The practicalist

“If exiled on a desert island, what one CD would you take with you?”

“Well… oh!”

“Hm?”

“My answer forks.”

“What?”

“If this is a relevant question — that is, if I would be able to play the CD, I would have a CD player and a source of electricity. Thus having both electricity and a collection of electrical components, I would like an audiobook about electrical engineering; after listening I could build a radio, and call for help.”

“Yeah. Right.”

“And on the other hand, if I would not have a player or electricity, the contents of the CD would be irrelevant; but going by the only remaining detail, the decals on the CD, I would choose whatever CD that had a mirror finish on both sides, thus doubling its usefulness as a signalling tool.”

“Do I want to know what book you’d take?”

How to Win Sharks and Influence Medusae. Written by the noted long-distance swimmer and proponent of raw food Finny Carnivorie.”

“Right.”

“Rule six: If it comes to biting, always be the one that bites first.”

“What’s the first rule?”

“Never jump a shark.”

“Oh. Very droll and with-it. A nice in-joke; ha ha.”

“No, not at all. There’s just nothing more foolish that getting above a shark.”

“That would be the, hur hur, ‘Worst. Jump. Ever.’, huh?”

“Now listen; imagine those dead eyes looking up at you, imagine that jagged mouth gaping below you like the work of some deranged extreme dentist, like the gravity well of Planet Hunger, and consider whether —”

“And we’ve been interviewing F. Lastname, the noted practicalist, insomniac and proponent of Total Danger Awareness. And now news.”

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