Last night I got sucked into a show I’d never seen before: Naked and Afraid. It’s a show about survivalists who sign up—willingly—to doff their clothes and get sent to a godforsaken armpit of the earth where they then try to survive for three weeks. The whole “try to survive” part is mitigated somewhat by the crowd of people filming them, and the team of medics standing at the ready. But, never mind. The contestants (participants?—after all there’s no prize) seem to take all of this very seriously. These are the sort of folks whose hobbies include composting and moralizing. Based on my limited viewing, many seem to call upon the spirits of their deceased loved ones to help them through this challenge. Often a ghost helps them to find shelter, for example, or an edible bug.
Throughout the episodes, the Discovery Channel ran promos with the next group of Naked and Afraiders listing their survival skills. As with all reality TV, as I watched, I imagined how I would handle the various situations. The answer is that I would immediately set about weaving some sort of leaf outfit. If there were no leaves I would of course promptly die of embarrassment. Let the medics try to explain that one to the producers!
I was also inspired to consider my own list of skills.
1. I can deep fry almost anything.
2. I can spot most grammar errors. I’m also reasonably good at managing not to point them out to people.
3. Double coupons
4. Sitting still for long periods of time.
5. Misdirection through humor.
There may be a challenge show out there for me, but it probably won’t air on the Discovery Channel. I’m going with Food Network. In the meantime, it’s rather funny to watch a show like Naked and Afraid, while wearing comfy pants and eating mashed potatoes.