Have any of you ever watched a reality television series called, “Naked and Afraid?” It just started its seventh season, and can be seen on the Discovery Channel. Each episode of the show, chronicles the life and death struggles of a man and a woman, given the formidable task of surviving for twenty-one days in a harsh and inhospitable, dangerous, and unforgiving environment without food, shelter, water or clothing. Wow, until I got to the clothing part, I thought they were talking about a twenty-one day visit to my in-laws. Now, that would be one heck of a survival show.
Spending twenty-one days, with a complete stranger in a nightmarish scenario of limited food, undrinkable water, little protection from the elements, and total nudity has to be tough. To be honest; I could probably survive being naked, and I might just withstand being afraid, but not both at the same time. That would be like taking a nice, relaxing bath, falling asleep, and then waking to the sight of your spouse standing next to the tub, holding a plugged-in toaster in their outstretched arms.
I’m not exactly sure, but I think the last time, I was both naked and afraid, was way back in my 9th grade gym class. I remember, I was running late, just exited the shower, had forgotten my towel, was running towards my locker, turned a corner, and ran directly into Mrs. Gundermeir my gym instructor. Before any of you say, “what’s so bad about that;” I have just five things to say, “1972 – East German – Olympics – Shot put champion – mustache.”
I’m not ashamed to say, I’m not really comfortable being naked. I would find it extremely difficult to have millions of people staring at my every move while surviving 21 days in nothing, but my birthday suit. Have you ever heard someone say that “the human body is a magnificent, and beautiful work of art?” Well, whoever said that, never saw me naked! Personally, I think women are much more attractive when devoid of attire. My wife without clothes, is like a fine Italian sports car; sleek and smooth with nothing but curves, and fine lines. I, on the other hand could be accurately described as a, “Monster Truck.” I’m not very pretty, make a lot of noise, and scare the living daylights out of little children. On the positive side, I’m functional, and I get the job down.
If you watched the show, you know that the two survivalists, are given a preliminary PSR, or primitive survival rating, based on previous survival training, fitness and skill, experience, and mental toughness. They are then driven or brought by boat to the area they must survive in, where they completely disrobe, before meeting their partner, and beginning their adventure. It should be noted that if, either survivalist loses their balance, and falls out of the boat or truck on the way to the rendezvous, their PSR will drop dramatically. Before I continue, I have a warning for all of you who may suffer from “Pugophobia,” also known as an extreme fear of buttocks. If you do decide to watch the show; be prepared to see, more large and exposed booty than you’ll see on any rapper’s MTV music video.
Episodes of the show, have been filmed in such places as: the Florida Everglades, Malaysia, Panama, Nicaragua, and a Louisiana bayou. If they really want to make an installment of the show, in an incredibly desolate and frightening site that will test the survival skills of even the toughest and most resilient men and women, they should film someplace that most of us have personally experienced. How does this sound? “Naked and Afraid – New York City Subway System,” Unless, you’ve lived in New York City your entire life, I don’t see many people surviving 21 minutes naked there, let along 21 days! On the bright side, you wouldn’t get your purse or wallet stolen. Just make sure if you’re a guy, you don’t try hurdling the subway turnstiles. It could be very painful.
I have to admit, when I heard about the show, I thought to myself, “Wow, it might be pretty cool spending three weeks with an attractive woman in some exotic location while totally naked.” After the first episode, I realized there might be a few minor problems. First of all, nothing of a sexual nature is ever going to happen. As part of the show, cameramen follow you around constantly, and take thousands of shots of either your exposed posterior, or your front covered in nothing, but a strategically placed, small, indigenous plant which ultimately turns out to be ten times worse than poison ivy! Did I mention the woman doesn’t have access to a cell phone, or any type of social media for twenty-one days? I figure that would make for quite a bit of personal conversation, at all hours of the day and night.
Here’s another thing I thought about. Have any of you ever had your wife, spouse, or partner roll over at 3:00 am on a freezing cold night, and ask you if you wanted to do some spooning? Now, imagine they’ve been living in a hot and humid jungle for over fifteen days without a shower, mouthwash or deodorant. They’re also encased in thick layers of dirt and grime, covered in thousands of bug bites, and you’ve just spent an hour pulling dozens of blood-sucking leeches off of them! Not very romantic, huh?
I have a few observations to make, and some unanswered questions concerning, “Naked and Afraid.” Participants, always end up losing large percentages of fat and body weight during the grueling ordeal. It seems the most successful survivalists are the ones who show up looking like the spokesperson for Old Country Buffet. If you start the 21 days looking like you live on bottled water and carrots, and just finished running a marathon, you have a hard road ahead of you.
How come the survivalists can never find any food, let alone significant sources of protein, yet the cameramen are always filming veritable banquets of indigenous animals? Sometimes, I yell at the TV screen, and say, “For the love of God man, are you blind? The guy with the camera just filmed a herd of wild pigs, two or three snakes, numerous birds, a big, fat lizard, and what is possibly the golden arches of a local McDonalds.” Do you think the cameramen ever tease the hungry, naked people by eating their lunch in front of them? I’ve seen the contestants cover themselves in mud to fend off the painful bites of thousands of hungry mosquitoes, and other ravenous insects. How come it never works in stopping the onslaught? Do they at least get back to civilization, and find that they have smooth, soft, and wrinkle free skin?
Before I go, there is one other thing I’ve noticed. After intently watching multiple episodes of the show, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single roll of toilet paper. I don’t know about you, but that’s what I call, naked and afraid.