The Oklahoma Writers’ Federation honored me with third place for this blog. Enjoy…
How to Survive a Siege
The art of killing and conquering for profit has been a part of the human experience from time immemorial. We’ve all heard war stories…stories of pain and suffering. But, never are these tales so pronounced as they are during a siege. The act of encircling a fortified town to starve them out can be, and has been, distinctly grotesque and horrific throughout history. Tales of people eating dogs and rats, eating tree bark, leather shoes…even eating other people.
Much like a siege, a lone castaway in a small boat upon the ocean can be singularly terrible. Once you exhaust your supply of emergency food and can no longer catch fish, what do you do?
I think there is a skill set that has been underappreciated and heretofore, taboo. It is time to end the silence on the topic and have a real discussion on how to eat yourself to survive starvation.
Imagine the myriad of situations this skill would be useful. Suppose you are alone in a boat, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You have the ability to filter seawater for drinking and some basic medical supplies. You can put up an awning for shade, and have equipment for fishing, but no bait for the hook. Or, imagine you are trapped in an empty parking garage after an earthquake, and must wait for weeks for rescue.
For the purposes of this DIY article, let’s stick to one scenario. Imagine, you are the sole remaining inhabitant of a medieval fortified city, but the besieging army doesn’t know that. They still think there is a vast host of soldiers guarding the fortress. Surrender is not an option. Your only hope is to survive until the relieving army arrives. You have ample water and the ability to cook food in your small home. You’ve already exhausted your supply of rodents, horses, and other humans for food. You dare not leave your home now, for fear the cold and your weak condition will prevent you from safely returning.
The goal is to systematically consume your own body parts in a manner that will not kill you, leave you permanently disabled or hideously disfigured. Of course, we can assume you’ve already eaten all the boogers, fingernails, and dead skin you can manage, so we’ll skip that delightful step.
You may be inclined to cut off a section of belly fat or slice a small steak from your buttocks, but we would recommend against that. Either one of those would seriously inhibit your ability to continue the process. Remember, you must survive long enough for the siege to be lifted by a relieving army.
I suggest you start with your ears. They aren’t much more than a snack, but they won’t leave you handicapped either. There is enough skin and cartilage to sustain you for a day or two, so long as you keep your physical activity to a minimum. Don’t burn any unnecessary calories.
Next, things get real. We suggest you commence your self-dining with your non-dominant foot. If you can take the pain without any whiskey, we suggest doing so. Cut the foot off, right at the ankle. You can force the knife into the joint and cut the connecting tissue more easily than trying to cut through the bone. Be sure to keep your footless leg elevated as best you can, and use a tourniquet to prevent blood loss. You may want to allow the blood to drip into a sanitary dish, for drinking later. See our July special on Backyard Blood Transfusions, for more on that exciting topic.
The foot is filled with muscles and tendons, along with many bones, so it will be tough to chew. Cooking it will help. Your foot will probably contain enough calories to keep you alive for several days.
Some say you should now move to your other foot. We disagree. With one fully-functional leg, you can still get around on a crutch. Better to keep moving up the footless leg than to immediately condemn yourself to a wheel chair. With that in mind, cut your lower leg off at the knee. Now you’re getting into larger arteries and blood vessels, so you’ll need to be careful about how much blood you lose. Don’t overdo it, you may put yourself in shock.
Your calf muscle is quite a feast indeed. In your medieval home, you can probably slice it into three or four steaks and enjoy them over the period of a week or more. Now, you’ve probably extended your survival up to two weeks, with nobody but yourself to thank.
Cutting into the thigh is deadly business. You must be certain to close off your femoral artery. Cauterizing it would be best. Remove your leg at the groin area. This is a massive feast. Take a moment now to look at your thigh. How long would it take you to eat a hamburger that big? A couple weeks for sure.
Some experts may tell you to eat your own genitals before you commence with consuming your leg, but we strongly disagree. First, this is really an option only for men. Second, it’s important to keep hope alive during this process. Without your junk, how can you do that? Third, this meal could be varying in size from one man to the next. You shouldn’t begin feasting on your wedding tackle until after you’ve eaten one entire leg. Because, after you have one leg and no ears, the chances of needing your genitals are few.
Now, you’ve eaten both ears, one leg, and whatever snack you can manage from your genitals, you’ve survived an entire month of being stuck in a siege. Yet, there is no friendly army in sight. You must continue if you want to survive.
We suggest starting the same process on your remaining leg now. The good news is that your body is smaller, so you require fewer calories to survive. This leg will probably sustain you longer than your first. But, once it is gone, and three months have elapsed, you have another choice: do you eat your non-dominant arm, or open your abdominal cavity and eat your appendix…perhaps a portion of your liver. We suggest your abdominal cavity first. The process of severing and cooking yourself probably requires both hands, so keep them for now. In fact, this may be the time to start slicing cutlets from your buttocks. It will be easier to reach them, now that your legs aren’t in the way.
Four months have gone by. You’re still alive. You’re horribly handicapped, yes, but you are alive. What next? The enemy army is still encamped outside the city walls.
You can carefully cut away your nose, belly fat, or breasts. But, be careful to keep these areas from getting infected. Another week goes by, and it’s now time to eat your left hand. Luckily, you’ve reduced your body mass by nearly 40%, and your required caloric intake is very low. Your left hand will sustain you for a few days. The forearm: a week. Your bicep and shoulder, two weeks.
The end is near. You begin eyeing your entrails with anticipation. But, once you cross that Rubicon, there is no going back. We suggest going over your bones again, in search of marrow or connective tissue you may have missed during your first meal. Don’t start removing sections of your intestines yet. You may want to consider removing a kidney before you do that, but removing a kidney may weaken you too much to continue. Be strong, wait just a little longer.
ALAS!!! Your rescue is nigh! The familiar sound of trumpets outside the city gates is followed by a fierce shield-on-shield battle with your side being the victor. The vanquished besiegers scurry away and you are discovered by friendly soldiers only hours later. After life returns to normal, with your meager means, you are still able to build a sturdy wooden litter, and hire two stout boys to carry you around to your daily activities. You are paraded around the kingdom as a symbol of hope.
We hope you’ve appreciated this how-to article on Self-Cannibalization. Subscribe to our blog for other great how-to ideas each week, such as:
How-to Waterboard Yourself in the Shower
DIY Pet Embalming
How-to Impale a Person Without Killing Them.
Surgical Uses for Common Gardening Tools
A Scientific Discussion on the Nutritional Value of Second-Harvest Corn.
Fecal Matter Transplants
…and MUCH more!!
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Have a blessed week!