Actually, it IS Rocket Science



Looking for love in all the right networks

I debated long and hard before deciding to post about this, because I’m not even sure if it’s noteworthy, and because I didn’t want to come across as a person who’s suddenly interested in someone I haven’t remotely thought about in, I don’t know, ten years? AND because discussing the topic also requires me to discuss reality television, which I’ve never been all that fond of in the first place, and find when I have watched them that the people on them, who are supposed to be real, just come off as caricatures of actual human beings, and what should be unscripted dialogue from the heart tends to come across as canned and stale.

So.  Just so we’re clear.  Not a big fan of reality tv.  Except for Jersey Shore.  But that shit’s not reality tv though- that’s a late-term abortion of the love child between Chlamydia and Flatoutfuckedup, though Gonorrhea might be the father, we’re not sure until we get the test results back from Maury.

“Chlamydia…you ARE NOT the father.”

“OOOOOOOOOHHH!!!!!”

When I was in high school, I was heavily involved in choir and the like.  Our choir director was an absolute badass who played a variety of instruments and had that perfect combination of kindness and a wit so ferocious he could stump anyone without hurting anybody’s feelings.  He was also incredibly smart.  He found a way to organize a school funded course that counted for full high school credit that was actually a legitimate band- usually consisting of two guitars, bass, full drum kit, keyboard, singers, and a sound engineer that were all employed by students that played covers of contemporary rock hits and traveled to various functions to perform them- he got away with it by titling the class “Show Choir.”  I tell people I was in show choir and I can count to five before I get “jazz hands” in response.  No one has ever not done this during this conversation.

One of the other singers in show choir was named Ben.  Ben was about two years older than me and had spent some time in his youth in London (I think?) so he still had a little residual accent that came out every now and then- usually when he got excited and began talking really fast.  But it still put enough charm in his character that made a lot of girls swoon over him.  We got along decently, albeit for a few head-butting sessions here and there- but I think that kind of came with the territory of working together.  Overall?  He was a genuinely nice guy, as far as I could tell.  I’m sure he’d go onto great things in life.

Then a few months ago, I received an email from a friend from high school that was simply titled, “Are you friends with Ben C—–?”

________

When I was in high school, the reality show craze was juuuust about to explode.  The Real World still reigned supreme and held the entire reality genre in a deathgrip.  We hadn’t even come across celebrity dancing shows yet, and Jon and Kate were still sans 8.  One day during practice, Ben and I were sitting outside because we had a little time to kill before our next song, when he started telling me something that seemed completely odd and too foreign to conceptualize.

“There’s this new show that ABC is casting for that I’m sending an audition tape to.”

“What?  You want to, like, be on a tv show?”

“Yeah- but it’s not, like, a normal tv show.  They tape you while they blindfold you and drop you in the middle of, like, an Amazonian kind of deserted island with some other people without the help of any outside food or luxuries- and then you have to survive.”

“Whaaaat??  Why would you want to do that?”

“Because!  If you make it through to the end, you’ll win, like, a lot of money.”

“So it’s a game show?”

“Yeah, but it’s more like, they’re calling it a reality show.”

“…That makes no sense at all.”

Are you reading this?!  I casually brushed-off SURVIVOR.  I might have well have spit in the face of lady liberty since apparently reality shows are what America is all about these days.

___________

Anyway, back to the email.  I open it and it plainly states:

“Ben is going to be one of the competitors on the new season of The Bachelorette.”

My brain went immediately back to that previous conversation and I spent an entire 5 minutes laughing so hard that I almost began to cry.  I was laughing because it was like catching up with Henry Higgens and learning he had finally taught Eliza Doolittle to recite the Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on the Plain without that adorable cockney accent.  The feeling of such fantastic payoff blew up in me as I read it and had I been able to do a back hand spring, I would have done so in his honor.

So, Ben C. from Lake Charles, LA, congratulations.  Congratulations for two things, actually.  First, for finally getting to realize your realty star dream after a whole decade, which you clearly never let go of, and next, for getting a schmuck like me to finally voluntarily tune in to the season premiere of The Bachelorette tonight.  You’ve got my full support.  Go gitchu some roses, fella! (or cufflinks, or hair gel, or whatever the hell it is that they pass out to you guys).

Spoiler alert:  Ben’s hidden talent is that he can belt it like Eddie Vedder!

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