Here’s my pitch for the ultimate reality show: MACHO MAN
* A few dozen guys are thrown into the North American wilderness. Somewhere in the Yukon, I’d guess.
* Their first challenge will be to grow a mustache, like the old Brawny paper towel man. It’s got to be a good gay disco mustache or they’re tossed off of the show. “Anytime, Sal!”
* Surviving on their wits, their ability to eat bugs and rotting carcasses, to fish, build shelter, light fires and make weapons, they must try to not die in the forest. If they have to cuddle with each other to stay warm, so be it.
* If lucky, they will travel from the Yukon to the heart of Alaska where, if their skills of navigation have prevailed, they will arrive at our first checkpoint. Here the macho candidates will fell ten old-growth trees and prepare them for removal from the forest. Ah, but it’s old-sk00l felling! Axes and traditional saws — no power tools. They’ll definitely have to work together as lovers if they want to clear the forest.
* Those who don’t die from the tree felling will continue their trek until they reach our second challenge: To raise and train a family of huskies to take the candidates via dog sled the rest of the way to the Bering Sea. Now they will have to forage for themselves *and* for their pups. The pups will be like their children and the guys will be like the surrogate parents. They’ll have to fight over who gets to be mommy. Pure alpha-male leadership contests.
* Once at the Bering Sea, the Macho candidates who did not die in the wilderness will be divided into teams and put on crab boats where they must figure out by themselves how to drive a crab boat and operate all of the cranes and basket things during an inevitable arctic storm. They’ll be fishing for opilio crab, or whatever’s in season at the time. If nothing’s in season, they’ll have to throw everything back and they could starve to death. Points will be awarded for how many crab they catch, how many fish-related pranks they can think up, and how many cigarettes they can smoke.
* At the next stage, the living wusses will be shuttled to an oil-drilling rig which they will have to operate successfully and profitably. Here we could add the additional challenge of making the men fish for their sustenance, which would be no simple task because they’re like 50 feet above the surface of the water. But if they’re clever and cunning, they’ll find a way to eat. And drink. They’re definitely going to need to distill ocean water or they’ll die.
* As they will have been isolated for quite some time now, it will be interesting to see what kinds of human sexual bonds develop.
* After collecting the required amount of oil, the ladies will be taken back to land. They’ll be paired with their best friend from the show. In the event of a tie, we will flip a coin to decide their best friend. They will again trek across Alaska until they get to our dangerous ice road. They will command an overloaded 18-wheeler across a treacherous patch of frozen ice to deliver thousands of gallons of crude oil to some ungrateful oil barons. Then the wannabe men will turn around, and bring back a SECOND shipment, only this time they will be fighting a gang of grouchy petroleum mercenaries by hand.
* If there are still men living after these treacherous tasks, we have another project. We’ll set the refinery on fire. Our remaining brave boys will have to extinguish the refinery and rescue any living thing. There will be choices, like, do you save an old man, or your boyfriend? (Don’t worry, the old man is just an actor.)
* Once the fire is out, any candidates still not dead, will be whisked away to meet a South American forest tribe, where they must undergo the tribe’s coming-of-age rituals, as well as do their hallucinogenic narcotics without losing their shit! You’ve got to MAINTAIN, homie, if you wanna roll with Cypress Hill! Special Guest: Cypress Hill. The contestants will also have to fabricate a new bucket hat for Sen Dog out of vines and leaves, and then braid B-Real’s afro so he looks gorgeous before the evening’s performance.
* Assuming there are two guys left, they will both be declared the winner, and will be allowed to marry each other in New Hampshire or Iowa.
* If there is only one guy left, he will perform The Safety Dance before being crowned Macho Man of Earth. He will receive his four Webelos outdoor activity badges, and will be given a proper Arrow of Light ceremony if he’s otherwise qualified.
Season Two: We start with a face-slapping contest.
[c] 2009 Russ of America
Thanks to Ben Jarvis for planting this reality show seed.
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