Naked and Afraid is a show. It’s a television show that attempts to demonstrate that human beings when nude are hopelessly hopeless. The show’s creators strip the clothes off of one man and one woman, drop them in some remote hostile location, and then film the resulting chaos—also starvation.
The producers try to get folks on the show with skills that might come in handy while nude. They search high and low for naked survivalist types. It doesn’t matter. Everyone starves to death in twenty-one days. Everyone. Even if the couple survives, everyone has to buy a whole new wardrobe from K-Mart when they get back to civilization. Everyone.
After having watched several episodes, I have come to several conclusions about evolution, survival, starvation, and pasties.
1) You can never be too fat when you’re naked and afraid. Watching the bare-bottomed couples drop eighteen, twenty-seven, forty thousand pounds in twenty-one days makes me want to pack on the weight. Eating dirt, mud, mosquitoes, and sea urchins does not keep a sufficient amount of flesh on your body, and if you’re fashionably svelte to start with you might as well dig your own grave and crawl into it, because you’ll be a skeleton at the end—if you make it that far.
2) Evolution is bogus. There is no way the human body evolved so many dangly bits voluntarily. No way. Because when you are naked and afraid in the middle of a thorn torn savannah, people with the most and biggest dangly bits would be the first ones snagged to death on . . . well . . . everything: thorns, cacti, brambles, sandspurs, and all the other spiked splintery stuff. If evolution were true we would all be shaped like torpedoes or dolphins and snag proof.
3) Water will kill you. If a naked person drinks water raw it will kill them. If the water doesn’t stop falling out of the sky it will kill a naked person by dissolving their skin or freezing their bones. If a naked person swims in the water there’s a chance that person’s dangly bits will snag on corral or sharks, thus killing them.
4) Clothes are not one of the top three survival priorities. Believe it or not.
5) I’m too afraid to get naked.
If I am ever on the show, I told my daughter that after finding water, building a fire, and grubbing up some food, my next order of business would be to make myself some pasties.
“Why?” she wanted to know.
“Because I would be constantly worried about snagging myself on something—also unbearable sunburn since I’m not shaped like a dolphin.”
“How do you intend to make pasties?”
“Wild honey and mud.”
“That doesn’t sound like clothes.”
“I know, but how else am I going to get the grass to stick?”
Thankfully, in our civilized world, we do not have to be naked and afraid. We can be fully clothed and mildly insecure.
Color me civilized.