A fierce lion, with its eyes glowing in the darkness, skulks about the African terrain.
With its back hunched and mouth agape, it searches for food less than 100 yards from a campsite where eight humans lay.
The people at the site lay low, not one of them daring to so much as exhale. The lion lurches closer, sniffing the air and snapping its jaws at the night sky.
The beast is within 50 feet now, inching closer to its potential prey. Within a few steps the lion will be in pouncing distance.
Suddenly, one of the campers turns, and with a trembling mouth he says, “Thank God for that fence.”
And thus began an episode of the so-called reality television show “Survivor”, set last season in Africa.
The show started is fifth season in Thailand last Thursday on CBS.
“Survivor” is just one of many reality-based television shows to parade its way onto television screens across the country.
The American public has been saturated with shows of this genre, and it seems that for every network, there is a show that boasts itself as “reality”.
On MTV, there is “The Real World”, where seven perfect strangers live together (rent-free) in beautiful surroundings and have their lives videotaped.
The result is more bickering, backstabbing and crying than most people can tolerate in one sitting.
If this is the way that people really live, then the world is full of curmudgeons and homebodies.
Not to be out done in the backstabbing department is the aforementioned “Survivor”.
Each season, contestants are sent to an exotic locale and pitted against each other in a game of physical and emotional challenges.
The player who can basically backstab the best lays claim to a $1 million grand prize.
In reality, however, there are no protective fences on the African terrain.
There are no chances for immunity on a deserted island, and there are definitely no men with television cameras.
For single women, there is no need to date anymore.
Instead, there is a much more “real” way to find your soul mate.
Simply earn yourself a spot on either “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire” or “The Bachelor” and compete for your chance at love everlasting.
With the ridiculousness that these reality shows put forth, it is baffling that they are ranked at the top of the ratings chart every week.
People are watching this.
They are actually watching.
Why? The answer is simple.
People like to watch.
In actual reality, it is an invasion of privacy or voyeurism if you spy on the intimate details of someone’s every day life.
Such snooping is frowned upon and is down right illegal in some cases.
But with shows like “The Real World”, you get to be as much of a busybody as you wish.
You get an exclusive peek into someone’s life that is possibly more interesting than your own.
And so, people want to watch and do.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are just hoping the producers take the fence down.
Tim Wiseley can be reached at Knock220@aol.com