Bad news. Just as the old gypsy woman at the wharf warned you, that whale-watching cruise you signed up for has ended in tragedy. You’re thinking now that maybe you should have listened to her as she pointed a crooked finger at you and bellowed something about a curse after you accidentally ran over her dog in the parking lot. But in your defense: a) you had 10 a.m. departure and weren’t about to miss a chance to see some goddamn blue whales, and b) jeez lady it was an ACCIDENT!
Anywho, now that the boat is at the bottom of the ocean and her shrill warnings about the “horrid vengeance of the sea” or whatever are still ringing in your ears, the only fact that really matters is that there are only two known survivors here. It’s you, and one of the fighters from the UFC 272 fight card. Together, you drift aimlessly in this small lifeboat, listening to the waves lap against its meager hull while you both ponder what’s left of your futures and occasionally brainstorm some rescue ideas.
Shit has gone sideways, in other words. But as you force yourself to look on the bright side, you realize that this is a great chance to really get to know a fighter from Saturday night’s UFC pay-per-view in Las Vegas.
Rafael dos Anjos: The whole time you guys have been sitting here together he has never stopped scowling. Then again, he was scowling when he got on the boat, too. He even scowled as that blue whale swam right up to the stern and, after fixing you with one watery eye, smashed a hole in the side with one wallop of its tail. Rafael was standing next to you when it happened. “The whale, she looked right at you,” RDA said as water flooded the ship. “You think so?” you replied. “I think she might have been looking at you.” After a few hours in the lifeboat you try to lift his spirits by offering him half of your last piece of gum. At first he offers no reply as he stares out at the endless horizon. Maybe he didn’t hear you? You tear the gum in two and hold one half out to him. He doesn’t move. “She was looking at you,” he says again. “Deus tenha misericórdia.”
Bryce Mitchell: Jesus Christ, this motherfucker has not stopped talking about various “deep state” conspiracies since the ship went down. Now he’s somehow convinced himself that it’s all a setup to take his guns away. “You have guns on you right now?” you ask. “Hell yeah, brother,” he says. “Always.” You tell him good, and then close your eyes and point at the center of your own forehead. All you ask is that he make it quick. You can’t listen to another fucking second of this.
Jorge Masvidal: You know, it’s weird. He doesn’t seem that worried. Why isn’t he worried? He’s just sitting there across from you with a strange little smirk on his face, occasionally closing his eyes and throwing his head back like a man soaking up sun by a swimming pool. “Jorge,” you finally say. “I don’t know about you, but I’m a little concerned.” He looks at you, surprised. “For instance,” you say, “we don’t have any food or water.” He nods along as if he understands, then explains that he has already considered this problem and arrived at a solution. “I’m going to drink your blood and eat your flesh, bro,” he says. Oh. Well. OK. At least that’s settled.
Jalin Turner: “Don’t worry, little buddy,” he whispers down the front of his life jacket. “We’re going to be just fine.” You look at him. He looks at you. “Jalin,” you say. “Do you have a tarantula in there?” His eyes dart from side to side. “No,” he says, obviously lying. Fuck this, you’re swimming for it.
Kevin Holland: Try as you might, you can’t seem to get him to take this situation seriously. He’s just continually talking shit, saying stuff about how he’s “built different,” and therefore isn’t worried about dehydration or exposure. “Or sharks,” he adds, unprompted. “Fuck is a shark gonna do to me? I saw all the ‘Jaws’ movies. Even the one with what’s his name, fucking Anthony Hopkins.” You tell him he’s thinking of Michael Caine, who was in “Jaws IV: The Revenge.” No, he insists, Anthony Hopkins was in that motherfucker too. You’re quite certain he wasn’t, and even though you know you should just let it go, you can’t. The two of you argue about it until you’re both unable to form words with your dry, cracked lips. The dark veil of death drops before your eyes, bringing the debate to a merciful end. The only sound now is the boat bobbing on the water. The sea itself seems to exhale with relief.
Brian Kelleher: You guys aren’t out there more than fifteen minutes before he builds a radio out of his digital watch, some signal flares, and the zippers from the lightweight yet sensible jacket that he brought along on the journey just in case he needed it. He calls for help and before you know it the two of you are being hauled aboard a fishing boat. You’re so grateful to be saved, but Brian seems distracted by the sorrow on the face of the ship’s captain. He inquires after the man, who apologizes for his tears and explains that his wife of forty years has recently died. Brian listens patiently, comforts him with some words from Marcus Aurelius, and brews the man some tea on a hot plate. By the time you pull into port they’re making plans to go on a cross-country motorcycle ride together. Everyone seems to have forgotten you’re even there.
Colby Covington: For the first hour he seemed like he was holding it together fairly well. But as the day wears on he seems more and more detached from reality. First he started saying things like, “Don’t worry, bro. They’ll have a chopper out looking for me soon. I’m too valuable for them to leave me out here.” Then it was stuff like, “President Trump is probably on the phone with the Coast Guard right now, just making sure they have all my favorite snacks ready for when they pick me up.” You decided to just let that remark slide. He’d snap out of it soon, you thought. But now he seems to be spiraling out of control, muttering things like, “I’m the real champion, I’m important,” and “people only say those mean things because they’re jealous of me that’s all it is.” You tell him that you’ve read as many as three internet articles on survival situations, and the most important thing is to stay calm. But he’s not listening. Instead he’s shouting about being in the VIP section of the club, like the superstar he is, living that high life. “Colby,” you say. “You’re scaring me, man.” He leans over the side, scooping up seawater with his hands and drinking it down. “Popping bottles!” he shouts. “I’m famous and I’m never gonna die!”
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