I’m not proud to admit to this, but I have watched every single episode of Survivor since its premiere on May 31, 2000. To my credit, it is the only reality show I have watched with any kind of frequency, because I find celebrity-based reality shows just as repugnant as those pageants that feature five-year-old Jennifer Lopez wannabes in hot pants. I also have no interest in shows that feature, for instance, poor white trash fat kids with racist, child-molesting parents, or Donald Trump.
I also take pride in the fact that I am not one of those statistic-spewing Survivor addicts who can name all the players from every season, where each season took place and accurately recall the theme of every season. I would rather use that space in my brain to remember jingles from fifty-year old cigarette commercials (“Chesterfield Kings taste GREAT…because the tobaccos are!”) Because that is far more important than being able to recall, say, a list of my current medications to an ER doctor.
And speaking of that, when Survivor first came out, I always thought I would make a pretty good contestant. My carpentry skills were sufficient enough that I thought I could build a decent hut, and I was a pretty good distance swimmer, so maybe back then I could have placed in a few challenges. And I was pretty secure with my masturbation skills that if I tried hard enough, I could start a fire. But those days are long gone. I’m too old to keep up with the young, strapping contestants on the show. People my age are seldom selected—for this show, or anything, for that matter. We are just too much of a liability. Not to mention the fact that we aren’t going to win any beauty contests.
Therefore I’d like to propose to the producers of the show Senior Survivor. Naturally it will be an abbreviated season, because no one my age is going to last out in the wild for a month. Two days without our Ensure shakes, and we’d be snatched up by birds of prey. Frankly, we’d be lucky to last a week. So the rules are this: Seventeen seniors are taken to a remote island somewhere in the Pacific. Each day, people will be eliminated by a majority vote or by breaking the rules. One person each day will be exempt from the vote by winning an immunity challenge, and people will also compete for reward challenges.
Day 1 reward challenge: Contestants will put together a jigsaw puzzle that reads: Outwit, Outplay, and Outlive. The person who completes the puzzle first gets a Lipitor and takes 9 others to be fed, leaving 7 to fend for themselves.
Day 1 immunity challenge: The ten players will be given a lavish dinner of soft, high fiber foods. Before dinner is served, Jeff tells them that anyone who talks about an ailment, a malfunctioning organ, hip replacement surgery, their bouts with cancer, their bowel movement status or how neglectful their children are will automatically be eliminated. This takes out all ten players out right off the bat. And then there were seven.
Hidden somewhere on the island is an immunity idol that a contestant can play at tribal council at the last minute to prevent him or her from being voted off the island. Sadly, no one can find the idol because none of the contestants can remember where they put their glasses.
Day 2 reward challenge: The seven remaining players will have to stand on one leg on a small block of wood in the blistering heat. The person who outlasts all the others wins a lifetime membership to AARP. Due to their declining ability to maintain their balance, all challengers fail the task of standing on one foot, even in the sand, thus giving the producers more time to air commercials for Cialis, pro-biotic yogurt, Depends, Super Poligrip, and the Neptune Society.
Day 2 immunity challenge: Contestants are shown where they left their glasses, and each receive an iPhone 7 and are told they have 30 minutes to set up their email accounts on the devices. If no one is able to do it, immunity will be given to the one who can perform the most difficult task. After a half hour, the immunity idol is presented to the guy who manages to turn it on.
On Day 3, a special delight for the contestants has been arranged. It’s Family Day, and contestants are treated to a visit from their loved ones. Children of all the contestants have been invited to fly in to this remote Pacific island to visit their parents. Sadly, all these children are too busy with their own careers, children, and Facebook to make the trip. One contestant is lucky enough to be visited by his gay grandson, but due to jealousy among the other bitter parents, he is voted off the island that night at tribal council.
On Day 4, a special two-hour Senior Survivor airs. Tension mounts when two contestants are evacuated by the medical crew: one for a broken hip, and another who threatens suicide if she can’t go to the beauty parlor and get her hair done. The final four contestants must eat live worms, raw snake meat, uncooked bat livers and other putrid local delicacies. Surprisingly, all four consume all the snacks without even flinching. Their sense of smell and taste have long ago subsided, and everything these days tastes like wet flour. So in order to break the four-way tie, the players must make fire from flint and dried palm fronds. This takes up an hour and forty-five minutes of airtime, and each player at different times must be treated by the medical staff for exhaustion. Nevertheless, the episode wins the Nielsen ratings for the most watched show in their time slot. Jeff Probst runs out of discouraging things to shout at the contestants, so he tosses two Bic lighters a couple of yards away in the sand, and the two contestants who grab them and set their fronds on fire first get to stay for the last show.
On the last taped show, the two finalists must plead their cases to the jury members who will decide which one will be the sole survivor. The older of the two says, “Plain and simple, you should vote for me because I’m older than Nell over there.” Nell, in retaliation, speaks up.
“That is exactly why you should vote for me. Because I’m younger, I am more likely to live long enough to make it to the live season finale in a couple of months.”
The highlight of the evening comes with the jury member who had his grandson visit spews out a vitriolic rant, accusing both contestants of being “jealous bitches,” and says he’d rather vote for Satan than either of them.
The scene cuts to the live show in Studio City to a packed theater. Unlike Family Day, relatives of all the contestants fill the seats, because CBS has cut off their internet access, and they have nothing better to do. Jeff Probst dramatically reads off the votes, and announces Nell to be the Sole Senior Survivor.
The following night on the CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley announces that Nell lost her million dollars to a bogus IRS phone scammer.
This comes as no surprise, because no one wins at Senior Survivor.