Eat Bugs for Money

As of late, I, Matteus Von Mustard Double-Esquire, have discovered an astounding television phenomenon called "Fear Factor."

In this program one can discover the true shamelessness of Americans; in particular stunningly-good-looking-wouldbe-actor-Americans-who-live-in-California. I'm not sure what precisely motivates these people to do what they do. Let us set aside the various feats of strength, balance and physical endurance; for these are sensible, even commendable, pursuits. I for one spent three years of my life living in a Chinese Junk and circling Sri Lanka attempting to mimic the physical perfections of the local pearl divers, many of whom could hold their breath for as long as three days. Even today, I can still go without oxygen for up to six hours in a pinch.

What on earth was I talking about...

Oh yes! Fear Factor and the nimwits therein.

What fascinates me is that these people have so little self-respect that they will eat bugs or dunk their heads in putrifying sheep fat on television and then smile and joke about it as if they hadn't utterly debased themselves. I am forced to wonder what exactly is the psychological process going on in their heads? Clearly it isn't the money. The odds are they won't even get any money. Even when the timer indicates that they HAVE ALREADY LOST they will often vacuum up those last few inches of shit-caked pig intestine for reasons utterly unknown to me.

And besides, there are easier, less degrading ways to make money quickly. For example, giving blow-jobs to strangers behind Taco Bell.

I have watched this show on numerous occassions (strictly in my capacity as defender of all existence) and not once have I seen someone man-up and tell that smarmy little prick of a host, "No, I have too much dignity to even consider consuming ants soaked in tabasco sauce with my nose." Imagine! How much respect would you have for that one stunningly good-looking guy who simply walked away from the money, from the other contestants and from the entire ridiculous freak show. To use the contemporary vernacular; How ice-cold Pimpin would that be?

At this point, I am honestly reaching out to you my readers; What in God's name are these people thinking? Week after week they degrade themselves in front of thousands of people and seem not to feel a lick of self-reproach. Is it the competition? Are these people so directionless and unable to think for themselves that they will do anything at all if someone equates performing the task with "winning?"

But I digress, my good readers wonder why this is a sign of the apocalypse. Here is why: The "Humour Columnist" Dave Barry is in actuality a mentalist of not inconsiderable talent. Throughout his columns he has disseminated a great deal of information that is astoundingly interesting to the eschatological community. He even went so far as to hide three specific signs of the impending apocalypse within some of his columns during the mid-1990s.

One of which has become manifest in the form of FEAR FACTOR.

You can read the column in question here.

I will ask you to pay special attention to paragraph nine. As is always the case with Dave Barry's columns, the ninth paragraph is the only paragraph of real significance. I will quote this paragraph in full here:

Because let's face it: Just because you watch a certain show on television, that doesn't mean you want to admit it. Let's say you're flipping through your 8,479 cable channels, and you come across a program called Eat Bugs For Money, wherein they bring out a large live insect, and the contestants secretly write down the minimum amount of money they would have to be given to eat it, and whichever one has the lowest bid has to actually do it. Admit it: YOU would watch this program. In fact, right now you're saying to yourself, "Hey, I wonder what channel that's on." Unfortunately, at present it's still in the conceptual stage. It's based on an idea from my editor, Gene Weingarten, who has publicly stated that he would eat a live adult South Florida cockroach (average weight: 11 pounds) for $20,000.

In this paragraph Mr. Barry is describing a hypothetical show, an absurdly ingnomious and degenerate program, in order to satirize actual programs by the flagrant and exaggerated idiocy of the concept.

"A ha ha!" the average reader is meant to say, "Imagine such a program actually existed."

A reader such as myself, who is well-versed in occult matters such as omenology, is meant to say "A ha!, I shall take careful note of Mr. Barry's wise words and observe the airwaves for just such a program."

And I have done so, and Lo!, it has come to pass.


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