The first time I played the Escape old time radio show, I was hooked. While this series certainly has its share of cheese, for the most part, the tales of “high adventure” are really good.

Had I listened to these tales as a kid, I would have been amazed. Growing up in the eighties, I was an Indiana Jones nut and this show seems to have channeled the spirit of the character.

This episodes is a great one … a group of travelers make their way through the jungle to find some uranium, and when they strike the motherload, they come to realize that they can’t trust each other. And so the bloodbath begins!

This is an episode of double-crosses but this universe is a just one and each double cross provides wonderful jungle fodder.

Stop reading now, and give it a listen. You won’t be disappointed. Did I mention it stars Vincent Price?

Listen to the episode here:

You can also download it here:
Escape__Bloodbath__June-30-1950.mp3 (5MB)

It’s funny how the folks in this episode make a classic mistake made by many famous mountaineers. Reaching some crazy remote destination is great, but it only counts if you make it back to tell someone about it. And in this scenario, the best time to backstab your companions is not at the moment of the find, but rather, when civilization is within walking distance.

And here’s the thing … murder isn’t necessary. All you need to do is sneak off when the entire group is out of danger. Then keep running until you register the claim. After which, hide for like ever. Okay, maybe you will have to murder them after all. What do I know about double-crossing people?

Still, I just love how each guy takes a swing at the double-cross ball and completely whiff it. Yet, Vincent Price just never learns. How many times does that guy need to get screwed over before he realizes that his companions are pretty shady?

That said, there is a funny bit. Vincent is terrified of the water due to the piranhas. Granted, having a person being munched by them, the water must have been a little dangerous but I wonder if he would have been fine once the piranhas were done.

I was watching one of the David Attleboro documentaries and it was mentioned that piranhas are only really dangerous in the moment of frenzy. One of the camera operators actually got in the water with them.

In fact, here is a video where a guy takes a swim in a pool of piranhas (spoiler warning: he doesn’t get eaten).

In any case, it’s a great tale. Rule of thumb, when traveling to South America with friends, you may want to search for coffee instead of riches.

By Brian Moakley

Brian Douglas Moakley is a writer and technologist who lives amongst the quiet hills in New England. When not reading tales of high adventure, he is often telling such stories to all who will listen.

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