Not long after Fiddledaddy and I were married, we spent an entire Sunday glued to a Real World Seattle marathon. This was my first introduction to (exaggerated use of air quotes) reality television.
When I first learned of this phenomenon, I was appalled and vowed never ever to watch. Because as a former card carrying member of the Screen Actors Guild, who was married to an actor and had many many friends who were actors, I despised any media venue that would take food from hard working actor’s folding tables.
And yet, I was strangely drawn to the Real World. Which really wasn’t all that real. No one I knew lived in a hoopty ploopty house on a lake, filled with strangers and camera equipment.
Later came my obsession with Survivor, although Richard Hatch nearly single handedly burned holes into my retinas. I’m still trying to erase that image from my mind. I’ve openly flirted with Dancing With the Stars, American Idol, Giulianna & Bill, and Biggest Loser. But my interest has been steadily waning.
Until I happened through the room as my family was glued to an episode of Wipe Out. Wipe Out is more of a game show genre, except with a good deal more carnage, cringing, and hiding of eyes.
The premise revolves around 24 contestants making their way around an impossible obstacle course filled with such fun as the big balls, scary-go-round, sweeper arms, and mood swings.
Players are suspended on platforms above a large body of water and are pelted with all manner of food, paint, and pool toys as they attempt to leap through and over padded obstacles.
As you might have guessed from the name of the show, the wipes outs are spectacular.
At first I was horrified. For the very same reason that I cannot bear to watch Americas Funniest Home Videos. And the same reason that I cannot stand the Three Stooges. People getting hurt? Not funny.
And yet, there was something about Wipe Out that made me not be able to resist the temptation to look. Kind of like a train wreck. Here are consenting adult type people donning padded gear, and voluntarily getting their clocks cleaned all for the chance to win $50,000.
At first I kept worrying if anyone participating had ever been killed, crippled, or worse. Which when you view the slow motion that follows every wipe out, would seem highly likely.
And now I’m coming out in the open to admit that I’m slightly hooked. And at the same time repulsed. I laugh out loud at the hosts antics, yet I’m constantly concerned for the contestant’s well being. And overwhelmed with the thought that I really don’t want to see anyone break a femur.
My son, who misses nothing, quips “Well, THAT’S gonna leave a mark” after every wipe out.
And honestly, if I were much younger and far better insured, I would have totally auditioned for this show.
But much like I would not last 10 minutes on Survivor, I would most certainly be wiped out before the first commercial break.
Any other closet Wipe Out fans? There’s no judgment here.
Also, since I’m in the mood to bare my soul, I did download the Angry Birds app onto my iPad. And yes, it is addicting. I do not recommend it.
Have a fantastic weekend everyone. I’ll likely be prepping for yet another hurricane that seems to be aimed at our little coastal community. And by prepping, I mean emptying the cookie shelving at Wal-Mart. Because that’s how I roll.