Rambo III

After the radiator coolant was gone, the Belgians started sipping gasoline. You would too […] the Saharans have recommended it to me as a way of staying off battery acid. The woman wrote that it seemed to help. They drank their urine. She reported that it was difficult at first, but that afterward it wasn’t so bad.

The boy was the weakest, and was suffering terribly. In desperation they burned their car, hoping someone would see the smoke. No one did. They killed their son to stop his pain. Later the husband cut himself and the wife drank his blood. At his request she somehow broke his neck with a rock. Alone she no longer wanted to live. Still, the Sahara was fabulous, she wrote, and she was glad to have come. She would do it again. She regretted only one thing — that she had not seen Sylvester Stallone in Rambo III. Those were her last lines. The family’s remains were found later, and returned to Tamanrasset.


William Langewiesche, from The World in Its Extreme (1992)