Thursday, July 29, 2010

Some Guy Tells All--Special Post


Hello Readers. Welcome to my special—albeit stolen—version of the Tell All from our favorite show. As was the case with my Stuff Chicks Like series, I received a lot of questions and a lot of emails. Thanks to all of you who played along. I’ve done my best to pick the group of questions that I thought would provide the best answers to all of them. In short, if you don’t see your question below, please don’t feel slighted or ignored. It was tough to narrow these down. If you still have questions after reading this, email me and I’ll do my best to answer. I’d hate to disappoint.

On another note, I want to say that I greatly appreciate all of you for reading, participating, and actually caring. It’s a joy to open up the blog on Tuesday afternoon and read all of the feedback (positive and negative). This season has been fun for me and I’ve actually taken the time to correspond with many of you via email. Keep the comments and emails coming. Honestly, those are the things that keep me afloat at 2am while I’m writing the blog.

You’ll also notice that I’ve added a fancy hit counter to the top of the blog. The goal is to get as many hits as I possibly can. For all of you blog pimps out there, feel free to send this to anyone who might be interested and annoy anyone who might not care with the link. The bigger this thing gets, the better the site will get. I’m looking into beefing it up after the Bachelor Pad season ends but I need to grow the audience in order to do that.

Finally, although my beguiling demeanor will undoubtedly seep through in my answers below, I’ll caution that this entry will probably not be hysterically funny. My goal here is to answer honestly and give you a better idea of who Some Guy in Austin is on a daily basis. I’ll try and provide some levity, but you get the idea.

With all of that out of the way, enjoy Some Guy in Austin Tells All. Your questions are below. Let’s get to it.

What is your guilty pleasure?

This is really hard to narrow down. I’m a “live life” kind of guy and I spend a lot of time in pursuit of a whole host of things that bring me great joy. I love sad, old country songs and I’ve been known to go to my favorite hole in the wall bar alone on a week night, drop five bucks in the jukebox, play every sad country song on it, and drink Lone Star Beer until the songs run out. For those of you not from Texas, let me define “country song.” I’m talking about any song in the formerly labeled “Country & Western” genre recorded before Garth Brooks messed it up for everyone. We don’t line dance here in Texas and true fans don’t listen to some jackass in a crunched up “cowboy” hat in skin tight jeans and a muscle shirt carry on about his tractor or jump around the beach singing about spring break or whatever. Saying that’s country music is like saying that Justin Bieber is a rock singer.

I love live music, two-stepping, and being at places where people know my name. I frequent the same 4 or 5 places. I love to bowl. I love the outdoors. I love chocolate. I love pearl snap shirts and dirty jokes. I rarely sleep. I find real peace on a mountain bike in and around Austin and also on the lake or in the mountains. Let’s just say I have two speeds: 80 and parked. I suppose everything I do is a guilty pleasure. That’s good and that’s bad.

I was going to go with “Mexican food” but that answer was thankfully stolen.

What are your tattoos of and what do they represent?

I have 7 tattoos. I’m not covered like Wes Hayden or anything, but they all mean something. I’ve gotten them at various times during my life and they all reflect a piece of those times. What’s the most interesting one for you to know about? I have a tattoo of James Dean’s face on my left hip that I got when I was 19 years old at a studio in Austin, Texas. I loved James Dean’s movies growing up. A girlfriend I’d dated for two years cheated on me and dumped me. Depressed, I decided to get a tattoo to cheer me up. I had a friend draw me a picture of James Dean and took it into a tattoo studio the next day. It took 4 hours and hurt like hell.

Trivia: My college roommate came with me to get the tattoo. After it was done, we went to our favorite bar Downtown. He made me open my pants and show my left hip to a couple of girls thinking it would impress them. One of the girls took one look at it, set down her beer, and dropped her pants and panties down in the bar to reveal a giant, pink flamingo tattoo just above her whatnot. She became known as “The Flamingo Chick.” My college roommate ended up dating her for a few months. I often wonder if that flamingo has aged well.

If you were a contestant on the Bachelorette, what would your opening line be coming out of the limo on the first night?

I get this question, or something similar, all the time. I suppose the short answer is that the Producers would feed me “my” opening line if I was to go on the show, but I’ll play along. I could go with the aww shucks Austin guy “well, howdy” line. I could go big with something like “you know what would look good on you? Me.” I could go funny with “you look good enough to put on a plate and sop up with a biscuit.” I could go with the “what a bunch of cheese bags so far, huh?” line or I could go with my personal favorite pick up line, “can I buy you a drink or do you just want the money?”

Honestly, I think eye contact, a pleasant smile, and a simple, sincere compliment trump a back flip off a limo any day of the week. The problem with going big early in the date is that you’re expected to be “on” all of the time. Ask Jim Carrey or the guy who plays Stifler in American Pie. A sincere hello and a smile are usually good enough for me to get things rolling. Call me crazy.

What is something about you that most people would never guess just by looking at you?

That I write a blog about the Bachelor/Bachelorette. That I have 7 tattoos. That I’m a lawyer. I asked a friend of mine how she would answer this question if she were me. “There’s not a lot of pretense about you.” “You are who you are,” is how she answered. I guess that’s as good an answer as any.

Trivia: Recently, I left my office at my “real” job to deposit an expense check at my bank. After, I walked to a local deli to get a sandwich. It was a Tuesday and I have a tendency to obsess on finding errors in the blog, so I check it on my iPhone periodically throughout the day. I was reading the blog while standing in line at the deli and I heard three women giggling behind me. Thinking I had toilet paper on my boot, I looked back. One of the women smiled and asked if I read the blog. The other one recognized me and they all laughed. “What are YOU doing here?” one of them asked. I told them that I worked across the street and they all laughed. That was my first brush with blog fame. It was funny.

If you were stuck on a heart-shaped island called Tupai, and you could only bring 3 of each, what would they be?

First of all, let’s just clarify that the island of Tupai was shaped more like a pancreas than a heart. This is actually a tougher question that you might imagine. I’m extremely passionate about all of the things listed below. I’m truly a fan of the people, words, and ideas. I know that sounds very, but it’s true. Did I mention that I like walks on the beach and sunsets too?

In the spirit of not overanalyzing things (Frank), I’m going to just list the first things that come to mind and explain why. As the reader who sent this suggested, I assumed that my desert island, although isolated, has resort style qualities enabling me to watch movies, read, cook, and live comfortably. Wow, this is almost like a reality show.


Forrest Gump. Why? Aside from the quality of the movie from an entertainment perspective, the movie took Groom’s book and turned Forrest into a softer, more lovable character. The entire story tackles the greatest philosophical conundrum since the beginning of time: Free Will vs. Destiny.

Forrest wonders in his soliloquy at Jenny’s gravesite, “I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.”

I minored in Philosophy so I love this stuff. The soundtrack is good too and Forrest’s dedication to Jenny is inspiring.

The Godfather. I suppose just about any pre-90’s Coppola movie would do, but this one is one of my favorites. Puzo’s book is actually better than the movie. I read the book when I was about 12 years old before I saw the movie and always watch it when it comes on TV. Al Pacino wasn’t screaming randomly into the camera as a substitution for acting, Brando resurrected his career before burying it again, and Caan and Duval are both young and in their primes. Hell, even Talia Shire is good in this, proving that nepotism is not always a bad thing (she’s Coppola’s sister). Favorite line? “Leave the gun. Keep the cannolis.”

Trivia: My grandfather was a musician (among other things). His best friend was a guy named Angelo DiPippo. In the opening scene of the Godfather at Connie Corleone’s wedding, Angelo DiPippo can be seen in the wedding band in the gazebo playing the accordion. My grandfather loved to tell that story.

Streets of Fire. Streets of what?, you’re probably asking. 1984-ish movie and self-titled “Rock and Roll Fable” starring Diane Lane and Michael Pare with Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan (Ed Harris’ wife), Ed Begley, Jr., Willem DaFoe, Robert Townsend, Bill Paxton, Rick Rossavich (Slider in Top Gun), and the ugly sister from Too Close for Comfort. Why? I love the story. Good guy rescues beautiful ex-girlfriend he still loves from bad guy. The music is fantastic. Visually, the movie is incredibly well done, and despite Michael Pare’s awful acting, it works.

I’ve had a thing (a big thing) for Diane Lane since she played Cherry Valance in the Outsiders and Patty in Rumble Fish. She’s stunning in this movie and perfect for the role of the maiden in distress. The movie is a love story at heart and I’m a sucker for a good love story that isn’t The Notebook. Did I mention my fascination with Diane Lane? Rent it or buy it. It’s a great movie.

Trivia: When I was younger, I would routinely be told that I was a dead ringer for Michael Pare. Eddie and the Cruisers and Streets of Fire were out around the same time and I have to admit that I did look like him. However, I was and probably still am a better actor. Diane Lane went on to win an oscar. He want on to “star” in some movie about a giant killer Komodo dragon. My brother used to call me “Eddie” as in Eddie Wilson, Pare’s part in Eddie and the Cruisers to try and annoy me.

Favorite scene? When Tom gives Billy Fish back the money he paid him to rescue Ellen and she follows Tom out in the rain and they kiss. I challenge you to find a scene as good as that in The Notebook or its progeny. Second favorite scene is at the very end of the movie, but I won’t give it away.

Runners up: Saturday Night Fever, Rocky, A Few Good Men, Urban Cowboy, Hollywood Knights, Lonesome Dove


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. I know it’s an end run around a single book, but it really doesn’t get any better than Shakespeare. Favorite works? Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and Sonnet #2.

Lonesome Dove. Being from Texas, I have a special connection to this movie. Diane Lane is also in it. I won’t name drop, but I also have a good friend who had a major role in the movie and I love hearing stories about it. Anyone from Texas will tell you that this movie played continuously at least twice a year from its 1984-ish release through the current date. I grew up watching it. I love westerns and this is sort of an anti-western for a million reasons I won’t go into here.

Triva: When I was a freshman in college, I entered as a Marketing/Business major because I was always taught that a Liberal Arts degree was “worthless.” In my first semester we studied The Last Picture Show in my English class. My professor knew Larry McMurtury, the author of the book. He also wrote Lonesome Dove, Texasville, and Brokeback Mountain among a bunch of others. He came to my English class and spoke to us about writing. I sat there with about 15 other people in a small living room in a house on campus and listened to him speak. After leaving that room, I walked straight down to the Registrar’s office and changed my major to English. True Story.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Brilliant, funny, interesting, practical. The list could go on forever. Every person should read this in his/her lifetime.


Abraham Lincoln, Diane Lane, and Chris Harrison.


Tex-Mex and Italian. Two of my biggest weaknesses. And of course, an unlimited supply of Lone Star Beer, the National Beer of Texas.


This is tough. I have tons of friends who are musicians and I’m a fan of just about everything. I appreciate good songwriting, good lyrics, simple melodies, good harmonies, passion, and the ability to communicate a succinct idea. I see the value of everything from classical to hip-hop and find the later to be just as creative as the former.

Willie Nelson. An Austin, Texas treasure. His songwriting is incredible and his ballads are some of the best ever written. Like Dylan, his voice is not the greatest, but there is simplicity of ideas and lyrics that I love. Everyone in Austin has an “I met Willie” story and they are all positive. He’s a wonderful man.

Favorites: “The First Thing I Needed The Last Thing This Morning,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground.” Download and listen.

Trivia: Willie wrote “Crazy,” which was recorded by Patsy Cline. Patsy Cline hated the song and refused to record it several times before finally giving in. It became her signature song and is regarded as one of the greatest country songs ever written. Funny how that happens, isn’t it?

U2. War, Rattle and Hum, and The Joshua Tree albums literally changed my life. Everyone has one of those kind of albums, I suppose.

Elvis Presley. If you disregard everything they play on the radio, you’ll get a feel for Elvis. My mother was (is) a huge Elvis fan and I have no memory as a child of anything other than Elvis playing in my house. Elvis was a true fan of music. He recorded thousands of songs spanning every genre imaginable. If it wasn’t for Elvis, I would have never discovered Frank Sinatra, the Beatles, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Simon and Garfunkel, or gospel music. Plus, it would be difficult to argue that he wasn’t one of a kind. Hell, I even like his movies.

Favorites: Elvis recorded a gospel album in 1956, the year he broke out, for his mother. That album is my favorite. His versions of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Only Believe” are second to none.

Trivia: When I was in college, I frequented a karaoke bar where I became known as “The King” because I sang Elvis songs. I developed somewhat of a following and would routinely be recognized around town as “The King.” I’d sing every Tuesday and Friday night at that bar and when I got up to leave, the DJ would announce, “The King has left the building.” Those were great times in my life.

Runners Up: Ray LaMontagne, Dean Martin, Waylon Jennings, Emimem.

More Trivia: Ray LaMontagne worked in a shoe factory for years. He had to get up at 4am to go to work where he worked 11 hour days, 6 days a week. One morning he awoke to his alarm playing Stephen Stills’ song Treetop Flyer. After work that day, he went out and bought the album and after listening to it, quit his job to pursue music. To this day, he’s terrified to go up on stage and perform. When asked in a rare interview why he chooses to go on stage if he hates it so badly he responded, “if I didn’t have to I wouldn’t.” I love that story. It inspires me. I think it’s a shame that people I know don’t get it.

What DOES the P in DP stand for?

“Private.” Just kidding. Email me and I’ll tell you. I’m not paranoid, but I do have a day job that often involves people Googling my full name in search of dirt on me. I’m a attorney, believe it or not. I prefer to keep the blog separate from my “professional” life. If I ever find a way to do this full time, I’ll get it out there in a heart beat. I’ve corresponded with many of you via email. If you ask to “friend” me on Facebook, I usually say yes. Just don’t promise to guard and protect any part of my anatomy.

What got you started watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette and why'd you decide to start blogging about it? Do you actually like the show or do you watch it only for the comedic blogging possibilities?

Alright, that’s three questions, but I’ll answer. I have two close friends, Heather and Isobel, who are unbelievable die hard fans of the show. Frankly, they scare me. Isobel moved to Denver from Dallas and she and I stayed in touch. I met Heather through her. I found myself traveling to Denver a few times a month for business and each time I went I’d try to go to dinner or meet for a drink with Heather and Isobel. One Monday, I arrived in town and sent my usual “when and where for dinner/drinks” message. I was summarily rejected because the Bachelor premier was on. I ended up watching the show with them and when I returned home, I sent an email making fun of the show. That got circulated and eventually turned into a weekly email to Heather and Isobel making fun of the show. Heather suggested I begin a blog about it and Isobel jumped on board. The rest is history.

As far as liking the show, I’d have to say yes. I find it just as ridiculous as most of you do and I often get embarrassed for the people on it. I don’t think I could write about it like I do if I wasn’t a true fan. I don’t read spoilers or any other blogs prior to watching or writing. A lot of you know that Lincee Ray and I are friends. She and I read each other but only after we’ve posted. We talk often but never on a Monday. I like to experience the show as a fan and then write. I typically start watching on the DVR around 8pm and finish around 10:00pm. I let it sit for an hour or so and then write the blog from 11pm-2am. I polish it up over lunch in my office and post it. That formula is one reason I think the blog works. I love meeting and talking to people and hearing what makes them tick and that curiosity is a big reason I watch the show. I find the premise and its results interesting. Plus, it’s fun to watch just to see what will happen. In short, I like the show just like you do. I just happen to write about it.

What would make more of these couples fall in love and stay together? Fantasy dates earlier in the season? Really crappy dates all season?

Wow, absent a doctorate in human behavior, I can’t adequately answer this one. The bottom line is that I do believe in love at first site—or something like it. You either click or you don’t, right? However, I also believe that even though love is often found when not expected, it has to grow over time and a relationship has to grow out of that love. Most people confuse love for the relationship when, in fact, love has nothing to do with the dynamic of the relationship. We’ve all seen two people desperately in love with one another that can’t get along. Diabetics can love sugar all day, but having a relationship with it can kill them.

With that said, I think the problem is that the show presumes a result: love and marriage. Just because two people can walk a tightrope over a gorge together and have fun doesn’t mean they’re compatible. Anyone can develop real feelings in a vacuum; especially when they have 20 hours of downtime in a giant mansion with a bunch of people they don’t like all day. Wouldn’t you be glad to get out of there for a few hours and sit under the Hollywood sign or race sports cars with an attractive member of the opposite sex?

In order to see if a relationship will work, I think real alone time is required, but that would bore the viewers to death if the show was all about that part of a relationship. The Fantasy Suite is a big part of the chemistry in the equation too, but all of us know that real love is something that has to develop beyond that chemistry. I think the attraction the contestants feel is sincere. I just think the real test starts when the cameras are off and that usually entails a few months before they figure out they hate each other. Just ask Jason or Jillian. Oh, and yes, I know that Ryan and Trista are married with children.

How DO you have such a female-sensitive brain? Who trained you? It's uncanny -- and we want answers!

This is another question I get all the time. The short answer is “I don’t know.” I have many faults but one gift I was given was the ability to read people and read people well, especially women. I suppose it’s like singing or knowing how to draw. You’re either born with it or you’re not. Through none of my own doing, I was also blessed by dating two girls early in my life who were kind, sensitive, caring people who genuinely loved me. They both taught me a lot about what makes women tick. I was always a sensitive, curious, empathetic kid. I listen, observe, and pay close attention to detail. I have an uncanny ability to put myself in other people’s shoes. I suppose that makes it into the blog. Also, I’ve always had a lot of female friends and I guess I picked up a lot from them over the years. I find that my personality lends itself to making people feel comfortable around me. I’m usually the guy who gets the “can I talk to you about something” phone call. For some reason, people feel content to open up to me. Again, I can’t explain that. It just is.

Trivia: When I was a young kid, my mother used to call me “The Mayor” because wherever she took me, someone knew me and would approach me. “Who is that?” my mom would ask. “Oh, that’s so and so’s mother. She owns the local whatever.” My mother used to say that taking me out in public was like watching someone run for office because I talked to everyone and everyone seemed to “know” me. Thus, the nickname. Not a lot has changed since then. I love meeting and talking to people. Again, I suppose that familiarity comes across in the blog.

What's your idea of a great first date?

A helicopter ride over an Icelandic volcano followed by drinks and snacks in an ice cave. Alright, not really. This question gets the first “it depends” answer of the blog. Here’s what I consider before planning a first date and here are a few rules I stick to. I’m assuming I’ve met the person or talked to her on the phone before. Blind dates scare the hell out of me.

It’s important to pick a place where I can focus on her. Trendy or noisy doesn’t work for me. I want to talk, get to know her, and gather as much information as I can. That way, if there’s a second date, I can hit a home run. Listening is important in any situation, but people volunteer a lot more than they think they do, especially in first time situations and especially if you pay attention. Every woman knows that having a man remember tiny details is something they find endearing. Any guy can send a dozen roses sprinkled with baby’s breath in a fancy vase. All that takes is a phone call. But the guy who pays enough attention to send a dozen of your favorite flowers is the guy who scores points. If I’m wrong, please let me know.

I prefer quaint, public places as opposed to doing something weird like cooking her dinner at my house. Low key places are good, isolated places are uncomfortable for a first date. That’s nice, but it’s not first date material. It’s a bit creepy. Drinks are a good start. You can tell a lot from a first drink order. Trust me. Also, it’s important for me to see how she treats other people. Dave Barry once said, “someone who is nice to you but mean to the waiter is not a nice person.” I believe that and the small, subconscious things a woman does are far more telling than anything else.

Casual, casual, casual. Why? Anyone can get more dressed up than a sore finger and plan an expensive evening. If a date is casual, I think a person is more likely to be herself. I get to see what she’s comfortable wearing as opposed to the fifth thing she tried on and still doesn’t feel right wearing. Also, there’s less pressure to “perform.” I think a casual night sends a message that I like things to be about the two of us and not how much I can impress her with money. Believe me, throwing money around early ALWAYS leads to problems. I save the fancy date for later. Frankly, if a girl I ask out doesn’t appreciate a casual date, that’s not someone I’d want to take out on the town anyway. Yes, I do believe there’s such a thing as TOO casual. I’m thinking a booth at a neighborhood bar where they serve appetizers and the waitress is friendly. I’m not thinking ice house on the freeway with a 50 year old braless waitress with a cigarette in one hand and a cocktail tray in the other. I prefer to go to those places by myself.

Open ended. I like to start with an idea like dinner and/or drinks and then present a couple of options to my date. Would you like to get dessert, coffee, shoot pool, go bowling, go to a piano bar, see a band, etc. That way, she gets to choose and we get to be spontaneous—in a sort of controlled way. The ability to be spontaneous is a must have for me and putting a decision in her hands is a good way for me to gauge that quality.

Also, if I can’t stand her, I can pick the thing I think will make her lose my phone number. I think “being a man” and taking control by planning something is important, but it’s also nice to give her ownership in at least part of the evening. I think women appreciate being treated like an equal. Again, if a woman I’m with can’t tell me what she likes to do, I can’t read her mind. Giving her options lets me see if she can do that. It also helps weed out the control freaks and high maintenance women who have to have it their way.

Listen, listen, listen. I try to regale her with funny stories, but it’s important to ask as many questions as I answer and let her tell me about herself. It’s also a good way to ferret out the crazy ones. I’m a firm believer that a person should be able to answer the following questions immediately: What’s your favorite joke? What’s your favorite flower? What’s your favorite movie?

So, DP’s dating principles. Let’s review. Simple, intimate, quiet, public, casual place with the intent on heading somewhere later. Give her options and let her make the choice. Talk, but listen, and learn. By the way, I think a movie, play, or concert are awful first date options. If I want to sit in silence and watch something, I’ll stay home.

What is one (specific) thing about women that just puzzles the crap out of you?

Wow, I’m sure there are many qualities I could name that both men and women share, but I’ll stick to a couple that I view as more female. I think many women—no matter what stage of the relationship they are in—tend to have a much longer memory than men for the negative stuff. Men get mad, vent, and then let things go. Women tend to hang on to bad stuff a man has done and remind him of it in later disagreements. I think that’s unfair and it’s certainly not constructive. People make mistakes from time to time. The vast majority of those mistakes are just that—mistakes—and should simply be forgiven once a sincere apology is made. Reminding him that he was late for Valentine’s dinner three years ago serves no purpose. I think people waste a lot of time in relationships competing for the upper hand rather than experiencing each other. I like to keep things simple. That requires an open, forgiving heart on both sides of the equation. It puzzles me why more women can’t simply let things go.

I also can’t figure out why a woman “won’t” do something in certain situations. Example: If I went to a bar that didn’t serve Lone Star beer, I’d find another drink. I might not love it, but I’d figure it out. I wouldn’t leave the bar or let that ruin my evening. I think it’s nice to have familiarity and predictability from day to day, but it’s essential to be spontaneous. Some people just need to relax.

Bonus tip for women: Men are no less supportive of monogamy, commitment, or even marriage than women are. Men just don’t like to be told by a woman when all of those are going to happen.

Complete the sentence: It is really unattractive when a woman _______.

Doesn’t like me. Just kidding. Smokes, is jealous, has unreasonable body/appearance issues, or no capacity to be spontaneous. There are other “deal breakers” for me, but these are the biggies. I have a very short “must have” list, but the must haves are all non-negotiable. I’m pretty easy going with the rest of the equation.

What sets you apart from other guys? (, besides the fact that you're awesome and you blog about the Bachelor/ette.)

Uh, I’m awesome and blog about the Bachelorette. Beyond that, I’m no better or worse than any other guy you might meet in a bar, on, or in a pumpkin patch—depending upon the season, of course. Women who I’ve dated in the past tell me that I’m a bit easy on the eyes, I make them laugh, I’m never boring, and that I have a way of making them feel safe. I suppose I can see all but the last one. Attraction is a strange thing. I will say that the ability to make people laugh is something I figured out I could do from a very early age and I think women appreciate someone who can do that.

However, I’d propose that perhaps the fact that I don’t see myself as being any better or any worse than any other guy is something important that might set me apart. I’m always myself. Some people like that. Some don’t. I’m ok with that.

What is the coolest part about blogging on a topic predominately read by women?

I love the emails and comments I get wondering how I come up with this stuff. I have several readers who religiously send me their “favorite lines” emails every Tuesday and a couple of friends who call me and tell me what made them laugh. It always amazes me that some of the lines I consider throw away lines end up making it into the comments while the ones I think will kill simply don’t get mentioned. I’m a fan of the readers just like the readers are a fan of the blog. It’s really fun.

On a selfish note, I always find it hysterically funny when husbands or boyfriends give me a really hard time for writing the blog and/or watching the show. My sexuality is questioned, my manhood challenged, and my name defamed. What’s funny about that? Well, two things. The blog is all they hear about from their girlfriend or wife when I’m not there and when I am, I’m the one surrounded by wives and girlfriends while the husbands/boyfriends sulk in the corner. Few men read the blog, but those who do appreciate it. Again, it’s fun for me and that’s why I do it. I don’t worry about it making me seem “gay” or “stupid” or whatever.

Trivia: I have one male reader who sends me a litany of an email every week with his deeply philosophical take on the season. It’s really interesting. The best part is that he once thanked me for writing the blog because he and his wife began eating breakfast together every Wednesday morning in order to take turns reading the blog to each other. He thanked me for helping his marriage. I like that story. That’s a nice feeling.

When you break up with girls, are you usually the break upper or the break-upee?

I’d have to call this one a draw although I’ve stayed in really bad, really destructive relationships in the past for no reason other than I was scared to be alone. I’ve since conquered that fear. I’ve been in many long term relationships. I enjoy the security and familiarity of them. I’ve grown a lot as a result of those relationships and I’m perfectly happy outside of a relationship. It took a long time to be content with who I am as a person rather than depending on someone else for validation. I have many faults, but generally, I’m now happy with who I am as a person.

Trivia: I once took a college girlfriend that I’d dated for two years to a romantic spot above Lake Austin after dinner. I told her that I loved her and asked her if she’d ever thought about marrying me. She replied, “I don’t love you anymore and I’ve cheated on you six times.” How ‘bout them apples?

Have you ever told a girl when you break up with her that it's not her it's you?

No, but I think when any break up happens there’s some truth to that statement. It’s always about the person who is doing the breaking up. The hardest part about being broken up with is facing the reality that a person simply doesn’t want to be with you. If you’re secure in who you are, it’s easier. Still, no one likes to hear he’s not wanted.

Have any of your ex-girlfriends ever told you that you have commitment issues, or phobias?

None whatsoever. I love the security, friendship, and familiarity of a relationship. I’m just as happy in a healthy relationship as I am single. I have no issue with monogamy or marriage in any sense. I think I understand and appreciate relationships. Healthy relationships of any kind (friend, spouse, gf, bf, employee) make both parties better people. I think that understanding shows in the blog.

Do you live at home with your parents?

No, but I plan to move back in with them after I “move” overseas for six weeks and write a screenplay. I haven’t lived with my parents since I left home for college. They live just North of Austin. That’s close enough.

If you were one of the final two guys, would it gross you out to see your "girlfriend" all over the other guys?

Only if I was the second guy on the Fantasy Suite date. I suppose—ironically—reality has to be suspended in that situation in order to deal with the fact that it’s go time for both guys on the date. I will say that jealousy is a deal breaker for me. I think it’s a waste of time to believe that you can control another person. Trying to control your significant other by putting “rules” in place to keep her faithful is ridiculous. It’s also ridiculous to get mad at a significant other for the behavior of third parties. I had a friend punch a guy once because he looked at his girlfriend. The best a person can do is control himself and treat his significant other with honesty and respect. I can’t force a person to feel a certain way about me. I can’t control a person. Trying to do that does two things: It isolates the other person and it drives the controller crazy.

Remember when your parents caught you smoking/drinking/talking to the seedy kid from across the tracks for the first time? They clamped down and forbid you to smoke/drink/talk to the seedy kid from across the tracks, etc. All that did was make you figure out a way to hide it better. It’s like the Tax Code. They can pass any tax law and close any loophole but people will always figure out how to cheat on their taxes. It’s the same with infidelity. It’s useless to worry about that. The best you can do is the best you can do. If that’s not enough for another person, the relationship should end.

Well, there it is. My best shot at answering the reader’s questions. Again, I realize this isn’t as punchy as my recaps, but a change is nice sometimes. I wanted to give you an idea who Some Guy in Austin really is. I’d love to get your thoughts and feedback either in the comment section below or via email. Thank you, as always, for reading and playing along. Until next week’s big finale, take care. If you need me, I’ll be washing the sheets from my Fantasy Suite. DP

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ali Bachelorette Episode 10: The Men Tell All

Alright, here we are, the Men Tell All Episode on the eve of finding out who, if anyone, Ali will choose to be her potential future possible husband maybe one day. These episodes are hard to blog about because they contain so much canned footage and inane banter. I’ll do my best. Two things first.

I’m still taking late submissions for the DP Tells All Special Blog Entry. I have a bunch of questions from the comments and via email, but I’ll still entertain any suggestions you may have. I’ll post my answers on Thursday afternoon. Second, I was privileged enough to meet the great Lincee Ray of fame this weekend. Despite some poor planning and some semi-chach-ness on my part, we had a great time. I’ll include details at the end of this entry. Suffice it to say that she couldn’t have been any more lovely, more gracious, or more fun. She’s the real deal. I realize that many of you read her blog as well and are interested in the outcome. It was no SALT I or Yalta Conference, but it was interesting. In the meantime, let’s get to it.

We begin at the Top Secret Bachelorette Studio undoubtedly tucked safely away from the glaring lights of Los Angeles and nestled like the Bat Cave in a place that only Harrison knows about. The soft blue and red lighting and abundance of candles highlight the empty chairs which sit innocuously on the stage awaiting His Eminence Chris Harrison’s arrival in order for everyone to tell all. The party doesn’t start until Harrison says it does and we can’t wait for him to say it does.

The audience, fresh off three complimentary glasses of wine and light hors d’oeuvres in the Hospitality Tent, sits anxiously. Yes, they all know they’re privileged to be there and they’ve all taken the time to get their nails done and their hair did and gussy it up just in case Harrison decides to score. We can hear the wheels turning inside their heads.

“Who knows? Maybe the producers and Chris Harrison will notice me and skip the entire interview process in order to make ME the next Bachelorette. After all, people like me get discovered every day and I would make a perfect Bachelorette because I’m totally funny, pretty, outgoing, and I know a girl who was on the show once but didn’t get picked at the first cocktail party because she didn’t say enough to the Bachelor and wouldn’t sleep with one of the key grips or stage hands or whatever, so I know really well how to handle that situation and make it past that first night. I’m not saying I’d sleep with someone or anything but I might give out my phone number. I’m also really interesting and fun, you know, like Jillian, and even though I really like Ali and she’s really sweet and all, I am a much better dresser than she is and I don’t say “like” all of the time. I know it’s important to have a signature color like Ali, and I’d be open to any suggestions. I mean I’ve been told I look good in purple but I’m not sure. Anyway, I totally know what I’d wear to the cocktail party, the rose ceremonies, and the one-on-one dates already so ABC could save a ton of money if they chose me because I totally would not need a wardrobe consultant but I would be open to one—you know, for accessories and stuff that looks really cute on camera because it goes with my skin tone or makes my eyes pop—if ABC really wanted me to have one. I also don’t have hair extensions or problems with food even though I totally like Ali and want to see her do well, I’m just saying that I don’t have those problems and my ass also looks really cute in skinny jeans and after five dresses. I also look really cute and sympathetic when I cry and I would totally not be afraid to wear a bikini in front of the camera. This woman who works at my mom’s office told my mom once after seeing just ONE picture of me in my mom’s cubicle that I should totally be the next Bachelorette which is really weird because that picture was taken before my highlights and after I’d been accidentally sunburned at my tanning salon because all of the upgraded beds were full and I had to use one of the bad beds because I had a date that night and I didn’t have time to wait so just think of how my headshots would look now….NOTICE ME, CHRIS HARRISON! NOTICE ME!”

Harrison emerges to an earth shaking round of applause as the pimps, prostitutes, and drug addicts outside of the otherwise abandoned warehouse on the East side of L.A. wonder what’s going on inside the building. He’s decked out in his tailored black host suit accented with a soft violet (or was it mauve?) oxford shirt and dark tie. He’s grinning from ear to ear as he envisions the extra zeros in front of the decimal on his bi-weekly paycheck. The kids are getting a new playscape this year and Daddy is gonna take big fat vacation when this one is over. He’s Money and he knows it. Good for him.

Romance, love, betrayal, and heartbreak are this season’s talking points and we begin to realize that Frank and Justin are in for a bashing. Harrison tees up the evening with “journey” references and the women squeal with joy when he mentions Roberto and Chris L. We cut to the big video screen as the lights are dimmed and Harrison heads back stage for a make up touch up and a stiff cocktail.

We see Ali sitting down in the Lair of Seclusion with Harrison. She looks lovely in her black sequined cocktail dress, matching headband, and costume jewelry. She appears well rested after her trip from Tahiti and we assume that she’s shaken off the jetlag from the long flight and the yeast infection from the Fantasy Suite dates (that’s just as funny as the cranberry juice joke and you know it). Harrison begins with some “journey” references and Ali gives a shout out to the fine people at McNeil Pharmaceuticals for the complimentary supply of Monistat as she assists Harrison in setting up the rest of the show.

Incidentally, I was unsure about the spelling of Monistat and in a rare departure from my regular practice of stream of consciousness writing, I Googled it just to be sure. The website I went on referenced “drinking curds on a daily basis” as an effective, non-medical way to ward off chronic yeast infections. I found it comforting to know that Little Miss Muffet was yeast free. She had enough problems with that damn spider that sat down beside her. Imagine trying to deal with that on top of a yeast infection. I failed to find, “don’t sleep with multiple men on back-to-back nights in a humid, unairconditioned, fantasy suite in Tahiti” but, to be fair, I only skimmed the text on the site.

Annnnyyyyhooooo. . .

Ali and Harrison rehash Justin’s bad deeds and we see a much thinner than Tahiti Ali busting Justin’s balls for trying to be famous rather than searching for love. She’s there for “all women and girls hurt by a man before.” After all, men are dirtbags—well, not the two men she slept with on back-to-back nights in Tahiti, but pretty much all of the rest of them. For a second there, it sounded like her heart needed to be guarded and protected. Speaking of that, they rehash Krasey’s whack job behavior as we are forced to relive the “guard and protect” nonsense and that ridiculous tattoo he got. Harrison and Ali literally fight back laughter and Ali is relieved to be safe in the confines of the studio rather than alone in an ice cavern with Krasey. We are reminded of Kirk’s scrapbook—a lot of good that did—and relive Ali getting dumped on her ass in Tahiti by Frank. She had on high heels and high expectations. Sadly, Frank just had high blood pressure.

Ali tells us that she had “distinct instincts” about what to do and she’s confident she’s made the right decision. By the way, I have all of the Distinct Instincts’ albums. Fascinating, inventive stuff, especially the earlier work.

We then cut to unseen scenes—another potential band name—as we see adorable outtakes of Roberto almost take Ali’s eye out with a champagne cork, Frank’s weird family play a rambling toast joke on Ali in their no curtained house, and we relive one of Ali’s silly little alcoholic black outs as she literally has to be shown footage of her drunk ass putting on an astronaut helmet on her museum date with Krasey. She giggles uncontrollably as we all ignore the big, drunk, 300 pound alcoholic gorilla in the room.

We see Roberto and Ali harangued by peacocks and get a shot of the Weatherman wishing he was being harangued by peacocks. We see Chris N.’s disappearing act and learn why he earned the nickname “The Phantom.” After the break, Harrison introduces Jesse and his white power haircut, Hunter and his ears, Kyle and his giant choker necklace thing, Tyler V., Craig R., John C., Derrick, Jason, Steve, Chris N., Kirk, Weatherman, Krasey, and Ty. We’re reminded that Frank couldn’t cover his Assistant to the Assistant Manager shift at Abercrombie this week, but are assured that he’s signed the vacation book well in advance and should be able to attend next week’s show in order to be jeered at and judged by everyone. Proving that he’s not a complete idiot, we learn that Justin decided not to show up. He must have talked to Roz Papa.

Of course, Craig R. opens his fat mouth first. He had no idea what he was getting into he tells us, but he’s happy to whine about it. Krasey tells us that the first night was “intense” and the Weatherman refers to Ali as “mystical.” The jacket he was wearing was mystical too---mystically gay. Chris N. finally emerges from his shell and we’re happy to know that he found the wet bar in the green room. Looking more tan than George Hamilton, Chris N. displays his “Phantom” t-shirt as Harrison gleefully looks on.

The next five minutes of this show were unwatchable for me. It essentially involved all of the alpha male jockeying going on in the house. We saw McCheesy Craig trying to out macho everyone in the house, the poor gay Weatherman being picked on, and we had to endure the kind of chest beating and mating season behavior that makes men look like fools. Granted, everyone probably had a blood alcohol content higher than the show’s ratings, but it was still ridiculous to watch. Back in the studio, John C. and his magician’s vest call out the Weatherman, Jesse confirms that he wanted to punch McCheesey in the kitchen, we learn that Krasey is indeed crazy. Kyle takes time away from Outdoorsmaning and tries to out choker necklace Ty, and Chris N. continues to perpetuate the redundant expressions spawned by Roberto’s “reciprocated back” line last week as he tells us that Justin was only on the show to “self promote himself.” What a stupid idiot. I figured I’d continue the redundancy trend.

We next cut to the first pariah of the show, Frank. We relive his Mad Men suits, wooing of Ali, and his eventually reconciliation with Nicole before dumping Ali like yesterday’s trash on the beaches of Tahiti. Harrison fights back a smile and manages a “Man, that’s tough to watch.” Craig R., who is apparently an authority on just about everything, sticks up for Frank, as do Ty and Hunter proving that Frank has a mesmerizing effect on guys with big ears. Krasey isn’t buying it, though, as he shakes his head in disbelief before joining Harrison in the hot seat in an attempt to soften his image and shake off some of the crazy.

Krasey hits the hot seat as we see him being left on the glacier like Dennis Quaid in that subpar what if the world froze movie. We see him singing again and realize for a second time how bizarre he is. Harrison rubs gallons of salt in his wounds and Krasey proves that his PR folks know what they’re doing as he simply owns the behavior and declares that even though Ali wasn’t into it, there are girls out there who would dig it. Sadly, Krasey doesn’t realize that the girls out there who would dig it are all wards of their respective states where they sit quietly in wreck rooms across the country sipping apple juice from a plastic cup with a thin paper straw while coloring and listening to subtle classical background music during “creative time.” Illustrating that that denial is tougher to shake than a fantasy suite yeast infection, Krasey actually says he respects Ali for being honest with him and letting him go. Dude, she was terrified of you. I actually thought he did a good job saving some face considering the cards he played all season. The guys seemed to back him up as well. Regardless, he’s still nuts.

We next cut to the heartbroken Kirk. Insert collective “awww” here. We rehash his courtship with Ali, his struggle with mold sickness, and his battle with matching sweaters. In addition to his party on the left Livestrong bracelet and his all business on the right gold bracelet, Kirk gives a secret shout out to Frank by sporting a silver thumb ring. Odd. Kirk scores points with all of the desperate women who finally realize that Harrison is not going to notice them in the audience as he fights back tears to tell Harrison that Ali has indeed broken his poor post-mold infested heart. Sounding crazier than Krasey—if that’s possible—Kirk tells us that one of the side effects of mold sickness is an acute inability to exist in a committed relationship. What? Realizing that we’re all sick of the mold thing, Harrison abruptly thanks Kirk for “inspiring us” and kicks him out of the hot seat. We’ve got some Justin to bash and this mold made me sick crap isn’t as interesting. The only thing Kirk inspired me to do was hit pause and grab another beer.

After a commercial break we return to Harrison who—with the help of an entire network—is ready to put Justin in his place once and for all. We begin with Craig R. watching himself whine on the big screen about what a douche Justin is for being a wrestler for the wrong reasons. We see Harrison making the phone call to his inside source and Ali pretending like she cares. We see Justin fleeing through the landscaping as his voice mails are played as evidence of his misdeeds. Dude, don’t mess with ABC. The crowd grumbles as—surprise—Craig R. characterizes Justin as “evil.” Evil? Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Pol Pot, and Tim McVeigh were evil. Justin is just a putz. “A clever man commits no minor blunders,” said Goethe. Unfortunately, for Justin, he proved to be not so clever. Luckily for Justin, Goethe also said, “all things are only transitory.” He did himself a favor by not showing up for the lambasting. All he needs to do is start over away from the camera. Lesson learned. Oh, and speaking of Goethe, perhaps Justin should have read Faust before coming on the show. Selling your soul to the devil in exchange for anything always ends badly. He did set himself up for a big fall off the top rope. Unfortunately for Justin, this fall is not fake.

Showing us he’s not afraid to beat a dead wrestler, Harrison eggs on Craig R. who is more than happy to open his pie hole again. He sucks up to Harrison, ABC, and the show’s producers and we envision him clicking on the “Careers” icon on the ABC website in order to apply for a job in the Legal Department. Could he have been more complimentary of the show? He made Harrison look like Wes Hayden for God’s sake. We cut to a shot of the Weatherman wishing Craig R. would suck up to him. In a delusional rant, Craig R. addresses “everything that’s been written about him” concerning Justin. Whatever, dude. Go back to Philadelphia and stuff a cheese steak in your mouth. I’m tired of hearing from you. You were a losing contestant on a game show. Period. Your former high school newspaper doesn’t count as press.

As if the prior segments weren’t enough, Harrison follows the lessons the show learned by not burying Wes Hayden and Roz Papa in solid proof by calling “special guest” Jessie—some broad that Jake dumped early on—to speak to the unspeakable acts of Justin. We pictured Justin and his remaining friend sitting on a cooch somewhere in Canada downing some Molson Golden beers and wondering aboot how he could have let this situation get so oot of control.

A camera-seeking Jessie emerges and anxiously tells the story of how she burst the Justin story wide open after getting an email from a “fan” of hers aboot Justin’s stepping oot on Ali and having two girlfriends. Oh, the humanity. Yes, she tells us, she felt compelled to come forward and seek the truth because “it was important” for Ali to know the truth. Oh, and it would ensure her a spot on The Bachelor Pad and an extension of her 15 minutes of second class fame, but that’s neither here nor there. Harrison manages a “poor thing” and then steps into the audience so a couple people can pile on. Some lady gets in a jab or two and some other chick propositions Craig R. proving that there’s someone out there for everyone. Craig R. challenges Justin to an olive oil match. I rolled my eyes and regretted opting for a six pack of Lone Star rather than a 12 pack.

FINALLY, Ali enters the studio. Wearing a silver sparkly Tina Turner dress with carefully planned accessories and her extensions messily stapled to the back of her head, she actually looked like she’d taken off some of the wooing weight. She giggles, “great guys” the guys, and endures a painful to watch “song” from Krasey. We learn that Roberto’s junk hurt in his harness, Chris L. is funnier than he’s been edited to be, and Harrison fell for the old replace the ubiquitous champagne glass with a plastic glass trick. Finally, we get a quick preview of The Bachelor Pad. I’ll save comments until I blog about it.

In other news, I met Lincee Ray, who happened to be in Austin to see some friends. Lincee emerged from her friend’s house looking stunning in a green cotton dress and boots. We were, after all, going dancing at my favorite honky tonk, and boots were required attire. I, of course, sported a pearl snap. We had dinner at Hill’s Café and Lincee carefully inspected the stage where Wes Hayden wooed Jillian with that stupid song. I downloaded it prior to Lincee’s visit and annoyed her with it in the car on the way to dinner. We next moved to my favorite honky tonk where we met some friends and danced. Unfortunately, the place was packed because it was a summertime Saturday and we shared only one dance—it was a waltz. Poor planning on my part. I take full responsibility. We next went to a local blues bar to see my brother-in-law’s band play. I set up two celebrity introductions for Lincee. The first was of a well-known actor, writer, director, producer, Hollywood type who resides in Austin and happens to hang out where I do. My sister knows him too and she invited him to the show. The second was the drummer for Wes Hayden’s band. The look on Lincee’s face when I introduced him was priceless. They shared some words, but I kept my distance. All in all, I have to admit that I disappointed Lincee Ray. I made the cardinal mistake of trying to fit too much into one night. If it wasn’t for playing The Thong Song in the car on the way to the bar and my sister’s friend, Really Gay Phil, taking Lincee to the dance floor, the night might have been a bust. All in all, it was wonderful to finally meet her face-to-face after corresponding with her all of this time. I’ll leave you—the readers—and her with the promise that I’ll do a better job of planning the next time she makes it to town. I was a fan of her blog and now I’m a fan of hers. Like I said, she’s the real deal.

Well, there it is. With the Amazing Count at 164, we head into the final episode where only Chris L. and Roberto remain standing in the quest for Ali’s heart. Next week looks interesting as we get to meet Ali’s family in Tahiti and see her introduce both dudes to her family. Dad looked none too pleased with either one of them, but we’ll see what happens. Look for my DP Tells All post this Thursday. Until then, if you need me, I’ll be practicing my fake wrestling moves. DP

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ali Bachelorette Episode 9: Frank Tanks

It’s Episode 9 and I’m three weeks closer to being relegated to writing about the Bachelor Pad. In the meantime, I choose to savor each moment of The Bachelorette like each sip from a bottle of cold Lone Star beer or each simple, elegant note from a Willie Nelson ballad like “The Last Thing I Needed the First Thing this Morning.” Besides, y’all love to read this stuff and I enjoy envisioning you each taking time out of an otherwise productive work day to read this and snicker quietly in your cubicles, offices, or break rooms. Let’s get to it.

We begin this week with an L.A. sunrise and Ali’s voiceover letting us know that Tahiti—our next destination—is the “perfect place to fall in love.” Oddly enough, so were San Francisco, New York, Iceland, Turkey, Portugal, every passenger compartment in every helicopter ever rented this season, and the area immediately below the Hollywood sign. Regardless, Ali is excited.

We cut to Chris L. in his Garanimals knit striped collared shirt and cargo shorts doing some heavy thinking amongst the palms. We get a recap of his “journey” toward finding love, are reminded again that his mother passed away, and remember that he gave Ali the Dennis bracelet. He’s ready to open up to Ali he tells us as we see him stuffing his unironed clothes into his Dora the Explorer big boy suit case and leaving the hotel in search of his monkey, Boots, and a Spanish speaking squirrel with a driver’s license to get him to his bungalow in Tahiti.

We move to Roberto and his dimples and continue our formula. Roberto relives his “journey” with Ali and we see his Livestrong bracelet wooing her right along with his dimples and cleft chin. The producers—aware of last week’s focus group comments—give us a parting shot of Roberto in his baseball uniform as he recalls his spontaneous street dancing and packs his stuff into his big red suitcase. He carefully places his Lion King CD atop his pheromone soaked t-shirts and fondly remembers the ingenious c*ck block he laid down on all of the men when he sang directly to Ali and won a part as a scantily clad pornographic extra in the Broadway production of the play. Ahh, memories . . . or is it mammaries? Semantics aside, Roberto is anxious to win Ali’s heart now that there is no longer any psycho waiting around to guard and protect it.

We next turn to Frank (insert collective frown here) in his bad guy black sweater and matching black and gray plaid oxford delightfully accented with his embroidered chick jeans. He might be the bad guy this week, but damn it, he’s going to look stylish doing it. Not surprisingly, we see Frank meticulously packing his Mad Men and undertaker suits into his wrinkle free bag in hopes that they emerge as crisp and lintless as when he put them there. He sees Ali as fun, romantic, and sexy but lets us know that he’s—SURPRISE—an emotional wreck because of his rediscovered feelings for his ex, Nicole. I’m surprised Jake didn’t reemerge in his pilot’s uniform in order to tell Ali at this point. I assume he’s busy boxing up Vienna’s bean bag chair, EZ Bake Oven, and frantically dialing the cell phone in the hopes that his former agent picks up the phone. Frank tells us that he needs a detour to Chicago in order to pick up his allowance at his folk’s place and talk it out with Nicole. We assume he begs Harrison to do him a solid and spring for a ticket.

Frank arrives in Chicago but doesn’t go to his parent’s house to change. Instead, he wanders the streets of the Windy City in search of Nicole. He tells us that he’s nervous and unsure of himself. Don’t worry Frank, I thought. You were nervous and unsure about being an accountant and weren’t sure if you wanted to be a screenwriter until you failed at both, quit, and moved back in with your parents. That seemed to work out fine . . .I guess.

Frank lies and tells us that he hasn’t talked to Nicole in months and we pray that she’s been contacted by the show’s producers in order to provide a current address and complete the proper pre-interview process in addition to signing the appropriate release paperwork so that Frank can “find” her and make out with her on camera. Frank crosses the same intersection several times (nice editing) and tells us that he’s nervous twice as many times as he crossed the intersection. Frank is eventually given the mysterious address and he “surprises” Nicole in what appeared to be her dorm room at the University of Indecisiveness. Apparently, she’s wrapping up her undergrad work there. She met Frank while he was a Research Assistant working on his Ph.D.

Nicole answers the door in—you guessed it—a canary yellow shirt proving she’s in on it. She does a poor job of pretending to be surprised. “Can I talk to you?” Frank asks. Yes? “Can I bring an entire camera crew into your dorm room?” He follows. Nicole says yes and scurries inside to hide her skull bong and weed stash before grabbing a seat on the colorless couch in her colorless room in order to hear Frank profess his indecisiveness in front of America. To be fair, she and Frank were probably indecisive about the color scheme and opted for a neutral look. After a series of unedited silences and a close up of Nicole’s prodigious proboscis, Frank finally gets to the point. Ali is cool…blah, blah, blah…he had a good time…blah, blah, blah…but he loves Nicole and wants to be with her. I couldn’t help but wonder if this relationship was the product of some odd arranged marriage propagated by Frank’s family in an effort to confirm his heterosexuality. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, an arranged marriage is where your parents force you to marry a crazy woman that they like instead of letting you find a crazy one that you like on your own. My worries aside, what’s her face appeared touched.

After a pause for more dramatic silence, Nicole tells Frank that since his departure for reality fame, she’s been “consumed with him every day” and we all hoped that Frank doesn’t own a pet bunny and a large boiling pot. Check that. We all hoped that Frank’s parents don’t own a pet bunny and a large boiling pot. It’s been “sickening” and “heartbreaking” to know he’s been traveling the world with 25 other dudes trying to get in Ali’s pants. After all, Nicole still digs him. She gets him. Hell, she helped him pick out his jeans. After seeing that she’s just as wishy washy as Frank, I actually saw their “amazing connection” and understood what Frank was getting at. He struck me as honest and sincere. More about that later. Nicole, proving she’s just as vapid as Ali, actually drops the “you complete me” line on Frank and they kiss. Apparently, she sat around watching Jerry McGuire in anticipation of Frank’s arrival. Ironically, Frank and Nicole found love on the show. I know, I know, so did Ryan and Trista. Please.

Proving that he’s not a complete idiot, after Nicole tells him to “come home” Frank tells her that he’s happy to do so . . . right after he takes his free trip to Tahiti. Oh, he’s scared, he tells her, but f*ck it, he’s going anyway. Oh, and by the way Nicole, clear out some closet space and a small shelf in the bathroom medicine cabinet. Frank needs a place to live when he gets back. Nice job, Frank. Nice job. At least he told her the truth. Then again, “betrayal is the only truth that sticks,” Arthur Miller once wrote. We can’t wait to see how Ali takes the news.

We cut directly to an unsuspecting Ali arriving via speedboat like Sonny Crockett to a Miami drug bust. Tahiti is “magical” she tells us, just like San Francisco, L.A., New York, Iceland, Turkey, Portugal, every passenger compartment in every helicopter ever rented this season, and the area immediately below the Hollywood sign. Sporting a pink tank top and some very hippy white linen pants, Ali seems excited.

In a very Tarkovsky-esque montage we see memorable images of Tahiti’s exceptional beauty, running water accompanied by fire, rain clouds, reflections, and long panoramic shots of this week’s paradise and wonder how many of Marlon Brando’s illegitimate children inhabit the island. I was reminded of Melville’s novel about the South Pacific named Omoo, not because I’m smart or anything but because a college professor I had once lived in Tahiti and worked it into her curriculum in lieu of ol’ Herman’s better works. While most people were reading Moby Dick, I was busy indulging her unresolved loss of youth and her unrelenting lamentation of a passionate, yet fleeting fling with a local Polynesian boy by being forced to read an inferior novel. Sigh….I should have taken the 9am class instead of opting for the much easier to attend 11:30am. I digress.

In a moment of foreshadowing, Ali arrives at the dock in Tehaha, Tahiti and gets leied. Looking very much like a post-meltdown Britney Spears in her sunglasses, Ali iterates her feelings for the boys and says she looks forward to the dates. She then dons a pink bikini and jumps off of her balcony in this season’s best non-sequiter.

We cut next to Roberto who tells us that he’s been awarded the first date with Ali. Translation: He gets first crack at closing the deal in the Fantasy Suite. Let’s not sugar coat it, folks. It is what it is and Roberto is ready. I’ll spare you all the baseball metaphors.

Ali arrives in a yellow and white tank with a matching flower in her hair extensions. She’s missed him. He’s missed her. They hug and miss each other more and the date begins. Roberto emerges from the tropics in his gray standby t-shirt and board shorts sweating like a fat kid on the playground. Ali looks terribly apple-y in her burlap pants as the two approach the 50th helicopter we’ve seen this season. Apparently, that company offers a bulk discount. Ali and Roberto board the helicopter and proceed to cuddle, sweat on each other, itch each other’s hands, and “SO” everything each other. Their destination is a secluded, heart-shaped island that doesn’t really look like a heart named Tupai. Ali does her best to talk it up in her testimonial as she sports a muted gold Fay Wray strappy dress clearly held in place by two-sided tape along with those rubber things you put in the bottom of your bra to enhance the look of your Tahahas. Both worked. For a moment, I felt like I was watching that new Ochocinco show instead of The Bachelorette. Nine episodes in and now she decides to accent her cans? Odd.

Tastefully filmed from the side, Ali drops her burlap pants revealing her hot pink bottoms along with her canary yellow bikini top. Just Add Water could not have sold that set together, we think, as we imagine Ali’s dilemma back at her bungalow.

Sure, the pink bottoms look cuter on than the yellow, but yellow is my signature color. What should I do (insert pouty lip face in the mirror here)? Whatever.

Roberto loses his sweaty t-shirt and tests Ali’s weight gain by going with a quick pick up and run before frolicking, running, and sucking face in the surf ensues. We get some From Here to Eternity beach make out scenes as Roberto does his Spanish Burt Lancaster impression. Their conversation was repetitive and meaningless, but both seemed to be having a good time. He played the Mexican Christopher Atkins to her blonde headed Brooke Shields as they shared meaningful glances in the lagoon.

After washing the sand out of her hooha, Ali arrives at dinner in the Fay Wray dress ready for Roberto to give her hooters a test drive. Roberto arrives looking musked up and ready for action in his pinstriped oxford shirt, linen Capri pants, and some sneakers he borrowed from Chris L. as we imagine the song “Some Enchanted Evening” playing in the background. Come on, we’re in Tahiti. I had to throw in a South Pacific reference. Technically, I don’t know if Tahiti counts, but Hell, if you don’t get it, at least the Weatherman will appreciate the show tune shout out.

In a rare misstep, Roberto tells us that he has feelings for Ali but wants to be sure that they are “reciprocated back.” Oblivious to the redundancy of it all, Ali carefully studies Roberto’s dimples and lets her mind wander ahead to the Fantasy Suite. I’ll spare you the baseball metaphors. Ali and her up do are clearly nervous as Roberto tells her he can see them together. He’s been doing some thinking and now he’s got some ‘splainin’ to do. He tells her that he’s just going to “open up and put it out there.” We all know he is.

Before he opens up and puts it out there, Roberto tells Ali that he just possibly might be sort of falling for her and Ali displays her tiny teeth in approval and her eyes sparkle like a Tahitian lagoon. They decide to explore the surprisingly small confines of the Fantasy Suite and we depart with Ali undressing Roberto. We assume she opened up and he put it out there. “Am I the first man you made love to?” Roberto asks. “You might be,” she answers, “your face looks familiar.” Don’t worry Ali, the only time it’s wrong to have sex before marriage is if it makes you late for the ceremony. Congrats on bagging Roberto.

After washing the Tupai off her Tahaha, Ali prepares to meet Chris L. for their date. We get a toe to head panning shot of Ali in her striped bikini top, mercifully rufflely skirt/bottom, and brown sweater contemplating her enchanting evening with Roberto until Chris L. rounds the corner in board shorts and an orange crossing guard shirt hoping to mop up some sloppy seconds.

She missed him. He missed her. They miss each other some more, hug, and the date begins. Ali let’s Chris L. know that they are going to “take like the biggest, most luxurious, like catamaran in Tahiti” on an exploratory trip. Speaking of exploratory trips, I wondered what Roberto was doing. Ali fails to mention her exploratory trip on the biggest, most luxurious Spaniard on the island the night before. Details.

Ali points out Bora Bora and the other land marks she went over in her talking points session with the location scouts and wonders aloud to Chris L. “Like how is this on the same planet as, like, Massachusetts?”

Well, Ali, Earth (or the Earth) is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System (Pluto was demoted a few years ago). It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets. It is sometimes referred to as the World, the Blue Planet, or by its Latin name, Terra. Home to millions of species including humans, Earth is currently the only place in the universe where life is known to exist. The Earth provides the (currently understood) requisite conditions of liquid water, an environment where complex organic molecules can assemble, and sufficient energy to sustain metabolism. The distance of the Earth from the Sun, as well as its orbital eccentricity, rate of rotation, axial tilt, geological history, sustaining atmosphere and protective magnetic field all contribute to the conditions believed necessary to originate and sustain life on this planet. The biosphere is divided into a number of biomes, inhabited by broadly similar plants and animals. On land, biomes are separated primarily by differences in latitude, height above sea level, and humidity.

That’s how. Someone get this broad an iPhone and load the Wikipedia App, for crying out loud.

For some unknown reason, Ali and Chris L. don pooka bead necklaces and discuss the hometown visit. Frankly, Chris L. is a nice guy and he seems to really like Ali. He’s probably her best pick if she doesn’t talk herself out of it. They cuddle some and Chris L. seems really into making out. We wonder if he’s really that into her or if he’s just enamored by the residual Roberto pheromones undoubtedly left over from last night’s romp on El Cuarto del Fantasy. Chris L. tells us that he feel like he’s 12 years old when he’s with Ali and we all breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, that explains his wardrobe.

Chris L. and Ali swim for shore and Chris L. puts on his best plaid shirt. Plaid in Tahiti? Dude, come on. Ali breaks out her oversized white linen pants and they wade to dinner. They both whisper. In fact, they whispered so much that I almost missed an “amazing.” The fantasy suite card comes and Chris L. decides that what’s good enough for Roberto is good enough for him. Ali drinks plenty of water and lots of cranberry juice (that’s funny and you know it) and they eventually retire to a much larger Fantasy Suite with a private pool where we can only assume that Chris L. weeded and remulched Ali’s flower beds.

We next cut to a shot of Frank arriving via boat to drop the Nicole news to Ali. If stress was a rhinestone, Frank would be Liberace. He’s stressed, but finally happy that he’s in an appropriate environment for his Bermuda shorts. He actually had the balls to wear a yellow shirt. He’s ready to drop the hammer, but first, he needs to have a talk with Harrison.

Harrison arrives and sees Frank’s yellow cotton oxford with his turquoise linen button down and sits down to boost the ratings. Harrison listens, uninterested, giving Frank cues along the way. “What’s up?” “Really?” “Sure.” is all he can manage. When Frank is done with his allocution, Harrison turns the screws by telling Frank that he’s “blown away” and properly using the word “reciprocated” in a sentence. Take that, Roberto. I found myself feeling sorry for Frank. Stay with me here. The guy was an indecisive, neurotic, wishy washy, mess all season. He finally accepts his feelings, comes clean, and owns it. He’s finally made a decision. He’s in love. Isn’t that what this show is allegedly about?

Frank sweats and Harrison—clearly in a Zen-like trance inside his air conditioned suite—does not. Harrison encourages Frank to tell Ali, gives him marching orders, and it’s on. Harrison splits in order to down a few rum runners with some Polynesian dancers before being summoned to sop up the mess that Ali is about to become. Frank broods and paces.

After putting her Bora Bora’s back in place after her fantasy date with Chris L., Ali prepares for some Frank time. We see the most pathetically optimistic portions of Ali’s testimonial as she tells us how encouraged she is to see Frank in Tahiti. That was a little mean. We see Ali walking knowingly toward Frank’s bungalow and we see a close up of her looking innocent and sweet like a mouse before it’s dropped into the python cage. She tells us that she plans to take Frank sailing and we wonder if Harrison wasn’t boozing it up with some of the staffers on that boat so as not to let the rental money go to waste.

Frank pauses, hems and haws, but eventually drops the hammer as kindly as he can as the flower in Ali’s hair wilts and falls before she eventually throws it to the ground. Just then, in a modest house in a quaint Houston suburb Lincee Ray hit pause on her DVR and scribbled “that’s symbolism” on her yellow note pad. Symbolism indeed. Frank cries, apologizes, and feels badly. Not realizing he’s done her a favor, Ali cries, makes her hair look like a rats’ nest, gets angry, and then leaves after a cursory hug from Frank to go pout on the beach.

Alright, here’s my male perspective on the Frank thing. I realize I’m setting myself up for some debate, but here goes.

I honestly thought that what went down between Frank and Nicole was the most romantic and sincere thing that’s ever happened on this show. (Yes, I know Ryan and Trista are still married and have kids.) Sure, it wasn’t as spontaneous as it was made to appear, but what is on this show? Frank, single at the time of the show, started by seeking out Ali but realized he could not be without someone he’d once cared for deeply. He struggled to make sense of it all. I imagine that when it hit him he was half way across the world in the middle of filming the show. The Justin situation could not have helped either.

Frank eventually came to grips with his feelings, did what he had to in order to confirm them, then he flew to Tahiti in order to tell Ali the truth in person rather than taking the easy way out, owned the consequences on national TV, and sincerely apologized to Ali and to Harrison before grabbing his sh*t and heading back to live in his parents’ house. Say what you want, but that took guts. Contractual obligations and free trips to Tahiti aside, when a man has the courage to be that honest a woman should appreciate how difficult that is for him to do. It was unfair of Ali to call him a coward. The alternative is to go through with the Fantasy Suite knowing good and well what will happen after a few glasses of chardonnay and some encouragement from the Producers, roll the dice at the rose ceremony, and if picked, dump her months later. Frank, albeit a victim of his own indecisiveness, did the right thing. We should embrace him for it. Now all he needs is a job, a car, and a place to live that isn’t his parents’ curtainless house.

Ali arrives shoeless at the beach in front of her bungalow and at that very moment, the staff flipped the switch on a broken heart shaped spotlight and projected it high into the sky a la the Batman signal in search of Chris Harrison. Harrison killed his last mai tai, chased it with tequila, brushed the sand off his linen trousers, tipped a Tahitian stripper, and headed confidently toward Ali’s suite. Frank packs three weeks worth of bags despite the impression that he was only there for a short time and picks up a resort brochure on the way out. You know, for his honeymoon.

Harrison finds a now angry Ali on the beach and listens to her “this always happens to me” stories as his buzz quickly wears off. This might have hit her square in the Daddy Issues Nerve but at least her roots were retouched. “The hottest love has the coldest end,” said Socrates and we are reminded of the truth of that statement as she whines and whines about it and it quickly becomes annoying. Ali clearly has an inferiority complex, which is good and bad. The bad news is that it forces her to glom on to indecisive schmucks like Frank. The good news is that she views herself as the least of her problems. Incidentally, I believe Socrates also famously said, “I drank what?” Ahh, nothing like a little hemlock humor to keep things moving.


Frank did her a favor. He removed himself from the top 3 because he had feelings for another woman. She’s left with two really good guys who apparently are actually attracted to her. To be fair, Ali is entitled to her first reaction. It’s difficult to see the good stuff in the heat of emotion. She was clearly into Frank and later tipped her hand that he was the front runner. Despite Ali’s assertion, I don’t believe that Frank “knew all along” or he’s “the biggest jerk she’s ever known.” Keep in mind she knew Justin and Craig R. Such is life, Ali.

We move to the Temporary Lair of Seclusion and see Ali in a horribly unflattering black and white “dress.” This one takes the cake. I found myself wondering if I’d solved the mystery of where Frank’s parents’ curtains had gone or if the local Tahitian outlet mall had a Mama Cass Casual Wear store in it. Seriously. The Von Trapp kids looked better in their outfits.

Harrison arrives to throw sawdust on the vomit and eventually reminds Ali that Roberto and Chris L. await. She tells Harrison that she has high hopes. Harrison tells her he’s just high. She wants them to accept the rose she offers and Harrison leaves her to get her s*it together before dropping the “Frank’s gone” news on them. Roberto and Chris L. wait silently in the rose garden. I expected one of them to lean over and say something like, “So, how was it?” but that never happened. Ali drops the news on the boys in the vaguest way possible and both men grin from ear to ear. She tells them that she wants “honor” which I found ironic considering both of them had been “on her” within the last 24 hours. They get roses and we learn that Ali’s family awaits in Bora Bora.

Well, there it is. With the Amazing count at 154, we head into the Men Tell All Episode next week, which always proves interesting. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve also decided to do a Some Guy in Austin Tells All special blog entry. Send me your questions via email at or in the comment section and I’ll “tell all” in a special blog entry sometime after next Tuesday but before the Final Episode. Of course, I reserve the right to waffle like Frank or simply ignore the inane questions, but I’ll try my best to answer. As always, let me know your thoughts below or via email. My prediction is Chris L. or no one. Until next week, if you need me, I’ll be alone with my Tahaha. DP

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ali Bachelorette Episode 8: Ali Cuts the Cheese

Well, here we are. It’s Episode 8 and some interesting turns of events are set to happen. We get to meet the families of the remaining four dudes vying for Ali’s emotionally unavailable heart. A few house keeping items first:

First, I’ve fixed the comment section of the blog. I was getting a lot of emails about the lack of user friendliness. For that I apologize. If you’d like to comment you can do so without setting a profile. Simply select the “anonymous” option and comment away. Please sign your comment so I know who I’m dealing with. If your internet name is misterpickle69 or something like that, don’t bother signing. Second, in what is quickly turning into the “Freebird” of the blog world, I’d like to send this week’s shout out to my favorite four ex-patriots from the U.S. now living in England who were kind enough to send me an email reminding me that my blog helps them stomach the food and the weather over there. Thanks to all of you for reading. Enjoy your Indian food and six dollar (3 pound) Budweiser beer while reading this. Seriously, thanks for writing. I’m glad to have friends across the pond. Finally, thanks to the kind folks at the Austin Post ( for giving me a nice award for the blog last week. That was thoughtful. Undeserved, but thoughtful. I used the prize money to get hammered at a Band of Heathens (Google them) show on Friday night. Finally, look me up on Facebook. Guy in Austin is the page name. Now, in light of my newly realized multi-national, award winning status, let’s get to it.

We begin back in the City of Angels and get the standard shots of Ali wandering aimlessly through the city. Although this next paragraph flies in the face of my penchant for kindness, we might as well begin by discussing the elephant in the room (no pun intended)—Ali’s weight gain. I’ll say this up front. She’s not fat. I don’t want emails claiming that I hate fat people or I’m just like every man who thinks women should be a size 2 or how Susan B. Anthony is rolling over in her grave or how Betty Friedan wants to punch me. Save it, please. All shapes and sizes can be sexy and attractive. For me anyway, it’s more about how a woman carries herself than any certain body type. I’m merely pointing out a significant, noticeable change in Ali’s appearance since we first met her in Jake’s season. I digress.

Suffice it to say that I think that she’s an attractive girl—well, save the tiny teeth, overly large lower lip, and the whining—but let’s be honest; all 15 pounds were showing. We all know that Ali admitted to a 15 pound gain in a post production interview. However, I’m not in possession of the closely guarded algorithm used to calculate her actual weight gain. When a woman publicly admits to an extra 15 pounds, there’s bound to be some secret formula hidden somewhere allowing us to determine the true amount of weight gain. Without the Rosetta Stone guessing that number is like dog years or men’s descriptions of penis size; it’s literally impossible to determine without the proper measurement. Regardless, she looked really pretty on Jake’s season. She looks less pretty now. Sigh…

Ali packs her crap and her shiny Cinderella shoes into her giant, red plastic suitcase and tells us in her super feminine, scoop neck, turquoise cotton tee that she’s heading to Tampa, Florida to see Roberto. Needless to say, I had no idea she wasn’t the only one that would be seen wearing a super feminine, cotton scoop neck tee this episode. More about that later.

We cut Roberto’s Spanish theme music and pictures of the beach and then to an anticipatory Roberto in his blue plaid, yellow trim pearl snap shirt awaiting Ali’s arrival at whatever college he attended in Tampa. Roberto dons the Livestrong bracelet he stole from Kirk’s shaving kit letting us know that he appreciates both the battles against cancer and mold sickness while telling us that he’s excited to see Ali.

“'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark our coming, and look brighter when we come,” said Lord Byron. ‘Tis also sweet to know that Roberto’s dimples will appear when Ali arrives. ‘Tis sweet indeed. Ali arrives and is dumped off 300 yards away so that they can run knowingly into each others’ arms, demonstrating that the yellow in Roberto’s pearl snap shirt compliments Ali’s canary yellow shirt. Man, that Roberto thinks of everything.

A giggly Ali gives us a brief shot of her lucky mood ring. It’s yellow, which means she’s excited to see Roberto’s dimples. It could also mean that she’s appreciative of the dedication and research needed to get a handle on mold sickness. We’re not sure. Tampa is “beeyooootiful” she tells Roberto as he concisely and directly lays out his plans. “We’ll walk around a bit and I’ll show you some stuff,” he tells her. Vagueness aside, Ali and her rooster necklace (wtf?) tell us she’s happy to be wearing tennis shoes and can’t wait for Roberto to show her his stuff. I'll bet. We all took a collective sip of our wine and wondered about Roberto's stuff. Granted, my thoughts were probably a bit different than yours, but I did, in fact, wonder.

By the way, why was she wearing a rooster necklace? Where would one obtain a rooster necklace if one were so inclined to purchase one? Perhaps the Weatherman would know. He likes cocks.

We head next to Roberto’s Field of Dreams. As if he needed any more ammunition, Roberto shows Ali where he played his college baseball. There’s some high hand holding and Roberto continues to pile on in Chris L. fashion by using all of the tools he has in his bag. This is the hometown, damn it. Even Roberto is not taking any chances. He presents Ali with a jersey with his number on it left over from Roberto Night at the Ballpark. She quickly puts it on in an effort to hide the junk in her trunk and pretends like there aren’t hundreds of Cuban women strolling around in East Tampa wearing the same jersey.

Roberto suits up in his baseball uniform and an elated Ali does her best version of the Jillian leg wrap. Dark roots and all, she tells us that a baseball uniform is the sexiest thing a man can put on. Roberto goes for the squeeze play by using what Ali refers to as the “oldest trick in the book” by sneaking up behind her and letting her handle his bat. I’ll say this. I’m not now nor do I plan on becoming a homosexual. However, if I was in prison, I think I’d like to share a cell with Roberto. By the way, a club to the back of the head and a romp in the cave is the oldest move in the book, but the sneak up from behind move is not far behind. Ali apparently never saw Clan of the Cave Bear with Daryl Hannah. Ali giggles and squeals like a teenager at a Justin Bieber meet and greet and she hasn’t even met the family yet.

After hitting some fungos and taking batting practice, Roberto presents Ali with his baseball card from her hometown team and her mood ring goes from giggly to horny. They share grapes and wine as Roberto plays it cool. A la Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty in Splendor in the Grass, they lay there on the field discussing life’s trials in anticipation of meeting the rest of the Robertos. Ali and Roberto prove to be very compatible provided she keeps her mouth shut.

The rented Tahoe heads to Casa Roberto and we meet his family. Let’s see, there’s Olga Roberto, Olga II Roberto, Roberto Sr. Roberto, Peter Roberto, and Kristin Roberto. They, like Roberto, are all attractive. Roberto’s brother, Peter Roberto, apparently took time off of his world tour with Menudo to be there. Roberto’s mother looked better than Ali. Surprisingly, Ali does a fairly good job with the family. They all seem like nice people. Roberto Sr. Roberto shows Ali all of the trophies that Roberto won as a child. She takes special note of the one he won for Best Dimples. Roberto talks his dad down from being too difficult and dad heads to—ironically—the yellow couch for the Ali Q&A. Ali pretends to have a job and tells us that she won’t do sh*t to make Roberto happy unless she can be “fulfilled” too. Poor answer for the traditional Roberto Sr. Roberto.

We get the standard dad/son, mom/son approval talks as they pretend Ali is good enough for Roberto. Roberto and Roberto Sr. Roberto have a heart to heart in what looked like the spare room in a brothel. Seriously, a red velvet comforter? Roberto talks to Olga Roberto and they speak some Spanish. They all retire to the living room for some salsa dancing as we see where Roberto learned his moves. Ali and her intimacy issues tip her hand by announcing that Roberto is too perfect for her as self doubt creeps in again. Thoreau once wrote that “Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame.” Unfortunately, I think that applies here. Roberto burns brightly, and that’s what Ali sees. If only Ali read Thoreau instead of In Touch Magazine.

Next stop, Cape Cod.

We next move to Chris L. and his hoodie strolling along the beach with his faithful dog in the rotten weather dressed, as usual, like he’s seven years old. Dennis, Mass. is where he’s from and he’s proud to have Ali coming to see it. I have a difficult time hating anything named after me, but the weather looked miserable. Ali emerges in perhaps the worst shoe choice of the season and—in the spirit of Chris L.’s wardrobe—shouts “doggie!” like a four year old at the freaking park and then giggles uncontrollably like she’s never seen a Labrador in her life. She and her high heeled knee boots attempt to run across the wet sand as she fights off an ankle sprain to greet Chris L. She forgot to tuck in her shawl too. A shawl? What is she, 80? Why can’t these people dress their age for God’s sake? Look, I know the shawl made a brief comeback in late ’07, early ’08, but retire it, would you? The only people who should wear shawls are already retired.

Ali and her new hips take a walk down the wet beach and they discuss mating whales before eventually arriving at Chris L.’s dad’s house so he can show her his room and the special shelf in the pantry where he’s allowed to keep his Alpha Bits and Count Chocula. They booze it up on the porch after looking at pictures of his deceased mother and discussing the Dennis Bracelet. We get a closer look at Ali’s Cher boots and marvel at the starkness of the contrast between them and Chris L.’s Heely Sneakers with the roller skate wheels in the bottom. Ignoring the ABC contractual obligation that requires him to do so, he tells her that he wouldn’t have brought her home if he wasn’t serious about her. Whatever. Ali puts a quilt on her lap to go with her shawl. They await the fam.

The family arrives at home and we see that Chris L.’s father looks like Mickey Mantle. He’s happy to see Chris L. and jovially greets Ali as Chris’ sister, Maria Shriver, arrives with his brothers Mark and Eric and some girl named Sarah who is dressed like Laura Ingalls Wilder from the waist up. “Love is the Only Reality” mom’s Dennis bracelet reads as they all share their Dennis bracelet stories. Demonstrating her emotional walls, Ali again provides a sh*tty answer to the canned “why do you like him?” question and Maria Shriver and her giant teeth are immediately put on red alert. Chris L.’s brother shows off his Moldstrong bracelet as the women pull Chris L. aside for some ball busting. Ali and The Mick talk it out on the couch and Ali is again presented with yet another man who is capable of articulating his deepest feelings. What is she, like 0 for 5 on the Men Can’t Share Their Feelings Card this season? Daddy issues are a bitch.

Like an episode of Little House on the Prairie, everyone hugs, feelings are shared, and pleasantries are tearfully exchanged in the yard as Chris L.’s brother’s fiancé playfully runs through the yard looking for Michael Landon and Merlin Olsen. Chris L. and Ali head to the random turret in the back yard for some neck smooching. Nice family, nice visit, and a nice guy.

From Chowder to Cheese, we head to Green Bay to meet Kirk and his family.

We arrive to banjos and cows as Kirk awaits anxiously in a black version of Frank’s lucky green coat. Ali arrives in a yellow version of Frank’s lucky green coat as we learn that Kirk’s divorced parents don’t speak. Bummer. Adding another brick to my Daddy Issues wall, Ali lets us know that her parents are divorced as well. She quickly deflects attention from her own issues by accusing Kirk of trust issues. We enter Kirk’s father’s house and meet his step mom, dad, and adopted kid sister—honestly, I think she was borrowed from the ABC prop department in an effort to make Kirk’s stepmother remotely sympathetic. For some reason, there were thousands of plates adorning the walls.

In this week’s creepiest moment, Kirk’s father drops the “wanna see my basement?” We are reminded of Kasey and wonder if he’s still nomadically wandering the Icelandic tundra like Zhivago searching for his beloved Lara. A reticent Ali accompanies dad to the basement door but insists he goes first for fear of having him stuff her. Surprise, he’s a taxidermist. Of course, we all saw that ten times a night this week on ABC, but we act surprised right along with her. He shows her the thousands of dead animals he’s mounted and a horrified Ali ignores the human body parts in his freezer and prays the camera guy is strong enough to overtake him in the event of an attack. Ironically, the basement was the least tacky room in the house. Upstairs, Kirk talks to his fake sister and step-mom chimes in in a raspy male voice as we wonder if her hormone replacement drugs are in need of new dosing. I checked for an Adam’s apple but it was difficult to see with all of the decorative plates obscuring my view. Ali talks to dad and a plastic squirrel and realizes he’s a nice guy. He’s just boring—like Kirk. They play soccer in the yard.

We arrive at Kirk’s mom’s house as Ali’s voice over tells us that she’s concerned about the effect that his parents’ divorce had on him. It might be a deal breaker she tells us. To be fair, we all have our deal breakers. Personally, mine are smoking, jealousy, and gonorrhea . . . in that order.

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”

William Shakespeare, Mid-Summer Night's Dream

It’s a damn good thing that Shakespeare knew what he was talking about because after meeting Kirk’s mom, we realize that Kirk never would have been conceived if Cupid wasn’t blind. I’m sure his mom is sweet and all but, man, she was about as easy on the eyes as a solar eclipse. Grandma and sis are there to help out. They eat some meatloaf and carrots as Grandma forces the cheesy potatoes down everyone’s throat. Ali is delighted to have a home cooked meal because she misses them she tells Grandma as she takes a polite portion of the damn cheesy potatoes. Unfortunately for her, she certainly didn’t miss any room service meals while she was poontangin’ all over Creation for the past month.

Kirk talks to his real sister as Ali talks Moldstrong bracelets with mom and everyone eventually hugs as Ali envisions a future arguing with Kirk about how to work in visits to 4 separate households during the holidays. Obviously in denial, Kirk says that they “have something that can last.” Well, at least until the rose ceremony, Kirk. Trust me, she did you a favor.

Next stop, Chi Town to meet the nervous Frank.

Frank awaits Ali in women’s jeans and his lucky green jacket. Underneath the lucky green jacket is his Mr. Rogers’ sweater and an unexplainable cotton, scoop neck, wife-beater t-shirt. He looked like a gay Ferris Bueller. They board some boat and pose for each other. Weak. Searching for something to say Ali tells us that she loves how Frank is so “easy going.” What? Frank is easily the most neurotic guy on the show. She’s clearly still delirious from all of the starch in those cheesy potatoes. Ali tells us that she’s happy that she and Frank are unencumbered and can do whatever they want. “Who, being loved, is poor?” said Oscar Wilde. Apparently, Frank and Ali. They both act poor and unemployed by drinking alcohol while enjoying free public transportation.

Frank stresses out and we see that the only thing holding him together is his hair product. For a change, Ali listens to someone else indecisively whine and we get some foreshadowing into Frank’s well-known departure as he caresses her arm and looks nervously around for his girlfriend. They head to Frank’s parents’ house so he can show her his room and they can cuddle on his bean bag chair and look at his posters.

We meet Debbie and Hank, Frank’s parents, his sister, Becky, and his brother-in-law, Chris. His dad looks like a poor man’s Maury Povich. They have some banter about nothing and Ali and mom head outside to kill a couple of Marlboro Reds before mom drops the canned questions and tries to close the deal for Frank proving that she knows nothing about his harlot in waiting. Frank, his sister, and brother-in-law sit in some weird Chinese room and discuss his indecision. I was waiting for someone to deliver a plate of sushi. Odd. Frank’s sister chats up Ali about the “crazy whirlwind of stuff” and does her best to politely warn Ali that Frank is an emotional car bomb waiting to detonate.

Frankly (no pun intended), I was bored with Frank’s hometown. I kept wondering why in the hell he was wearing what he was and why Frank’s parents didn’t have curtains in their entire house. Sure, the blinds were lovely, but some curtains would have really tied the place together. Perhaps they were waiting until the kids were grown enough to move out of their house before entering into such a significant . . . oh, wait. Never mind. Everyone hugs and Ali leaves.

FINALLY, we see Harrison as he arrives to greet Ali in her mauve dress with ruffly stuff on the chest. After a cursory hug, Harrison escorts Ali to the Lair of Seclusion and they rehash each visit. Roberto is a fairy tale, Chris was a big surprise, Kirk’s parents are divorced, and she loves Frank’s family. Harrison subtly displays the new P. Diddy watch that the network bought him for putting up with Ali’s cranky ass last week in Portugal and eventually gets even by making Ali cry. He’s awesome. With tears flowing, Harrison excuses himself from the Lair of Seclusion to grab some wine and a steak before Kirk’s big send off.

Ali arrives. She’s a mess. Roberto put on a suit but still doesn’t tighten the tie because he doesn’t have to. I’m certain that 90% of the audience wished that he wore the baseball uniform again. Frank wears his undertaker suit again and tightens the tie until it hurts. Chris L. actually wore the dress shoes he borrowed from Mickey Mantle and complimented it with a French blue shirt and tie. Kirk wore all black with a gray and black tie dressed like a limo driver. Kirk gets booted and Ali cries and Harrison shows up to mop up a bit of the mess. Kirk takes an opportunity to thank Ali for ruining him emotionally and manages an insincere hug before hitting the limo and heading back to eat some cheesy rejection potatoes in Green Bay. She made the right decision in light of the fact that she doesn’t know Frank’s dirty little secret. Ali returns to the MAN-sion as Roberto, Frank, and Chris L. toast with her while picturing her naked in the Fantasy Suite.

Oh, and Jillian and Ed broke up.

So there it is. With the Amazing count at a record-setting 127, we head to Tahiti where we’re bound to run into some of Marlon Brando’s illegitimate children while watching the wheels come off the Frank train. Until next week, if you need me, I’ll be stuffing myself with cheesy potatoes. DP