Survival shows are the biggest thing on TV these days. And why not? After all, we lead such interesting lives, who knows where we might end up? Like the Sahara Desert, for instance.

Okay, now what do you do if you just happen to find yourself in the middle of the Sahara Desert? Well, here’s the good news: there’s at least a 90% probability that you’re not really in the Sahara Desert. You’re only dreaming. So you can probably forget about it. You’re going to wake up at some point.

But let’s say you’ve been there quite a while, you’ve been waiting to wake up, and so far you haven’t. So maybe you really are there. Okay, let’s work with that. Now try to remember how you got there. Did you get to the desert under your own power? That’s not very likely. But if you did, just go back the way you came, all right? Or were you in a plane crash? Again, not very likely. Commercial airlines don’t fly over the Sahara, as far as I know. But if you did, in fact, crash, someone will come and get you, so just wait. The most likely reason, however, is that someone took you out there and left you to die. So the next question is, what did you do to piss them off? Consider that. Not that it will help you get out.

Wilson from Castaway
Little known fact: after you die in the desert, your skin gets so leathery it turns into a volleyball. That’s right, Wilson really did have a soul.
Okay, so there’s nothing left but to walk out of the desert. But you need to know your directions. Here’s how you do it. Wait for the sun to rise and put a rock or something on the sand where you saw the sun come up. Then don’t move for the rest of the day. If it gets too hot, hold your shirt over your head, and you’ll be in the shade. (And remember, this is a dry heat, not like, say, fucking Houston, Texas.) Then watch where the sun goes down, and put another rock there. Then draw a line between the two rocks. That’s east and west. Now just make a perpendicular bisector like you learned in geometry, and that gives you north and south. So now you have your four directions.

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Don’t try to go east or west. Why? Because the Sahara is longer east-west than it is north-south, right? Okay. If you go north, eventually you’ll hit the Mediterranean Ocean, although the terrain is bad all the way to the coast. If you go south, you’ll eventually get into some jungle, where you might meet people sooner. But remember it’s a jungle, so what kind of people are you going to meet? If they’re your kind, you might as well go for it. Otherwise, go north. At least you’ll be going away from the equator, so it should start to get a little cooler.

Finding water is the next important thing, because you probably don’t have any left by now. One good trick is to put your ear to the ground and listen for an underground stream. If you think you hear one, try digging. Otherwise, follow the sound in whatever direction it gets louder. This means you’re getting to an oasis. An oasis is caused by tectonic plates that smash into each other and make deep cracks in the earth, and water flows into the cracks and comes up at the oasis. That might not be absolutely correct, but it makes sense to me.

Another good trick is to follow any animals, because they can hear all this underground stuff better than you can, and they know where the water is. Of course, you can only do this at night, since desert animals don’t go out in the daytime.

As for food, there isn’t any, so just forget about it.

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If you’re in a desert other than the Sahara, the best rule to follow is this: walk away from the equator and toward the nearest pole, because eventually it’s got to get colder, right? So in the Northern Hemisphere, you walk north, and in the Southern Hemisphere, you walk south. If you’re not sure what hemisphere you’re in, you’re a fucking dumbass.

Okay, so if you’ve followed all my advice, and you’re still stuck, and things look totally hopeless, there’s still a very slight chance it’s an elaborate dream and you’ll wake up and be okay. Probably that is not going to happen, however, and you’re really in the desert and are going to die. I’m very sorry, but don’t blame me. At least I tried to help. And where were your friends all this time? Out having a good time and not even wondering where you were! But I stuck with you until the end, didn’t I? That’s right. So, morally and legally, I’m in the clear, which is what matters most.