Friday, October 30, 2009

Flashback Friday: Fear is not a factor

On this Halloween-Eve edition of Flashback Friday, I'd like to tell you about one of my favorite past Halloween costumes.

A few years ago I entertained a short-lived obsession with the television show Fear Factor.  I watched all the syndicated episodes on TiVo, and loved every thrilling minute.  The adventure stunts are so creative and often involve meticulous execution of details. Fear Factor is most often recognized for making contestants eat coagulated blood balls or lie covered in African cave-dwelling spiders, but I always appreciated the extreme feats more than the grossies.  Inexplicably, I even had a little crush on the not-extremely-attractive host Joe Rogan.

But even more mind-boggling is the fact that I legitimately contemplated submitting an application to be a contestant on the show.  I actually printed out the paperwork from and began brainstorming ideas for my audition video before I realized that my well-developed fear of falling might give reason for pause.  There are certain types of stunts I think I would skillfully complete and even enjoy in an adrenaline-junkie sort of way.  But as much as I want to believe I would be tough enough to leap from the top of one speeding gas tanker to another, I wonder if any amount of safety harness and helmet could make me to do it.  I nearly freaked out at the top of the New York New York coaster in Vegas, so I really don't know what I was thinking.

Accepting that I would be unable to select cool stunts over truly terrifying ones was only part of the cause for my ultimate verdict against applying.  The other element of import was the realization that I didn't have "the look" for Fear Factor.  Not tan enough, not thin enough, boobs not big enough. I decided to remain content watching the bikini babes and muscle men perform stunts like these from behind the comfort of my remote control:

I was, however, able to live a little piece of my dream on Halloween that year when I chose to masquerade as a Fear Factor contestant. I dressed in the show's black and yellow motif (how lucky to find that sports bra at Goodwill!), attached spiders, mice, and snakes to my clothes and hair, and even printed the Fear Factor logo on my homemade pennant flags--just like the ones contestants often have to collect or transfer as part of various formidable challenges. To complete the look, I showed plenty of skin (like a true FF contestant), including inflatable chest-pieces for maximum accuracy.

I wore this getup to work out at my Curves club, which is where this indelicate photograph was taken.  Considering I would have probably been the one crying like a little girl and demanding to get off whatever contraption from which I was pathetically dangling, I'd venture to say that I had more fun dressing up as a Fear Factor contestant than I would have had actually being one.

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