[TV review]Things I don’t need to know before bedtime
Life is short and we are all going to die someday, but it is still not pleasant to learn that a small dose of apple seeds can send some people into a coma and that common ornamental plants such as English ivy are extremely toxic when eaten.
These are just a few examples of the many tips this show offers viewers to help them handle the dangers of everyday life. They are so compelling that I have begun to think it is a miracle I have survived to this point without this vital knowledge.
Escaping a Crisis, which airs on Saturdays at 10 p.m., made its debut in 2005 and has recently celebrated its 100th episode. Airing in a time slot reserved for popular TV dramas, the show has managed to enjoy a modestly high audience share of just over 10 percent, which seems to prove that many people are concerned about their survival. Escaping a Crisis is like an insurance policy for unforeseen contingencies.
The show has five M.C.s including comedians and singers. This is an arrangement to make the serious content seem more friendly and the M.C.s compete with each other to suggest ways to handle the emergency of the week When they get the answers wrong, they get a flour thrown in their face.
This seems to be the least productive part of the show, but at least the producers and the M.C.s are trying to add some fun. The M.C.s are also exposed to some of the dangers. Alongside them is a group of experts who give professional safety advice.
Some of the recent shows have included invaluable advice such as when lost in the mountains, find a telegraph pole, take its serial number and report the number to the police ― assuming you have a mobile phone with you.
If a bug sneaks into your ear, use a flashlight to entice it to leave, and that it doesn’t work, take a drop of olive oil and drown the bug. And don’t keep crossing your legs as that may lead to a distortion of your back bone, which may cause partial paralysis and constant headache.
Also, when you have a broken tooth, take the piece in milk to the dentist. If you eat more than 10 gingko nuts at a time without frying them thoroughly, they may kill you, which is a crucial tip for Koreans who love gingkos. If you receive a phishing call, ask the caller’s phone number instead and never give out personal information to a stranger.
One of the most difficult situations addressed is what to do when encountering a shark in the middle of the sea. “Beat the shark around the mouth, and that will knock him senseless,” the show suggested, but I doubt I could do that in practice.
After watching the show, living somehow seems more dangerous. I’m sure it’s helpful for the show to offer useful tips, but I might feel less paranoid if I didn’t know all this stuff.
Suddenly I am reminded of a quote from Han Bi-ya, a noted veteran relief worker and best-selling author of books on her travels to troubled regions including Afghanistan. Asked how she deals with fear in a troubled region, Han smiled and said, “We can die any moment. Maybe we could die right after this interview, perhaps in a traffic accident. I am just grateful for the fact that I am alive now and doing what I wish to do in a world that needs me.”
I guess Han will not be tuning into Escaping a Crisis somewhere in the Middle East or in Africa. However I am just an average person, so I will occasionally watch the show for the same reasons I sometimes buy a Lotto ticket ― you just never know.