Saturday, June 12, 2004


Let’s see, where were we? Oh, yes… So, my friend Joe goes into the room and who is there? Sylvester Stallone. Only he’s dressed in his Rambo outfit, all sweaty and dirty, complete with headband. As he stands up to extend his hand for a warm handshake, a rocket-propelled grenade crashes through the window and the whole room explodes. Miraculously, everyone survives… And they caught it all on tape.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

I’m hoping people aren’t expecting something too fantastic with this story. I’m only a simple man telling a simple second-hand story. For the most part, I stopped writing at that point because my wrist was getting sore. So really, it was only a half-hearted attempt at a cliffhanger, mainly due to my low tolerance for pain.

Anyway, Joe is up next and goes into the room. There are producers, assistants, assistants to assistants, camera operators, guys turning on and off very hot lights and The Girl.

Before Joe goes on any further with his story, he leans across the table and says to me, “Look, I’m a nice guy and all, but this wasn’t a woman I could go out with. I don’t mean to be shallow, but there’s a certain look and type I’m attracted to. I mean, she wasn’t hideous or anything, but there are guys in this diner I would go out with before her.”

Joe is immediately ushered into a seat directly across from this woman. Bless her heart, he says, “It looked as if she was having a bad day. She looked like a nervous fawn stuck in the path of oncoming traffic. And if they had given her a makeover, it wasn’t apparent to me.”

The producers immediately start prodding her to ask Joe questions. She stumbles and stutters a few words, but nothing much coherent. Finally, one of the producers says, “Ask him how long he’s ever been in a relationship!”

Meekly, she asks him this, to which Joe replies, “My longest relationship has only been three months.”

This goes on for a little while longer. The producers tell her what questions to ask and she asks them. Joe gives honest answers until his time is up and is then led out of the room. While the third bachelor is being subjected to awkward questions, Joe sits in the waiting area with Guy #1. “I don’t think I can do this,” Guy #1 says.

“I’m really not into this either,” Joe replies. At this point, one of the producers comes out with a cameraman in tow. “Can we go ahead and film you guys? We need you to act nervous and anxious as you await the decision.”

This is where it starts to really go downhill for Joe. “You can film me, but I’m not nervous,” he says.

The guys let them film, but mostly they just joke around and B.S. with each other. After a while Guy #3 comes out and joins them.

Eventually, one of the producers comes out and says to Guy #3, “Okay, you can go.” She then turns to Guy #1 and says, can you come in here? And you,” pointing to Joe, “Can you hang around for just a little bit longer?”

Joe sees right through this. “Wait a second. I see what’s going on here. She picked him, but you want me to stay around just in case he doesn’t want to do it. I’m sloppy seconds!” Joe exclaims.

“No, no. It’s not like that. Please don’t leave. Just hang out for a minute.” The producer says.

Being the nice guy Joe is, he decides to stay. After a few minutes, Guy #1 comes back out. He says to Joe, “I’m sorry, man. I just couldn’t do it,” and then gets to leave.

“Okay, can we get you to come in here now?” a producer beckons.

“Are you telling me I’m sloppy seconds?”

“I know, I know. You’ve been such a trooper for hanging out; she’s had a really long day. She wrecked her car on the way in here, she’s not happy with the makeover and it just hasn’t been a good day.”

“I was her second choice?”

“I’m really sorry. Do you think you could just come in and we’ll re-shoot a few lines and we’ll be finshed. You don’t even have to go on the date. We’ll just shoot some shots of you guys getting in and out of the limo. Please?”

Joe thinks about this, and then decides that he’s still a nice guy. Hey, he can get along and have fun with anybody. What the hell… He’ll do it.

He goes back in the room and sits down across from the girl. “Okay, we’re going to need you to say your last relationship was something like, three years,” a producer says.

Joe contemplates this for a nanosecond. “I’m not going to lie,” he states with conviction.

“Yeah, but it’ll just sound better.”

“It might, but I’m not going to lie.”

“It’s just for TV. It’s no big deal.”

“Sorry, I’m not going to lie.”

Finally, our bachelorette has had enough of this back-and-forth and leans over to Joe. “JUST ACT! I DIDN’T CHOOSE YOU BECAUSE I DIDN’T WANT TO LOOK LIKE A FLOOZY,” she says in a loud voice.

“But this is reality television, I’m not going to act,” Joe counters.


He was dumbfounded. The room was dumbfounded. Not only was this mean-spirited and rude but it was potentially embarrassing. Hadn’t anyone considered that maybe he’s gone out with a few psychos? That maybe he’s been burned a couple of times by love and that might be the reason things have never worked out? Anyone? Anyone?

“I’m leaving,” Joe says and gets up and walks out of the room. The main producer comes out and walks with Joe as he heads toward the exit. “I’m really sorry about all of this. Thanks for sticking in there. She’s just had a bad day.”

“Yeah? Well, she didn’t have to be so rude,” Joe says.

Just then, the bachelorette comes running out the door. “I’m sorry!” She says. “I’ve had the worst day and I didn’t want to look like the kind of girl who just goes out with anyone. I just want to get this day over with.”

For one last time, Joe thinks about the situation and comes to a decision.

“It is over,” he says.

And with that, Joe walks out the door, gets into his car and drives away. I don’t even think he looked in the rear view mirror. I can’t wait to hear what happens when he talks to his friend who put him up to all of this.

I guess the moral of this story is, "Don’t believe most or all of what those ‘reality’ shows are spoon feeding you."

That, and "Never settle for sloppy seconds."

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