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Married by America

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Our house is a little strange. The whole thing is oddly shaped inside, and we don’t use the rooms for the purposes that they were originally designed.

For example, our garage is not a garage at all. It’s a combination bedroom, laundry room and hiding place for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. If there is one last Japanese soldier who doesn’t know WWII is over, he’s in there somewhere.

So, too, our office (which occupies what should be the dining room) is a shared space.

I have my little corner with my PC, piles of CD’s, killer rabbit with big pointy teeth, wKen and Suzie button, and sundry bits of geekdom.

Venita has her corner with her PC, my piles of CD’s, my rack of books, my pile of “very important” papers and magazines that I haven’t looked at in two years, and sundry bits of geekdom. (That’s ok, she has the other two corners taken up with her sewing and craft accoutrements.)

This is also the room where the cats have their waste treatment plant – aka, the litter boxes.

You see, we have five cats. Four of them are not outdoor kitties… OH. MY. GOD. In mid-post, I realized that I’m blogging about cats! AAAAAHHHHH!

Anyway, the point of this isn’t cats or shared living space. The point is that these noxious piles of pawed and peed-on pleasantness need changing every week or so. (We were changing them more often, but we’re trying to build up our immunity to nerve gas.) And when this happens, I am conveniently nowhere to be found.

This week’s nowhere found me in the living room staring at Fox’s new reality show: Married By America.

Let me make this perfectly clear. I hate reality shows. I didn’t watch more than two episodes of the first Survivor. I haven’t watched a single one since (sorry Chari). I don’t involve myself in Joe Millionaire, I Want to Marry a Millionaire, The Bachelor Who Came To Dinner And Pretended To Be A Millionaire, or any of that crap. I did watch one round of the latest American Idol, but the one I thought was cool, Frenchie, got kicked out. Whatevah.

In spite of this, I found myself in front of the TV watching five lunatics say that the best idea they ever had was to agree to marry someone they’ve never met based on a poll of “America”. It didn’t take long to see that this was indeed true. This was probably the only best idea they’ve ever had.

What made it fun (at least for a bit) was watching it with my sarcastic son. You think I’m bad? He is the king of the sarcastic slam.

For starters, he wanted to turn the first part into a kind of drinking game (I limited him to five beers… ya gotta be the parent some of the time!). He noticed early on that the host seemed to be awfully eager to let us know that YOU, America, would be picking the people that these five contestants were going to marry. So, every time the host or the announcer said something along those lines, it was time for a snort.

Let’s hear how this game is played one more time! You – that’s right YOU, America, by which I mean those of you in America who are watching me now, will pick the spouse (as in the bride and/or groom) of these lucky contestants on the stage. Here. Next to me. No, a little to the right. Yes! That’s them. They are those to whom you will attach a life companion – picked by YOU, America. Here, let me draw you a chart…

The bigger problem was that the desperate-to-get-hitched contestants were, of course, beautiful. Every one of them looked like they came off the cover of Vogue or GQ. Desperate. R-i-i-i-i-ght.

Hi, I’m Stephen. I’m a highly successful businessman from New York. I own my own restaurant and look like a Greek god. Chicks dig me. That’s why I want to settle down with the random woman of my dreams. Yeah. I’m romantic like that.

So, my son asks, “Who the heck is stupid enough to do something like this? I bet all the suitors come out and say, ‘I am looking for the perfect mate. And a green card.'” Which led me to pray for it to be so. I mean, how funny would that have been?

O.K. We’ve locked these beautiful people into isolation booths backstage where they can’t hear a thing. Now, it’s time to meet our suitors!

Then, a parade of the most hideous suitors come out, one-after-another: rednecks, punks, ex-cons…

  • Hi, my name is Bubba. I’m a-lookin’ fer a woman with big hooters and a bank account I kin call my own.
  • Like, hi, my name is… um… oh, darn it! Can I start again?
  • What up? My name is Killer. It ain’t no nickname, beyotch.
  • Yes. Hello, Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea. *snort* My actual name is Irving, but my friends call me ‘Ace’ because I ‘ace’ all my computer certification tests. *snort*
  • I’m called Lucifer. That’s because I’m damned close to hell. What are you lookin’ at, muthaf***ah!

I would have watched it for days. Alas, the parade of Barbie dolls that strolled onstage to introduce themselves were just as vacuous as the contestants. I couldn’t take it anymore, and Whiny had run out of jokes. And beer. (Plus, they revealed that America would only get to pick from the suitors after the contestants’ friends and families had eliminated the chaff.) Thus, I retreated to my now odor-free office.

These Fox execs just don’t know what us real folks want in our reality TV.

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