How to Wrestle Free from an Alligator: 4. If its jaws are closed on something you want to remove (for example, a limb), tap or punch it on the snout.
Though it's being marketed as a humorous title--after all, it's unlikely you'll be called upon to land a plane, jump from a motorcycle to a moving car, or win a swordfight--the information contained in The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook is all quite sound. Authors Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht consulted numerous experts in their fields (they're cited at the end of the book) to discover how to survive various and sundry awful events. Parachute doesn't open? Your best bet for survival is to hook your arms through the straps of a fellow jumper's chute--and even then you're likely to dislocate both shoulders and break both legs. Car sinking in water? Open the window immediately to equalize pressure, then open the car door and swim to the surface. Buried in an avalanche? Spit on the snow--it will tell you which direction is really up. Then dig as fast as you can.
Each survival skill is explained in simple steps with helpful illustrations. Most stress the need to be prepared--both mentally and physically. For example, to escape from quicksand, you will need to lay a pole on the surface of the quicksand, flop on your back atop the pole, and pull your legs out one by one. No pole? No luck. "When walking in quicksand country, carry a stout pole--it will help you get out should you need to."
Hopefully you'll never need to know how to build a fire without matches, perform a tracheotomy, or treat a bullet wound. But in the words of survival evasion resistance escape instructor "Mountain" Mel Deweese, "You never know." --Sunny Delaney
From Publishers Weekly
You've just leapt off a building and, noticing a Dumpster below, you thank your stars that you've spent several hours listening to this cassette, and you can now land in said Dumpster without breaking your back. Although it is rather unlikely that you will ever use any of the material presented in the book how to perform a tracheotomy, or bring a plane in for an emergency landing these things do happen every once in a while. To someone, somewhere maybe. So it couldn't hurt to bone up on some skills, right? Though neither written nor read in a humorous manner, the book nevertheless amuses in a strange way; the decision to group numerous bizarre crises into two hours of tape, not to mention some of the particularly far-fetched scenarios ("How to Leap from a Motorcycle to a Car" or "How to Escape from Killer Bees") often exceed our expectations of absurdity. You can imagine needing to know CPR some day, but how many of us will have the opportunity to wrestle free from an alligator? As a man who has seemingly leapt into Dumpsters and jumped into moving vehicles (or had a stunt double perform these things), Reynolds seems a wise choice for a reader. Unfortunately, his presentation is flat and unenthusiastic, and it sounds like he's reading the material for the first time. Misplaced emphases render several passages difficult to understand. However, Reynolds's familiar voice, combined with the offbeat material, affords some camp appeal in the tradition of outdated high school safety films. Based on the Chronicle paperback.
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