I am sitting in the living room with my elderly mother-in-law, Mother Mary. We are watching television. Mother Mary holds the remote.
The television is enormous. I am talking about a TV that’s bigger than a king-size mattress mounted to the wall. The volume is cranked up so loud that bits of ceiling plaster are falling into my beer.
My wife is away tonight, and she has left me alone with Mother Mary. We are watching TV. Mother Mary is flipping channels.
You’d like Mother Mary. She is white-haired, with a voice like Scarlett O’Hara. She sits in her recliner, and we are eating pizza delivery.
She flips past all the major networks. She pauses on HGTV for a little while, but nothing appeals to her. She scrolls past all her favorites: TLC, TBS, USA, TNT, Home Shopping Network, Univision.
She finally lands on the Discovery Channel. The show is entitled “Naked and Afraid.”
On the screen are two forty-somethings. Male and female. They hike through the wilderness trying to survive. And they are both—how do
I put this?—buck naked.
The gist of the show is simple and realistic. Two people with desk jobs suddenly find themselves wandering through the woods, fighting insurmountable odds, harsh weather, sleep deprivation, predators, and multiple commercial breaks. And they do it without wearing any pants.
The important thing to remember here is that these are not actors, and they are actually naked. Their primary body parts are blurred by special camera effects, but their secondary body parts are in clear focus.
For example: There is a man on the screen right now. He is bending over to get a drink from the river. And I see London, I see France.
“Oh my word,” remarks Mother Mary. “I see his little hiney.”
I cover my eyes. “Mother Mary, would you like another piece of pizza?”
“Would you JUST look at that?”
“How about something from…