Archive for November 13th, 2009

What America Tells Its Kids About Sex:

Friday, November 13th, 2009


“Sex is a dirty, shameful thing. Make sure you
save it for someone you love. Any questions?”

“EEEEE!!! Quicksannn….Glub!”

Friday, November 13th, 2009


In those old Black & White jungle movies, there were few ways more horrible to die than getting sucked under by quicksand.  The poor moke would thrash about, scream bloodcurdling cries for help, and desperately try to pull himself out with one, skinny tree branch conveniently placed over the muck to tease him.  Then – “snap”, “last scream”, and “glub”.

Of course, I can think of a half-dozen jungle deaths I personally would find even more distasteful – such as being shredded like tissue paper by a pack of snarling animals or getting slowly crushed like a rat by an Anaconda – but that’s just me.  Actually, there didn’t seem to be many good ways to “go peacefully into that good, jungle night.”  If the Zulus didn’t laughingly torture you to death, the gigantic bugs or snakes would make short work of your pathetic, barely-worth-eating body.

So why were B&W characters dropping like flies into countless pits of quicksand besides the dramatic effect?  The main reason was cost.  Before animation, quicksand deaths were fast and cheap to film on the back lots of Hollywood.  Even before PETA, getting a starving pack of tigers or a 20-foot Anaconda to perform on cue was probably harder than dragging a drunk, pilled-out Marilyn Monroe out of her trailer and onto the set.  When it came to quicksand (or Marilyn) there really was LESS there – than met the camera’s eye.

Quicksand is made up of your basic water plus sand – or clay – or silt.  It most often has the consistency of mud.  It has no magical, unexplainable sucking powers.  Your chances of surviving a quicksand dip depend on two factors: depth and your ability to stay calm.

Depth should be obvious.  If you step into quicksand with a depth of 1-foot, all you’re going to get is a muddy shoe and sock.  Too bad. Next time, watch where you’re walking, dolt.  If you step into a pool over your head, you may have problems – go to the next paragraph.

The human body can easily float on water. Quicksand is denser than water which means you can more easily float on it. The key is to not panic. Most people who drown in quicksand are usually those who freak out and begin flailing their arms and legs.

With quicksand, the more you struggle, the faster you’ll sink. If you just relax, your body will float and you can slowly breaststroke to shore – to be eaten by the snakes and tigers.