First off, I would like to thank Wilderness Survivors Anonymous for the invitation to speak about the various stigmas facing our small societal minority. Now, I’m sure you all recognize me from my incredibly popular show Man vs. Wild... please save the wild applause for the end of the speech... and even though it was recently cancelled, I can promise I’ll soon be back on the air.
Really, that’s why I’m giving this speech, to tell all you amateur wilderness survivors to persevere, no matter the setback. I myself have suffered many, just take a look at my illustrious career. Despite the fact that I scaled Everest at 23 and have crossed the North Atlantic in a rubber dinghy, the public’s eye seems to gravitate to my less noble feats. For example, I am the butt of many a joke referencing the fact that I have eaten an unusually wide variety of eyeballs and an even wider variety of squirming insects, washing it all down with copious amounts of my own urine. Apparently managing to fool the average Discovery Channel viewer into thinking I’m the quintessential man’s man while having one of the snottiest English accents you’ll ever hear isn't enough to keep away the criticism. My detractors say that the suspiciously large crew I bring along helps me extensively and that I don’t even spend days on end in the wild. Drunkards accost me on the street and say hurtful things like “Man vs. Wild, more like Man vs. An Overnight Stay in a Motel.”
The worst part is, I started to let them get to me. Just the other day, I accidentally locked myself out of my car. With no help for tens of meters in either direction, naturally, my first instinct was to drink my own urine, so as to stay hydrated. But, remembering the ignorant critics who would have called such a move barbaric or even an overreaction I hesitated, right there in the open on the sidewalk next to my car. As you know, in the wild, a moment’s hesitation is all that separates life from a humiliating trip to the hospital with a sprained ankle.
Sure, those who are not part of our tightly knit community may think our behaviour is both hysteric and amusing, but let me recount another anecdote that should lay all your doubts to rest. I had a friend who, after a boating accident, found himself floating on a tiny raft in the middle of the Pacific. He decided against giving himself a fetid water enema, so as to stay hydrated. I’m going to let the significance of those words sink in for a moment. My friend went directly against the brilliant example I gave on my show, and refused to do what he had to do with the only piece of 4 inch PVC pipe he had on hand. Some may find that funny, but you know what happened to that friend? He was killed by a coyote in an unrelated incident. Not so funny now is it?
Things don’t get any better on the annual family vacay, evidently there is no such thing as fun for the whole family. Last year I treated my three sons, Jesse, Marmaduke and Huckleberry, and my wife Shara to a trip to the jungles of Borneo. Never have I heard more complaining from a group of people stuck in a soggy tent for two weeks. Boa attacks were common. Morale was low. My wife would complain “why can’t we have a fire?” because that would attract the alligators, dear. I didn’t even get any thanks for dragging my whining spouse from a pit of quicksand, though admittedly I had pushed her in so that I would have a chance to demonstrate the proper escape technique. Amongst family, just like in society at large, I learnt that there is no pleasing everyone.
In conclusion, I would like to urge all of you wilderness survivors in the audience, who have been persecuted for sharing my particular passion, not to give in to societal pressures. Our hobby may destroy our bodies and our relationships, but we must remember that we can’t please everyone and persevere, no matter what complains or criticism we must endure.
Also, don't forget to watch my new show on NBC, "Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls", which premieres on the 8th of July, 2013.
for another humorous article, please see
and for those who wish to live the full Bear Grylls experience without having to resort to drinking their own fluids, there's always
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