Back At It Again

It’s tough to find a decent man. It’s why I stick to women.

And after one night in the mansion JoJo’s got to be feeling the same, or at least wishing that option was on the table. But no, the Reality-Romance Industrial Complex has decided that America isn’t ready for a bisexual bachelorette, which is truly a pity; especially since JoJo kept dropping not-so subtle hints about her past relationships. I’ve dated a number of different women over the years and I’ve never used the term “person” when referring to any of them; typically that noun is reserved for intentional ambiguity. And when the producers decided an ex would be a good angle for some added drama last season they just couldn’t greenlight national girl-on-girl action. Instead, enter Chad, a Dallas hairdresser who’s definitely straight and definitely not JoJo’s beard.

Yeah, I’ve been keeping tabs. Me and this show, we got history. Besides, it’d be unwise not to keep an eye on things. I said I was shuttering the doors on the bookie business a couple seasons ago but whenever you think you’re out, they pull you back in.

It wasn’t The Geek, thankfully. He’s been noticeably absent from deep involvement in Bachelorland ever since cleaning my clock throughout Chris Soules’ season. Sure, he has contestants on the show, plays up his whole nice guy shtick, and pumps them for information so he can go make a hundred large off some other sucker, but we’ve been staying out of each other’s roads which is fine and dandy from my perspective. No, this time it was Chris Harrison, the main man himself, who called on my services.

“Things haven’t been the same since you left, Clint,” he said to me over watered-down scotch at the Frolic Room. “Have you considered coming out of retirement?”

“There’re other saps out there, Christopher,” I replied, signaling the bartender for another after my first slug. “Why don’t you go blow smoke up their asses?”

“I hear you, Clint. You’re not the only the game in town. Heck, you weren’t even close to being the most successful game in town.”

“You really know how to charm a guy.”

“But you were honest, Clint. At least more honest than most of the jokers out there. You steered clear of the staff and the spoilers and set your odds based on the reads.”

“And isn’t that how I kept getting my bell rung season after season? Maybe if you paid your PAs and interns a decent wage they’d keep their damn mouths shut and stay off Twitter.”

“You do know Bachelor Interns is a fake Twitter account?”

“Whatever. Point is, I can’t go out there and try to make a living when schmucks like Reality Steve are making it impossible for me to turn a profit. The game ain’t straight anymore.”

“But you made the game straight, Clint. You legitimized us. Trust is dwindling. Ratings are down. More importantly, funding is down. You know we’re not even getting a series premiere live-show this season?”

“No shit?”

“None at all. Times are tough, Clint. They don’t have to be. When you ran the boards people cared. They bet money. It didn’t matter if they won or lost, they generated buzz. We need that back. And I need you to do it.”

“Those are pretty sentiments, Chris, and I’d love to help. But unfortunately for you,” I said, unable to suppress the grin fighting its way onto my face, “I just don’t want to.” I shook a Marlboro free from the pack and placed it between my lips. “Thanks for the drink,” I said over my shoulder as I rose from my seat.

“If you don’t do it I’ll tell Kimmel about you and Sarah.”

The Geek. Any mention of his name is always a surefire way to get my attention. Especially on that particular subject.

“That was one goddamn time, you snake.”

“Doesn’t matter if the number was one or one hundred,” Chris said with a shrug, dropping a Benjamin onto the bar. “How do you think Jimmy will react if he found out you took his then-girl to the fantasy suite?”

“So it’s blackmail, huh?”

“All’s fair in love and war,” he said with that smarmy smile he’s perfected over the years. He stood up, buttoned his suit jacket, and slapped me on the shoulder. “See you on the boards, Clint.”

Yeah, on the boards. That’s where I’ll be. The ol’ open for business sign’ll be hanging in the window again. But not this week. After the first night in the mansion you still can’t tell one jamoke from another, not without a program. There’re front-runners, sure, but at this point they’re all just a bunch of dudes, which is too bad for JoJo. Men. Alone we’re mildly irritating at best. In groups we’re goddamn insufferable. Seems to me JoJo’s known that for a while, though. But just like the rest of us, she’s going to be learning that lesson over and over the hard way – one week at a time.

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