Memos from the Middle

Smack-Dab in the Middle of Motherhood

Why I Shouldn’t Audition for Wipeout

Yes, I know. I am not the most athletic person. In fact, I may quite possibly be the least athletically inclined person I know, but there’s something about the craziness on ABC that makes me feel like I can do the impossible. Now, I’m not sure how much behind the times I really am, for I’ve been a Netflix junkie for a few years. But because Chicago news is really important right now, I’ve been tuning in to network television much more often. As a result, I saw promos for Wipeout, and I just had to watch.

Let me first say that this show is awesome! Giant foam padded  gears spinning in the air with a lake of water beneath really taps into my Nintendo memories of years past. I found myself screaming at the television, hoping that the contestants would jump or slide or bounce at the precise moment I yelled “NOW” to land successfully on the next foam padded platform before they dodged some giant, swinging arm. My heart would fly to my throat as I witnessed what looked like neck breaking, rib crushing collisions, but the personal resolve the contestants possessed, to get back up and try that obstacle course again, made me root even more for them. I felt just like I did in the early  ’90s when I was a kid, hoping that one day my parents had the money to take us to Universal Studios so that I could say “We’ll take the physical challenge!” on Double Dare (something about Casio keyboards and BK Dymacels still appeals to me).

But I have to be realistic, though. After all, the last truly athletic thing I did was walk into the McDonald’s to order my food because the drive-thru line was much too long. Plus, there are a few other reasons why my Wipeout debut needs to be avoided:

  • I can’t swim. As fun as free-falling pelvis first into a giant pool of water looks, I must be honest with myself. I get seasick if the water in the tub is too high.
  • I don’t think my insurance is good enough. Even if I win, which would be highly unlikely (I think a woman who is nine months pregnant and has a broken arm would have a better shot of winning against me), the full body cast I would need after I collapsed on top of Vanessa Minnillo might not be covered. That fifty grand of a prize wouldn’t even scratch the surface of the medical bills I would need. And why do some games require helmets and others don’t? That’s just a denied claim waiting to happen.
  • My timing and spatial awareness have never been all that great. I blame this mostly on the fact that I’m so near-sighted. I’ve been known to walk into walls and doors and people even when I see them. So even though I can tell you when the best time to jump is, I probably won’t be as knowledgeable when it’s my turn to do it. In fact, I might just stand on that neon yellow rotating Ferris wheel crying for my mommy until gravity (or gargantuan boat oars) knocked me unceremoniously down.
  • There’s no way I can practice for this show!  At least with games like Jeopardy! you can study trivia or read your grandma’s old set of encyclopedias (you know, the ones she still dusts every Tuesday just in case the kids need to reference them for their homework). Where can I go to play human whack-a-mole? Who has jumbo-sized red rubber balls symmetrically lined up in their backyard?

Regardless, it still looks like fun!

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