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Boy vs. Wild

Submitted by on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 No Comment

This is another fine mess Dad has gotten me into.

Most nights before he deployed, the routine was for Big Guy to take his bath, brush his teeth and then curl up to another heart-warming episode of “Man vs. Wild.”

It’s totally a guy thing, though I’ll admit that Bear Gryllis is easy on the eyes. He’s a Manly Man – former British special forces soldier, climber of Mount Everest and eater of gross things. The soldier thing sparked Big Guy’s interest. The travel to far-flung locations hooked him. The time with Dad kept him riveted.

And now that Dad is away, I’ve been forced to take up the “Man vs. Wild” mantle. Lucky for me that it’s on Netflix for those times when we just can’t find an episode on cable before bedtime. /sarcasm mode.

Lucky for me that Gryllis is easy on the eyes or I would have poked my own out with a letter opener by now.

The premise of the show is simple: Gryllis is dropped off in some remote location and forced to use his wits to survive. At least, that’s the way it’s billed. Critics have contended that the premise misleads the viewer to believe that Gryllis is abandoned and left to fend for himself when he’s really not.

Um, hello? Did anyone really think that? For one, the presence of a camera would seem to indicate that he’s not alone. For another, is The Discovery Channel going to leave its money maker to the mercy of lions and tigers and bears? Especially a money maker who’s so easy on the eyes.

I’ll admit that the show’s not as bad as I’d feared, and though I’m not a fan of television as a teaching tool, Big Guy is actually learning.

Each morning, we rush to the globe to locate the exotic locale where Gryllis had been the night before. The episode Big Guy was the least interested in was the one set in the Sierra Nevada. He’s been there, so he figures there’s nothing Gryllis can teach him about that area.

He’s learning that sometimes life involves icky decisions. “Mommy, why did he pee on his shirt and put it on his head?” Big Guy asked.

“Because that’s better than getting too hot and dying in the desert,” I said.

He’s learning to look for resources in places not obvious. “You can actually get water that way?” Big Guy asked as Gryllis squeezed damp dirt from the previously urine-soaked T-shirt in an attempt to ward off dehydration.

He even learned anatomy courtesy of the Sahara Desert episode where a tribesman butchered a goat and served Gryllis a portion reserved for honored guests. I can’t believe that one didn’t make the Top 10 grossest meals.

“Mommy, what are test-tickles?” he asked. He crossed his legs tight and expressed sympathy for the goat after I explained.

So I’ve stopped complaining about the ritual Dad has left us with. At least it’s better than the last show he got the guys hooked on. Three years down the road, even Dad has SpongeBob fatigue.

And have I mentioned that Gryllis is easy on the eyes?

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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