I have a famously bipolar stomach - it has two parts to it that make no sense, but manage to live right next to each other in begrudging harmony – like having neighbors that occasionally throw beer bottles over your fence in a drunken rancor, but come around the next morning bearing an Apology Cake and a killer hangover. My stomach is quite good at withstanding the brute grossness that comes with my job – and, as a pathology scientist, I have had to endure much in the way of goop, slime, stink and general bloodiness. As a result I have managed to acquire a type of sensory auditing similar to those who are either blind and/or without a nose. I can stand most things, including baby postmortems and Mystery Bowel Segments, but put a sputum in front of me and I will be sure to hurl. This sub-godly skill, however, is limited to things seen with my own two eyes but fails to apply to grossage seen on television.
There are a handful of programs on television that I refuse to watch while eating, one of which includes MAN VS WILD (LINK), hosted by the steel-balled Bear Grylls (AKA Edward Michael Grylls). Don’t get me wrong, I love a good survival show, in which a steely, witty and verbose Irish bloke in cargo pants is pitted against the horrors of nature – but it’s when he starts looking for food that my stomach begins to turn over. I once watched an entire segment of an episode dedicated to this guy chocking down all sorts of animals and diffuse, ranging from POOP to LIVE SNAKES. From the man himself:
“I had a director vomit the other day,” he said. “It’s taken me 55 shows, but I finally did it. I lit a fire and all the bugs were attracted to it: crickets and grasshoppers and praying mantises, everything. And I would just grab them and shove them in an empty water bottle so by morning I had a half water bottle full of these things. So I thought I better eat these. So I get them out and literally crush them in my hand into like a burger patty. So it tasted terrible, it’s oozing this yellow sap and gunk, but it was a mass of energy. So I turn around and he (the director) is behind a tree throwing up. I actually consider it quite an achievement.”
Crazily enough, Mr. Grylls did not deem this Bug Burger in his top five yuckiest things he has ever eaten. Surely, you want to know the top 5 yuckiest things he’s ever eaten. SURELY! (SOURCE)
- Raw Goat’s Testicles
- Frozen Yak Eyeballs
- Raw Camel Intestines
- Live Snakes
- Bear Poop
BONES (LINK) has always been entertaining to watch for me, and I maintain that it is one of the most interesting forensic programs on television – I also maintain that CSI Miami is a load of crock, I mean seriously, since when are labs filled with the most high-tech equipment and bucket loads of shiny glass and shimmering tools? Also, what’s with Horatio and his sunglasses? Either KEEP THEM ON or TAKE THEM OFF. There’s no need to keep them rotating on and off your face. Right, getting back to it, Bones – with the stunningly wide-eyed Emily Deschanel and chiseled jaw of David Boreanaz – a great program, but every time you come across the first few minutes of the program, you’ll surely walk straight into the “Goopy Body Trap”. If you don’t like falling/smeared/pulped body parts, I advise you to stay away. Even Mr. Boreanaz’s chiseled jaw can’t keep my gut from rumbling if I’m munching on porridge while I’m watching those scenes.
Other shows you should probably stay away from if you’re prone to be queasy include Embarassing Bodies (where some everyday English folk have their embarrassing medical conditions and naked bodies poked and prodded on camera) and Autopsy: Life & Death, presented by Dr Gunther von Hagens (a controversial German anatomist wearing a big black hat) in which they actually perform autopsies in which they demonstrate the process of finding a cause of death – which is actually very informative and disgustingly intriguing, but not exactly the kind of program you want to flick onto telly when you’re alone in the hospital lab.