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Saturday, November 22, 2014

The castaway with a wheelie bin


Several months ago, Alvaro Cerezo emailed me to ask to be put in touch with my American friend Matt who owns a tiny island in the Kingdom of Tonga to which Alvaro wanted to ship some would-be castaways.

Like the legendary Alonso Quixano who, having read too many chivalric novels, renamed himself "Don Quixote" to revive chivalry, Alvaro watched Tom Hanks' movie Castaway one time too many, renamed himself General Manager of Docastaway, the self-styled "first travel company in the world to specialize in holidays and experiences in remote desert Islands", and set forth to charge thousands of euros to would-be castaways whose wavering mental faculties allow them to survive weeks, if not months, on a desert island but who can't find such island for themselves.

What a brilliant business model! And it seems to work - well, at least for his "client" Ian Argus Stuart who can't get enough of it, having first got himself "cast away" on some Indonesian island, and who is now doing another Tom Hanks on a Tongan island - I have been asked not to divulge its name which is reminiscent of the foodstuff made from coagulated soy milk but with a final 'a' - complete with iPhone, iPad, satellite dish, solar panel, and wheelie bin (whose lid had been embossed with the instructions THIS SIDE FACING KERB by some thoughtful local council who are now short of a wheelie bin whereas good ol' Ian is short of a kerb to face it to ☺)

When Alonso Quixano awakened from his dream and fully recovered his sanity, he renounced his previous existence and apologised for the harm he had caused and even went so far as to include a provision in his will that would disinherit his niece should she marry a man who reads books of chivalry. What will Alvaro do?