Seagull: Hi. Mind if I join you on your raft?
Me: Did you just talk to me?
Seagull (looking around): Do you see a flying fish here?
Me: No. I guess you are talking to me. But why a flying fish?
Seagull: It was the last thing you saw.
Me: Last thing I saw when?
Seagull: Before the crash.
Me: I’m confused.
Seagull: You were in a 40 foot hover, searching for a Soviet submarine, when the transmission froze up.
Me: Oh. Then what?
Seagull: Well, you crashed. The helicopter is about 7,000 feet below us, halfway down the slope of the mid-Atlantic ridge.
Me: Where’s my crew?
Seagull: You’re the only one I see.
Me: I think I remember. Wasn’t it at night?
Seagull: How would I know? I wasn’t there.
Me: Then how do you know about it?
Seagull: The flying fish told me.
Me: Again with the flying fish. Flying fish don’t fly at night.
Seagull: This one does. You were looking right at it. I have to tell you, that really upset it. It’s not respectful to stare.
Me: Right. A sensitive flying fish.
Seagull: It’s the way they are. By the way, thanks for the spot to rest.
Me: Thanks for the lunch.
Me (grabbing the seagull by the feet): Lunch!
Seagull: What are you going to do with that knife?
Me: Get lunch ready.
Seagull: Don’t you know you’re not supposed to eat in a survival situation if you don’t have plenty of water?
Me(letting go of the seagull): I think I remember that from my survival training. I guess this is your lucky day.
Seagull: Actually, it’s your lucky day.
Me: I don’t see that. I’m in a raft, literally in the middle of an ocean, talking to a bird. My helicopter and my crew are at the bottom of the ocean, I have no water and I just realized I’m getting a pretty bad sunburn.
Seagull: I’d like to help but I doubt if I can.
Me: Thanks for the offer. I guess I am getting a little delirious.
Seagull: That’s not surprising. After two days without water I’d be surprised if you weren’t.
Me: Where did the flying fish go?
Seagull: It flew away.
Me: You know that flying fish don’t really fly, don’t you? They just sort of skip across the water for a ways.
Seagull: Well, since seagulls don’t talk, I think your point is moot.
Me: I think my point is that I’m losing my grip. I guess this is how I’m going to die. I always thought my last words would be “Oh, shit” after trying the last thing I could think of to keep an airplane from crashing.
Seagull: If it’s any consolation, the flying fish said those were your exact words right before your helicopter hit the water.
Me: Right. In the middle of a hurricane of spray and noise and splashing, he heard my last words.
Seagull: She, actually. She’s a lip reader.
Me: Well, thanks for the company. I guess you fly off and I die now.
Seagull: We could, but I think that would upset your friends.
Me: My friends are at the bottom of the sea.
Seagull: Not them. I was thinking of that helicopter up there looking for you.
Me: What helicopter?
Seagull: Look to the west.
Me (waving my hands): Hey! Hey! Over here.
Seagull: I don’t think they can hear you. Don’t you have a rescue flare?
Me (pulling out my survival flare and firing it): Right! Here, over here!
Seagull: It looks like they saw your flare, they’re coming this way. I think I’ll be going. You’re going to have plenty of water pretty soon and you haven’t had lunch.
Rescue Swimmer: Hang on, buddy. We’ve got you.
Hoist Operator: Here, sit down. God, we’re glad to see you. We thought you were a goner. What have you been doing?
Me: You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.