Deserted Island

The Puzzler

TOM: You're in a lot of trouble!

RAY: You're done for! It's pushing the flames in your direction at a rate of, say, two miles an hour.

TOM: Yeah?

RAY: So if you run to the other end of the island, you've got five hours until it reaches you, and you know that everything on the island is going to be toasted, including you, unless you think quick.

TOM: Yeah!

RAY: And don't forget what you got. You got a flashlight.

TOM: Let me look at that list again.

RAY: Let's go back to the list.

TOM: A life-size poster of Ginger Grant.

RAY: Right.

TOM: A flashlight.

RAY: Right.

TOM: A box of matches.

RAY: Yeah, a lot of good they're going to do you! The island's already on fire, right?

TOM: A space blanket.

RAY: And a case of San Pellegrino.

TOM: How big is the case? Is it like a thousand gallons?

RAY: It's a case. Six, eight, 12 bottles.

TOM: Yeah, OK.

RAY: You could douse yourself with the San Pellegrino, right?

TOM: Yeah! No, that's not going to last long.

RAY: That's not going to work. No. You'll be burnt up.

TOM: You could douse the space blanket, but it won't absorb any of the water because it's, what? A space blanket.

RAY: Right. You could cover yourself with the space blanket and hope that the trees leave enough oxygen behind for you to breathe.

TOM: You could do all those things.

RAY: However, you save yourself with the matches. You turn around with your back to the fire.

TOM: Yeah?

RAY: And you light on fire the grass in front of you. The same wind that's blowing that fire toward you, is going to blow the new fire toward the end of the island and leave behind a place where there's nothing combustible.

TOM: Oh! Man! This is great!

RAY: And you'll escape, but you'll only last two more days because there'll be nothing to eat on the island, and you'll be dead, but you'll have gotten two more days!

TOM: And you would've won the Puzzler!

RAY: That too! And every firefighter knows that this is a classic firebreak.

TOM: Yeah, this is great!

RAY: Yeah, Ken Rogers said, as soon as you light that match, the wind changes direction!

TOM: And then you're really done.

RAY: Now, who's our winner, Tommy?

TOM: The winner is the guy on the island, whose name is, oh, Margaret Reynolds. That's a funny name for a guy. From Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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