Date Night Survival

Prompt Day #23: Clot a wound or make a tourniquet with an unexpected object

This one was tough for me actually because as a physician, I couldn’t get past that part of me that said “No, come on, that is ridiculous! You can’t put frog’s eggs in a wound!” or “Really? Dandelion fluff? quit being stupid.” So me and my inner voice went on and on all day long. I tried moss: “Been there, done that, BORING”, I tried tree sap: “Now you’re sticky and bloody…nice work, Einstein.” I tried a variety of tourniquets: A dead snake? “wouldn’t it pull apart before you could get it tight enough?”, a vine? “Ooh, a vine? Now that’s original and super scary–no, wait…it isn’t”. Oh yeah, I said, what if the vine was poison ivy?? “Oh, are you writing for National Lampoon’s Camping Adventure now?” my inner self asked in a really snarky voice. So, I gave up. I fooled it a little. Brains do indeed contain tissue factor, whether enough to clot a wound, I don’t know but the left brain bought it and just in time too. So I wrote up a fake application letter to a fake reality show and did my best.  


Date Night Survival


Dear Date Night Survival:

I am excited to be applying as a cast member on this new reality show where I will be paired with a blind date, dropped off in the middle of nowhere, and if we can survive the month together and still like each other at the end, win an all-expense-paid wedding and honeymoon. I am the man for you. Let me first tell you a little bit about myself. I am a young 35 year old professional (Biochemist). I am 6’2’ and 180 pounds. I am athletic, I love to cook gourmet meals for my dates, and my friends tell me I’m hilarious. I have sun-bleached brown hair styled in that messy look all the women love, and I’ve been told, hypnotic blue eyes.

Now, that just makes me a desirable date, here is my story to illustrate why I am the best choice to survive and possibly save my date as well. I am an avid hunter; been hunting my whole life. I’ve used every type of weapon and hunted all types of game. My favorite though has always been archery hunting for deer. Last season, I was up in my tree stand watching for that trophy buck I’d seen on my game cam. This was the first year I used deer urine (Doe in Heat—cool name, right? Perfect for a show like this, if you know what I mean?) all around the trunk of the tree I put my stand in. Sure enough, right about dusk, my future mount came walking in, sniffing around my tree. I stood up and set my arrow. He looked up just then and saw me. He got angry—obviously assuming I was competition for the doe he could smell. He began stomping and snorting at me. He even charged the tree a couple times. I leaned over the edge of the stand until I had him in my sights, drew back my bow and let it go. I lost my balance just as I let the arrow go and I fell 30 feet out of the stand. The arrow at that exact moment hit its target just behind the left shoulder blade and he reared up on both legs. My thigh met his rack on my way down, tearing open a large gash and puncturing my femoral vein. My weight on his head snapped his neck and he died instantly, landing beside me.

I knew that if I didn’t stop the gushing from my inner thigh, I would die before I ever got that head above my mantle, so I had to act fast. I needed a tourniquet but all my stuff was still up in the tree stand. So, I did what anyone would: I quickly gutted the deer, twisted its small intestines (squeezing out the feces in the process), forming a kind of cat-gut which I tied tightly around my leg up high near the groin. This slowed the bleeding enough for me to examine the wound. It was a deep puncture tearing into a long gash to my knee. I would need to add a clotting agent of some sort. Here is where my eligible bachelor status crosses over into my hard core survivor status…I saw a large rock about six feet away and managed to drag myself over to it. I had to make a tough choice: my life or my pride. I chose life (there will be time for pride again, I’m sure). Using the rock, I crushed the deer’s head in until it was the consistency of a cracked egg shell. I found a break in the scalp and worked a finger inside, tearing the flesh open enough to scoop out the bruised and battered brains. I packed the wound full of the brain matter (you may not be aware, but as a biochemist, I know that brain tissue contains something called Tissue Factor which aids in clotting blood). It worked of course and I was able to loosen up the gut tourniquet enough to belly crawl my way out of the woods and to find help. It took me six hours to drag myself out (I got lost several times—the view from the ground is very different from the view at normal height). I was weak from blood loss, and became dehydrated. I drank creek water and slept under a pile of leaves I had managed to pull together.

I did make it out alive and found help. I spent a month in the hospital fighting off multiple infections and severe diarrhea from the water I’d drank. But I did survive because I am healthy and smart enough to survive. I think, if you showed this letter to any of your female applicants, they would all be anxious to meet me and take a chance on spending a month in the wilderness with me. And if they’re curious, you can tell them I still have the rack that got me. My brother went back into the woods that night and got it for me. I’ll be happy to show it to the right lady.

Thanks again for considering me and my survival skills for your show, I know the audience would be rooting for me!


Baxter Wardley