Hello, Readers. Welcome back to a VERY late on-season post. I'd apologize but who'd listen? Truth be told I changed law firms over the past two weeks and I've been inundated with the new gig. It's been a positive move so far, but The Man has a way of keeping his foot on my neck. Between that, my rampant alcoholism, loose morals, and my last two trials at the old firm and Some Guy simply hasn't had the time to type.
Nonetheless, I've dedicated the next couple of hours to you in the spirit of elevating your day like a goose in the rear end lifts up an old lady in an elevator. Before I get started on my metaphorical goose in your collective rear end, I'd like to thank all of you (all 191 of you) who emailed me various links regarding the selection of our newest Bachelorette--Emily and her white shorts. I do have to give a special shout out to my fellow blogger, Captain Barbarossa at www.barbarossasblast.blogspot.com, who emailed me weeks ago generously sharing that particular piece of information he apparently obtained from a very reliable source. Nice work, CB. If that source can get me that pair of white shorts for my mantle, I'd appreciate you looking into that for me. Benjamin Franklin would be very proud, if you know what I mean.
I'm fairly excited at the prospect of watching Emily skip around the beach next season in various stages of undress. How badly do you think Mondays are going to sting for our old buddy Brad, though? Ouch. I saw him at the gym two days ago, by the way. While his legs stay the same size, his chest continues to expand each time I see him. I'm beginning to wonder if Axe Body Spray comes in testosterone scent. That would explain the localized muscle growth. Annyyyyyhooo . . . Let's get to it.
Sans a couple of last week's crazies we begin Episode 3 a mere 44.5 miles (thanks, iPhone) from Sonoma, California in picturesque San Francisco. We see our standard shots of Alcatraz, trolley cars, Coit Tower, that big gazebo thing and, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge before Nikki debases it all by saying she's "like totally pysched" to see the city. I was already "like totally bored."
Incidentally, there's no need to go across the Golden Gate when traveling from Sonoma to San Francisco. Marin County lies across that bridge so I was mystified as to why they insulted all of us by taking that route. Good views, I suppose, and most of us were probably none the wiser.
Forgetting that he referred to Sonoma as "my home" as many times as Courtney referred to herself as a model last week, Ben strolls aimlessly through the Castro in search of a hot oil rub and tug at a local bathhouse before meeting himself in drag at a local restaurant.
Himself in drag turns out to be his equally nice sister, Julia who has unfortunately drawn the "we need someone for Ben to talk to while he recaps the past two shows" card and is forced to sit there and force a smile while she's force fed every fact about forces of nature, forceful women, and forced conversation. She feigns interest well and they adjourn . . . forcefully.
After woo-hooing in their heels and scarves while tooling around the Fairmont Hotel and ending up in the community hotel suite, the women become fascinated with the telescope in the room. Frankly, most of them are probably fascinated by anything long, stiff, and cylindrical, but that's beside the point. Courtney uses her thinking muscles and manages to put the narrow end to her eye instead of her mouth and seems relieved to learn that it's a telescope.
As a cool sip of Lone Star Beer was pulled from the cold neck of the bottle, I sat up in wonder when Harrison walked into the suite in full v-neck sweater complimented by a full v-neck undershirt and a sport coat. Suck it, Ben, I thought. That's how you make a solid v-neck work. Put that in your cut off jean shorts and smoke it.
Harrison does his job, drops the date card, and splits for some absinthe at the Fairmont Bar in order numb himself for the impending cocktail party.
"Love Lifts Us Up. --Ben" the date card reads and Emily who is "coincidentally" afraid of heights draws first date duty with our poorly coiffed Bachelor. She squirms in her seat a bit but is generally gracious and excited about the big date. She leaves to go buy some new hiking boots and Courtney drops "book smart can be a little boring." Then again so can vapid self-importance and transparent jealousy, but what do I know?
Proving she takes direction well (she's a PhD. candidate, after all) Emily does an alright job executing the jog, jump, and squeal greeting. She's no Jillian, but she makes it work. At this point, I frankly saw more chemistry between Ben and his sister, but I like Emily and again, she seemed grateful. That's a good quality to have and I don't think it's one a person can fake for very long.
Ben tells her that San Francisco is "my home" and that he's been in "every nook and cranny in the city." Look, I know there's an obvious gay joke lurking in the shadows, but I'm not going to take it. Gay people get enough fun poked at them from behind their backs and I'm not going to torpedo them over and over again like that. It's simply mean to bend a group of perfectly peaceful folks over a barrel by making them the butt of a joke all for the sake of a cheap laugh. It's not fair to drag them around town like that I just won't do it. The last thing they need is a pain in the ass like that. Being gay is extremely hard, even in open-minded cities like San Francisco. (You're welcome)
Speaking of gay, Ben shows off his Lululemon (I have to be psychic) yoga shirt and tells Emily they'll be exposing her greatest fear by climbing the suspension cables of the Bay Bridge. That date looked really fun, by the way. That sure beats the hell out of walking around town and buying trinkets from Rastafarians in Jamaica.
I will say that I was impressed with Emily's ability to "conquer" what obviously was not a real fear and have fun with Ben. For those of you who actually have a genuine fear of something or have experienced a person with that type of fear you know that Emily was pensive, but far from "afraid." I once had to spend half an hour coaxing a friend of mine down from atop an 8 foot wall. He was afraid of heights and when that fear unexpectedly took hold of him at that short of a height he became literally paralyzed in fear of his life. THAT's real fear. Before we go and give Jake credit for his little crying fit atop the bungee stand, I can tell you that what he was experiencing was not vertigo. He was just being a p*ssy. There's a difference. Annnnyyyyhooo . . .
Fake fears aside, Emily dons a purple dress (that color suited her) and Ben puts on a lot of lip gloss as they metaphor their way through the rest of the date before capping it off with fireworks and a big kiss. Good date. Good girl. Ben would do well to keep her around. She's not as wild and exciting as some of the others, but she's also not bitchy and vacant either.
Knock knock. The much maligned Group Date Card arrives and Blakeley, Jaclyn, Elyse (man), Jamie, Kacie B., Erika, Samantha, Monica, Rachel, Nikki, and Casey S. get the "Let's Cross Something Off Our Leap List" invite and a meaningless discussion ensues. Sigh.
Sporting ubiquitous oversized necklaces and accessories, the girls leave the hotel in order to meet Ben in his purple t-shirt and yet another pair of jean shorts. These were grey and I couldn't help but say a silent prayer that those were not THE gray jeans. You know, the ones that go so well with that yellow sweater.
In a shameless and gratuitous plug to the Honda whatever, the group piles in some sponsor cars and pretends to be fascinated with the feature allowing a driver top post a head shot of his favorite Bachelorette. What. Ever. Are the production folks at ABC really that lazy? At least attempt to disguise it for crying out loud.
Ben and the women arrive at a fake snow covered San Francisco street and proceed to risk torn knee ligaments and ice burns by skiing in their bikinis. Ben saw fit to ditch the purple shirt and the urine soaked hippies seemed to enjoy the show. The drunkest looking hippie was treated to a real show when Kacie inadvertantly found herself roaring uncontrollably backward down hill while bent over. In nature, that little trick is known as "presenting." She's lucky that telescope wasn't at the bottom of that hill or it would have ended up at the top of her throat.
Knock knock. I found myself missing the ding dong of the doorbell, which I found extremely ironic. Not being able to find a ding dong in San Francisco is certainly ironic. At any rate, the next date card gets dropped. A less-than-enthused Brittney gets the "let's unlock our love with the key to the city" card and proceeds to hate all of the potential fun in addition to hating all of the actual fun. Lindzi feels left out. Emily is positive. Jennifer and Courtney can taste the disappointment. Boooooring.
After retiring from street skiing the group ends up at Tonga, which apparently has "a pretty rad" pool according to Ben. Rachel lays on a lei and throaty voices her way into "you're greats" with Ben. Kacie's claws come out but she resists the urge to bend over and take a backward run at Ben. She gets some outdoor alone time and a kiss. Keep it together, I shouted. You're fine.
Ben tells us that "something about Kacie B. sparkles." It's her dress, dumbass. Well, either that or she dated that brooding a-hole in the vampire movies who sparkles in the sun.
Brittney and Emily discuss the fact that both of them need to lighten their roots if they stand a chance at the Fantasy Suite before Brittney disappoints her aging grandmother by throwing in the towel and hitting the road. She characterized that choice (more than once, by the way) as "the hardest choice of my life." Either she's clearly oblivious to overstatements or her life has been a freaking ferris wheel ride. Incidentally, that sweater she was wearing might have actually been the worst decision of her life.
She "struggles" some more with the enormity of packing her suitcase and changing her flight home before c*ck blocking Blakeley and telling an apathetic Ben that she's "leaving forever." Let's hope that it's forever forever and not Brad, Jake, Bentley, or that D-bag Ryan "forever." Poor Ben.
Like a newly discovered beauty queen college sex tape, Brittney's departure clears the way for Lindzie to pinch hit on the one-on-one date. Ben finally shaves whatever that thing on his face can be characterized as and Lindzie puts on a very flattering short dress in ignorant of the fact that her entire date will be tainted with the smell of stale urine and nicotine as she's forced to ride on public transportation and hang out at City Hall where some jackass who sounded like Adam Levine and Dave Matthew's love child serenaded them as Ben proved, yet again, that remedial dance knowledge is nowhere on the Bachelor application form.
Ben rallies, however, and they visit a speakeasy dive bar for dinner as Lindzie sits in Brittney's chair and eats Brittney's dinner before quickly earning Brittney's rose. She was like an older, hotter Goldilocks. Ben Grobans it up again on the piano and I was reminded why I like the guy. I'm rooting for Lindzie. Perhaps I'll send over a coupon for some dance lessons at Arthur Murray when they get engaged. Lord knows that effeminate bore Neil Lane won't get them anything.
Here's where the show began to get stupid.
Ring ring. Still no ding dong. ABC plays both ends of the pre-recorded Harrison/Shawntel phone call and Harrison commits to lose the silk hotel robe and slippers in favor of his well-tailored black suit and "come down" to meet Shawntel in order to escort her to the pack of fully accessorized, Jimmy Choo-wearing, wine swilling wolves at the cocktail party in the lobby.
I'll make this short because it frankly doesn't deserve the time it would take to play-by-play it back here. Shawntel shows up, the women go absolutely ape-shit, and Nikki plays a flash card game with Ben. The best line of this segment came from the normally droll Courtney who hit Blakeley with "she's the kind of girl your boyfriend cheats on you with." Ouch. That one falls into the "I'll give credit where credit is due" category. That's exactly what I did after I stopped laughing.
With estrogen flying around like women's underwear at a Chris Harrison hotel suite after party, even the sane women get caught in the frenzy. The heretofore resilient Emily diagnoses Courtney with a "social disorder." It looks like SOMEONE's been studying for finals, I thought.
Courtney secrets Ben away in some anteroom where JFK cheated on his wife with Marilyn Monroe and they have an eighth grade "I like you" conversation before he kisses her lip implant and she says, "we could make cute babies." Yea, and crazy ones too. I instantly pictured a swaddled baby boy with Ben's hair and Courtney's inflated lips. It wasn't very cute.
Shawntel ends up wishing she'd embalmed herself prior to walking into the party, Ben drops a "holy sh*t" when he sees her, she pretends to like him and unattractive Jaclyn proceeds to make herself really unattractive by aggressively going after Shawntel. Lindzi "big balls" Shawntel (I love Lindzi), and Elyse almost pulls out her balls and puts Shawntel to shame . . . and probably Ben too (sorry, MH. She looks like a man).
Cringing behind a throw pillow I endured this in real time for you, my loyal readers. As painful as it was it all became worth it when after the usually calm Rachel asked in a bitchy tone, "why are you here." Shawntel didn't do herself any favors by playing the "I have Harrison's cell number" card. The looks were priceless.
Another thing I couldn't figure out was when the women characterized Shawntel as "Brad's dumpster trash." I suppose Ashley's dumpster trash doesn't bother them, but that's neither here nor there. "So she just did the season before this and she just gets to come back," one of them asks. Uh, yea. I was over it at that point.
Harrison shows up looking like the freaking Cheshire Cat and the rose ceremony begins amidst classless and catty behavior usually reserved for the Flavor of Love and shows of its ilk. Erika the law student passes out proving she's not cut out to be a trial lawyer and the entire bulls*it is put on hold as she's tended to. The best part was that Ben still dumped her anyway. It went down as follows:
4. Courtney (Ben called her bluff)
5. Kacie B.
9. Casey S.
Booted: Erika, Jaclyn (good), and Shawntel (I guess Ben didn't want to spend Christmas in Chico).
Well, there it is. With the Amazing count at 23 and the Journey count at 10 we head into next week. Thanks, as always, for sticking around even in spite of my tardiness. Take care of yourselves. Until next week, if you need me I'll be cutting off all of my variously colored jeans at the knees. DP