�No Phones, No Lights, No Motor Cars, and No Boat!
I absolutely hate it -- hate it -- when someone speaking about Gilligan's Island says something along the lines of:
"They can _______, but they can't fix a hole in a boat?"
The "_______" being "build a coconut radio" or "predict seismic events" or "avoid spiraling into a dark pit of deranged carnality."
As someone who spent every morning of the seventh and eighth grade watching Gilligan's Island, let me clear up this little misconception.
After being marooned, repairing the large gashes in the hull of the Minnow was the castaways' top priority. They were able to come up with enough wood to patch the holes, but had nothing to hold the wood in place -- they didn't have any nails.
The professor tried his best to make some, but, without proper curing procedures (which require very high temperatures), all of his nails came out too brittle or too soft. They seemed doom.
Fortunately, Gilligan stumbled upon a solution. Mary-Ann had whipped up some pancakes... somehow... and Gilligan decided to make some maple syrup. So he and Mary-Ann went around sucking on trees for a bit before finding some relatively inoffensive sap.
At breakfast, it was discovered that Gilligan's sap, instead of simply being delicious, made a very effective glue. The professor (being the professor) clued in to the fact that the waterproof sap would be perfect for fixing the Minnow. Nails were no longer needed. They were saved!
Everyone went about gluing the new boards over the holes in the ship and even coated the entire boat with the sap to make it extra water-tight. This allowed for a very drawn out scene of the Skipper and Gilligan becoming glued to the boat in various ways. Good times were had by all and they were scheduled to leave at high tide. Nothing could go wrong now!
Later, shortly before launch, Gilligan was basking in his status as saviour and was admiring how well his sap had secured a pancake to a plate. He flipped the plate and, quite unexpectedly, the pancake fell off. His glue was apparently not as great after all and, what was worse, it seemed to have actually dissolved some of the pancake and plate. This was troubling indeed.
Gilligan ran to the boat to tell everyone about the glue, but it was too late. The boards covering the holes began to fall off and, because the castaways had coated the entire boat with the substance, the undamaged bits of the hull started to come apart as well. Soon the entire boat was just a pile of planks on the beach (with Gilligan clutching the wheel).
There was nothing anyone could do. The tide came in and swept away the remains of the ship. Gilligan, the Skipper too, the Millionaire and his wife, the movie star, and the rest were screwed for at least another week. Undaunted, they later went on to create a coconut radio and predict seismic events and avoid spiraling into a dark pit of deranged carnality.
But they could never again attempt to fix a hole in the boat -- for there was no boat anymore.
And now you know. So shut up!