“Survivor” shows are all the rage these days. We have Survivorman, Man vs. Wild, I Shouldn’t be Alive, Dual Survival, and Man, Woman, Wild to name a few. And I’m proud to announce that Quadruple Survivor People vs. Themselves and Some Nature will premier next fall on Discovery. It is the tale of my family and I as we take on the worst we have to offer each other. Here is a bit of what you can expect:
Episode 1: Mall of America
In this episode we are dropped in the middle of the Mall on the day after Thanksgiving. We have no cell phones, no extra diapers, an umbrella stroller with a wobbly wheel, and one bottle of water. The producers give us (5) one dollar bills and keys to a minivan, which they tell us is parked somewhere in one of the Mall parking lots. We have 12 hours to get to the van and drive to the nearest Red Lobster, which is 6 miles away.
Episode 2: Olive Garden
The producers have us seated at a four-top table and do not give us a highchair- so no seat belts. They place the menus, silverware, creamers, and sugar packets on the table in front of the toddler and tell us that none of those things can be moved or removed by anyone but him. Elderly men trying to have a quiet reunion surround us on all sides. The producers order for us: spaghetti for the toddler, red wine and Chicken Parmesan for my wife, Beef Tortellini for my 5 year-old daughter, and a vegetarian dish for me. Half way through the meal, one of the producers comes to our table and tells our daughter that the dessert she had been promised is no longer available. Everyone else will get his or hers, though, and there is no sharing. It is raining when we leave. They lock the doors behind us and when I reach into my pocket for the car keys, I discover that someone has stolen them. What will we do next?
Episode 3: Disney World on New Year’s Eve
The producers wake me up at 5 a.m. on the morning of this shoot and make me eat 10 White Castle cheeseburgers and drink a pot of coffee. Then they make me eat 5 Activia yogurts in the car on the way there. They take the toddler’s shoes and put a pebble in my daughter’s. They make my wife wear heals. We get to the park when it opens and cannot leave until the fireworks show is over. They tell Princess Jasmine to ignore me. At 4 in the afternoon, Mickey runs up to the toddler and kicks him in the shin. Mickey then goes up to my daughter, gives her a hug, and says through a megaphone, “Hey boys and girls! Look at this girl! She wants to give each one of you a hug!”
Episode 4: Church
We go to church.
Episode 5: Road trip
The task in this episode is to drive from St. Paul to Seattle in a 1997 Ford Escort with no stereo and no air conditioning over the Fourth of July weekend. The producers rig the car so that a tire goes flat the first afternoon. We’ll have to drive the rest of the way with the donut spare. There are a few Challenges in this episode: I have to stop in a small Montana town, go into the diner and yell Obama in 2012; we must stop in another town where my wife must pick a woman at random and convince her that Obama was born in Hawaii; we have to drive though Salt Lake City with a “Legalize Same-Sex Marriage!” bumper sticker; and finally, when we get to Seattle we are required to yell, “Grunge sucks and so do electric cars you Kenyan worshipping hippies! Long live the NRA!” Will we make it?
Episode 6: Camping
We spend a beautiful autumn weekend at a scenic campground in northern Minnesota. We have a great tent; nice sleeping bags; plenty of food, water and alcohol. The catch: My wife sees a mosquito on Friday. Will she be able to go on?
Episode 7: Camping Again
This episode finds us camping in Alaska. Same situation as above except this time a mosquito flies into my forehead at full speed and knocks me unconscious. What will my family do without me?
Season Finale: The Blizzard
A blizzard hits Friday night/Saturday morning knocking out our power and making our road impassable. Power isn’t restored until Sunday evening, after I’ve missed the football game. All we have all weekend is a deck of cards, candles and each other. WTF?!