Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Survivor: The Fire Edition

OK, if you've never watched Survivor, you can skip this post and even feel vaguely superior that you don't watch reality TV.  However, I'm not ashamed to say that I have watched Every. Single. Season. and find it pretty fascinating, especially the group dynamics.  I have to add, though, that while these people think they have it tough, it could be a lot worse.  Sure, they are stuck in a tropical location without much food, and have to build a makeshift shelter and deal with bugs and rats (in some third world countries, this is called life).  But it's only for 39 days (if you make it to the end) and there are camera crews and a medical team ready to leap into action if you hurt yourself.  The contestants do have to compete in "challenges"; if they win they get some kind of reward or immunity from being voted off for one more day.  If you asked me, though (I don't know why nobody has) these challenges could be a lot harder.  Like my job, for example.  Hence, Survivor, the Fire Edition:

The Physical Challenge:  Survivor has a lot of these at the beginning, to flush out the weaker competitors.  Usually you have to swim, untie stuff underwater, push heavy objects along a beach, etc.  Boring!  In Survivor: The Fire Edition, you have to put on a backpack pump (45 pounds) over your backpack (25 pounds) and hike rapidly up a hill.  If you slow down, someone on your team yells loudly, "Close the gap!"  Once you get to the top of the hill, the fire version of the TV host, Jeff Probst,  announces that the water is needed back down at the bottom, and pick up the pace this time.  If you fall going down the hill, your penalty is to have to fill out a series of redundant accident forms in triplicate and explain how this incident could have been prevented. Obviously, in this case, you lose.

The Puzzle Challenge:  Survivor is big on puzzles, mostly ones with big wooden pieces that form a picture or spell out a phrase.  Not so fast, Fire competitors!  Here's your puzzle:  You are stationed at a portable pump which quits working.  Your job is to troubleshoot the pump; meanwhile people at the hose end are screaming for water because they are losing one flank of the prescribed burn.  Better hope you paid attention in your pumps class.

The Memory Challenge:  Survivor contestants often are tested on how much they can remember, either of local lore, or by looking at objects briefly and then trying to recall what they were.  In the Fire Edition, your challenge is to translate as many fire acronyms as possible.  NIMO?  AOPC? HOGE-J?  Remember EUSC?  You get the idea.

The Food Challenge:  Sometimes Survivor players have to eat stuff like bugs.  Admittedly, gross.  But the Fire Edition could be almost as bad.  Grab a random MRE, or a veggie lunch on a caterer's bad day, and attempt to eat the whole thing, without the heater.  Yuck!

The Tenacity Challenge:  On the show, participants often have to balance on posts for a long time until everyone falls, or hold up something heavy until everyone else drops it.  It looks like it takes a lot of patience.  But that's nothing, compared to the fire version!  In it, you have a position on the overhead team managing the fire.  You must attend meetings at the following times:  0530, 0600, 0800, 0930, 1400, 1600, 2000, and 2100.  You must be cordial while attending these meetings.  You must not imply, by word or action, that you have already discussed these topics at every previous meeting.  You must stay awake.  You must carry paper around and look important.  You must not think it is funny that one of these meetings is called the pre-planning meeting and its purpose is to plan the planning meeting.  If you can't do these things, you will be voted off the team and have to go to your own version of Redemption Island:  the dreaded Staging Area, where you will sit and wait for a chance to get back in the game.

Survivor:  The Fire Edition could really catch on....oh wait.  We can't pay the winner, what with the government shutdown and all.  I guess you better stick to tropical paradise after all.

"The tribe has spoken.  It's time for you to go...and be furloughed."


  1. Love this! It could really catch on as a reality show....oh,'s already a reality "show." At any rate, fire folks would love it.

  2. Ha- ha this is great! My hubby is a huge Survivor fan and has watched every season. I occasionally drop in and check things out. I agree, the folks on Survivor don't have it as rough as other people or occupations.

  3. Thanks for the comment on my blog! Not a fat of Survivor, Big Brother has always been my poison ;)


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