I usually kick off each new season of The Bachelorette by hitting a Marina bar, and this year was no different. Trouble is, this season sucks really bad so far due to the absence of complete and total assholes and a girl who has the personality of a stewardess.
I know, I know, aren't all seasons like that?
No. You obviously don't watch reality TV, otherwise you wouldn't make such an ignorant statement.
There has to be a word for the feeling you get when you first realize that a beloved show is losing its steam; it hasn't yet jumped the shark, but the Fonz is strapping on his waterskis and Mrs. C is slathering on sunblock.
Crestfallen, I still went to the Marina but I decided to go to a bar there that I actually like, the Horseshoe Tavern. There's usually someone to talk to there, even though it's full of regulars who already know each other. You will also not see a lot of candidates for Bachelor Pad there (unlike the rest of Chestnut), but I was so disgusted with the whole franchise by that point that it was fine by me.
The Horseshoe is your basic shotgun-style bar, with a long serving area and the faint whiff of stale beer. The ceilings are Tudor, there's a pool table, and the clientele is mostly over 35, give or take some Botox. The real rip-roarers are usually out front smoking, and if you can get one of them to make a cute comment to you on the way in you know you still got it. Either that or they have had about 12 Jack Daniels.
I wonder if Ali Fedotowsky still maintains a residence in the area. She was the sixth Bachelorette and she regularly went on and on about how this is "her" city, and this is "her" neighborhood. However, as soon as fame hit she moved to SoCal. Ha! Turncoat. According to her Twitter account she has an upcoming cameo in the next Woody Allen movie. I wonder if she made a deal with Satan in exchange for Z-list fame?
As if by magic, there was an empty seat at the bar for me, though I really chalk it up to Satan, because like Richard Ramirez, I feel that he protects me. Would it be jumping the shark in Bouncer to bring this up at this juncture?
"Howdy," said an affable schmo in loose jeans and a T-shirt. I tipped my invisible hat to him, not wanting to interrupt the sports he was watching.
Back to Beelzebub. When you spend a lot of time in bars, your muse has to be someone hedonistic, impulsive, vindictive, depraved, and preferably a Capricorn. The power of Satan compelled me to go to the Marina and it also compels me to watch The Bachelorette. "You just watch that because you want to see other people miserable and laugh at them," said my friend Peter once. I couldn't argue with that. But how is that any different than the guy next to me who was rooting for some team? Did he not whoop and slap the bar a few times when something good happened for his team, which means that the opposite team had something bad happen? Is he not reveling in their pain?
"I wonder if they would change the channel to The Bachelorette," I posited to the guy, knowing full well I was taping it so as to skip over commercials, but thinking that watching it at a bar would be a hoot. He rolled his eyes.
"It's no different than sports, just has more roses in it," I said.
"That shit is fucking retarded," he laughed. I noted that a grown man on the TV had a wad of what looked like sunflower seeds in his cheek and was regularly spitting the shells out like a dough-faced vending machine set to auto.
"I like the show; it's a sociological experiment," I said back, in an attempt to explain why someone might actually like the show.
"Yeah, I know," he said, which I have to admit sort of blew my mind. "I just mean this season is retarded. Desiree has zip appeal, speaking as a guy."
Wow. I can honestly say I have never met a man who watched the show, let alone one that had given it that much thought. "It was good until they started bringing in people in costumes who had cancer and mean parents and shit," he chuckled.
I liked this guy!
"Totally!" I answered. "Just once I'd like to see the girl with the vampire fangs or the Phantom of the Opera guy actually win the thing. Then make a reality show out of their life together." Jump that shark.
I then took the opportunity to tell him my theory about reality TV's diminishing returns, which is that every week the baddies get kicked off and it gets less and less interesting. They need to make a show when the awful people think they are kicked off but then go on to another competition where they can continue to be horrible and thereby win some sort of prize.
"You should write this stuff down," he said.
Oh, I will.