Would you know what to do with a dead rat?


I used to think I was mad. I used to think I was shameless. Until I stumbled upon MJ and her Infomaniac blog. While her blog may tickle some people's fancy, you should be warned, some of the images will make your butter curdle and your wives turn into pillars of salt.

Now, MJ is a very private woman but I recently found this photo of her (above). I think the picture speaks for itself. She is very much the kind of lass and who could club a bison to death and bring it home to the cave. If only we were all as talented with a club (sigh). Anyway, she recently put a list of Life Skills 101 up on her blog, the kind of stuff you needed to know if you were to survive in ye olden days. She has seventeen of these skills and I think I have five.

1. Use a bow and arrow
2. Load and fire a musket
3. Duel with pistol
4. Joust
5. Throw a battleax
6. Forge a sword
7. Fight with a rapier and dagger
8. Besiege a castle
9. Defend a castle
10. Make and smoke a peace pipe
11. Make a flint cutting tool
12. Brew mead
13. Make bread
14. Roast chestnuts on an open fire
15. Make hard cheese
16. Make butter
17. Make ice cream
18. Keep bees and harvest honey
19. Tap and make maple syrup
20. Find berries in the wild
21. Can food
22. Archery fish
23. Gut and clean fish
24. Keep chickens
25. Pluck a chicken
26. Roast a wild boar
27. Cook on a range
28. Dig and use a pit oven
29. Make a fire without matches
30. Track animals
31. Forecast the weather
32. Tease, card, & spin wool
33. Make natural dye from plants
34. Weave a chair seat
35. Weave a basket
36. Make soap
37. Make a broom
38. Sweep a chimney
39. Chop down a tree with an ax
40. Carve a totem pole
41. Carve a canoe
42. Make a barrel
43. Thatch a roof
44. Build a wall with wattle and daub
45. Build a dry stone wall
46. Dig a well
47. Plow a field
48. Build a log bridge
49. Build a log cabin
50. Build a pyramid
51. Embalm a body
52. Treat a battle wound
53. Set broken bones
54. Groom a horse
55. Shoe a horse
56. Mount and dismount a horse
57. Make and throw a lasso
58. Milk a cow
59. Hunt deer safely in woodlands
60. Mount a stag’s head
61. Shear a sheep
62. Care for rope
63. Tie a hangman’s noose
64. Read Roman numerals
65. Use an abacus
66. Operate a telegraph machine
67. Send smoke signals
68. Cure people with leeches and maggots
69. Read palms
70. Behave at a medieval banquet
71. Read a coat of arms
72. Address royalty
73. Grow herbs
74. Use herbs in your personal grooming
75. Care for leather boots
76. Wear opera gloves
77. Wear a Roman toga
78. Wash clothes by hand
79. Care for your period wig
80. Play hopscotch
81. Play jacks
82. Use a hoola hoop
83. Play marbles
84. Play real tennis
85. Play stickball
86. Make a pair of shoes
87. Make a hammock
88. Make a quill pen
89. Make papyrus
90. Write a sonnet
91. Write calligraphy
92. Understand opera
93. Make a corn husk doll
94. Make and play a didgeridoo
95. Ride a penny-farthing
96. Make a cave painting
97. Make a Roman mosaic
98. Pan for gold
99. Clean and polish silver
100. Blow glass
101. Make a stained-glass window.

My argument with the divine MJ was that while I can bake bread or even chocolate croissants I'm not sure this list is that useful these days. I mean how many people thatch roofs? Two in the Cotswolds, I should guess. I would say you only need three skills as a lady after, say, a nuclear war:

1. a strong stomach to be able to kill other people and eat them.

2. sexual skills to stimulate the gentlemen so they will do all the stick rubbing and wattling and daubing.

3. The ability to make sexy shoes out of animal carcasses.


Rat Shoe


Tarantula Shoe

I have all three skills so I am sorted. But what about you? What skills from the Life Skills 101 List do you have, and what other skills do you have?