One Coconut Short

Were you among the generation longing for an  island laboratory in which to play mad scientist? What would it be like – free to run amok, inhibited by nothing other than your imagination and the occasional blunder by an inept First Mate!

The news of the passing of the actor, Russell Johnson aka “The Professor” immediately brought me back to my childhood. He will be forever engrained in my mind, and certain to be the genius  that will someday inspire me to fix our own GPS with nothing but borrowed hair pins and a coconut as my hubby and I sail the oceans. Sadly, we have no transistor radio on board.

I confess, I have had many laughs critiquing the validity of the entire premise of the Gilligan’s Island. But after several years of sailing on our own boat, I have new respect for the Professor and all he had to endure. Could there be anything worse than being stranded with such a group? I have more than once found myself contemplating jumping overboard to escape the sound of children bickering over the last granola bar as though we have left civilization forever. Had I been in Professor’s position, my time would have been spent constructing an electric outer perimeter to keep away the “stupid” while I worked.

I have also learned I misjudged the main “flaws” of the show:

1) If it was only a “3 hour tour”, how could they have gotten so lost? Trust me, it does NOT take 3 hours on a boat to become hopelessly lost !

2) And why would they have had all that luggage? Even on a day sail, I take an entire bag full of “stuff” – there is nothing worse than being miles out of port when hit by spray and waves and faced with spending the rest of the day soaking wet. Though Ginger’s choices were questionable….

Or maybe I need to step up my wardrobe!

3) All the chances to be rescued …… So many episodes where just alittle more effort or coordination could have resulted in their rescue. Island life wasn’t perfect, but really, who would want to go back ?

Consider the show interesting from a social and economic aspect. (Clearly, I put way to much thought into TV as a kid). Few circumstances have the ability to equalize the way the shipwreck did. In the flash of a lightening bolt, the Howell’s money became of no use. Ginger was no longer any more famous than anyone else. Ok, the Professor was still clearly smarter, but his status was severely hampered due to the lack of electric conductivity of coconuts. And he was always one short….

Hmm. Now that I think of it, if we were to translate our boat into “Gilligan’s Island” terms ….I would be the inept First Mate…


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