While I'm writing this, a television show on the Discovery Channel called "Naked and Afraid" is quietly playing in the background. Oh, who am I trying to kid? The television is a mere three and a half feet from my face and the only thing getting in the way of my total viewing enjoyment is this stupid keyboard.
I have seen this show a couple of times before but I've never really paid much attention to it. In order to explain the concept to those of you who have not seen this program, two people (a woman and a man,) are dropped off in some harsh, remote jungle or desert setting and they have to survive on their own for twenty-one days. Oh yeah .. and they have to accomplish this task ... totally naked.
When they drop the contestants off in the great outdoors, they have to strip down to their birthday suits and go meet their new partner. Now, if I step on a pebble the wrong way (while wearing a pair of white tube socks, because going barefoot is just plain wrong) I tend to sob like a colicky newborn. I can't imagine trekking through the thorny, snake-infested jungles of New Guinea wearing nothing more than my glasses and a smile.
And then there's that awkward moment when they first meet their new cohort. On the show, they approach each other, and make casual small-talk like it's the most normal thing in the world to walk around an arid, windswept savanna with your "stuff" on display. I'm not too good at making small talk as is and I can't imagine having breezes hitting me in places that breezes don't normally hit, would make it any easier.
It's kind of like "Survivor" with visible butt cheeks. That's right, when they air this cable masterpiece, the producers blur out a few of the body parts, but for some strange reason, they don't touch the posteriors of the contestants. They are presented in all of their cinematic glory like four hams prancing through the flora. I'm not sure who made the decision that the things up front had to be obscured but that it was okay to plop a couple pairs of au naturel, sometimes hairy gluteus maximuses on my 40-inch, high-definition Philips television set. You gotta love technology.
I'm not really sure what the selling point is for making the contestants compete sans-clothes. Some big-wig television producer probably came to the conclusion that the show would be hipper, edgier and sexier if "naked" was part of the show's modus operandi. Well, after four and a half straight hours of research, I can honestly tell you there is absolutely nothing "sexy" about watching two progressively dirtier, non-showering, food-deprived naked people swat mosquitoes and remove sand from their sunburned nether regions over a three-week period. The addition of unadulterated hind ends doesn't really help.
But all that being said, there is evidently something peculiarly mesmerizing about the program. I'd like to think that I was really interested in the physical challenges presented by Mother Nature. Or maybe it"s the triumph of the human spirit in conquering the elements. No ... I'm probably just hypnotized by the naked derrieres bouncing through the green foliage.
Whatever it is, I think that I might take this show's premise and put it into action in my own life. I probably won't take my clothes off at work because I'm concerned about the table saw and I don't like getting splinters in my fingers, let alone anywhere else. However, the next time that I go out to mow the yard, I think that I'll try doing it in the buff. Except of course for my socks. No need to get weird about it.
You can contact Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.
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