Guide to Survival, Series

Guide to Survival: The Damsel

By Symon Kenny, Uganda:

Movie-ville is a great place to be for a damsel. The weather's usually nice, the storekeepers are friendly, and you'll occasionally watch a car chase or two at least once in your lifetime. There's always a sale and somehow you'll be one of the first to know about it, regardless of where you live. It's also a place where your life depends a lot on luck, whether the abundance or lack of it. A damsel will, against multiple odds, always cross paths with the hero, who will for some reason always become infatuated with her, unless they are related. But that still doesn't rule it out completely. Still, as a movie damsel, you might frequently find yourself in uncomfortable situations that will require the hero to do some very dumb things in order to save your bumbling self, and thus lengthening the movie by half an hour, which is not good for us. It makes it much more difficult to hold in the pee.  Should you find yourself short on luck and in need of a distress-free life, here's what you should know.

Tip #1: Listen to simple instructions. Things like “Run! Don't look back” or “Stay here, don't move!” should never be lost in translation. Doing otherwise will alter the course of events that will most likely end up with you being needlessly captured and inexplicably being the lynchpin in a useless negotiation.

Tip #2: You're not super-strong or skilled. Try not to 'help' the hero accomplish his goals when you don't even have the requirements to do so. And tagging along just so you can help him 'reset the switch to the nuclear reactor' isn't valid. If anything, it will only prolong his quest. If the hero is super-strong, super-fast, a highly trained Black-Ops specialist, or an expert hacker, it really diminishes your capacity to help. But if you need to be relevant to him, being able to at least shoot a gun straight will suffice.

Tip #3: If you must watch the climactic battle between the hero and the villain, do try to watch from a safe distance and out of audible range. It will do the hero no good for you to keep yelling at him while he's trying to vanquish his foe. If he's really a hero, he should be able to do so without your interruptions.

Tip #4: Learn to climb. Just take the time to get acquainted with the basics of climbing/clinging onto stuff. Strengthen those hands and arms, girl! Why should the hero let go of his good chance of stopping the villain while he tries to rescue you as you sit helplessly in the corner of a bus that's about to explode. Really? The hero should always be focused on the task at hand.

Tip #5: If you know how to fight, at least try to fight without whimpering like a puppy. If the hero believes you can handle yourself, and hears whimpering, he's likely to get unceremoniously stabbed while he looks over at you to see what's up. The only sound he should hear from you is a cry of victory as the blood of your vanquished foe drips from your blade.

Tip #6: Don't be a total dunce. Try not to cry because a door won't open or you can't find your special necklace that was given to you by a deceased close relative, while the building is collapsing around you. Now, we are aware that there's such a thing as being 'frozen with fear', but that never helps when things are falling around you. If everyone else is running, you run too. If you die in the process, at least the movie will be shorter, and we'll not miss our popcorn.

Tip #7: If you find yourself accompanying a hero on a quest of supernatural leaning, don't dress in white or black. Do not investigate strange noises in the dark, alone. Do not go to the kitchen, for it is filled with sharp objects. Do not wear skimpy attire, for those things tend to attract ghouls as well. I'm yet to see a damsel wearing jeans and a sweatshirt being taken to be offered as a sacrifice to Head Ghoul. Don't go out into the forest, for you will most definitely trip and get caught. In fact, try not to run at all. But if you must, wear flat shoes that fit.

In short, just make like Sarah Connor and wear military boots, aviator sunglasses, cargo pants and a tank top. Let's see who looks helpless now!

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