Dr. Mike, And Other Such Cheerleading

Sorry, Ant-Man We like the Travel Channel here at Der Wendighaus. Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations is a constant delight, as is watching the shiny dome of Andrew Zimmern eat like, owl testicles on Bizarre Food (which is now, I think, changing to become Bizarre World?).

We also watch a new show on the cabler, a show called Bite Me With Dr. Mike. Someone at the Travel Channel saw I had a blog, and asked me and some other people to blog about the show, and I said, hey, heck, why not?

First, the premise of the show: Dr. Mike finds things in nature that will bite him, and he forces them to bite him.

Dr. Mike is a pastier, nerdier version of the dearly-departed Crocodile Hunter. He has the accent. He says things like, “Gorgeous!” when confronted with some monster-of-nature. He’s always smiling, happy to be in the middle of a sweaty, malaria-caked jungle.

But, he’s different, too. If he gets too close to a lizard, a snake, a monkey, he looks genuinely terrified (and that’s part of the joy of the show, mind). So, initially, you think, “Okay, maybe this guy’s a bit of a scaredy-cat, which is weird for a show about a guy who’s very goal is to get close to the weirdest creatures on the Earth, but fine, whatever.”

Except, Dr. Mike’s cowardice goes out the window when he confronts the truly horrific things he finds. He lets a bullet ant bite him. He gleefully takes on a nest of fire ants, and happily suffers through mild anaphylactic shock after they nibble him all over. He lets leeches hunt him and sucker-on to his nipple where they guzzle his blood (as he did in the Borneo episode, last night). The best, the best, by which I mean the most horrible, is when he goes to India and purposefully eats unclean fruit. Then he goes and bathes half-naked in the Ganges River, taking in a mouthful of that sewage-y garbage (er, I mean, “sacred”) water. Then, then, at the end of the episode, he runs into the jungle, then defecates behind bushes. They hose off his poo (he loves that word, “poo”), and he comes back with a stinky handful of, of, of–


Like, a fistful of parasitic ascaris worms. Worms that had, up until moments before, been nestled uncomfortably in his bowelworks.

I mean, holy shit. If that’s not good TV, I don’t know what is. Dr. Mike invites these horrible things to attack his body for our entertainment and knowledge. He does so with giddy abandon. Me, I’d rather wrestle with a snake than purposefully invite a parasitic worm to go roundhouse on my gut-chambers, but that’s me. And that’s what makes Dr. Mike worth watching.

So, I’ll cheerlead for the show, sure. Bite Me With Dr. Mike. Travel Channel. 10pm. Tuesdays.

Now, to cheerlead other stuff:

  • Eddy Webb is a fine man with beautiful hair. Also, he’s got a bit of serialized fiction showing up on the Intertubes on August 5th, The Whitechapel Project. Read more about it by clicky-clicking the link.
  • Have you been keeping up with Memory Sticks over at Jet Pack? By the brilliant Wood Ingham? No? Then get on over there, and stop loitering here. Don’t forget to check out Will Hindmarch’s new poetic awesomeness, too.
  • Bunch of friends and talented people contributed to The Buried Tales of Pinebox, Texas, a fiction anthology. Such people include: Jess Hartley, Filamena Young, Monica Valentinelli, and Matt McElroy (as editor). Don’t forget David Wellington, too. Wellington’s good people, and a great writer.
  • A reminder that I’ll be at DIY Days in Philadelphia on August 1st. Lance Weiler and I will give a talk about The Future of Storytelling. Come, join us, won’t you?
  • Don’t forget, The Revolution Is Coming. (More on that, later today.)


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