Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Survive This!

by Dr. Traci Vujicich (writer), Redondo Beach, March 26, 2007

Here we go again. The next round of Survivor mania has begun Honestly, I don't understand the appeal of all of this "reality" television. First there was Survivor, where a group of castaways competed with each other to stay on a deserted island with no food, no shelter, and backstabbing friends. Well, I did read that one of them had kids, so I can imagine why SHE wanted to stay on the island as long as possible.

Then, there was Big Brother, where a group of annoying Survivor wannabes locked themselves in a house for several weeks with no television, radio, or contact with the outside world. Sounds like my eight year old on chore day.

Now the onslaught is here. There is Temptation Island, where so-called committed couples go to an island filled with sexy strangers. Hey! I live in Los Angeles. That's a day at the gym for us. There is also The Mole, where a group of people are sabotaged by an insider. Sounds like a holiday dinner with my family...

They think these shows depict survival? They call this reality? Hah.

What the television programmers ought to do is come into my home for the REAL reality TV. It might go something like this.

It is before dawn. Piercing the darkness is a shriek so loud, so frightening that even the mightiest man would tremble. Is it a wild animal? No, it is my one year old waking for her nightly bottle.

To quiet the shrieking sound, I make my way through the dangerous obstacles. I step on a Little People train set, bang my shin on the Sit and Spin, and slip on a Barney book. Half asleep, I test the temperature of the milk and scald my hand. Adding an ice cube to cool it down, my wet hand gets stuck to the freezer. No one said that life here would be easy.

All is well. I head back to camp for another hour of sleep. Later, in the morning, I must forage for food. The natives refuse the fruit and yogurt I offered, so I go back for more. After digging through the entire cabinet I turn to see them eating the fruit.

It is now time for The Challenge: Dressing the natives. My Challenge is to simultaneously dress the baby who is jumping up and down like a small monkey while arguing with the eight year old about wearing shorts in the winter. If I manage to get both kids dressed, in school and napping I get the bonus prize --a warm shower. If I do not, I must skip the shower and go straight to my next Challenge-- A Call From The Mother-In-Law.

"I don't understand why you don't have them pick out their clothes the night before. That's what I always did and I never had any problems in the morning. No wonder they don't want to eat breakfast. It's winter time. They want a nice, hot breakfast. I always used to make my kids hot pancakes with syrup on chilly winter days."

This time the shrieking that echoes through the air is mine, as I am running away. Alas, I get as far as the car before I realize that I have forgotten the dry cleaning. In fact, the next survival Challenge is to manage to get to the dry cleaners, the bank, the gas station, the post office, the market, and the drug store with a screaming baby in the back seat. This Challenge is timed, and to make things difficult, I have been placed in perilous bumper to bumper traffic. I must complete the Challenge in time to pick up the eight year old from school.

What is worse than seeing your fellow castaway walk around nude? Having to clean his butt after he takes off his diaper and all of the clothes you struggled to put on him earlier in the day. Then again, he is only one.

Around the campfire at dinnertime, also known as the kitchen table, the natives are once again refusing to eat the food. "What is it? Snake? Rat?" "No, it's Hamburger Helper."

The final Challenge of the day is the most dangerous. If I can survive this Challenge I will win the grand prize-- sleep. It is the Bath And Bedtime Challenge. To win this challenge I must use all of my wits and strength. I must dodge splashing water and slippery floors. I must run from room to room chasing screaming naked children and force footsie pajamas onto them. I must diligently refuse their requests for another glass of water.

I won! I survived! Where is my million dollars? No, of course we do not get a million dollars for surviving everyday life in a family. Instead, I get the honor of doing it all again tomorrow. Not that it isn't rewarding. I mean, no amount of money can buy sweet baby kisses, cute tushies in the bathtub, and the sweet sound of "I love you mommy". That is REAL reality, and it's better than anything on TV.

I wouldn't refuse the million dollars, though.

About the Writer

Dr. Traci Vujicich is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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