a Slayer. Fuck yeah, this is happening. Thanks for the idea. I wish you luck!


    1. That’s a great idea. The Slayer Challenge. So, like what? You can only eat blood sausages and garlic cloves? (Yeah, I’m trying to work in that vampire angle.)

      I’m not really sure what Buffy likes to eat but good luck! 🙂


      1. She likes to eat a lot of sugar. I am trying to steer clear of it, but it’s more the physical part I’m working on than the eating portion right now. I figure take one thing at a time. When I got the physical exercise down, I can work on my diet.


      2. I’ve often thought about the all-sugar diet. I smell a new diet book I’m about to write. I bet with a bit of American ingenuity I can think of maybe one or two ways to consume sugar. Oops. I almost forgot the word “million” there.


  4. […] that’s what his Twitter name says), and found he was taking on a great task which he calls Survivor: Abyss Island. For thirty-nine days, he’s going to live like survivors do: very little food and possibly no […]


  5. This is hilarious! I wish my husband was a fan of the show. Oh, the fun I would have!


    1. Hopefully he doesn’t watch football. I mean, diet of BBQ chicken wings and beer isn’t much of a challenge.

      Who doesn’t love Survivor??? 🙂


  6. I hate Survivor. I like you. I love Mrs. Abyss for the idea. I now like Survivor.


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