A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster
I was channel-surfing one evening and stumbled upon a naked couple standing in front of a bunch of trees. I naturally assumed I had somehow picked up some raw footage of Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels coming home from a midnight tryst, an expensive one no doubt, but a tryst nevertheless. Imagine my surprise to see it was the TV show, Naked and Afraid.
For you viewers who don’t follow this rather strange series, I should explain that Naked and Afraid is an adventure program where couples or small groups take off all their clothes and spend several days tramping through wildernesses, barren deserts and mountainous terrains hoping to survive without being eaten by the four-legged inhabitants. Now just why all these little sojourns have to be done naked is a mystery, but I suspect it is to catch the interest of seriously demented persons who get off on such rude displays. That probably explains why I was glued to the set and stayed glued until Mary saw what I was watching and sent me to bed.
This particular escapade took place in a jungle in the Chaco Province of Argentina. This jungle is referred to as a forest on the Internet. However, I say any place where cheetahs, ocelots, pumas, and other carnivorous beasts abound is a flipping jungle to me. (Did I mention it is also home for at least 60 species of snakes, including pit vipers and constrictors, and as an added attraction there are 6 kinds of poisonous tree toads living there? I didn’t! Well they do.)
A fairly young couple, who we learn had never met before that day, are trucked out to the edge of the aforementioned jungle and left there bare-naked. Don’t get your hopes up; I am chagrinned to tell you their private parts have been digitally blurred, hopefully just for this adventure. (I have to assume the participants are given a few minutes at the beginning to stare at each other’s niceties before setting out. That way they won’t feel the need to sneak a peek every time the urge strikes them and we can get on with the adventure.)
They set out with nothing but a fire-starter and bare feet. Within minutes the young lady steps on a thorn which is always a good start. Not being brave like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, the thorn business would have been my signal to throw in the towel – except as I explained before they don’t have a towel and as we will soon see no soap either. At the end of the day the sadly disillusioned couple are just filthy and I suspect any romantic ideas that might have occurred to them in the pre-adventure inspection are long gone.
This particular jungle is semi-tropical and in the afternoon the temperature is in the 90s, but once the sun goes down it drops to the low 40s.They had no tent, no sleeping bags so they had to make a half-ass lean-to out of some leaves and branches held together with mud which not only doesn’t keep out the cold, but doesn’t keep out the flying creepy-crawlies who drop in by the hundreds of thousands.
After several minutes of whacking away at some twigs with the fire-starter they get a small blaze going but by then they are damned near frozen and for the rest of the night things don’t get much better.
They also have nothing to eat but what they can find in the jungle. The man tried his luck fishing but for the first few days it was slim pickings. So now they are getting a bit gaunt, plus their bodies are beginning to break down. At the end of the first week the man has had enough and calls it quits. The lady bravely continues on alone and actually finishes the goal of 21 days and, coincidentally, ends up 21 pounds lighter and no doubt long overdue for a bath.
(I understand Weight-Watchers and the Keto Diet folks are studying the results closely.)
I have nothing but admiration for this lady. The fact that anyone even thinking about trying this stupid stunt is a total fruitcake notwithstanding, she set out to do what I would consider impossible and actually finished it. At the end of the show we see this smiling lady walking down a dirt road, exhausted, naked, and sadly with her niceties still blurred.
It appeared to me at one point that one or both of them might actually die. They had next to no food and the few fish they managed to catch before the piranhas got them. They were miles from civilization and alone in a jungle with no help whatsoever. Finally there was just this courageous woman battling the elements alone with no one to help her struggle on and… Wait! If she is alone, who is holding that video camera? There is something fishy going on here. I mean, besides the piranhas.