By Sean Pearson
I think reality TV is totally lost on me.
First of all, I pride myself in not actually acknowledging reality in the first place. It’s a plane of existence I’m just not comfortable with. Sure, it’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. It’s kind of like one of those timeshare seminar vacations. The brochure is full of sunbathing, snorkeling and sightseeing. The reality is a banquet room at the Red Roof Inn, a couple of tiki torches and a big, sweaty guy named Hank hawking pieces of timeshare opportunities in — where else — Homer, Alaska.
So if I don’t even like living in reality, why would anyone think I’d want to watch it on TV? Isn’t escaping reality the whole idea behind TV? How have shows like “Survivor” continued to survive? As a “watching” public constantly bombarded by mixed media messages, do we really want to confuse ourselves even more? Seriously, after living through adventure after adventure with Gilligan and the castaways on the island for seven years, what’s so impressive about a bunch of urban uber-campers lounging around on a tropical island? After all, I’ve yet to see any of them take on a pack of monkeys, (which I hear can be quite exhilarating), or build a three-level, variable-speed, precision-flame grill out of coconuts and bat guana.
I suppose you’re going to say that it’s more difficult than it looks. Well, I didn’t hear Maryann and Ginger whining because they didn’t win the “mahi-mahi challenge.” And the Skipper didn’t shed a tear when the Howells voted him off the tribal council circle. Besides, I don’t care if it is harder than it looks; a real survivor is someone who cuts his own arm off with a pocketknife, dresses the wound, and hikes 15 miles back to camp … packing out the moose he killed with said pocketknife under one arm. (The good arm, of course.)
No, I’m not saying I could win any kind of survivor challenge. Well, at least not any of the ones on TV. I’d probably be fine with almost everything, up until the point where we had to start eating some sort of vile creature — like grub worms or larval maggots.
I would like to see a “Survivor Alaska.” And not some cheesy thing where people pal around with polar bears and try to build a defensible shelter in a blizzard. If we’re going to do reality, let’s do it right.
Challenge No. 1: Use Duct tape to completely repair and restore the body, molding, interior and three engine parts on a 1988 Subaru.
Challenge No. 2: Use a pair of Xtra Tuffs in ways, (other than on your feet), to: a) subdue a small wolverine; b) provide some sort of medical treatment to an injury of your choice; c) create a decorative and seasonally appropriate centerpiece. (Extra points here for creativity.)
Challenge No. 3: Catch, prepare and serve a salmon weighing no less than 11.48 pounds using only a spork, a packet of Arby’s sauce and a Milli Vanilli CD.
Yes, I do often find myself frequently questioning my sanity, funny you should ask. Whether my personal cerebral search happens more or less often than other people, I’m not really sure. However, I’m willing to bet it has something to do with toilet paper.
Stay with me…
I’ve come to the conclusion that many of my problems in life are in some way related to toilet paper. (In a kind of “six degrees of separation/Kevin Bacon” way.) Luckily for you, I won’t go into all of the different ways that TP has touched my life. But I offer the following as written documentation of my struggles to remain sane in a world of madness.
You know, I’ve gotten to the point now where I don’t even flinch anymore when I grab a swig from the milk jug and come up sputtering a kind of sour cottage cheese soup. In fact, I can even stomach cleaning out the rotten egg salad sandwich left in a back pack … all summer long.
The thing that really chafes my … well, you know … is that I am, apparently, the only human being in my house able to change out a roll of toilet paper.
I know where you’re going, and I certainly understand that all of us have changed out enough rolls of toilet paper to stretch from earth, all the way out to the planet formerly known as Pluto. However, you need to understand that I don’t just find an empty roll. I don’t just find a new roll propped up on the old, empty one. No, in my house, the best you get is a scrawny, empty cardboard tube sitting nakedly on top of yet another vacant tube, huddled sadly and shiveringly on the dispenser.
I decided one time I wouldn’t change out the roll, and just see how long it would take for someone — anyone — to rescue the one sad little square of tissue left on the roll. I finally caved in and changed it out myself. I mean, pride is one thing … but we’re talking toilet paper here people.
I have some standards, you know.
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