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Afraid to be naked? Not these couples

By Elaine Munn

Need a costume idea for Halloween this year? One that requires minimal effort and expense, and no modesty? Try going “Naked and Afraid.” You can do it as a man; you can do it as a woman. You can do it as a couple. You can do it best as a couple on a blind date. Shed your clothes and shoes, string a bead around your neck and grab one personal item that might come in handy if you were stranded in a remote location without food, water or shelter. Accessories fashioned from nature are optional.

Naked and Afraid was a seven-episode reality series that aired on the Discovery Channel this summer. It was a follow-up to “Naked Castaway,” a video chronicle of Ed Sullivan’s 60-day struggle to survive after being dropped naked on a deserted island in the South Pacific. In his video diaries, Ed complains that isolation and loneliness are the most difficult things to endure. But producers must have thought that having the companionship of the opposite sex was even more challenging because they shortened the challenge to 21 days for this couples spin-off. I get it.

At the beginning of each episode, participants peel off their clothes before heading off to meet their also-nude teammate for the first time. While the man’s eyes scan his new companion to evaluate her “survival skills” she desperately tries to make eye contact. But as is typical in many relationships, they soon lose interest in each other’s naked body as they struggle to find food and water, and stay warm and dry for the next three weeks.

With two weeks left until Halloween, there is still time to prepare some of these “Naked and Afraid” non-costume variations: If you’re OK with nudity but shoes are a must, go as Ed and Kellie who spent 21 days on the Serengeti. Ed fashioned shoes out of tree bark to protect their feet from the thorny ground.

If you are a couple working through some issues, go as Jonathan and Allison who were stranded on a Maldivian island. Sorry guys, but you are the villain in this one. Jonathan pooped too close to the shelter and Allison stepped in it. She’s PMS’ing and unfortunately the one personal item that she brought was not Midol. At least Jonathan did not try to defend himself by saying he was trying to trap flies for dinner.

Date cancel on you? Go as Julie from the Borneo jungle episode. Her male teammate, Puma, had to be medically evacuated on day nine and Julie decided to stick it out alone before calling it quits on day 18.

If you won’t have time to dry your hair and anticipate shivering because nudity is cold this time of year, you’ll be perfect as Shane and Kim, the couple who suffered hypothermia during an extended torrential downpour in the Costa Rican jungle. Gals going solo on Halloween can probably relate to Laura from episode four. Sure, she had a teammate, Clint, but he abandoned her in shark-infested waters and she had to set the crab trap alone. If only there was a boa constrictor waiting at home for every guy who refuses to help with the chores.

I am guessing that now that I’ve put the idea out there there’s going to be a lot of naked people on Halloween looking for a place to go. How about hosting a “Naked and Afraid Minnesota” party? Keep the season a secret until guests arrive and see if the one personal item they bring is a good choice. Will it be mosquito spray or a shovel?

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“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.