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One man’s nightmare is another man’s entertainment

Andrew Gmerek

Last night I watched another man’s nightmare. Actually it was three other men, and I was thoroughly entertained.

Now I’ll admit I’ve been hooked into a few “reality-based” television shows in the past, but last night “Meet My Parents” moved to the top of my list.

The premise of this amazing hour of television is three young men, all wanting to date the same girl, spend three days living with her and her parents. At the end of the weekend, the parents pick the suitor who will take their daughter on an all-expense-paid trip to some exotic locale. To win the trip and the girl, however, the men have to not only impress or brown-nose the parents, they also have to survive every man’s nightmare. They have to survive their pasts.

On a recent episode, the men started the weekend pleasantly enough with a sit-down chat with the woman and her parents. They had the chance to talk about their strengths and weaknesses, their plans for the future and why each one thought he should be the daughter’s new beau. But the peace didn’t last for long.

At breakfast on the second day, the boys were in for a real surprise. As they sat down to bacon and eggs, the doorbell rang, and, without warning, the house filled with ex-girlfriends. And no matter what the girls said, the guys were not allowed to respond.

By this time, I realized I had found an all-new spectator sport – with teeth. Unlike those wimpy sports like football and hockey, this sport was good old-fashioned blood-letting. Not only did the contestants have to duke it out with each other, at any moment the hand of God could descend and make their lives chaos and their chances slim of winning the woman’s heart.

After a few more chances to redeem themselves, the doorbell rang again.This time it was the UPS guy bringing packages of mischief. Each package contained a videotape titled, “Dirty Little Secrets,” and there was one for each beau.

I sat on the edge of my couch, literally drooling with anticipation as the father popped a video into the machine.

The first video told of how one of the players cheated on his SAT. Not very juicy, but the high-school-teacher father was not impressed.

The second video told of how one contestant slept with a former girlfriend’s mother. Ah, anyone remembering the insanity of youth could forgive this one.

The mother, however, was not impressed.

In the third video, a woman told a special secret. The third contestant, she said holding up a paddle, likes to be spanked.

I spit out my beer.

You could tell the parents were picturing their beloved, virginal daughter spanking this guy’s behind, and they were definitely not impressed. So when the time came to send one of the men packing, well, old spanky was shown the door.

Thinking they had survived the worst, the leftover suitors relaxed just a bit as Saturday night rolled into Sunday morning. It was then they were led to the garage to see the final violation of their privacy. They faced a lie detector test. Neither was happy when they were strapped down, wired up and asked probing questions such as, “Do you like us?” and “Will you try to sleep with my daughter?” Needless to say, the suitors didn’t fare well, and in the end, the winner was picked because he only lied 43 percent of the time.

So, next week when you’re out at the ball game or exercising at the recreation center, you’ll know where to find me. I’ll be the one on the couch, thanking God I’m no longer dating, and thanking God that someone else still is. Now, that’s entertainment.

Andrew Gmerek is a weekly columnist for the Summit Daily News.


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