Hello, Readers. Welcome back to Some Guy’s big follow up to the post I’d probably consider one of my worst of all time. As I stated in my disclaimer, I realize that it was neither original nor clever. To those of you who sent me messages complaining about that, I’d suggest you go back and re-read the disclaimer. I can’t bat 1000 and it was either the pig post or nada. I suppose you’re all entitled to your respective opinions, however. And, for what it’s worth, I do appreciate the readership and the comments. Let’s see if I can win back some disgruntled hearts and minds this week.
Now, before we get to The Bachelor, I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize the passing of Antonin Scalia. As an attorney and a former law student who studied his opinions and (the usually more entertaining) dissents over the years and even wrote a Law Review Comment on one of them, I have to say that I’m saddened by his passing. He was a great intellect, an exceptionally clear, funny, articulate writer, and a very principled person who, in my opinion, remained consistent throughout his time as a Justice. That’s not nearly as true of the majority of the people he called peers. He died in Texas apparently doing something he enjoyed very much. I suppose that’s just as important as anything he did while he was alive. May he rest in peace and may his replacement be as skilled as he was.
Thank you for humoring me. Now, let’s get to the humor.
Indiana. Warsaw, to be exact.
Ben, using the time-tested Bachelor method for new geographical scene setting, walks nostalgically around town before arriving at the local diner and hugging mom and dad in order to preempt the Producer’s pick of Emily as the girl he’ll take to their swanky lake house for pre-break up drinks and hors d’oeuvres . . . or is it whores d’oeuvres? I don’t know. I’m not French.
We’ll get to this later, but his mother actually cried when trying to feign support of that relationship. Dad did what dad’s do with tough issues like his son bringing home a juvenile dunce as a potential daughter-in-law: he artfully ignored it in hopes it would go away. Point Ben’s Dad.
JoJo, Becca, Emily, Caila, Lauren B., and Amanda basque in their I’m Still Here status and wander aimlessly around town like a gaggle of drunken sailors searching for the nearest window with a red light in it. “Warsaw the Orthopedic Capital” the sign above them reads. I wondered if it had been the Chiropractic Capital if Becca would have stuck around. Weird.
Pontoon boat arrival on the water. The weather was still as bad there as it was in Bahamas but everyone is especially anxious—a fact evidenced by their tendency to overthink everything. Lauren B. gets first date. She’s been the first in just about everything this season. If she wins—and I think she’ll be a top 2—they’ve telegraphed the winner from night one.
The best part about that date was that Harrison didn’t make the trip because there’s likely no Ritz Carlton with poolside cabanas and a 24 hour concierge in Warsaw. Unfortunately, Ben has to announce the date by asking Lauren out in front of the rest of the girls. That was a bit cruel. Entertaining, but cruel. JoJo bemoans her bad fortune in her Mermaid t-shirt. I found her reasoning a little fishy and a bit specious. It lacked legs.
I’m sure you’re thrilled that I’ve gone from pig puns to mermaid metaphors in one week. I amaze even myself at times. Back to Ben.
He and Lauren B. take the “this is where I X when I was growing up” tour of the town in an old truck that has been grandfathered out of the Federal seatbelt requirements.
The other girls have the “are you ready for marriage” chat, which is apparently the only thing besides the Baker Youth Center and making the drive to Chicago to do in Warsaw.
Lauren B. is a good sport at the sports center and the kids are sufficiently charming and not nearly as nosey or inappropriate as I would have liked them to be. Some Kid the Producers greased with twenty bucks and unlimited one month trips to McDonald’s “conveniently” cries before Ben comes to his rescue. Puh-leez. The Indiana Pacers show up and a good time is had by all.
Incidentally, from a man’s perspective there is something really special about taking a woman he loves back to his home town and giving the Clark Griswold-esque tour of his old haunts, athletic conquests (albeit exaggerated), and the place where he had his first kiss. I don’t think that women REALLY “get” that, but I can attest that if a man does that for you, he’s into you—a lot. Frankly, that’s a bigger deal than bringing you home to his parents. Lauren B. may not win but as of this date, she’s in first place. Trust me on this, would you?
They have dinner. Talk about feelings in one of his buddy’s poorly decorated bachelor pads. Home town here she comes.
“JoJo, let’s find love in the Windy City.” From the befuddled look on her pretty little face it was patently clear that JoJo had idea where she’s going. You could literally see the hamster wheel turning in her head trying to A.) figure out what the windiest city in Indiana is, and B.) alternatively, wonder if she was going to have to fly all the way across country to Chicago even though it borders Indiana and shares Lake Michigan. An entire generation handicapped without the use of its coveted smart phones. Sigh . . .
JoJo makes the arduous state-to-state drive to Chicago and simultaneously drops a “Ben and I’s relationship” before executing this season’s first Jillian-patented jump and leg wrap when she sees Ben. I’m surprised she didn’t say “It’s Windy Here.” I’ll go on record saying that I think she could win too. I just think Lauren has less baggage and comes across as “nicer.” That, in my mind, will be the difference.
Wrigley Field. Because we know that all girls love touring sports stadiums.
The rest of the harem fights boredom in Warsaw. Emily gets a one on one. She cries. Becca, Caila, and Amanda get the Group Date. They cry. I got up and got another beer. I cried.
Wine and beer at Wrigley Field. That was pretty cool. Professor Ben dons his corduroy jacket and gray sweater. I’m certain he had a pipe in his shirt pocket. Is he looking for a wife or teaching physics, for crying out loud?
Ben “reassures” JoJo who, up until this point, has done an exceptional job keeping her emotions in sufficient check.
“Don’t be scared of the other remaining beautiful women with less baggage that I could choose instead of you even though you’re statistically five times more likely to be eliminated than chosen by me.”
“Thanks, Ben. That makes me feel really good about you and I’s future together.”
JoJo gives Ben the overly vague and meaningless “certain things have happened in my past” speech and claims that she “gave 150%” in her last relationship. Notwithstanding the fact that it is literally impossible to give more than 100%, he appears to get the point. He’s apparently not a math professor.
Group Date: Marian Hills Farm
Join us for some row boating around the lake. I think Ben would have preferred some motor boating around the living room, if you know what I mean. That, however, is neither here nor there.
Becca and Amanda end up alone in their own boat. Becca drops The Notebook reference making things align in the Bachelor Nation Audience, if only for a fleeting moment.
No one told Amanda that there is more grass than cement in Warsaw because all she packed were her lucky cork wedges. I have to admit that I was wrong about her. I like her. She’s smart, funny, attractive, and probably a really nice person. She’s not nearly as shy or shallow as I accused her of being up front.
It took two seasons but Becca finally starts to lose it a bit. “Three girls, one rose, one stays, two sit back in the barn and bitch.”
Ben conducts some serious one-on-ones around the farm. Becca worries aloud and unwittingly and sums up her issue: she’s too non-emotional and has a difficult time expressing her feelings when she has them. That’s probably not her fault, but it explains why Ben felt as if she “hadn’t progressed like some of the other women” kicking it around the hay bales. They all looked fantastic on that date, by the way.
Caila gets some time and tells us that she’s moved 17 times before college and has no roots. 17 times? Good Lord. The Inuit people moved less than that.
Incidentally, that desire to roam has been ingrained in her system. That’s something she can’t get out of her blood any more than he can get the small town out of his. She’d go nuts in Warsaw (even though he lives in Denver).
And the Date Rose goes to . . . Amanda. Boom. Right in front of all of the girls. That SUCKS. Awkward is not sufficient to capture the mood at that moment. As they wallow in rejection, he kicks Becca and Amanda to the curb. At least they weren’t left red nosed and shoeless on an island in the middle of a Caribbean hurricane.
Becca proves to us for the 4th time that she cannot pronounce the word “Frustrated” properly. That was so fuss-trating to hear. It took a while make Becca crack, but it happened. “I don’t want to feel this way with someone I’m trying to fall in love with.” Amen, Becca. That statement clearly shows her head is on straight. It also shows she has trust issues. That was a long limo ride home.
Amanda is so lucky. How lucky? She gets to go to McDonald's for dinner and then work a drive through shift to pay for it. Are you kidding me? I’m sure a single mother of two toddlers has never been to McDonald's before. Trying to add some gravitas to an otherwise disappointing dinner date, Ben goes all Lady and The Tramp with his French fry. Amanda plays along because she’s a nice person.
Warsaw Carnival surprise.
Festival food. Yum. I’m more of a giant turkey leg than a funnel cake guy. Carnival rides. What gives? Yet another life risking outing for the only woman with kids two support. Those one-toothed parolees they have operating the rides don't care about a search for love. All they care about is a search for the half empty flask full of rye liquor in their overalls pocket.
Amanda tells us that she’s “close to falling in love.” Another one with her head on straight.
Lakeside Dock talk with Lauren B. and Amanda.
They set up the “Emily’s not mature” talk. Ben then drops the Emily has really become more “mature and self aware” since I dumped her sister talk setting up the juxtaposition that will be presented to Mom and Dad Higgins. Maybe Ben was impressed that she didn’t use the word “fu*k” to articulate most of her feelings.
She meets the parents. The feign interest. Emily is VERY 22. Here’s about how the whole thing went:
Mom Higgins: “What do you like?”
Emily: “I’d sit around and watch movies all day.”
Dad Higgins: “What don’t you like?”
Emily: “I don’t like vegetables.”
Wow. Like an 18 year old cat on its way to the vet, Emily was the only one unaware that her time was over.
Props to Ben for attempting to spare her undeveloped feelings. He sugar coats it.
“I’ve been amazed . . . but . . . “
He sends her back into the house with her head down as the remaining girls watch pregnant with anticipation from the bay window.
“I can see [us getting married] and it sucks that you can’t,” she flounders.
“I’m sorry. I can’t marry someone who doesn’t eat her vegetables.” He responds.
Captain Ben gets back on the USS I’m Freaking Single and heads across the lake and she actually gets a heretofore unprecedented debrief with the girls. They all cry. Odds are that she’ll thank her lucky stars the second she lands back in Las Vegas as a single girl.
Ben broods on the steps. Harrison shows up . . . finally. We all know that the ABC charter jet was still running at the Warsaw airport with an iced whiskey highball sweating in Harrison’s cup holder anxiously awaiting his return.
Pep talk? We good? Yes? I’m out.
2. Lauren B. (Becca knew at that moment)
I’m sad to see Becca go but I get why he did it. One, he didn’t want to climb the giant wall of her feelings in the next week and a half only to find out he didn’t want to marry her. Two, he didn’t want a virgin going to the Fantasy Suite. Hey, honesty is the best policy, right?
Well, there it is. As we head into hometowns I’m hitching my wagon to Lauren B. and JoJo. I think Amanda is better than JoJo, but the two kids will be the deciding factor. Caila is a distant fourth after this week. She started well, but her star has faded.
Enjoy the rest of your week. Chime in @someguyinaustin on Twitter or in the comment section below. In the meantime, if you need me I’ll be eating a giant turkey leg and a funnel cake on a pontoon boat in Indiana. DP