The Week to Survive

by Grace Dunham, Robert Sandler & Emma Wohl

published December 6, 2013





MomBigShopper12 12.1.13: Who else likes to order DVDs, electronic accessories, and brand-name sneakers on Cyber Monday? It’s when my favorite online shopping sites start their holiday sales. It’s really convenient, because I can shop from work and avoid the Black Friday crowds, which are a hassle and also unsafe because sometimes people die!


MomBigShopper12 12.2.13: Hey, Guys? Does anyone know what happened to,, (for my son!) and Those were some of my favorite sites for online shopping, and now they’re gone. Where did they go? Are they going to come back?


MomBigShopper12 12.3.13: I googled this! Did anyone else google this? It says the government took hundreds of websites into custody. Is that where my favorite online shopping sites went? Would love some answers!


MomBigShopper12 12.4.13: Wow! I am learning a lot. Is anyone else?


MomBigShopper12 12.4.13: Thought some of you might be interested to know what I’ve been learning! The government has a project for stopping crime called Operation In Our Sites. I read about it. They have taken thousands of illegal websites into custody since 2010 for tricking shoppers into buying fake Chinese Nike sneakers and other counterfeit items. This is upsetting.


MomBigShopper12 12.4.13: It was called Project Cyber Monday IV! They have done it four times!


MomBigShopper12 12.5.13: Does anyone know what it means for a website to be taken into custody? This is new to me.


MomBigShopper12 12.5.13: I also googled this. The government is allowed to take websites the same way it takes other illegal things like drugs and stolen property! They tell Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents which websites are illegal and then they sieze them. They can do that because .com and .net are American! Why are they American?


MomBigShopper12 12.5.13: I googled “why is .com American?” and I learned something interesting! A company runs all .com and .net websites. It is called VeriSign and it is in Virginia. It is an American company. This means the government can take them. I did not know that. —GD



THE DARING PRISON ESCAPE is a classic narrative. Clint Eastwood shovels through the wall of his cell with a spoon in Escape from Alcatraz. Tim Robbins’ character in The Shawshank Rebellion flees to Mexico. The actions of Jean Valjean, arguably the most famous failed escapist in Western literature, are immortalized in text and song. All these guys had a reason. They were wrongly accused, persecuted, or they stole a loaf of bread to feed their family. For all of them, survival depends on escape.

     On November 29, an inmate awaiting release at a minimum-security prison in southern Sweden sought to join their ranks, motivated by a small problem, but one whose resolution became a matter of surviving with his sanity intact—a toothache.

     The unidentified 51-year-old man broke out of Östragård prison in Vänersborg, Sweden two days before his release, spending a day evading capture despite wearing a locating device. For his first act as a (temporarily) free man, he made an appointment with the nearest dentist. The man had been complaining to prison guards, showing them his swollen gums and asking for dental care for four days, but to no avail, Swedish newspaper The Local reported. He then took matters into his own hands. After receiving the care he needed—the tooth was inflamed and needed to be removed—the man handed himself in to the police and returned to prison, and to his own mortal life far from the realm of the escape myth.

     Östragård guards gave the escapee a stern talking-to and added an additional day, under extra security precautions, to his sentence to make up for the one he spent outside. Assuming he doesn’t have any other particularly pressing dental issues, the man should be free by now.

     No word yet, however, on the state of his heart after receiving the bill from his dentist. —EW