Chuck Barris thinks this is awesome so that’s good enough for us.
It’s late night. I’m awake again. My nightly sleep potion of Dimetapp and 2-buck Chuck, aka homemade purple drank isn’t doing the trick. My eyes are droopy. The television screen is fuzzy. I paid $1,200 for this? I’m calling Samsung in the morning. But not right now. Right now, I’m busy. My eyelids are heavy. The lines on the tv screen are blurring. Finally, sleep is coming. Yes, dear, sweet sleep.
Then I hear it. The shrill sound of trumpets. Have I died? Is this heaven? They say the trumpets will call, and now surely they are calling me. The lights are bright. Neons. I see a pink wall. I see yellow, blue, orange flower-shaped blobs. Heaven is weird, y’all. And those trumpets. Those don’t sound glorious at all. What is that sound? Why is it so comically happy? I don’t feel as if I’m being ushered unto the gates, certainly not. I feel as if my circus car will crash at any moment and two dozen clowns will topple out. That explains the colors. This is where clown cars crash!
Then, a voice… bellowing… “It’s… the…. DAY-TING GAMEEE.”
What in the whuck? The Dating Game? There is loud applause. Suddenly it’s 1966 and those damn trumpets are still playing and oh my, here comes Jim Lange. “And here’s the star of our show and your host… Jim Lange!”
Lange is reserved. His eyes are barely open, but he’s not cold or unwelcoming. His voice is dated, a throwback. This is 2012, right? Why is Jim Lange 33 again? My consciousness is fading inward and outward. Lange is giving some speech about the history of romance and beauty of dating, all a big lead into unveiling these most worthy and eligible bachelors.
“And heeerrrreee they are,” the giant voice from the sky bellows again, still not beckoning me home to my master, or if he is, sadly so.
The stage spins, ladies shriek. Three dapper, young males sit in director-styled chairs, suited, coiffed, proper. Lange immediately launches in…
“A representative six footer from Los Angeles, California, Bachelor number one attended college at Columbia University, graduating from medical school a full year ahead of his class, and he works in Los Angeles as a spinal surgeon at a major hospital. We’d like you to meet… Jack Shephard!”
Jack flashes a crazy-eyed glare and a friendly, though somewhat schizophrenic head nod to the camera.
“A leading rebounder who is also a dance instructor in Chicago, Bachelor number two can be seen nightly on your television sets gracing the hard courts of the NBA, Joakim Noah!”
Noah’s hair flows beautifully, wild and free, much like his playing style. His bowtie is gold and floral. His suit is pinstriped. My god he’s dressed for the 2007 NBA Draft… again.
“An aspiring young law student hailing from Norman,Oklahoma, Bachelor number three is a sports enthusiast that, when not tweeting, works the scoring table for the Oklahoma City Thunder… FBJ!”
FBJ chuckles, smiles and nods. He’s a natural.
Then Lange launches into some obligatory speech about how our “young lady” has been trapped in a sound proof booth offstage so as to keep her from hearing the bachelor introductions. Television in 1966 really spelled it out for you. Just who is this lovely bachelorette?
“Born in Dallas, Texas, this young beauty started her acting career at the ripe age of 10, before becoming a pop sensation at the age of 16 in one of the most successful Disney Channel Original Movies of all-time. She can currently be seen every Wednesday and Thursday night on the hit FOX reality singing show, the X-Factor… May we welcome to the Dating Game… Miss Demi Lovato!!!”
Oh god how I hope Demi picks Jack Shephard and gets lampooned on an island never to return again. Or maybe that fat guy will just fall on her. Lange interrupts my fantasy, carrying about his business of hosting this how. “Let’s have the gentleman say hello.”
“Hi… Demi,” Jack strains, as if in pain.
“Hey baby,” rolls of Noah’s tongue like a Wilt Chamberlain finger roll.
“Sup,” says FBJ, to the point.
Delirious as I am, I know, you know, we all know (ice cream!), this is the best part of the show. The questions. The schmoozing. The chance to win thy lady’s heart. Demi wastes no time.
“Bachelor number one, in your most romantic voice, please tell me the five words you most want me to hear.”
Jack looks aghast. He runs his fingers through his hair like a teenage boy or a crack addict, fidgeting.
“We… have… to… go… back.”
Demi is puzzled but pushes on, “All right, well um, yeah, Bachelor number two, I’m a beautiful Southern Belle, what would you expect from a Southern lady?”
Noah looks about, disinterested. He’s bored, already. “You just got to have it, you know?”
“Alright, well that’s swell. Number three, what is your idea of a perfect date?” she asks.
“Well, uh, we’d wake up at about 5:30 in the morning on Saturday and watch some soccer, I tweet why you cook me breakfast. Then uh, whatever happens happens,” FBJ is so non-plussed.
“Number two, tell me, if you could take me anywhere on vacation, where would it be?”
Noah doesn’t hestitate, “Anywhere but Cleveland.”
“Alright, well…” she smiles, stammers, flashing her big, toothy grin, proud of her gap, that wall her protection. “Number one, if we were stranded on a desert island, what’s the one thing we would need to survive?”
“Hurley,” Jack says, without hesitation.
THE FAT GUY.
“Um, I’m not sure I understand. Can you clarify?”
Jack mumbles under his breath, somehow in the span of three minutes he’s grown a five o’clock shadow and his eyes are bloodshot. He’s a stark-raving alcoholic at this point. “KATE! KATE!” he shouts.
“Well, my name is Demi, but let’s move on. Number three, if you had to pick a single animal to describe the type of woman you like, what would it be?”
The audience yukks it up.
“Number two, I’m not like the rest, so if I wanted to give your heart a break, what would you do?”
“Cool,” Noah is unphased.
“What about you, number three?”
“I don’t think that statement holds up in the court of law.”
“It was a question.”
Demi rolls her eyes, annoyed. Lange butts in, trying to wrap things up, “Well Ms. Lovato, I regret to inform you…” Demi rips the mic away and fires off another question.
“Number two, tell me, if I was just coming off a bad break up, why would you be the man for me?”
“Shoot, I’m your man girl. I’m always plucking things straight off the glass.”
Lange regains control of the mic. “Ms. Lovato, now is the time for you to make your selection, which lucky bachelor will you be selecting tonight?”
“I guess I’ll pick number two,” Lovato meekly states.
The audience lets out a mild yell. My hurricane coma of 60’s hippy color schemes and cross-generational dating shows is slowly lifting.
Lange continues, “Before you can meet your lucky date, let’s bring out Bachelor’s one and three!”
Lange ambles through Jack Shephard’s bio again and Shephard stumbles out from behind the wall, now reeking of booze and shouting undecipherable things about airplanes, islands, lotto numbers and still someone named Kate. He falls flat onto his face, but the show must go on.
FBJ reveals himself, tweeting all along the way. He shakes her hands peacefully, politely and then falls into the background, still tweeting.
“Demi, are you ready to meet your date?” Lange says, enthusiastically. She nods.
Before Lange can even manage to repeat his bio, Noah comes bouncing to the forefront, dancing as if in the midst of a seizure, hair bouncing beautifully. Demi shrieks in terror and tries to flee.
My eyelids are lifted. It’s Wednesday. I have to go to work. Are Demi and Joakim married? My only takeaway from this drug-induced nightmare is that they probably belong together.
When does Derrick Rose come back?