Swimming With Sharks

I can’t believe I sobered up for this. Most seasons of The Bachelor begin with some version of a cat-fight, this time around we got an hour long debate about whether a shark was a dolphin. I blame the schools.

It wasn’t all mind-melting idiocy, though it came pretty close. Despite an extremely privileged white girl from Miami using “multi-million dollar” instead of “two million dollar” to describe her business, the producers substituting the words “law school graduate” for “unemployed lawyer”, and anyone thinking “apparel sales representative” means anything different from “working in retail”, there were some high points: they’re called commercials.

All harsh truths aside, hope does exist this time around. While I can’t say this will be the most sex-positive season of the series, it should manage to be the least sex-averse. Congrats to Liz for being the first person in the twenty-one season run of The Bachelor to talk about sex without euphemisms and simply calling a spade a spade when she revealed that she did have sexual relations with that man. Of course, that’s all fine and dandy for her and the show, but it doesn’t mean that all the other girls will be on board, especially when one of them called Little Miss Daddy’s Money “a ho” for kissing Nick on the first night at the mansion (side note: if you’re nice to Daddy Moneybags but mean to your nanny, you’re not a nice person). Congratulations, Bachelor contestants – here’s to another season of continually lowering the bar.

The only other surprise of the evening (besides my genuine shock that none of the ladies threw shade at the girl who showed up in a white dress) was the notable absence of Chris Harrison through much of the proceedings. That bastard gave me about six hundred thousand reasons to care about this season – I wanted to know why he seemingly didn’t.

“Make it quick,” he said as he picked up.

“That’s how you answer the phone?”

“It is when it’s you calling, Jackson. What do you want?”

“You usually eat these premieres up,” I said, eyeing the time lock on the bin where I’d stashed all my booze. “Where were you tonight?”

“As far away from that asshole as possible,” Chris Harrison mumbled in reply.

I lit a cigarette and sucked down a quarter of it on the first drag; nicotine’s still on my list of vices this month – because I don’t completely hate myself.

“I’m sorry,” I said as I rubbed at my temples, “but maybe I misheard you. You’re telling me you’re avoiding Nick?”

“Yeah. I can’t stand that guy. Can you?”

“Then why the hell did you make him the Bachelor?” I screamed, the smoke of six-hundred thousand dollars coming out my ears.

“I told you, Clint: because I want to make some goddamn money. Most of America hates him too, but just because the guy’s a jerk doesn’t mean this country won’t eat him up. We just watched that one play out for the last seventeen months.”

I couldn’t argue with that logic, even if it did make me physically ill.

“So do your part,” he continued. “Make the odds, and let’s separate some fools from their money. I did it to you – how hard can it be?”

“That’s a low-blow, Harrison.”

“It was meant to be. By the way, if it sounds like I’m hanging up on you, it’s because I am.”

The line went dead. I looked at my booze collection still tightly held under lock and key. Thirty goddamn days. Maybe I really do hate myself.

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