Just when I thought I'd seen all the addicting TV shows, I stumbled onto GEO Channel's “Taboo” on Halloween night. Just when I try to get out, they pull me back in, and this time I almost OD'd on a four-hour-marathon of episodes. I'd say pound-for-pound, “Taboo” is even better than Spike's “1,000 Ways to Die,” or ID Channel's, “Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry.”
Watching such Taboo segments as “Weird Love” and “Misfits” left me feeling downright normal and functional — things I haven't felt in years. Watching these true accounts in the wee hours from my couch in my underwear with two cats purring on my lap as I devoured an entire bag of Cheetos, I said aloud, “Wow; some of these odd ducks are crazier than a pet coon!” I heard my dog Trinity whisper, “You got that right, Dude!”
An hour segment titled “Weird Love” profiled “Doll husbands” — men in serious relationships with latex dolls and mannequins. Some refer to their life-sized girlfriends as “organic partner,” but hey: a rose by any other name smells just as rubbery.
Psychologists call this so-called “abnormal” practice a form of Asperger Syndrome and “Pygmalionism.” “These kind of latex relationships are likely to stunt a man's social development,” one said. Yeah, right! I think that's quite a stretch. Label it what you will … Pygmalianism, Fignewtonism, whatever. To each his own, I say.
My friend Jen Debates affectionately calls me “Asexual Freak Show,” just because I've not dated in five years, but if my cable is ever disconnected, I'd probably get back in action. Unlike these Doll husbands though, I need at least a little live interaction in my romances. If I don't hear something like, “I said ‘stop touching me'!” it just doesn't work for me.
It does work for Howard though, a 37-year-old telemarketer who's legally married to a life-size rubber mannequin he named Shandoray. It was kind of sweet watching him dress her up and taking her out to cuddle on a park bench. Howie carries a picture of Shandoray in his wallet and says he's been with her monogamously for over six years. That's long after she lost that intoxicating “new rubber wife smell,” I'm sure.
An English chap named Everard is a little less morally traditional, as he has nine doll wives. He's seen cooing to his latest conquest, Caroline, “The others can't wait to meet you.” Everard admits he “has trouble with social interaction,” but he sure does some excellent hair and makeup work on his latex harem. When they showed all nine of them together, except for the no-moving/breathing thing, they looked truly alive. I felt guilty admitting to myself that a few of those gals actually bordered on hot!
You know what though? Jen can call me Asexual Freak Show if she wants, but all pet names aside, I'm perfectly happy for now. Sure, I could go out and find some latex tramp any night of the week; I just prefer not to. Sometimes being in an unhappy relationship with the wrong rubber woman can be far more lonely than being all alone.
The episode titled “Misfits” profiled societal rejects who scratch out humiliating, meager livings like “Rat-catchers” in India. But even rat catchers probably look down their noses at Arthur Bort, a British bloke who lives solely on a diet of roadkill. “His supermarket is the highway and his butcher is the car,” the narrator explained. Arthur isn't poor; he just “hates to see protein go to waste and is opposed to livestock grazing.”
Art proudly talks up his roadkill diet, although he does occasionally have to eat crow. But not always, as he was shown scraping up a freshly-flattened Red-Legged Partridge with tire tracks that I guessed was left by an older model Buick. Friends of Arthur's, a normal-looking married couple, were filmed at his table enjoying some of his “Badger Casserole.” Nothing goes to waste in Arthur's kitchen — not even the badger's head, of which Arthur painstakingly nibbled every scant trace of meat.
Watching that feast didn't make me hungry or anything, but let's face it: what we typically eat is just a matter of tradition and conditioning. In some cultures, they eat dog, skunk, and even cauliflower. And lest we forget, they eat horses, don't they?
Observing these Taboo fruitcakes really made me appreciate what I have. Giddy from my Cheetos and Mountain Dew high, I surveyed my two dogs and five cats and said, “I'm glad you guys are real and not made of rubber!”