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New Reality Show Being
Filmed At Trace Fork
by Wiant Knott


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A new reality show being filmed in the Trace Fork area of northern Calhoun County will air in September on BBC America.

The show will be called “Traces of Love” and revolves around the trials and tribulations of 24 people who will be put together as couples and undergo grueling competitions each episode to show how well they can cooperate as a team.

At the end of each episode, two of the couples will have to compete in a test that will then be judged by people calling in votes or voting online for the couple they want to see again the following week.

Each couple is given a tent, a single flashlight, a large sleeping bag, flint and steel for starting fires, a 20-lb. sack of potatoes and a book describing edible roots and herbs of the area. They were also given photos of two animals that they could eat, if they were brave enough to kill one of them.

Part of the show’s appeal is the way the couples bond while helping each other survive the “wilderness” without having any of the electronic devices that many can no longer live without.

In the first episode, two big-city twenty-somethings arrive back in their camp, after a competition, to find a large black cat in their tent, asleep and comfortably embedded in the center of their sleeping bag.

They immediately named it “Spooky” and went into the tent to wake it up and begin to bond with it. That is when they noticed that the black cat had a white stripe down its back.

They are now staying under an overhanging rock formation and sleeping beneath a deep pile of dry leaves.

It became hilariously obvious that none of the couples have ever spent any amount of time in the outdoors when darkness fell on the first night and the hills came alive with the usual sounds of a springtime evening in West Virginia.

Although no one was frightened by the sounds of spring peepers, none of the teams had ever heard the song of a whippoorwill or the raucous screams and hoots of barred owls disputing territory.

The thing that scared more than a few of the teams into wanting to quit was two screech owls talking to each other while sitting in the trees right above their campsites.

“My great-grandmother came to this country from Ireland. She used to tell me and my sister stories about creatures that haunted the high meadows at night. She called them banshees, and the noise she made, that she swore sounded just like a banshee, was exactly like that screech owl racket. I still don’t believe that the little bird I saw in the tree was capable of making that much noise,” said one of the female contestants.

Another couple managed to chase down an opossum and club it a couple of times before it fell over on its side, dead.

They immediately went off to gather firewood to roast their “giant wood rat,” as they called it.

When they got back to their camp with armloads of firewood, they discovered that, apparently, someone had come into their camp and stolen their supper.

It was not until the next day, when the teams met for their next competition, that they found out what had really happened.

After they spent an hour accusing every other team of grand theft opossum, they were told how opossums escape from predators; they simply pretend to be dead until the threat goes away, and then they scurry away as quickly as possible.

Part of the show’s appeal, according to producer John Schmidt, is that fans will be able to vote to shake things up for the couples. If the fans decide that a couple would be better off with other partners, fans will have two chances during the season to play Cupid, by choosing two teams to exchange partners.

“Fans will be able to see which couples are not working well together and can then switch the team players to see if they have a better chance to win the game and find love,” said Schmidt, “Of course, sometimes fans of a show find a couple annoying and they might break them up just because of that.”

Winners of the show stand to receive a check for $500,000 each and a month-long vacation in Bali, with or without their teammate.         APRIL FOOL’S

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