Middle Class Problems vs. Robert Falcon Scott Problems

scott's party at the south pole

One hundred years ago, Sir Robert Falcon Scott spent his last hours scrawling missives to loved ones in a frozen Antarctic hut. The British explorer had intended to be the first man to lead a team to the South Pole, but when he arrived, it turned out Roald Amundsen had beaten him there. To add insult to injury, Scott and his entire party died on the way back to the coast—bummer.

There is but one moral of Scott’s story: Modern life ain’t so bad. All middle class problems fade in comparison to Robert Falcon Scott problems, which were thoroughly documented in the diary and letters he left behind. For example:

Middle class problems: “Ugh. I need to get gas, but $3.85 a gallon is practically a crime against humanity.”
Scott problems: “We can expect little from man now except the possibility of extra food at the next depot. It will be real bad if we get there and find the same shortage of oil. Shall we get there?”

Middle class problems: “Why even have a sample sale when the only shoe sizes they have left are 5 and 11?”
Scott problems: “Things steadily downhill. Oates’ foot worse. He has rare pluck and must know that he can never get through. He asked Wilson if he had a chance this morning, and of course Bill had to say he didn’t know. In point of fact he has none.”

Middle class problems: “I wanted to go to the mall for lunch, but the only parking spots still open were on the roof of the garage.”
Scott problems: “No idea there could be temperatures like this at this time of year with such winds. Truly awful outside the tent. Must fight it out to the last biscuit, but can’t reduce rations.”

Middle class problems: “Who sets the thermostat in this office, the abominable snowman?”
Scott problems: “The cold is intense, -40 at midday. My companions are unendingly cheerful, but we are all on the verge of serious frostbites, and though we constantly talk of fetching through I don’t think anyone of us believes it in his heart.”

Middle class problems: “Seriously, scheduling meetings before 9 a.m. should be illegal.”
Scott problems: “He slept through the night before last, hoping not to wake; but he woke in the morning—yesterday. It was blowing a blizzard. He said, ‘I am just going outside and may be some time.’ He went out into the blizzard and we have not seen him since.”

Middle class problems: “If I see one more ‘Shit People Say’ video, I’m going to lose it.”
Scott problems: “We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more.”

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