Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bachelor Ben Episode 9: Ben is Matter-Horny

Hello, Readers. Welcome back to the tail end of an unequivocally mundane season of the Bachelor. Like NFL quarterback Brad Johnson, President Herbert Hoover, and the fat Middle Eastern guy at the 7-11 across the street from my office, Ben hasn’t done anything great or exceptional this season but he hasn’t done anything to really screw it up either. I suppose that beats repeated bouts of hysterical crying on balconies across the globe; then again, I’d cry a lot too if I dated Melissa Rycroft.

Speaking of “tail end,” it’s Fantasy Week in Interlaken, Switzerland and the only real curiosity is who would draw the third straw in the sleep with Ben contest. Like a giant piece of Swiss cheese, there were a lot of holes for Ben to explore this week and it was only a Matter of time before he’d be Interlocking his Horn with Lindzi, Nikki, and Courtney in search of the final piece of the “I might possibly be getting tentatively engaged next week in order to maybe go forward with a hypothetical wedding and theoretically spend the better part of the near future with one of three women I sort of know” puzzle.

Some Guy had a good weekend and I’d like to give a shout out to Ron Yates at Spicewood Vineyards ( just 34 miles outside of Austin, Texas. Ron is the owner of the winery and a friend of the Special Lady Friend. We attended the annual “Pair it with the Claret Chili Cookoff” this weekend at the winery. Chili, live music, and good wine ruled the day and we were blessed with wonderful Hill Country weather. After traveling to Waco, Texas for the past couple of days it was truly an exercise in contrasts. With that out of the way, let’s bang out the Fantasy Week episode.

We begin back in Los Angeles with a myriad of filler footage of Ben packing his bags in his home away from home brooding about how “difficult” his “journey” has been to date. He eventually broods his way to the limo, broods his way to the check in counter, and makes it his coach seat on his Swiss Air flight to Switzerland. Of course, he’s still brooding.

Yodel Odel Lay Hee BOO. Man, was I bored.

“Let’s get to the awkward, forced promiscuity,” I said as I popped the cap on a fresh, frosty Lone Star and settled in on the couch. “This is bullsh*t.” I was, however, excited to see that ABC renewed its firm belief in the ignorance of its audience by reviving the giant fake plane graphic in order illustrate Ben’s flight pattern and the overall location of Switzerland. Apparently, there is a domestic travel ban on that graphic, but it’s important we’re all told where the gang bang will occur this week.

Afraid I was missing something, I did a bit of research on Switzerland in order to firm up my knowledge. Life, after all, presents us with countless opportunities to improve ourselves and I figured if I was going to debase myself by spending the next two hours watching this show, I might as well learn a thing or two in the process. It’s all about balance, isn’t it?

At any rate, I discovered that Switzerland is comprised of mostly German, French, and Italian people, which makes sense considering its geography. Politically, its traditional neutrality also makes a lot of sense. After all, with a mix of German, French, and Italian bundled into one people, the Swiss are the only civilization genetically equipped to talk themselves into surrendering to themselves. I still haven’t figured out why their army has its own knife, though. Annyyyhoooo…

Ben recaps the ladies and uses the word “magical” and various derivatives of it to describe Switzerland. “Magical” is apparently a Swiss word meaning “amazing.” After being reminded via narrative and edited snippets why these women will eventually be asked to forgo their individual rooms (and dignity) by lining up like orphans in the bread line for an on-air one night stand, we’re treated to shots of a contemplative Ben in his mood-evidencing black attire roaming around the streets of Interlaken presumably searching for a pack of condoms and a tube of anti-bacterial hand soap.


Nicki arrives in her purple coat, seasonally appropriate boots, and ubiquitous 30 foot scarf. Of course, Switzerland is the "perfect place" to be in love. As she’d soon see, it’s also the “perfect place” to get violated in an expensive hotel room only to be sent packing the a few days later. Getting the first of the three Fantasy Dates is wonderful if you’re a germaphobe; however, it’s equivalent to being the best violin player in the Titanic Lounge Band. We all knew this wasn’t going to end well for Nikki this week. Putting her at the front end of the big dates was a courtesy rather than an advantage.

Anxious to see Ben, Nikki takes a break from her pre-Fantasy Suite kegels to perform the run and greet. In predictable fashion, the Bachelor-copter arrives to take Ben and Nikki yodeling through a large, deep canyon prior to eating dinner and yodeling through another large deep canyon. “If that thing crashes, I wonder if they'll eat each other,” I said laughing. Come to think of it, that’s likely to occur whether the thing crashes or not.

Ben and Nikki sit atop a mountain peak and picture what life won’t ever be like after she gives it up in the Fantasy Suite. My guess is that even if they did get married their life wouldn’t include regular helicopter rides and hot toddies atop the Swiss Alps. They eventually retire to a Swiss barn for dinner atop short stumps—which I can only assume was a statement of events to follow—and a chat about all of the children Nikki will never have with Ben after giving it up in the Fantasy Suite. Sigh….

The card gets dropped. They both FORE-go in favor of FORE-play. Nikki, who presumably knows she’s got a lot of work to do if she wants to secure the nomination, campaigns like a double-digit underdog in a battleground state and ends just shy of throwing herself at Ben in front of the camera. She uses the word “cocky” in the Fantasy Bedroom before jumping in the bathtub with Ben and working on his caucus.

Poor political humor aside, I’ll give Nikki credit for knowing where she stood and for swinging for the fence at a pitch that clearly wasn’t hittable. She tried hard and proved herself to be a decent, albeit a tad bit annoying person over the course of the season. I liked her and I’m happy she’s from Texas. I’ll have more about her crushing defeat later.

Hey Nikki, Yodel Odel LAY HE you.


Fresh off his free romp with this week’s loser, Ben dons a ridiculous grey coat and his own version of the ubiquitous 30 foot scarf and heads meet Lindzi in order to do some rappelling into a deep gorge before having dinner, hitting the Fantasy Suite, and rappelling into a deep gorge. She looked great in royal blue; however, wearing that much bronzer in Switzerland made her stand out like a stray sober intern at a Chris Harrison post-season party. She was so excited about Fantasy Night that she didn’t even bother with a winter jacket and scarf. Taking that off, after all, takes time and who wants to waste that when victory is within reach? Her last name it Cox and she showed up determined to show Ben why.

After a series of not so coincidental sexual innuendos about trying anything and coming together in the deep gorge, Ben and Lindzi opt for a picnic amongst a sheep feces laden field before heading to the hot tub where Lindzi continues to make herself “vulnerable” prior to dinner.

Ben listens to Lindzi all the while hoping the hotel staff remembered to change the sheets and search his bedroom for Nikki's lost pony tail holders and stray hairs so as not to provide a tangible reminder of what we already know.

My initial plan was to skip over dinner and head to the foregoing of the individual rooms in favor of the aforementioned trip into the gorge. However, I would like to point out that Lindzi—in my opinion anyway—looked phenomenal in that purple little number she broke out for the dinner date. Unfortunately Ben decided to “complement” it with a bow tie.

Bow tie? Is he Orville Redenbacher? He’s 28, not 88, and he’s not a law professor at Ole Miss. A bow tie? Who convinced him that was a good idea? Frankly, I’d rather see the queer yellow sweater and gray jeans. Lindzi breaks out a stunning contemporary purple thing and he counters with the bow tie? If she bent over in that dress you could see what she had for breakfast for crying out loud. As far as I’m concerned, that took a solid second place to the jeans and boots. He pulls out a bow tie? He looked like a Dutch architect. I was too appalled to notice if he had matching wooden shoes. Consider the haircut and he might actually be Dutch.

Moving on…

Ben drops the Fantasy Suite invite and Lindzi responds with a classic "Normally I don't" but "I would love to." Right on. I immediately pictured that purple dress crumpled up on the Fantasy Suite floor with the bow tie resting gently atop its delicate fabric. I’ll give credit where credit is due. Nice work, Ben. It looks like you and Harry Cox will remain close.

Welcome to Bangsville. Population: Lindzi.

Yodel Odel LAY HE TWO.



Ben spends the morning hours scrubbing the bronzer from various parts of his anatomy before arriving in a camel hair coat and a new scarf to complete the hat trick. Despite ABC’s clear attempts to rehabilitate her, Courtney flounders around on camera and in front of Ben amidst the ruse of shopping for picnic items and riding a long train across the lush countryside and into a tunnel before chatting about her shortcomings with Ben, eating dinner and retiring to the Fantasy Suite to ride a long train across the lush countryside and into a tunnel.

I won’t even bore you with the details of the date. Rather, I’d like an opportunity to mount my soap box and hammer a few points home before using the words “mount” and “hammer” in the context of the end of the date.

Courtney clearly realizes that the fun she had being the bad guy this season is coming back in a big way. Although she attempted to own what happened—and I’ll give her a bit of credit for at least trying to admit it—it appears she’s about to learn a couple of life’s toughest lessons. Unfortunately for most of us these lessons are not often learned without a steep price.

By the way, the “steep price” I’m referring to here doesn’t include ruining a chance to sort of marry Ben after a loose engagement period and a lot of public exposure. She’ll win that battle but whether she’ll win the one after her 15 minutes are long gone is still up for debate.

Courtney begins to understand that certain mistakes have permanent consequences. Put another way: some doors can’t be reopened once they’re closed no matter how much we apologize. Second chances are a gift, not a foregone conclusion and getting one should never be assumed. Short sightedness is a raging red flag of immaturity. For her sake, let’s hope her apology was sincere and let’s hope that whether she gets the big heave ho or not next week that she’s learned her lesson. I, for one, am not holding my breath. Back to Ben.

Ben vents a bit and they sort out the big disagreement in favor of the imminent romp in the Fantasy Suite hay. “I have lots of women friends”, he tells Courtney. Translation: I don't want to marry a b*tch. Valid concern, Ben. We all know the guy with the wife that everyone can’t stand and that makes it miserable for everyone. Incidentally, if you don’t know that wife, she’s probably you. There’s nothing worse than a fun hater or a know-it-all and Ben would do well to chop that concern off at the knees rather than ignoring it and having it surface around a fatherless Sonoma Christmas table.

Love is blind, but mothers and sisters aren’t and he’ll be dealing with “winning” for a long time to come if he’s not careful. Besides, Lindzi is hotter and cooler (did I mention that purple dress?) than Courtney and her old man is loaded. If he marries her, he’ll have a hell of a glue factory when Mr. and Mrs. Harry Cox kick the bucket and those horses start to age. That’s a heck of a new place to plant grapes too. I’m just sayin'.

Now let's get down to the Harrison card. It’s dropped and she turns it around and makes him decide. He wants "uninterrupted everything." Odd are pretty good he's going to get it.

Yodel Odel Lay She Too.


She’s smoking hot. Ali and Ashley annoy me. I paused the DVR on Emily and fast forwarded the rest.


In the most irrelevant free trip around the world since Bentley went to Bangkok or wherever, Kacie returns post "what the f*ck happened?" This is such a tired theme. It’s even more annoying to me because we all have Jake to thank for it. She even had her own version of the hotel balcony cryfest invented by that diminutive little putz in his “pilot” uniform.

Props to Kacie for garnering free passage on the first available FedEx cargo plane out of Tennessee, and props to ABC for building up what turned out to be a big fat serving of a bunch of nothing.

Still, Ben’s "Hoooolllly Sh*t," was classic as was Kacie’s penchant for overdramaticizing the situation. I haven't seen anyone sweat that much since Roberto was forced to put on a suit and walk up a mile worth of stairs to meet Ali. Ben lets her down (again) in a very respectful matter and she counters with an I Hate Courtney grenade that just might prove effective in the long run. She hinted at breaking away from mom and dad, but again, that’s their business, not mine. She’ll eventually become an adult and she’ll look back on this entire situation and feel ashamed.

Somewhere in Tennessee there's an Administrator in need of an Assistant. She needs to move on. . . as do I.

Yodel Odle Kay Cee’s Through.


I can sum this one up in two sentences. "Too much that's happened this week, Chris" to have Kacie in the rose ceremony. Translation: I've banged all three broads.

As an aside, I just couldn’t figure out why Ben is so stressed about this entire scenario. We all know this isn't permanent. Look at Mesnick and Womack. Mesnick proposed on national television in front of his kid before jumping in the hotel pool with his clothes on before dumping Melissa (again on national television) and calling up Molly and still got his wedding paid for by the network. Womack? We all know that story. Speaking of that, I saw that bullet he dodged, Deanna Pappas, on television the other day. Having his ex-girlfriend paraded around with a bunch of dudes next season is going to sting, but he has to thank his lucky bottles of Axe Body Spray that he’s not married to that pain in the ass.


Ben’s conflicted but sure what he wants to do. I think we were all sure too. Lindzi looked incredible, albeit bronze. Nikki looked somewhat dumpy in her choice dress but knew the guillotine blade had her name on it. Courtney looked good but it was clear her confidence wasn’t what it was when she had Emily to pick on a few weeks ago. It went down as predicted.


1. Lindzi
2. Courtney


1. Nikki

Nikki has clearly had time to prepare for this moment and she’s mature enough not to melt down like certain administrative assistants with overbearing fathers when she’s given the boot. She cried, but not too much and it was clear that Ben didn’t like to hurt her feelings. I liked Nikki and I think the rest of you did too. My guess is that she’s still a bit scarred at the Women Tell All, but she’ll be fine.

Well, there it is. With the Amazing count at 67 and the Journey count at 29 we’re down to the final two. My guess is that Lindzi is the big winner. After Fantasy Week, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to discount the presence of Harry Cox.

Please don’t forget to submit your questions for DP Tells All Number Four. Right now, I need to go Yodel Odel Layhee Sue someone.  In the meantime, I’ll be wearing a bow tie while rappelling into a deep canyon. DP

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bachelor Ben Episode 8: Ben Loves Harry Cox

Bachelor Ben Episode 8: Ben Loves Harry Cox

Hello, Readers. Welcome back to this week's break down of Episode 8 in what has turned out to be—for me anyway—a horribly uninspiring season. I hate to admit it, but I had a hell of a lot more fun when we had the likes of vertically challenged, ego driven “pilot” Jake, the generally challenged Wes, and the motor neuron challenged Gia running around rooftop bars a few seasons ago. Despite ABC’s attempts to breath life into this “cast” I think the gunpowder has soaked up way too much moisture to provide an explosion. Who knows, however? We could be in for the most dramatic ending in Bachelor history, but I doubt it.

Regardless of the blank canvas I was given this week, I’m now going to do my best to make sense of it all for you. It’s Hometown Week, after all, and it’s nice to make sweeping, unsubstantiated judgments about other people’s families rather than wallowing in the reality of the well-formed ones we make about our own families on a daily basis. Escape is not necessarily always a bad thing. With that predicate adequately laid, let’s get to it.

It seems like just yesterday our newly crowned Bachelor Ben was standing clumsily in front of the fountain on the neon-lit, freshly washed driveway of the Bachelor mansion awaiting the arrival of the 25 young women (and 1 septuagenarian) vying for his undeserved attention and a shot at marrying him and making him change his ridiculous haircut.

Alas, time flies like the wind but fruit flies like bananas. It’s time to separate the wheat from the really hot wheat and, in order to do that it’s time to drag unwilling family members in front of the camera in order to feign support for this ridiculous scenario and pray that their deepest family scars escape the watchful eye of the ABC cameramen invading their homesteads. Fat chance.


We head first to Lindzi’s hometown of Ocala, Florida. I’m pretty sure that’s East of Los Angeles; however, without the crutch of that giant fake plane graphic I’ve grown accustomed to seeing each week it’s difficult to be sure. Despite listing her “home” as Seattle all season, we end up just about as far as we can get from there if we remain within the confines of the contiguous 48. Details. We’d later discover that Lindzi—GASP—moved from her parents’ giant horse farm to cohabitate with a member of the opposite sex—a scenario much frowned upon for the adult children of Clarksville, Tennessee natives. I’m getting ahead of myself. I also found myself wondering if Lindzi and her parents ever ventured off their property to visit the Ocala Hooters where they’d have an opportunity to enjoy some beer and wings and tip Vienna. Annyyyyhooo….

We see Ben and his straight leg Levis arrive to find Lindzi riding a horse on her parents' blue blood horse farm wearing jeans, a western belt buckle, and some boots. It’s common knowledge that this combination “does it” for Some Guy and I have to admit that it was easy for me to look past the bronzer here. Anyone can throw on a fancy dress and tuck themselves into a few layers of Spanx in order to pass for attractive, but not everyone can throw on a pair of Levis and a pair of old boots and look great. Simple things often reveal the most complex things about a woman. She looked great.

Realizing that it’s difficult when your “girlfriend” is more of a man than you are, Lindzi lets Ben off the hook by offering to forego the traditional horse riding in favor of a carriage ride. After walking him through the complexities of the harness buckles, she drops “Let me take the whip” before climbing on the back of the carriage and letting Ben “drive.” Usually, a bachelor has to wait until Fantasy Suite night to hear that sort of thing.

While watching this unfold, I was reminded of the days when as a little boy I’d sit on my father’s lap in the driver’s seat of his truck in the back of my neighborhood and he’d let me “drive” back to the driveway. Props to Lindzi for making him feel at home.

After the cursory “what can’t I say in front of your parents” picnic and some really “imporT-Tan-T” vulnerability talk from Lindzi, wherein she revealed the aforementioned sinful cohabitation, Lindzi suggests they mount up and head for the stable before meeting the parents. Again, such talk is usually reserved for Fantasy Week, but Ben seemed to take it all in stride.

Incidentally, my version of this little chat with a lady friend (including the current and most respected Special Lady Friend) includes questions such as, “do you have any gay people in your family,” “are your parents sensitive to French and German jokes,” “how well are anatomy jokes received in your family,” and “where do they stand on the Pope?” I like to cover all of my bases when making a first impression and there’s no need to start out on the wrong foot. Back to Ben.

As they pull up on their chariot Lindzi ironically drops “this is my boyfriend, Ben.” And this is where it gets good.

Ben meets Lindzi’s parents who have the common courtesy to step away from their copies of the New Yorker and Horse Breeding Quarterly and put down their mint juleps in order to play along with the game. Ben meets Margie and Harry and they all bond about Jack Russell terriers and spontaneous City Hall marriages in San Francisco. “We got married at City Hall where you had your first date,” says Harry. “What are the odds?” naively responds Ben. Actually, pretty good considering the fact that Lindzi was probably asked that in her pre-production interview. And this is where it gets REALLY good.

Harry then challenges Ben to a chariot race in his front yard. Apparently, this is the sort of thing that rich people do for fun. Prior to putting on racing helmets and going at it like Charlton Heston in Ben Hur Lindzi’s father refers to his homestead as “The Cox Household.” Needless to say, Some Guy’s ears perked up like Courtney’s upper lip after a Botox injection.

Harry Cox? Did he just say his name was Harry Cox? No wonder Lindzi wants to get married. Why do they make it so easy? I wondered. I’ve learned a few lessons in my lifetime. One of them is not to question things when life throws you a giant, slow moving, ready-to-be-smacked-out-of-the-park softball like that. So be it, I said grinning from ear to ear into my Lone Star. So be it. My only regret is that I didn’t know that little tidbit earlier in the season. For the record, I will operate under the assumption that it’s Cox with an “x” and not a “cks.” I’m certain Mrs. Cox will appreciate that. I’d hate for things to get Harry.

Here we go. Ahem.

Ben races Harry Cox around the yard and after pushing hard from behind Harry Cox finishes in front of Ben. Harry Cox insists on rubbing it in. Thankful that he’s impressed Harry Cox, Ben agrees to share a glass of cold chardonnay with Harry Cox, who’s itching to get to know Ben, before watching Lindzi and her mom walk off to have a mom/daughter pow wow about Ben, leaving him alone with Harry Cox. Ben doesn’t seem to mind. It’s been quite awhile since he’s had any alone time with Harry Cox and he’s been looking forward to it for some time. Seemingly in tune with Ben's desires, it appeared that Harry Cox shaved for the occasion.

Ben does get some alone time with Lindzi’s mom and they discuss Lindzi’s dating history. As engaged as he attempted to be, we all know that Ben couldn’t stop thinking about Harry Cox. Regardless, he reassures mom that his intentions are good and that under no circumstances would he prevent Lindzi from seeing Harry Cox; in fact, he'd insist upon a regular visit to Harry Cox. After all, Harry Cox appears to make her happy and, frankly, after the loss of his father, Ben would appreciate a big dose of Harry Cox a few times a year.

At the end of the visit it was clear that Harry Cox liked Ben, which I think we all were relieved to see. After all, it's been apparent to me from way back in Ashley’s season when Ben showed up for his date in that effeminate yellow sweater that Ben would love Harry Cox. Come to think of it, I’ll bet Jake Pavelka would love Harry Cox too.

You’re welcome, folks. I’ll be here all week writing about Harry Cox. It’s not often I get to step into the gutter that easily.

All kidding aside, (well, most of it) Lindzi and her parents seem like great people. They’re clearly a close family and are successful at what they’ve chosen to do. Unfortunate name aside, it must be difficult to have your only child—a daughter nonetheless—bring home the man she could possibly marry. It was obvious that Ben was touched by her openness and her family’s acceptance. The giant horse farm and abject wealth probably didn’t hurt his analysis either. I think we'd all admit that it’s better to have a Harry Cox than a Harry Flanjik.


We head next to Clarksville, Tennessee to some football field at Stratford High School to meet Kacie B. and her baton after seeing her walk around town in some weird shirts and Mary Poppins shawls for a few minutes.

I know that Lincee Ray of will undoubtedly love her entrance, so I won’t belabor the point. I was embarrassed for her and it didn’t get any better when she executed her own version of the run, jump, wrap, and squeal greeting once perfected by Jillian a few seasons back. To be fair, her execution was flawless and Jillian was likely proud. Harry Cox would have probably approved as well but that’s not important right now.

Kacie and Ben relive all of our high school experiences by smuggling booze into the football stadium for a few pops before going to meet her controlling, Federal Probation Officer father and her subservient Southern mother making us realize that this entire exercise is an overt rebellion from her father’s controlling tendencies and unwavering judgment.

A terrified Ben and an anxious Kacie arrive at Mom and Dad's to meet Martha and Denny along with Kacie's equally repressed, albeit less rebellious sister Allison. They drink iced tea and enjoy a the giant fake centerpiece that Kacie's mom crafted after the pattern on her shirt with plastic flowers from the local Garden Ridge Pottery where they had a three for one sale on plastic mums after church on Sunday. After all, nothing completes a Sunday like cold iced tea and floral arrangements after a good snake handlin', talkin' in tounges session under the shade of the giant tent on the outskirts of town.

As they continued to enjoy the entire meal from the same side of the table I wondered if they hadn't commissioned Leonardo Davinci to paint what, ironically, would become Kacie's Last Supper. It was clear that Dad was a control freak, mom was the passive obey my husband type, and the daughters did a bunch of sneaking around after mom and dad went to sleep in the separate twin beds on either side of the nightstand in the marital bedroom.

As if we needed any further affirmation of that situation, Kacie meets with her sister and passively agressively lashes out against her father by referring to him as "people" and "everyone" before making it abundantly clear that her sister is the only one in that house who is aware that Kacie's no longer a virgin.

To be fair to mom and dad, that's probably the way things work there in Clarksville and, frankly, Kacie probably has a good head on her shoulders because of it. They undoubtedly view shows like the Bachelor like they view the Moonies: Our angel Kacie left home a perfectly good Christian girl and came home with a long haired hippie hell bent on polluting the population with the evils of alcohol and taking her away to the capital of all evil--San Francisco--to indulge himself in unforgiveable sins of cohabitation and fornication.

Whether we agree with them or not, that's likely the way they see things and I'll give them credit for even humoring ABC by letting them into their home much less letting them mess with Grandad's legacy. Those are big deals south of the Mason-Dixon and even more so in the good ole Bible Belt. They're probably solid people, if not just a bit out of touch with their twenty-something daughter.

She's at the age (24) where she's going to disown everything she learned in the name of finding herself anyway. She'll make her life mistakes and eventually realize that the core of those values--no matter how flawed the way in which they were hammered home--is what will serve as the foundation upon which she'll construct the rest of her life.

I'd like to give Ben enough credit to say that he realized this, but I think the old man just scared the hell out of him. Unfortunately, her father's rigid adherence to life's rights and wrongs and his focus on the wages of sin contributed greatly to Ben's choice this week. That sucks for her and she'll have to wait a bit after truly leaving home in order to face her father as a true adult.

Dad has a forced one-on-one with Ben and both looked about as comfortable as an intern who forgot the extra sugar in Harrison's morning coffee. Ben looked more comfortable atop that horse in Utah for God's sake. Her father eventually drops a tactful, yet clear message. "If Kacie is not the one, I'd hope that would be communicated to her to maybe keep her from getting hurt more." Translation: Dump her before you bang her. Point taken, Dad.

Mom, who looked like Kacie with a Bieber cut, meets with Ben and tells him that her adult daughter and he are going to need to seek their permission to move out of state. Guess what, mom? That's not your decision anymore. It's tough to let go of your child, but good ole Kacie is an adult who can make her own choices. Ben realizes that. It's too bad Kacie hasn't yet. It was at this point I belive her goose was cooked.

Dad and Kacie have a chat that turns into a lecture. She reverts to being the little girl that Courtney accused her of being. I'm certain and we witnessed a scenario that's likely gone on in that household hundreds of times. Dad meant well and was understandably skeptical but come on. Guidance is one thing. Absolute control is another. Fair or not, Ben was correct to factor that situation into his choice. Kacie is clearly not out from under the thumb of her family and that's guaranteed to serve as a huge roadblock to any form of relationship. She's not ready to spread her baton throwing wings. Until she is, I'm afraid I have to side with Ben on this one.


We head next to a place near and dear to Some Guy's heart: Fort Worth, Texas. I love Texas and Ben pretends he loves Texas as Nicki trounces about in her ill fitting black stretch pants and off the shoulder striped sweater in the tourist trap to end all tourist traps: The Fort Worth Stockyards. Aside from the presence of the people like Ben who visit Leddy's and the White Elephant in search of a bit of Texas flavor, I love it out there. Granted, it's a tad overdone, but it you're visiting Ft. Worth, it's worth the trip. Back to Ben

Nicki takes Ben to Leddy's to try on some custom boots, buy a pearl snap shirt, and a black felt cowboy hat. Ironically, Some Guy actually owns the Larry Mahan square button pearl snap he ended up buying. For the record, it looks much better on me. All in all, they seem to have a bit of fun down there and I'll have to give the thumbs up to her choice of venue. It's a good place to introduce a non-Texan to Texas. I just wish he could have done something with the hair before he threw on the hat. Oh, and straight leg jeans--especially gray Levis--don't mix with cowboy boots. He might as well have worn a sign that said "Sore Thumb" on the front of that shirt. I'll give him credit for trying, however.

I won't "beat a dead horse" as Nicki put it. I wasn't sure if that was a an unfortunate cliche in lieu of a creative way to express herself or an underhanded jab at Lindzi. Regardless, Nicki's parents seemed like genuinely nice folks. I respect the fact that they were able to raise an apparently well adjusted daughter and a son amidst a divorce and have enough adult in them to set aside their differences to sit together in the same house in support of their child--no matter how ridiculous the situation.

As was the case with Kacie's parents I got the feeling that we were witnessing a scenario that's likely taken place countless times over the years on that house. After enjoying some brisket and beans, Ben enjoys conversations with each parent and they respond by offering their support realizing some that Kacie's parents could (or would) not: their daughter is an adult who doesn't need their permission to act. This scenario is going to run its course regardless of their opinion. Supporting their daughter in the face of expressing their concerns and remaining available in the event that those concerns come to fruition rather than threatening her with disownership is a constructive way to approach a child whose made up her mind. That should come in handy when she gets booted after the Fantasy Suites next week.

My only regret is that we didn't get any camera time for the teenage brother. Perhaps him pulling Ben aside and hitting him up for that sweet, sticky California weed instead of the impotent, stem-filled mess he's been buying from Mexicans just West of town wasn't as compelling as Ben's talks with the parents. Far be it from me to speculate. I'm just saying I would have liked to see the kid speak.


I suppose the choice of order falls under the "Best for Last" rationale, but I have to confess that it was just as uneventful and boring as the other three Hometown visits save the fact that we saw a different side of Courtney in addition to ABC's subtle yet definite attempts to rehabilitate her image in light of the fact that she's a final two choice.

Aside from Lindzi in those jeans and boots (I'll admit, I'm partial) Courtney looked the best of the girls in her white summer dress. It was very Natalie Wood in Splendor in the Grass although Ben's purple plaid shirt was hardly Warren Beatty's overalls. The entire lead in featured Ben apologizing for Courtney and Hometown Courtney distancing herself from Mansion Courtney. Fair enough, but there's still a C a U an N and a T in Courtney. I'm just saying. I had visions of Emily at home on her sofa in Charlotte biting holes through her throw pillows as she watched.

We meet Rick and his argyle sweater, Sherrie and her reconstructed face, and her very normal sister, whose name I missed. There's a lot of allusion to man hating from both Courtney and from mom but we're never really let in on the secret. My guess is that "Dad" isn't really "Dad" and that Courtney's mom is likely an ex-model who probably slept with Warren Beatty back in her day only to find that he'd been far from honest with her. Still, she seemed to care about her daughters and depsite the pretention that filled the air, they seemed nice enough.

I will say that Courtney--like all of the girls but more than the rest, I think--seemed a lot more relaxed and open at home. There is something about visiting "home"--wherever that may be--with a person that always puts them in a different light. The heretofore rigid Courtney is no exception to that rule.

Rick basks in the majesty of his multicolored argyle sweater as he gives Ben the "Marriage is life's greatest gamble" speech he's been rehearsing since Courtney was old enough to say "I'm a model." He instantly softens and confesses to wanting grandkids to bounce on his knee provided they don't spit up on his argyle sweater. Ben pictures Harry Cox in an argyle sweater. (I'm not even sure what that means, but it's funny).

Everyone talks to everyone else and everyone likes Ben. Courtney's mom tries to smile but her face is pulled too tightly. She compensates by attempting to move her lips and tell us that she too likes Ben. After that they visit the spot of her first photo shoot--pah-leez--and have a fake wedding. I will again give Courtney credit. She mustered the courage to tell Ben she loves him (sort of) by reading it off a piece of paper but first made him profess his feelings for her by doing the same thing. Dustin Hoffman was apparently mulling around the set becasue he was recruited to be the mock preacher. Odd. She did well dropping "your happiness is the key to mine." Alas, it might not be enough to get around Ben's affection for Harry Cox. We shall see, shant we?


FINALLY, we're treated to Harrison's pinnacle forum--the fireside chat. He's like a better looking FDR without polio. Harrison does his best to ferret out Ben's New Deal and I found that ironic considering the fact that, like FDR's administration and every one since, the success of Ben's choices would likely be determined in the first 100 days. Now THAT'S depressing.

Alright, the FDR schtick is not so inventive. It's better than beating on Harry Cox again.


The roses appear and are awarded as follows:


1. Courtney

2. Lindzi

3. Nicki


1. Kacie (Dad will hear about it.)

Ben walks Kacie to the cryin' bench before she's fed a few glasses of wine and put in the limo and reminded off camera of all of the sad stuff she's put in her application to be on the show in addition to being forced to watch a montage of the most poignant scenes in The Notebook before starting her exit interview. He says he's sorry. She cries. I preferred Blakeley's "what else to do I need to know?" What will be worse than this is facing her father and being reminded that she was wrong for the rest of her life.

I'll give her credit for trying. Regardless of the format and the obvious pressure from home, she still had the balls to get out there and try. She's 24. If she can get away from Claksville and figure out that "I'm going to be myself and not what my dad wants" stuff, she'll be fine.

I was a bit discouraged to her her belt out, "This is why I don't love, and "What the f*ck happened?" Bitterness is unbecoming. Let's hope she has it in perspective by the time the Women Tell All rolls around. Her dad will love that last line.

Well, there it is. With the Amazing Count at 61 and the Journey Count at 24 we head into Fantasy Week in Switzerland. I think you all know I'll have a lot of Swiss jokes lined up by then.

Speaking of lost love, I wanted to acknowledge that the world lost a talented person last week. We all know that Whitney Houston died. Like most of you, I'm familiar with her through her songs and--unfortunately--through the trouble she lived with in her life. It's easy to dismiss her death as her own fault or as something that could have been prevented in light of her fame and resources. I suppose there's a bit of truth to both of those things, although I tend to thing that the latter of those two things makes things worse before it makes them any better. For those of us who have either battled addiction on our own or who have lived with someone who has (or does), we know that addiction is a terrible disease that often ends the way Whitney Houston's ended.

Below is an interesting tribute from an unlikely source that was sent to me by a friend. I suppose it's more of a testament to Dolly Parton, who wrote it, than it is to the person who made it the most famous. The fact that the same arrangement and survives essentially three diametrically opposed genres with three incredibly different voices says a lot about the song's simplicity and beauty. Still, Whitney put her stamp on that song and it is inseparable from her as a performer. Rest in Peace, Whitney Houston.
Until next week, take care of yourselves. In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be looking for Harry Cox . . . Really hard. DP

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bachelor Ben Episode 7: Caulker? I Hardly Know 'Er.

Hello, Readers.  Welcome to a late recap of the most boring season in the history of the Bachelor franchise . . . ever.  The reason that this post is late is not because I was forced into some Rip Van Winkle-esque catatonic slumber while watching the show; although after trudging through the show this week I can see how that assumption might follow.  

Some Guy took a quick business trip to The Big Apple on Monday and Tuesday and my ability to watch the show was hampered by the French models staying in my hotel for Fashion Week.  Well, not actually, but the thoughts going through my head about the French models staying in my hotel for Fashion Week had a significant impact on my desire to write.  

This week’s shout out goes to my good friend Erika who was nice enough to use her clout to set me up in the Rainman Suite at the Hotel on Rivington in Manhattan.  I’m always pressed for time and space when I head to the East Coast and having a swanky place to stay certainly made my absence from my beloved Austin more bearable.  Thanks again.  

Also, the Bonus Post I promised is still in the works with my goal to get it posted next week.  That subject matter ties in (coincidentally) with the incredibly “diverse” feedback I’ve been receiving from a lot of you concerning my new profile picture.  Yes, it’s a bit formal for Some Guy, but I thought it would be nice to mix things up a bit.  Yes, I’ve “trimmed down a bit” as well.  All of that indiscriminate skirt chasing and curtailing my Lone Star consumption has paid off.  Granted, the Special Lady Friend won’t like that little joke, but she’s still riding the wave of Valentine’s Day surprises, so I’ll print that anyway.  With that out of the way, let’s get to it.  

Ben arrives in Belize and apparently purchases a host of striped tank tops from some local 10 year old boys in lieu of his earth toned v-necks.  He then took those tank tops and washed them in hot water shrinking them to a point of ridiculousness that will likely remain unmatched on this show for some time.  One of them even had a tiny little pocket on the front of it.  He looked like he should have been marching through the Castro in with Harvey Milk for crying out loud.  

Before we’re treated to the tank top display we learn that the six remaining women have Flipcammed their way to the Coco Beach Resort where they’ll enjoy the possibility of maybe earning a potential home town date with their sort of boyfriend and maybe possible fiancé slash soon-to-be potential husband contingent upon the tacit approval of their fathers and the stars in every galaxy within sight of the Hubble Telescope lining up perfectly.  How do we get there, you ask?  I’ll tell you.  

After exiting their Buddy Holly plane, the women sufficiently ooh and ahh the resort grounds before the linen-clad Chris Harrison arrives to address the “pressure” created by their free trip to a five star resort while on vacation from the monotony of their real lives where they will all garner some sort of notoriety—albeit undeserved—and eventually attempt to turn that notoriety into free money after getting home from their free trip.  Pressure indeed.  The only pressure I felt was the pressure created by my third Lone Star on my bladder.  

Four roses, two one-on-one dates, and one group date will determine the home town roster this week and the only Safety Rose will be awarded on the much maligned group date this week.  Harrison drops the date card and heads to the windsurfing tent down the beach after dropping word with his intern that he’s not to be bothered until it’s time for Ben to drop the hammer.  

"Two halves make a whole.  Ben," the date card reads and we learn that Lindzi gets first one on one date.  Nicki cries about it and  Lindzi puts on more eye liner in anticipation of hanging out in Ben’s hole.  Nicki thinks it's "tough" to sit around and wait for love or whatever.   In light of the monopolization of all of the eye liner and mascara in the house, the remaining girls are left with no alternative but to put on their bikinis and wallow in their sadness by the pool.  Tough, indeed.  It became apparent to me throughout the course of this show that “tough” equates to “bored” and I was confused as to why that seemingly obvious distinction was lost on the girls.  

At any rate, Ben shows up in one of the aforementioned tiny striped tank tops with a pocket on the front.  That was clearly a Garanimals shirt and I wondered if the lion on the tag had a matching lion on the swimsuit.  Stunned by his choice of attire, no one gets up to greet Ben and he spirits Lindzi—who looked great by the way—off to see a big giant hole.  When I heard that, I assumed they were going to meet Jake Pavelka, but that’s not important right now.  

Oddly enough, Emily compares Ben to a delicious piece of cheese cake.  “You’ve got the first half right,” I said into my half empty beer bottle.  

Ben and Lindzi take an uneventful and oddly quiet Bachelor-copter ride.  They "incredible" each other and “incredible” the cameraman in the one-on-one booth before arriving at their destination:  "The Blue Hole." At this point in these dates there are usually a lot more metaphors about the dates and their symbolic links to relationships.  You know what I mean:  Climbing is like struggling in a relationship.  Falling is like falling in love.  Bending over is like . . . well, you get the idea.  Despite this well-established Bachelor pattern, there was a severe lack of metaphoring going on here.  If there was any good time for a bachelor metaphor it was on this date now.  What better summarizes this show than jumping blindly into a huge wet hole?  Personally, I felt slighted.    

As the Bachelor-copter executes a perfect hover maneuver over the hole thingy we see Lindzi, post ocean splash, without any bronzer and very little eye makeup.  Man, that water must have been really salty to corrode its way through that varnish.  She literally looked like a different person.  My guess is that she's been bronzed and highlighted for purposes of the show.  She's a pretty girl (one of the prettiest this season) and it was nice to see her without the mask on.   I was glad to see what I saw.  After all, she's not John Merrick or Rocky Dennis.  Ironically, what she's covering up is actually more attractive than the layers of plaster over it.

I pictured an army of internationally respected curators with tiny, delicate tools peeling off the bronzer layer by layer as if restoring rare Renaissance artwork covered beneath layers upon layers of paint and grime.    
Back over the hole, Ben pretends he's not scared as they hover and kiss.  The last time Ben got that much action while hovering over a vacant abyss was when he took Ashley out to dinner in Tahiti.   They over exaggerate the "danger" involved in the jump and finally get to the "just like in a relationship" and "he's worth the fall" metaphors.  As expected, the entire thing is anticlimactic. There was a huge up side, however.  Thankfully, he doesn't put on the tank top again.  

After a jump from that height I'm sure Lindzi's ob/gyn would recommend not having sex for at least a week. For Ben's sake, let's hope her dentist doesn't feel the same way.

In an homage to the previous color of her skin, Lindzi dons a pretty coral dress and attempts to compliment it with frosted lipstick.  Even I know that's a horrible choice.  Still, she looked flattering and her color scheme complimented Ben's bold choice of black linen pants and a black linen shirt to match.   They whisper a bunch for some reason but manage to make it to the dinner table for some forced conversation and dinnertime chit chat.  

Granted, she'll make the top three which translates into strong feelings and another trip to the Blue Hole--IF you know what I mean.  However, I wasn't feeling the chemistry.  In fact,that last time I was that bored was likely in my high school chemistry class.  She almost choked on "I see a future" when they were talking about meeting her family.  Odd, I thought.    

Knock,knock.  The Second One-on-One Date Card arrives.  Rachel reads.  She's hot, by the way and she seemed cool.  I'm still at a loss how she got booted before Nicki.  As much as I'll root for a fellow Texan, I'm still baffled by that one.    

"Emily, Do you Belize in Love?" the card not-so-cleverly reads.  I found myself Belizing that they should fire the person who wrote that, but then I paused under the weight of the realization that it might very well have been Harrison's idea.  Perish the thought of his departure.  

Upon hearing that her arch enemy Emily will be spending a boring afternoon with Ben that she's likely to ruin anyway, Courtney gets bent out of shape and pretends not to care.  She cries a bit proving there might be more than self importance, hollow thoughts, and competitive feelings lurking behind that fake lip.  I was encouraged, but not convinced.    

Back on the date, Lindzi does a 180 degree turn from the likes of Ali and Ashley and actually pronounces the letter "T" in  "Im-porT-TanT."  She caps that off with some leap of faith nonsense. And begrudgingly admits that she's "falling for him" but avoids the "L" word like she avoids a lack of bronzer.  I like her but the entire date was dry.   They finish boring us (and apparently each other) by writing some fairy tale on a torn napkin and placing it in a bottle so that a rare tropical turtle can mistake it for food and choke to death before being devoured by sharks.  Stupid.  

On an interesting note, I noticed that she's left handed, like Some Guy.  I knew I liked her.  There's always sunshine after the darkness, isn't there? Let's just hope their children are not subjected to this footage years from now.  I can hear it now.  "Why was mommy orange back then, Daddy?"  "Did she have liver problems associated with acute alcoholism like Aunt Courtney?"    

Second One-on-One Date

Emily, mulls around in her royal blue swimsuit cover up with what looked like a bird coming out of the back of it.  She takes a long, lonely plane ride.  "We" had a rocky week," she tells us.  Translation:  "I" went a bit nuts and projected it on to Ben.  The plane circles above Ben awaiting her on some place known as "Caye Caulker"  Caulk-er? But he hardly knows her.

Incidentally, I once had a construction defect case stemming (allegedly) from my client's (alleged) failure to properly seal the windows in a large commercial building.  We traveled to Tennessee (Home of Kacie B.) to take the deposition of a caulking expert.  A female attorney friend of mine took the lead in the examination and every time the guy said the word "caulk" it got funnier and funnier.  "How much caulk is necessary?" "What if you have too much caulk? Not enough caulk?" You get the picture.  It took months before she and I could talk without melting down into hysterical laughter over that deposition.  It just goes to show you:  too much caulk is not always a good thing. Annnyyyyyhooo. . .  

Ben awaits Emily in his yellow "What Would Harrison Do" bracelet and Green v-neck.  They bike ride through town, challenge the locals to a basketball game, and eat coconuts.  All of this was rather uneventful save for the fact that Emily accelerated the Amazing count exponentially.  It was like she had Tourette's and that was her favorite swear word.   They try buying lobsters from local guy who turns out to be a poor actor.  He gives Ben and Emily the bad news that Harrison has purchased all of the available lobsters in the country and they must "spontaneously" decide to go diving for lobsters of their own.  Poor and unconvincing set up aside, that actually looked like a lot of fun.  

Showing that she's mastered more than disease causing bacteria, Emily flaunts her vast knowledge of the Bachelor lexicon by freely and easily suing words like "magical," "connection," and "special" in her post-lobster chasing assessment of the date.   In the meantime, the producers attempt to rehabilitate Courtney after coming to the realization that she's in this for the long haul.  Ben is clearly not smart enough to see her for the gold digging opportunist that she readily demonstrates she is and now ABC has to deal with it.  

Of course, there is nothing more redeeming than lying down amidst freshly washed, saltwater scented down comforters and high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets in order to journal about her forelorness.   Courtney confides in Lindzi about suddenly feeling the sting of Ben's time with Emily despite the fact that she's been mocking the entire process for six weeks now.  I'll admit that I'm a tad cynical about these things, but there was definitely a change in behavior this week.  That can't be all editing.   

What was more incredible was that Courtney says she wants to feel special and loved and wants a man who won't let another woman mistreat her.  Dude, whatever.    She doubts Ben and back pedals saying she's not ready to bring him home to meet family.  "I really liked him," escapes her silicone inflated lips and we have to believe that even Courtney is conscious of past versus present tense.   If the entire thing hadn't have been so contrived, I believe she actually made the most sense of anyone. She's the only one not "in love" yet, which ironically, seems unrealistic in the context of this show. Think about that for a minute.    

Courtney journals.  Dear Diary, Chris Harrison looked dreamy in his blue linen today.  He could almost be a model, like me.  Love, Courtney. P.S. (I hate Emily.)

They could just as easily given her a copy of "Are You There, God. It's Me, Margaret" or "Superfudge" and made that equally as convincing.  Of course, "Where the Red Fern Grows" would have been pushing it.  There are some big words in that story. Back to the Emily date.  

In what was undoubtedly a forced, flop of a date, Ben and Emily hit the Lazy Lizard Beach Bar with the ABC extras and staff family members along for the free vacation.  That segment was edited down to about 20 seconds, proving to me that it was far too ridiculous to include on the show.   Ben and Emily have a "superfun day" conversation and the set up of the "who will be sent home, Emily or Courtney" drama is almost complete.  Coming full circle, Emily finally owns the time she lost with Ben by obsessing about Courtney.  It's amazing what a lot of sleep and a lack of wine can do for a woman's sanity, isn't it?  Ben seemed relieved but was probably jumping through the hoops knowing her ass had a one way ticket on a fishing boat home in just a few hours.     They toast and kiss.  Both were forced.  In denial, Emily tells us that she's "kind of on top of the world."  Actually, she "kind of" close to the middle of the world but  who needs details when love is in the air (possibly)?  

Knock, knock. The Next One-on-One Date Card arrives and Lindzi does the honors.  "Courtney, Let's take the next steps in our relationship," it reads.  She gloats obnoxiously thereby eliminating all sympathy she's gained with the help of clever editing and her fake journal over the past hour. Sigh...  

Kacie B. drops a "f*cking b*tch" on her, which I found incredibly attractive.  You have to love a lady, don't you?  Her black widow comparison was poor, however.  Black widows kill their mates. They don't piss off the other black widows by gloating in their faces before going skinny dipping behind their backs.  Whatever.  I think we all know what she wanted to say.  God bless her administrative assisting little heart.  

We cut next to a seemingly disenchanted Courtney wondering if the "magic" that's been causing her to poontang around with Ben for the past few weeks is still there.  She's not as connected to him, she complains.   Look, I'm far from an expert, but I'll give it a shot.  Translation:  His junk was small when we skinny dipped and he probably can't help my career anymore now that I've been on the cover of People and OK Magazine. This show is the Memphis Belle and it's time to bail out.  

Ben grabs Courtney for their date and the head to Lamani.  At least I believe that was the name of island; however, it could have been the material that Courtney's upper lip is made out of or the substance that coats Lindzi's face on a daily basis.  I was too drunk to make the distinction.

Ben and Courtney go on a hike in woods with picnic basket in hand and Ben talks a lot.  She's clearly over it.  Girls like her lose interest if their asses are not being actively and indefinitely kissed at regular intervals.  

They do some Mayan temple walking until eventually coming to a giant temple.  "Here come the metaphors," I said aloud.  It all seemed wasted on Courtney, didn't it?   Just as I was scoffing at Courtney for not seeing the whole thing through, she impressed me yet again with her ability to manipulate the opposite sex.  She tells Ben that she's the only one not "in love."  She gives him the "I'm not ready speech" and basically dares him not to take her on the home town.   She's lost the spark, you see, and it's just a shame that Ben wasn't more attentive.  What ever can be done?  Then, she shuts up, pours herself--check that--has Ben pour her a class of cold chardonnay, and sips it knowingly as Ben again proceeds to suck up to her like UCLA freshmen co-eds at a Chris Harrison Assistant interview.  If they would have stayed there any longer she would have had him feeding her grapes and apologizing for the heat. She's good.  Very good.    

Nicki gets some camera time in preparation for being the New York Giants of this season and rallying to make the home town dates despite being the least attractive remaining girl.  She "right reasons" Courtney and talks with Kacie and Emily about talking to Ben yet again about Courtney's two faced behavior.  Here we go again, I thought.  Shockingly, the newly sober and together Emily claims to have learned her lesson.  In retrospect I suppose we (and she) will file that epiphany in the "too little too late" folder.  

Ben and Courtney exchange pre-packaged step climbing metaphors atop the temple.  As annoyed as that made me it was incredibly rewarding to hear the word "amazing" used in the proper context.  For those of you reading this who have never been to Mayan ruins, make a point to check some out on your next vacation.  They really are--well, amazing.   The last time I was in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico me and about 25 of my closest friends booked a day trip to see two sets of Mayan ruins and do some snorkeling at a lagoon named Xel-Ha (pronounced Shell-Ha).  It was raining so hard in the morning that we had to reschedule for the afternoon run.  We were all so drunk by the time we got to the first set of ruins that we opted out of the snorkeling and got loaded at a local bar.  Talk about human sacrifice.  I digress.        

Back at the Victoria House a hypnotized Ben drops the second "Courtney and I's" date.  Ben feels good about her after being outwitted atop the temple.  Like an ancient Mayan temple she always has that vacant look in her eyes and the lip chewing is distracting and annoying but she's very pretty and that will likely carry her through to the final.  It certainly got her through to the home towns this week.  

Group Date Card.  Emily reads it prior to her Swan Song.  "Rachel, Nicki, Kacie, Let's sea who's family I will meat."  Frankly, I thought he'd save the "meet" vs. "meat" pun for Fantasy Suite Week, but I suppose it worked in this context, albeit a bit differently. Rachel proves she's the only one to have applied sun block liberally.  

In the meantime, Courtney characterized the remaining women as "vanilla," "boring," "into themselves," and "not friends."  Psychiatrists refer to that as "projecting," I believe.  Frankly, she slipped a bit by being so defensive and it was clear that Ben's concerns were sincere.  Her saving grace proved to be that she was smart enough to back off direct comments about any single person.  

Ben voices concern about her ability to connect with others.  Translation:  I don't want to marry a b*tch.  She responds by saying that in her job--I think she's a model--that "she's the talent" and has to "make everyone feel comfortable."  Actually, Blakeley has a job with that description.  It also involves a bronze pole and baby oil.  Let's be honest here.  Courtney's job is to smile and look pretty.  
Group Date Time. Ben shows up at 4 a.m. lurking around the mansion in his striped, escaped prisoner sweatshirt.  In Texas that's a really good way to get yourself shot.  He wakes the women invited on the group date.  It's a good thing Courtney wasn't invited on that date. She prefers to be awakened like a grandfather clock...with a huge dong.  

After leg shaves and armpit shaves in sink and another tank top display from Ben they hit the ocean and kill some mimosas before getting in the water with harmless nurse sharks.   Ben pretends to know how to fight sharks as the guides chum the water.  Rachel drops "oh f*ck me" when she sees the first shark.  Easy Rachel, I thought.  You'll have to get past the home town date before that happens.

Those sharks were nurse sharks, which are extremely docile.  However, to be fair to Rachel from New York, she probably doesn't go diving with sharks much--perhaps in the metaphorical sense, but you know what I mean.  

Some Guy has been to Cayman Islands and Mexico a few times and seen all that, including the stingrays and the other stuff that lives around reefs in shallow water.  It's exhilerating to go diving in that environment and there's always someone on the boat who freaks out.  On Ben's trip, it happened to be Rachel but her fear ended up working out in her favor as she monopolizes Ben's time.  Granted, it wasn't exactly skinny dipping with Courtney, but Ben seemed to enjoy himself.  Nicki and Kacie hated it.  

Back at Belizian Cove they drink, get some alone time with Ben, and Kacie puts a giant hibiscus on the side of her head.  How awkward did that thing look while she was talking to Ben?  It looked more like a depiction of the Kennedy head wound in frame 313 of the Zapruder Film than a delicate accessory.  I half expected to hear "back and to the left. back and to the left" when he kissed her.  

Rose in hand Ben compliments all of the women and then fires a kill shot from the Grassy Knoll when he gives the Safety Rose to Kacie B.   That sucks for Rachel and Nicki.  As the sucking continued for Rachel and Nicki, Courtney takes her cue and spies on the date.  Courtney--who's a model, I believe--characterizes Kacie as "a little girl."  As bitchy as that came across, she's right.  The three group daters endure an awkward silence.  

For what it's worth, I would have given the rose to Rachel.  She looks like a younger, healthier version of Bo Derek or a trashier (in a good way) version of Olivia Newton John.  She seemed a bit insecure all season which spells "i.s.s.u.e.s." but I like her and I'd put her in the top three on the attractive scale.  Then again, I don't wear skin tight tank tops with pockets on the front of them or have a silly haircut.  What do I know?  

After a pina colada or two and a giant glass of beer Nicki brings up the "C" word to Ben.  How sick of the "we don't like Courtney" smack to you think he is?  Hell, I deal with it for two hours minus commercials a week and I can't stand it.  Then again, I'm not groping twenty somethings in Belize and riding around in free helicopters in my spare time.  Again, what do I know?  

Boat ride to  Rojo Lounge.  Tiki torches and candles abound but are eclipsed by a menage of Maxi dresses and spaghetti straps.  Courtney drinks and makes silly faces.  She's feeling good. "I'm in Belize, I have a pina colada, and it's been a relaxing day."  Say what you want about her, but you can't deny that she's the only one with the right perspective on this mess.  Amen.

She continues, much to the chagrin of the others.  "My glass is half full.  Let's lighten up.  Ben is not the only guy in the world.  This is not our only chance at love.  We're all ready to go home in some way." Cattiness aside, I frankly haven't heard a contestant in the history of this show make that much sense.  Courtney has the show in perspective and she's not afraid to say it.  Solid.  Right reasons, my ass.  Who says models are nothing more than ego driven vixens with penchants for useful, rich men and cocaine?  Well, a lot of people say that, but that's beside the point here.  Courtney was right with a capital "RI".    

Seeing that Courtney, if allowed to continue, would eventually pull back the curtain and reveal the real wizard, Harrison shows up early and shuts down the bar under the cloak of "Ben knows exactly what he wants to do."  It's a dirty job, but Harrison is on board.  Someone has to cash those fat checks and it might as well be him.  God, I admire him.

Three Roses are up for grabs.  Kacie B. is only one safe.  Harrison drops the rules.  Ben shows up in a suit with his striped tank top fashioned into a tie and pulls Courtney aside for a ridiculous conversation the was mixed with snippets of the other women wallowing in denial about what was going to happen.  Courtney did squirm in her chair a bit, but managed to do enough to hang on.  It went down as follows:  


1.  Nicki (weak)
2.  Lindzi
3.  Courtney

1.  Rachel (horrible choice)
2.  Emily  

That stings.  Losing is one thing, but losing to your worse enemy is even worse. Courtney rubs it in a bit and I was truly turned off by her behavior.  When you get to the end zone, act like you've been there.  My prediction is that she's leaving in the final round.  My guess is that she gets defensive and badmouths Ben on her way out the door, but we'll have to wait and see.  

I actually felt bad for Rachel and Emily, especially Rachel.  Both cry but depart with their dignity in tact.  My prediction is that they'll both return to their lives and feel a bit ridiculous watching themselves get so upset over Ben.  They'll be better off by the Women Tell All.  They are both very attractive women with good heads on their shoulders and some really good stuff below the heads on their shoulders.  They'll be fine.

Well, there you have it.  With the Journey count at 20 and the Amazing count at a skyrocketing 56 we head to the hometown dates next week.  I can't wait.   Thanks again for those of you who sent me thoughtful messages about the poor timing of this post.  I appreciate your patience.  In a perfect world, I'd write only this for a living.  Alas, I have to make a living in a less than perfect world.  I hope y'all had a meaningful Valentine's Day and you enjoy the rest of your week.  I'll try my best to get next episode's post up on time.  In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be seeing how many things won't fit into the tiny pocket on my undersized tank tops.  DP Sent with Writer. DP

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bachelor Ben Episode 7 Recap

Hello, Readers! Some Guy just flew in from The Big Apple and boy are my arms tired. The post will be up on Wednesday afternoon. Thanks for hanging in there with me. It's good to be back in Texas. DP

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bachelor Ben Episode 6: Look at that Big Canal

Hello, Readers. Welcome back this week to what has quickly become a straight line on the excitement graph. Granted, there were some memorable moments this week, but generally speaking, watching Ben fumble around the necklines of the remaining women is a lot like watching a pig hunt for truffles: tedious, dirty, and generally boring.

Speaking of pork, Courtney had some good moments this week too, but even that whole story line is getting stale. The white bikini breathed some new life into that story line—and certain parts of Ben’s anatomy—but I found myself sighing into my Lone Star quite often this week. Regardless, I’m here to recap it all for you.

Before we begin I’ll let you know that the bonus post I promised will be in the works shortly. Also, I’d like to pimp out my much ignored Facebook Fan Page (Guy in Austin). Feel free to Like it and post your comments up there as well as on this site. Special recognition goes out to the reader who pegged Ben as an Alfalfa from Little Rascals look alike on the Fan Page this week. Nice work. Now, let’s get to it.

We begin with the condescending fake airplane graphic showing the Flipcam-documented flight heading from wherever we were last week to the cosmopolitan home of the Trump Ocean Club, Panama City, Panama. Ubiquitous scarves cease their ubiquity and yield their presence in favor of short shorts and tank tops as Courtney reminds us that she played a game of “No, that’s not an octopus” with Ben in the ocean last episode.

As the women settle in to the Ikea-themed estrogen suite we get a look at the Panamanian version of Ben’s scrambler and listen to his lead in voice over. He emerges from the Jeep in an unspeakable version of the women’s travel attire sporting his own version of white cut offs, a red leather belt, and (of course) a monochromatic v-neck.

As if ABC spit in our collective face, we are forced to deal with that outfit while simultaneously accepting the fact that Chris Harrison failed to catch the early flight leaving Ben and his white shorts to drop is own date card. Oh, the humanity. Little did we know that Harrison was actually in the production van prepping for his mid-show humiliation-fest aimed at the usually mute Casey S. More about that later.

“Kacie B., Will our love survive. Pack 3 things,” the card reads. We cut immediately to Ben in black Reeboks, orange and yellow shorts, and a blue v-neck walking with Kacie in her black Daisy Dukes and purple striped shirt.

Look, I'm the last guy to put an emphasis on haute couture, but black Reeboks? Who does he think he is, Jamie Lee Curtis in the movie Perfect? A bus boy at the local country club? A stagehand? Someone update this guy's hair and wardrobe, please. At least pull him kicking and screaming into the late 90's. He might as well have thrown in a fanny pack to complete the ensemble.

Intoxicated with his bachelor status, Kacie fails to admonish his shoe selection and opts for various expressions of wonderment and awe as she and Ben metaphor us to death in the Bachelor-copter on their way to San Blas Island where they can be "alone."

For some unknown reason, Kacie's three things were a monkey, a corkscrew, and a bag of candy and Ben's three things were a machete, a fishing net, and matches. They chop some nuts, attempt to fish, and drink enough coconut juice to clear out their colons for the next couple of episodes. That date was more heavily canned than Blakeley's bra and as artificial as Courtney's upper lip.

Ben drops what will undoubtedly take the place of Gia's "you can eat my salmon" line when he tells Kacie he'd like to "dive in deeper." Subtle, Ben. Between Kacie's vague and immensely naive "it's nice to be like doing stuff" response and Ben's homage to Dorothy Hammill's haircut I found it difficult to concentrate on anything they discussed. Thankfully, we cut back to the house for the presentation of the dreaded Group Date Card and the even more dreaded process of elimination game in order to find out who ends up on the most dreaded Two on One Date.

"Let's Get Lost. Ben" the card reads as Nicki, Lindzi, Casey S., Courtney, and Jamie draw the group date and Rachel and Blakeley wallow in their opposite reactions. In the meantime, Kacie shares the fact that she had GASP "an eating disorder" in high school that . . . well, apparently it didn't really do anything, but that's neither here nor there.

The important part is that she "opened up" to Ben by regurgitating irrelevant past information about herself and failing to connect it to her current situation. We later find out that she had "anorexia and bulimia." Technically, that's TWO eating disorders, but let's not split really thin, malnourished hairs. Far be it from me to weigh in on something so serious. One eating disorder is tough enough to swallow. I can't imagine having to stomach two of them. It puts me at a real loss.

I thought Ben looked and sounded completely hammered out of his Dorothy-Hammill-coiffed head during this conversation. Regardless, Kacie gets points from Ben for purging her past and takes joy as she binges on the beauty of the Safety Rose Ben coughed up after dinner. She's been starving for attention for a while now. The entire date made me want to puke.

Fast forward to the Chagres

Like a pornographic adaptation of The Heart of Darkness, Ben and the rain soaked women head up the river in search of their alter egos. The Horror! The Horror! I suppose if I made that an Apocalypse Now reference it would reach a broader audience. I'm sure the English Lit majors are with me still. Annnyyyyyhooo . . .

The group "stumbles" upon Embera Village as the local tribesmen and women proceed to disrobe all of the women and place them in "traditional" beaded bras. Ben, in the meantime gets his current wardrobe updated by donning a loin cloth. Surely, black Reeboks preceded the loin cloth on the evolutionary fashion chart.

Not surprisingly, Courtney chooses to go braless and the other girls wilt in the presence of her slutty glow as they curse her while secretly admiring her at the same time. Courtney drops a "the guy I'm interested in" in reference to Ben and I again choked on my Lone Star. It's always the small moments that are the most telling, isn't it?

After that nonsense, the group retires to The Trump Club for a cocktail party and a clearly intoxicated (on booze not love) Ben sports his french blue linen shirt and green pants as an equally intoxicated (on pinot grigio not love) Lindzi drops "us" and "boyfriend" in the same sentence before inhaling Ben's face and smothering him in loose bronzer.

During the face sucking, the Two on One Card is dropped. "Save the Last Dance for Me. Ben," it reads in addition to the foreboding and buzz killing Harrison message "two girls, one rose. One stays, one goes." I love it. Rachel didn't and Blakeley pretended like she did.

Ben "Courtney and I's" again as Courtney not so subtly drops her room number in an effort to show him another historically significant, highly traveled, internationally known, heavy load bearing canal in Panama. She drives her point home in an ironically white bikini as Jamie does her best Lloyd Dobbler from Say Anything nervous talking thing and fails to either impress or kiss Ben.

While waiting for his erection to subside, Ben kills the time between his next alone time with Courtney by talking to Emily who is thankfully sober enough to keep her highly educated, but ill timed trap shut about all of her cat fighting with Courtney.

Incidentally, Ben mentioned that Courtney "notices me, and is assertive and confident" as reasons for his attraction to her. Chalk another point up in the "Some Guy said so" column for me this week, would you? If I know nothing else, I know the male psyche. Between coaching Ben and writing Courtney's dialogue, I'm a busy guy this season.

Emily listens to the producer's advice and accepts responsibility for "improperly" judging Courtney. What she should have apologized for was going nuts and allowing Courtney to get in her head. She finds the ability to swallow her pride and apologize to Courtney who takes a classic defensive stance and makes a fool out of herself by refusing to accept the apology. She's been relatively clever and entertaining so far this season. Unfortunately for her, Botox can't hide the wrinkles in a person's character.

Amidst the ridiculousness, Ben "borrows" Lindzi and bestows the coveted Safety Rose upon her and her bronzed face. She's an attractive girl and she'll make the home town dates. I'd like to see her do well but I'd hate to see her "win" Ben.

Upon discovering that her silent tantrum and passive-aggressive tactics didn't work, Courtney begins to come apart a bit as her confidence is shaken when Ben fails to show up at her door. She laments all of the men who "appreciate her in the beginning" but "constantly disappoint" her in the end.

Sigh. Allow me a brief aside and I promise to tie all of this together.

Today is the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birthday. With that on my mind I couldn't help but be reminded of the famous Miss Havisham when listening to Courtney bemoan the life of a beautiful, yet sorely neglected model.

Again, for the non-lit majors reading, Miss Havisham is famous for being the formerly beautiful but now crotchety old woman who believed whole heartedly in love before discovering that her fiancé intended to marry her only for her money when twenty minutes before her wedding she received a letter from her betrothed leaving her at the altar. She had all of the clocks stopped in her house at the moment she learned of her betrayal. She wastes away alone in her mansion never removing her wedding dress.

"I'll tell you," said she, in the same hurried passionate whisper, "what real love is. It is blind devotion, unquestioning self-humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smiter--as I did!" Perhaps Courtney should put on some clothes and pick up a copy of Great Expectations. Ben loves grapes, but not sour ones. Back to Ben.

Speaking of the best of times and the worst of times, Ben arrives to get Rachel and Blakeley for the always awkward two-on-one date and the uncomfortableness oozes around them like silicone from Blakeley's implants. A Panamanian Debbie Allen gives the three salsa lessons all the while counting 1,2,3,5,6,7. Apparently, even the dance instructor realized there would be no Four Play on this date. (I know. Solid, right?)

Blakeley does her best Cha-Cha DeGregorio impression to Rachel's uncanny Sandy impression (I knew the Olivia Newton-John thing would come in handy) as Ben fails to come remotely close to Danny Zuco's dancing ability or charisma.

Ultimately, Blakeley is given the heave ho and drops a "what else do I need to know" as Ben chases her down the hall before giving her the "great girl" speech after Blakeley felt the need to perpetuate the Rydell High School behavior by showing him "her" scrapbook despite the fact that she's---cough cough--34 years old.

With that out of the way, it's time to stir up some "controversy." I'll skim over this part because it was literally so ridiculous that I don't think it deserves reiteration.

Harrison strolls into the women's suite unannounced proving that all hotel locks can be opened simply by coming in close proximity to his pheromones. He makes some small talk before taking Casey S. away to the top of Golgotha in order to crucify her for breaking up with her boyfriend prior to going on the show and then having the nerve to confirm that she still wants to be broken up with him.

Inexplicably, Casey is forced to meet with Ben and tell him that she broke up with her boyfriend prior to going on the show and still wants to stay broken up from him. Harrison sits by (for no apparent reason) with his McCarthy-esque yellow notebook in his hand presumably containing a list of all of the prior (and perhaps future) black listed contestants in Bachelor history. We know that Justin Rego and Wes Hayden have their own chapters as does Roz Papas.

Casey hits the road and Ben pretends to care. If that entire segment made sense to any of you, please write in about it below. I don't know what kind of dirt that ex-boyfriend has on Harrison, but whatever it is, it worked. She disappeared faster than Ben's junk at a Courtney skinny dipping party. The Women Tell All should be interesting if she's dumb enough to come back for it.

The rose ceremony begins in earnest after Jamie makes perhaps the most awkward straddle move slash Lloyd Dobbler nervous talking move in Bachelor history. She's an incredibly attractive girl under that eye makeup and I don't think she deserved to go out like that, but hey, she dug her own grave.

Kacie B., Lindzi, and Rachel find security in their Safety Roses as Nicki, Courtney, and Emily slide in for another week. Casey S., Blakeley, and Jamie are forced to hit the road.

Well, there you have it. With the Amazing Count at 40 and the Journey Count at 15 we head to Belize for some more tropical love finding. Happy Birthday again to Charles Dickens. It's not often any human being is remembered on his 200th birthday.

As Pip put it in Great Expectations, "I loved her simply because I found her irresistible. Once for all; I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. Once for all; I loved her nonetheless because I knew it, and it had no more influence in restraining me, than if I had devoutly believed her to be human perfection."

Let's hope that Ben finds that in one of the remaining women and let's hope that she finds it in him. I'm a bit cynical, but that doesn't mean I wasn't once a romantic and it doesn't mean that true love beyond restraint can't happen...even on a reality show.

Speaking of true love, Valentine's Day is right around the corner. I'm planning something special in the way of my post next week. Until then, good luck with true love. In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be sharpening my wit. DP