Located in the heart of the urban jungle, it requires stamina, insight and vast arrays of survival savvy to navigate this terrain.
I'll be your guide as we search for those survival essentials: food, shelter, and heat! Join me now as we start our New Adventure...
I've parked my car in the allotted parking. You have to be careful out here and know your days and times. Parking Enforcement tribes are everywhere and extremely hostile. They will tow your vehicle without warning, leaving you stranded and without a GPS Tracking Device. Plus you could lose your gym bag and your best CDs.
Once inside the complex dead bolt alignment on the front door, I quickly set down everything in my hands except my hand held camera. For this adventure I've opted out of the nifty moving picture camera strapped to my waist. We'll have to make due with still photos, later developed at a Photo Lab found only in...The Urban Jungle!
After a long trek of just a few feet, I spot a terrain change:
This is indeed a good sign! The change from brown carpet to hard vinyl means there is possibly a source of water nearby. I proceed with caution, as this surface has been known to be either slippery or contain sharp particles that can stab your feet, like crumbs.
Scanning the horizon once again I spot it: The kitchen sink. Not as deep as most swamp ponds or the croc-infested billabongs of the Australian outback, it will provide me with a steady source of water that will only need to be boiled if I choose to make tea.
But there is something else I want. I desperately need a source of food. The proximity of the sink, combined with the vinyl floor means there is bound to be an important element of The Apartment.
And here it is! It's called a refrigerator. It's an integral part of the Urban jungle; a known source for the proteins and nutrients vital for survival in The Apartment. It emits a low frequency hum so I know that the food inside will be good and not give me giardia or hepatitis.
Refrigerator's are totally benign, so there is no need to proceed with caution. It's just a matter of finding the means to pry it open.
I curse my luck as I see this fridge has no handles, but running my hands along the perimeter--always cautious for deadly hidden brown bull snakes--I feel the indentations in the side of the door that mean I will soon be able to open it. A few moments work and it's done!
This is nature's fecund blessing, indeed. Not only are there ample sources of protein, vegetables and rare condiments, but I've been spared the need to forage for a corkscrew: the bottle of Charles Shaw Merlot, a staple of the Urban Environment, has already been opened.
My next need may not be so easy to satisfy...
After several seconds of scanning the shelves and opening crisper drawers, I've found it. I've struck survival gold!
It's the Trader Joe's Big Block Pound of chocolate. I can use the bottom of the Charles Shaw bottle to smack it into bite sized pieces.
Nearby, I find some furniture that I am able to use as a table and chair:
It's crucial that I eat and drink now while my energy is just beginning to flag. If I wait too long, I could become dizzy and too weak to think straight or continue navigating...The Apartment.
This chocolate and wine is not as tasty as wichity grubs and edible moths, but you have to take what you can find when surviving in the Urban Jungle.
Having fortified myself and to some extent rested and re-hydrated, I must now go in search of a safe place to bed down for the night. In the near distance I see what could be a bower of some sort. I approach slowly and yes, I've spotted it! One of two prevalent predators that exist in The Apartment, this one is the more benign of the two. This is the Apartment Cat.
While the Apartment Dog has been known to steal your food and drain your energy by engaging you in exhausting 'fetch' rituals, the Apartment Cat spends most of it's days sleeping. They can dangerously suck your source of heat, though, so you have to be careful.
I choose to avoid this particular spot for bedding down as it's already taken, and leave the sleeping cat lie.
The Apartment has shown me many facets, today, and I know that it will glean even more useful tools for Survival tomorrow. But for now, I must find a place to sleep. Going without sleep in any survival situation can be dangerous and downright deadly. Lack of sleep causes delusions, paranoia and depression. And depression can hurt!
(cut to commercial for Cymbalta.)
And here it is! I've found it! Almost deceptively close to the food source and the heating mechanism, I still have to be careful. Open one wrong door and I could find myself in a dark closet filled with clutter and really ugly old clothes.
In the Urban Jungle, one wrong move could land you sleeping on cheap polyester sheets or worse, huddled under a discarded zippered sleeping bag on a lumpy sofa. So I am careful to check for comfort levels and a ready availability of blankets. This looks like a good spot.
I've been fortunate today. Pitting my survival skills against the foreign and hostile environment of The Apartment, I have managed to provide for all my needs. Food, heat and a bed for the night. This is what being a survival expert is all about!
Join me next time as I brave the Urban Streets to meet with the ultimate Survival Challenge: An afternoon at a crowded Starbucks.