You can survive a shark attack by hitting back, a giant octopus by pulling away. Do not go limp. Try somersaults and aim for the surface. If lobsters escape in the kitchen, it’s okay. You can retrieve them. Use a pot lid to herd and wear oven mitts. Grab from behind.
There are methods, you know, for discouraging an attack by mountain lion Hold your ground. Do not run. Do not crouch or turn. If wearing a jacket, open it out to appear larger than you are.
There are techniques you can use to wrestle free from an alligator, evade a charging reindeer, an angry gorilla, a runaway camel, and killer bees. If there are piranhas in the river, you can cross at night.
You can avoid sinking in quicksand if you carry a stout pole. You can smother a grease fire with baking soda.
You can land a hang glider in a wind shear, survive a riptide, drive in a blizzard, find water on a desert island.
Name another disaster. I bet there’s a way. But what do you do when it doesn’t come? How do you survive the space between calamities? What do you do with the sudden shattering behind the next breath when the laughing child before you, so suffused in the laughter of the moment, claps his hands to announce, “Again!”
*Ideas for this list were culled from The Complete Worst-Case Survival Handbook, by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht. Chronicle Books, 1999.