Survivor: Abyss Island – Days 21, 22 and 23


The challenge scene upon my arrival.

Abyss Island: S1E8 – A Filthy Scramble for Immunity and a Splurge

Day 21

I was informed by the producers of Survivor: Abyss Island that even though I’m the only contestant, it has already been decided by the powers that be I will not be invited back to participate in season two, All Stars – the Re-Abyssening.

That was a body blow to the ego. That hurt. Whatever. I haven’t got time for the pain. I have to do what I always do and soldier on, chin up, and all that. I still got a job to do.

Day 22

It was a week of twists and turns, including a reward challenge and the delicious taste of victory (jalapeño poppers, pizza and chicken). The producers inexplicably delayed the reward challenge until Thursday throwing off the timing of my entire existence.

Suddenly another Saturday and another immunity challenge was at hand. Tree mail contained cryptic portends:

Fuck, damn, shit
Boobs and gonad

If you don’t find them fast
It will really be too bad

I have to admit. I had no clue (aside from the actual one in my hands) about what to expect.


Observe: Genius at work.

I arrived at the challenge and handed back the immunity idol. Once again, immunity was back up for grabs. I got in one last feel before giving her up. For luck.

Before me was laid out some sort of word wheel game. It’s a damn puzzle challenge! My wife really has been paying attention during all the years we’ve watched Survivor together.

My wife explained her devious plan. There would be seven minutes on the clock for me to use the puzzle pieces to spell 12 household words. Well, household words in the Abyss. As evidenced by the clue, they would all be filthy words. Oh, my virgin ears!

All words I’d be given were possible, but some of them could only be accomplished by using the pieces in a specific order. As always, my wife assured me she had completed the challenge herself.

With that, it was go time. Things went fairly well and I burned through the first five words. There was no clock for me to watch, so I had no idea how I was doing. My wife, of course, kept throwing in Probst-isms, trying to throw me off my game.

Then I hit the word “douche,” a word I know inside and out. Easy! D. O. U. C. What the hell? I quickly surmised I was on one of those words my wife promised could only be made one way. I must have burned through two minutes on that word alone as I tried to realize there were two different pieces with the letter D and one of them also had the only H.


The word that closed the deal on sweet victory! Hello again, my old friend.

Over half the clock consumed and I still had six words to go. I’m not competitive much, so of course I had nothing negative to say about this. I think I said something along the lines of, “Game over, man. This is never gonna happen!”

Then something weird happened. Things started to go well. Very well. I burned through those words. I think another stopper tried to get me but now I knew how to resolve it. No problem.

Soon I was working on the final word and my wife checked the clock. “Dammit,” she said. “I knew I made this too easy.”

Click! “POOP!” Game over. I win. There were still 40 seconds left on the clock.

I have to admit, I did feel the pressure during this challenge. I think it gave a reasonable approximation of what it might be like to participate in an actual challenge on the TV show. Maybe it was one percent of that. I’m glad to say my guru-like powers came through with flying colors.

It’s another week of safety from a vicious dreaded super-chore as imagined by my wife. I shudder to think what it might be. Horrors!

Day 23

My vision of a merge feast.

My vision of a merge feast.

Today is Day 23. I just had my usual to start the day. A plate of rice and beans. Yeah.

When my wife originally announced the start date of Abyss Island we both expressed similar thoughts.

Me: Holy shit. This thing is going to span the Super Bowl.

Wife: Holy shit. This thing is going to span Valentine’s Day.

Twix! We are so in sync! That’s what 8+ years of marriage will do to you. We practically complete each other’s sentences.

And now, here we are. Super Bowl Sunday. And the only food in my larder is rice, beans, and the dwindling supplies in my coveted spice kit.

On the TV show, when tribes finally “merge” this is celebrated with a feast. My memory may be hazy, but I think it usually consists of a pretty damn good meal. Fruits, breads, cheeses, and, dare I say, maybe even some meat? Perhaps some chicken wings? A rack of ribs? Maybe an entire column of that gyros meat thingy? Oh yeah, gimmie that. I’ll eat it up like it’s corn on the cob.

Almost forgot. There’s almost always some alcohol, too. The producers are banking at least one of the survivors will thrown caution into the wind and gorge themselves to the point of losing all control. That makes good television.

Day 23. No merge in sight. Day 23? WTF!

So it was with heavy heart I hauled myself out of bed. I had to go to the grocery store to buy ground pork for my wife. She is making the world’s most delicious meatballs for our Super Bowl party with friends. (Including homemade sauce using an America’s Test Kitchen recipe.) It’s probably the most important snack day of the year and I’ll be watching everyone else nosh their asses off. My wife said, “Don’t worry, baby. You can make yourself some skewers of beans and rice.”

I got home from the store and found a note on the front door. I glanced around the neighborhood. No slimly solicitors in sight. What gives?

It was door mail!

I was instructed to drop my pork and report to the challenge area immediately. Upon arrival, I was told, “Drop your buff! But listen up. There will be no Merge.”

My heart sank as I was handed a new tribal buff. The old yellow one dropped to the floor. Now I’m wearing the orange one.

“A merge is too good for you. It’s time for The Splurge.”

Take your new buff and put it on. You must wear it all day today. In honor of Super Bowl Sunday and Day 23 of Survivor: Abyss Island, I’m taking you to the Super Bowl party where you can eat and drink to your heart’s content.

When the party’s over I’ll return you to the island where you can continue to deprave yourself.

Meatballs for me! Meatballs for me! Oliver called. He says, “Take that gruel and shove it up your ass.”

I don’t know what other forms of snackage will be there but I’d bet my life there will at least be some beer. And maybe some Velveeta melted down and mixed with a can of chili? And some chips?

And, truth be told, I’m also hoping for celery or broccoli. Aside from the jalapeño poppers the other day, it’s been 23 days since I ate anything green. It’s not easy not eating green. I want some green.

Whatever! It’s the Splurge and that’s exactly what I plan to do!

7 responses

  1. Beans and rice! Yummy!

    Isn’t it cheating when you combine several days in one post? I vote you off the island. Can I do that?

    Isn’t life hard enough that you create these challenges for yourself? I give you immunity to do whatever you want. (I haven’t watched survivor but I’ve picked up some useful phrases and vocabulary from you.)


    1. Have you ever eaten a plate of beans and rice? For my birthday I requested a little dish called Red Beans and Rice and it was awesome. But that’s light years away from this.

      No salt. No meat. No oil. No butter. No pepper. No nothing. If you’ve never eaten nothing but totally plain beans and rice for a couple weeks, let me just say you don’t know what you’re missing. 🙂

      A typical episode of the Survivor television show recaps three days of contestants on the island. For Abyss Island we’ve been doing recap posts only on challenge days. This time there just happened to be a lot of excitement crammed closely together. Yeah, “excitement.” I don’t like to exaggerate too much. 🙂

      Yes, life is hard. My wife makes fun of me because I frequently do deprivation challenges like this to myself. Don’t ask me why. It’s all part of the quintessential weirdness that makes me a true guru. I gotta be me. On the plus side I’ve lost 6.7% of my total body weight and I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

      Bring on the feelings of pride! (A rare thing for me.)


  2. Yay for meatballs!! Happy Superbowl Sunday!


    1. Yes, meatballs were consumed and they were delicious.

      Perhaps more important, I had been praying for something green, and my prayers were answered. There was celery! It was the first thing I tried. Just a plain piece of celery and it was delicious.

      The rules stated I could only eat food during the Super Bowl. Then the Universe smiled upon me and granted a power outage delay, extending the game an additional 35 minutes. Good things can happen.

      In other news, this morning I do not feel very good at all. I’m really looking forward to plain beans and rice. And maybe an orange if I’m up to it. 🙂


      1. I was wondering how your stomach would be after introducing different food so suddenly!!


  3. Mrs. A killed the lights for 35 minutes! She is a merciful host.


    1. I am, aren’t I. And I thank you for noticing 🙂


Bringeth forth thy pith and vinegar

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