Author Archives: Bearfighter

BachCap VII: The Worst Turtleneck

I didn’t post last week. Here’s the thing. I got stomach flu. I had to fly to LA for surgery. I had work stuff. And on the happy front, we announced that we’re having a baby girl! So I was busy. I was busy writing down all the things I will strictly enforce on my future daughter.

I came to two things she can’t do: Take hard drugs or be a contestant on The Bachelor. Short of those two things, I promise to be reasonable. 38 year old prom date? Let’s discuss it. Parallel parked my future-Porsche over a fire hydrant. OK. Glad you weren’t hurt.

“I’m going on the Bachelor.” YOU ARE MOVING OUT I DON’T HAVE A DAUGHTER.

Same page?

Let’s BachCap.

So, the hometowns were weird mainly because we all know by now Rachel is the new Bachelorette. So, we’re going to go thru the whole charade knowing one person is definitely not winning which is unacceptable in the Post-Game-Of-Thrones era where we’re accustomed to any character dying at any moment. The people who are all “is Jon Snow really dead” and want spoilers are a bad influence on the Bachelor. I want the thrill of soul-crushing rejection still viable in the final episode. I already know too much.

So a few quick thoughts.

Raven is kind of the best? I mean, she for sure voted for Trump and loves just saying, “Benghazi, ya’ll” in drunk political talks, but it’s almost forgivable because she loves her dad and her town and frankly, she’s the least of any of our problems. This is a girl who took Nick on some four-wheeling in a swamp Trump didn’t drain yet that seems filled with bacteria that make you sterile (probably good in this case). The sport was called turdjumpin’ or something like that, I don’t know. The whole erotic make out in standing fecal water is probably to Arkansas what the pottery scene in Ghost was like to all my mother’s friends.

I mean honestly. We have to root for a girl from Hoxie. The town has negative population growth (truth) and literally looks like a staircase leading to a door to GTFU.

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Rachel’s date was a super fun quick visit to a “black church” that Nick was “totally comfortable” going to. Honestly, Nick is just as uncomfortable anywhere God is looking at him directly because at some point he has to ask God why it is that every woman he sleeps with turns to an ex-girlfriend. He’s always like WHY GOD WHY™. Mercifully, he didn’t do the “white-guy shuffle” to the beautiful church music going on in Dallas because I might have burned my eyes out with my wife’s curling iron.

The afternoon date was mainly about seeing how good looking Rachel’s family was, discussing how hard being an interracial couple is and Rachel’s white brother-in-law acting holier-than-thou like he invented marrying someone whose skin is a different color. If I am being honest, and my mom told me I should always be honest, this guy doesn’t care about anything beyond protecting his status as the white comic relief in the pretend Tyler Perry movie he thinks he’s living in. He doesn’t want Nick to show up and steal his white thunder. He’s found his niche, only it’s not a niche, it’s just being married to a human woman. It isn’t Tyler Perry’s I Can Be White All By Myself.

What struck me as interesting in this date, besides Nick’s “Dallas” outfit that’s best described as GUY WHO COLD CALLS YOUR AD AGENCY WITH A SOCIAL MEDIA PRODUCT WITH A DUMB NAME THAT YOU WON’T EVER BUY COUTURE™, was the constant debate over how Nick would handle an interracial relationship. While it’s a great point that even if the people in the relationship aren’t racist, the rest of the world can be.

There’s a really simple answer he could have dropped and shut the whole thing down. I’d have been, “My plan is to love your daughter and move her ass out of Dallas and immediately lower the racists-to-interracial-couple ratio. To quote Mayer Hawthorne, who is the Fernet of human beings in that he’s overly embraced in San Francisco, “Things ain’t gonna work out.”

Corinne’s date was weird. She just bought Nick a ton of clothes at one store that I’m pretty sure donated clothes for the cause. Then they went to her nice-view, but not-as-big-as-advertised condo where we got to watch them debate “how good this olive is” and also wonder what is going on with her mother’s face. She’s giving JoJo’s mother a run for her money as star of the next botched plastic surgery reality show. DON’T DO IT LADIES. AND IF YOU DO, FIND CHRISTIE BRINKLEY’S TEAM.

The truth is, I like Corinne now. She’s honest. She’s basic, she’s open about it, she doesn’t lie about who she is. Nick is the gay best friend she’s always wanted and he’s just not sure that’s who he is even if he really loved his 600 dollar sweatshirt. He looked amazing. Honestly, they could have a totally open relationship and probably function really well. I feel like they get each other. I feel like if Nick wants to take 20 topless Instagrams (we remember Nick) and make out with a girl and then a guy and then bring one of the two home, the worst Corinne says is “I’m tired, go play in the other room.” My wife just closed the browser. But she closed it knowing I’m right. 50 Shades of Nick.

Let’s see. The Canada date. There’s two things worth commenting on. The first is that even though the week before in Bimini Nick pretty much shut her down when she confessed her love, she woke up thinking, “this is fine.” Don’t do that.

The second is that her dad kept it super, super real. I respect when guys are like, “dude, I in no way respect this process that makes my human daughter a pawn.” I mean, I get not getting in the way or saying “if that’s what she wants I support it.” But Nick comes off like a two  year old and then gets rejected by dad in a feeling he experiences every time he has to watch football in a group of men. He’s just not believable.

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Anyway, they did the stupid “to be continued” thing again. Can we Make Bachelor Great Again? You can make America great again by checking out this app made by some awesome folks I’ve worked with.

Andi shows up because, frankly, she isn’t doing anything after she realized she has the worst taste in men and then America realized she’s about at interesting as waiting for your number to be called at the DMV. I don’t even know what they talked about. I don’t care. I don’t know why they are just drinking Bulleit Rye when there’s so many other options when you aren’t paying for booze yourself. I don’t know why they are staying in Brooklyn instead of downtown. I don’t know why we still have the electoral college. Honestly, Andi showing up just sent me off into a wistful state of reflecting on my past mistakes, how I might do better for my daughter, data science and automation and universal basic income. Hell, I even flossed to avoid listening to her talk about nothing while staring at her chicklet teeth.

We only got one fantasy suite. It was in Finland. Nick was wearing a turtleneck so audacious I didn’t know what to feel. And, he popped it. Like, he wore it not even turtle’d. I don’t know what was going on. I think it was his chastity turtle because pretty much he was covering as much of himself as possible to defend himself from Raven, who is the world’s most literal person. She was saying things like, “I am not sure how I feel about tonight because we are going to probably make sexual intercourse with his private parts and frankly I have not had an orgasm with my one previous sexual partner who I saw penetrating the vagina of a girl he cheated on me with and I should probably tell Nick all of this in extreme detail as if he was at a military briefing (unlike our President).”

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BTW. Raven’s sweater was falling off making the editing of this show impossible. She’d go from fully clothed to pre-shower and back between cuts.

Oh. And Nick throws darts like mothers give high fives. It’s like he is going to scream “Ya!” after each throw. Like, “Mom, I aced my spelling test!” and she’s like, “Ya!” He throws darts like he is expecting his mother to take him for ice cream.

In any event, I’m ready for the fallout from this date and for an episode longer than 37 minutes of content.

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BachCap VI: Bimini To Tell You Something

Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope you’re playing the so-titled track from Andre 3000’s side of the Outkast album. Actually, just play all of that. And play some Spottieottiedopalicious later to get in the mood. I know the song has some serious themes, but today I learned people have sex to some strange tunes.

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Apparently in Australia, they listen to the song from the Cantina in Star Wars. Really.

This is a big week. We know Michael Flynn didn’t get the rose (unless Putin called Teleflora), but who else? With hometowns at stake, let’s BachCap.

This week was confusing because one of the best contestants was announced to be the next Bachelorette. I’m talking about Rachel. The lawyer. The role model. The person I’m not sure why she’s here.

I avoid spoilers for this show, but it was telling they just put this on blast. I couldn’t avoid it. It’s a triumph in three ways. First, she doesn’t have to attempt to marry Nick. Second, she is one of the smartest, most capable contestants ever to lead the show. Last and most importantly, she is the first black person to helm the show. She’s going to carry it. We’re going to watch. She’s going to be super fun.

But what does it say about Nick, how utterly boring this season is, how not into human women Nick acts if we are just going to announce one of the women getting hometowns is the next Bachelorette?

Chris Harrison switched off the hard drugs for this season because it’d be a bad trip. The only answer is hard liquor.

Nick left the room and hydrated from crying from all the shit going on INSIDE OF HIM™ because zero dramatic things are happening that we can see as audience members. On the surface, the water ripples, signaling deep distress below all the magical layers of this human onion. Nick. Be free.

He rolls back into the no-chill room of women strangling cheesy Caribean hotel pillows and then tells them that he feels like the “rug has been pulled out from under him” which is the biggest misuse of a turn-of-phrase since Ron Burgundy was trying to figure out when to say “when in Rome.”

Pulling the rug out from under yourself seems like an Aladdin-themed gif waiting to happen. It still doesn’t make sense. But let’s just agree Aladdin is pretty great. Sugar dates. Sugar dates and figs. Sugar dates and pistachios. My wife just closed the browser.

Nick explains why he sent Inner Side Boob and the other human home. It was cold because he basically just bashed them in his ten-year-old girl way. Like, “Our relationships are like, so-so-so much stronger and like who wanted these bitches at our sleepover anyway. We only have one bag of Twizzlers and you know how she gets when there’s candy involved.”

Nick, the sorority girl with a speech impediment, then is like, “Whaddya say we just get away from the big city in St. Thomas and go to Bimini where it’s like relaxed, like a more-mellowed-out-chill-kinda-vibe.” He talks like Rebecca Bunch on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend when she’s trying to not act crazy. Also, I love that show. Free plug.

Noticed that some of the girls were napping when Nick showed up. What’s wild about women is that they can nap next to someone even if they hate them. Like, I had a hard time on tour with my band sharing a bed with my best friends. Women can be like, “I hope you have a UTI and an overdraft charge for BofA at the same time, k, goodnight” and then just nap.

That’s so stone-cold killer. No wonder women are going to save the world. Nerves of steel. Love you, women!

And ladies, stop pretending you know what Bimini is. I mean, maybe Corinne does. Maybe she hooked up with someone on the Dolphins there or something. But like, you aren’t a thing Bimini. You sound like something that goes great with hummus or a country Trump is going to ban next because he is a racist who doesn’t like hummus.

Bimini is a little island near Miami that looks like a a man hiding from the cops inside an avocado.

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You don’t see it?

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Drawing this was more fun than I’ve had at any point during this season.

Bimini is famous for smuggling booze during prohibition. We didn’t cover any of that. We just did dumb ass shit the whole time. Ponce De Leon looked for the fountain of youth here. We didn’t cover any of that. Nick was all, “who cares, Kiehls and Aesop are my fountain of youth.”

I make such a mean girl face when I type things I picture Nick saying. You just have to picture me at my desk scrunching my face being like Nick said, “whatever, I Bimini to tell you girls that none of you win.”

So I Married An Axe Murderer gets the first date and they go snorkeling in Nick’s itsy-bitsy bathing suit. He isn’t into her, the ocean, being on TV or the cool Spanish galleon wreckage covered in graffiti.

She tells him she is falling in love with him after telling him it’s a day of firsts (all yacht related). He shuts that down like a web browser full of porn when your mom gets home. Hi Mom! My wife just closed the browser. Not for porn though. God. Sorry, wife.

The next date is the group date with Hoxie, Putin on the Ritz and Ivanka. They are going to see some sharks. Nick is like, “Guys, this will be a redonkulous story when we get back because so many people claim to like swim with sharks but they like went to SeaWorld and just want to sound impressive, who does that?”

Hoxie said she’s punch the shark in the nose if it messed with her and for sure I believe her after her describing seeing her fiancee having sex. I actually really like her, but there’s like a high likelihood you can’t say stuff like “Jesus effing Christ” in front of her, even if you for real cut your finger off or something where you didn’t even mean it, it slipped out. Like, all day you’re trying not to take the lord’s name in vain because you’re agnostic and she’s really fun and cute and punches sharks, but you spill a bowl of ciopinno on your penis and all your can think of screaming is something about Jesus. Does that end the relationship? Does one still get the rose on that date? Asking for a friend who loves ciopinno and has bad hand-eye coordination.

Hoxie gets the rose and they go to a concert by some band my wife described as “the Caribbean Train” which is better than anything I could have come up with by a mile. They have for sure covered Drops of Jupiter, right? All reggae style though.

Corrinne, for all her flaws, is kind of the GOAT. She’s the only person I have EVER seen consistently eat on the show. She talks comfortably about her body. She doesn’t deny being horrible. She goes for what she wants. In this day and age, she’s the least of our problems. I’m confident when she heard the president may have paid Russian prostitutes to piss on him – she was like, “grow up, whatever, everyone does stuff when they are rich.”

By the same morbid token, when Putin on the Ritz said she ate lipstick as a starving young girl, Corrinne FOR SURE pulled out her wet-mess make up bag and was like, “If you’re hungry, I have a bunch of last season’s MAC colors you can snack on.”

Oh Jesus, I am going to hell. Sorry Hoxie.

Nick takes Neonatal Narcoleptic Nurse on a date (for real, she’s asleep the whole time). They do the old Bachelor standby “indigenous sport date” and play basketball with the local youth. She tells him the truth about being afraid to fall in love because the last guy died, which makes sense. Nick responds by crying (because his diet is crying to lose water weight) and then sends her home.

Corrinne, sensing an opportunity, tries to go have sex with Nick who stops her being all, “I just showered and don’t want to get ready for bed again.”

Rachel’s date omitted because she clearly doesn’t win this show, she is the next Bachelorette and I am letting her be. Love you, girl. You go Glen Coco.

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Finally, Nick gets rid of Putin on the Ritz, making him better at vetting Russians than our current administration. It sucks because she is lovely. I hope all this TV exposure hooks her up with the kind of man who likes amazing women who are smart, strong and pretty and have actual jobs. Keep being those girls, America. Or Corrinnes. At least she’s honest.

ON TO THE HOMETOWNS.

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BachCap V: The Saddest Kind of Volleyball

Sorry about last week. I was in Baltimore for work. Shout out to [protecting your name] at Woodberry Kitchen for recognizing me from this blog. I was never so upset my wife wasn’t with me because the street cred at home would have been tremendous. Thanks to the bartender as well. I remember at least ten minutes of being there.

What say we just dive in? What say we do.

This is not the most dramatic season of the Bachelor ever. In fact, it’s just the saddest. I am not even sure what’s going on. Nick honestly only seems happy wearing skimpy hot pants bathing suits and doing baby t-rex dances. Put him in front of a nice girl with weapons grade cleavage, it’s just mehhhhhhhh.

Not even drama. More like the friend who comes over and silently sits on your couch and at first you’re worried about them until you get a drink in you and stop caring all together. Only at least with this friend, eventually the existential dread kicks in and they tell you how they feel.

Still waiting on what’s up Nick. We can handle the truth. But please. Pick this up. Soon. I can’t keep living in a world where Betsy DeVos is in charge of our education system. I need good news. Under Betsy DeVos, our children will regress to the point that rose ceremonies in the future will simply be a pile of roses dropped into a pit filled with cheap prosecco and whoever gets a rose / lives gets to move on to next week – which is a trip to glamourous Topeka, Kansas, which Betsy DeVos considers the Caribbean because #alternativefacts.

We open in New Orleans, one of my favorite cities on the whole planet and somehow Nick ruined it. He found no joy in a city where I usually stay in firehouse curated by two fabulous gay men (for real, rent it). A city where you can listen to jazz and party with total strangers. A city where you can buy shots to go and bring your alcohol literally anywhere you feel like it. A city where you can’t tell if the marching band is for a funeral or a wedding and it doesn’t matter.

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Side note. Bachelor weddings are funerals, right? Like – a guarantee your heart is murdered.

Look, in NOLA I once saw a man passed out getting pissed on by another dude (Trump) and a guy was taking a picture of the whole thing and then another guy was taking a picture of the guy taking a picture. It was so meta. It was so messed up. It was two feet off a main thoroughfare.

HOW DID NICK MAKE NEW ORLEANS SAD?

Corinne returns from her bayou battle. If the Patriots, Trump, the world haven’t taught you anything yet, let me help. She could win this. She could win the whole damn thing.
Taylor, the therapist you will never trust after this, commits the cardinal sin which is trying to tell the Bachelor someone is bad. It’s mutually assured destruction, much like our foreign policy with Russia right now. This is fine.

Corinne downs a bottle of champs. Probably grabs her boobs. I don’t know. I block her out like screaming kids on long flights. It’s best to just let it sort itself out.

The cocktail party is mainly notable because the cheerleader starts to go insane. Every year someone just created a pernicious loop in their head and their mind slowly eats them alive. I knew she was dead before Nick told them they were off to beautiful St. Thomas, which he thought was a nightclub in WeHo until this episode.

But hey, what better place to fall in love than in St. Thomas.

The girls pretend the sprawling 90s looking suite they are in is super nice and congregate on the balcony to watch Nick soar by in his…

SEAPLANE?

Oh eff you Elan! I know you got love for me but our first flying magic love-inducing aircraft is a sea plane? If a helicopter is a labradoodle, a sea plane is like one of those cats with no hair. Like, it’s cool. It’s better than a frog. But we came for the doodles. Doodle us, Elan. Doodle us, Adam Mansfield. Doodle us, producers.

To be clear, getting doodled now means seeing a helicopter on a reality dating show. My wife just closed the browser.

First date is with Kristina who I am calling Putin On The Ritz, because she’s Russian. Or Second Lady. Because Trump will eventually release Melania (#freemelania) and he’ll need a new immigrant to love (while hating the other ones). Maybe Kristina. Please no.

Putin On The Ritz has a beautiful smile, a sad past and a great attitude. I hope she gets cut so quick because she deserves better. I have a hard time believing a dental hygienist so lovely can’t meet people. Is it maybe because she has to wear a medical mask and visor when she cleans teeth? Do people not know?

Anyway, Nick seems totally incapable of not smiling awkwardly at a story one wouldn’t smile too. I was sitting there listening to this really great person saying that she had to literally EAT LIPSTICK™ because they had no food. Also, is this the best new morbid way to tell someone to eff off? GO EAT LIPSTICK™.

Too far. Even for me. Two gold stars from my wife for knowing my limits. She gets the rose. Obviously. I’ll adopt her if she just leaves the show right now.

The group date is mainly about bad volleyball and the tightest bathing suit I’ve ever seen. Sure, Don Draper wore those back in the day. But now, these are reserved for my most in shape gay buddies who invite you to grab a drink and a swim at the rooftop pool at the SoHo House in the meatpacking district and then you get there and feel fat and find that you’ve somehow been emasculated by short shorts, which is even more emasculating until your gay buddies assure you that, yes, you are pretty too Zack. In your own way.

My wife just closed the browser. But she knows I’m pretty. She likes me for me.

Jasmine is just self-destructing and it kind of sucks because I am rooting for a human of color to make a top three for once and she’s a damn cheerleader for the most popular basketball team on earth. If this can’t work, I’m scared. She’s just confused Nick isn’t acting thirsty with her. He’s not acting thirsty with anyone. Chill.

This date is miserable. Jasmine ends up getting sent home because she tries to turn Nick on by choking him, offering to choke him, asking if he likes getting choked. Basically, she choked. Like Steph Curry did in game seven. Because she cheerleads for them. I’m sorry SF readers. You have to know we’re not same page here. Go Dodgers. Even Year is not a thing. XOXOXOXOX.

I guess Raven got the rose? Circle gets the square? I get to move on.

The 2-on-Juan is between Inner Side Boob and Whitney, who apparently is a person who exists and is still on this show. Hi. Nice to meet you…

IN A HELICOPTER! FOR A MOMENT THE CLOUDS PART! THE SUN ON MY BACK! MY HEART SWELLS! EMOTIONS SOAR ON HIGH! THERE IS A GOD! WE ALL LIVE IN CANADA! REFUGEES ARE WELCOMED WITH OPEN ARMS! THE INTERNET IS ALL CATS, PUPPIES AND BABIES AGAIN!

Sweet, merciful helicopter. I don’t care what happens. My soul is full.

Whitney is not real and gets sent home. She’s left on some island and we get some more rockin’ HELICOPTER ACTION™.

The night date with Inner Side Boob is mad awkward. She’s falling for Nick, who is wearing a sweater with a HUGE NECK. This is a Matrix sweater. Are you in Zion, Nick? Are you going to a dance party in Zion with Neo? Is there a motivational speech by Morpheus? Is that sweater from the Matrix? Did you find it with Trinity on the Nebuchadnezzar? Did you wear it when they downloaded Kung Fu into your brain? Did you wear it when you jumped between two skyscrapers?

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Get it? It’s a Matrix sweater.

Anyway. She loves him. He sends her home and then starts crying because he’s not sure he can find love and then he goes back to the house and starts crying and freaks all the girls out and they start crying. It was like the puking and ‘rea scene from Bridesmaids. Everyone just making each other do stuff.

So we started on a low note. Ended on one. Two sea planes. One life-giving helicopter.

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This Is A Post About Guacamole and California Secessionism.

In what is probably going to be a long term thing I do between Bachelor and USC blogs, I want to talk about something that is neither. Today, that’s guacamole. Well, avocados.

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Whatever your views on “The Wall” are, and I mean the wall between America and Mexico that President Trump is proposing, it’s clear goods from Mexico are going to be more expensive. Look, if they won’t pay for a wall directly (which, regardless of your political views, they won’t because people don’t pay for other people’s things, this isn’t Kickstarter), they will get the money from taxing Mexican goods. Taxing them on shipping them in, taxing us for buying them. Even if you love the wall, realize we’re paying for it one way or another. Likely in the form of avocados.

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Here’s what I’m saying.

This USA Today article cites that:

As recently as 2014, Mexico accounted for 60% of the avocados in the U.S., Avocados From Mexico, a trade and promotion association, reports.

The article goes on to say:

The Haas Avocado Board, which tracks shipments of one most popular varieties, expects to see imports of 400.9 million pounds of Mexican avocados this year, compared to 24.9 million from California, one of the largest producing states.

Without needing to do much math at all, it’s clear that if we increase the price of avocados from Mexico, a food need I remind you is the main ingredient in guacamole, which is so delicious that it’s plausible even your typical racist still likes it, avocado prices will soar.

This puts California, our leading producer of avocados in the GOOD OLE USA, in an incredible position of power. Even the most conservative American recognizes supply and demand’s value to free market capitalism. Many liberals in California are talking about wanting to leave the union. But as an American, I want to stay an American. I have a polite suggestion for California, controller of avocados that don’t need a visa to work here in tacos, guacamole and on multigrain toast for a sensible way to get fiber and protein at breakfast.

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Instead of whining about leaving the union, California should just raise the price of avocados exported outside of the state. Look, our cabinet of Goldman Sachs economists would laud, cheer and appreciate the move. Nothing is more capitalist than capitalizing on a big short. California can short the avocado industry. They can treat it like oil and use the money to do whatever it wants. Fix LAUSD. Re-sign Clayton Kershaw for 200 years. Buy back the land UCLA is on and make a second USC. I don’t really care.

As a displaced Californian who roots for California, this isn’t political for me. I just see a real opportunity to non-violently exploit America’s love of a Mexican product in the way people love drugs and hate drug dealers. California, you could get rich. I see no reason post-wall that avocados couldn’t cost 20 dollars each. The fun part is, since so much of our produce comes from behind the wall, salsa will be more expensive too, and frankly if you are paying 10 dollars for salsa, you go for the up-sell to avocado. Anyone who has been to Islands knows you always accept an invitation to up-sell avocados.

The free market goes both ways and I think this is a wonderful opportunity to make some money supporting American farmers. California is a wealthy state. It’s time the rich get richer. Like rich, creamy guacamole on Super Bowl Sunday.

Raise the price of California Avocados right now. I just fixed the drought, betches. We can buy Evian for everyone with this extra money.

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This Is Not A Political Post. This Is A Post About Gum Abuse.

I know you guys think this is a political post. It’s not. I will talk no politics in this entire post. I’m just going to talk about one person and their mental health.

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This is about the fact Sean Spicer admits to chewing and swallowing 35 pieces of gum before noon every day. Let’s ignore his political affiliation. Let’s ignore anything that has anything to do with politics, because this is not a political blog. I usually just make fun of things. Or point out crazy things.

Guys. It’s not fake news. It’s his quote, not taken out of context in this Washington Post article.

Even when he is not speaking, it works on overdrive, churning through pieces of Orbit cinnamon gum, which he chews and swallows whole. Notwithstanding his line of work, the man just can’t stand a gross-feeling mouth.

“Two and a half packs by noon,” said Spicer. “I talked to my doctor about it, he said it’s no problem.”

Ignore any perceived liberal bias in the article. Don’t even read it. It’s irrelevant to the fact he is talking about eating whole 35 pieces of Cinnamon gum before morning. The article could be in Mother Jones and be titled, “Evil Devil Man Eats and Swallows 35 Pieces of Gum Before Noon” or it could be on Breitbart and be titled “American Servant and Hero Eats and Swallows 35 Pieces of Gum Before Noon” and my reaction is the same.

Holy shit.

Extrapolate that.

I don’t think even hearing it and going, “yeah, that’s bonkers” even comes close to making sure you get what we’re talking about. This is Anthony Wiener pathologically showing people his penis weird. This is bath-salts-face-eating strange.

Let’s really talk about it. Again, no politics. This is weird for a human and I need to talk about it.

Mr. Spicer has a high stress job. He has to explain what’s happening in the White House to a very divided country against a very inquisitive press. I say that to assume this is a man who wakes up early in the morning to be ready for the day. Let’s say he wakes up at 5am every morning. He is quoted as eating “two and a half packs” before noon. So 35 pieces of his favorite gum. Which is cinnamon, by the way. Even a gingerbread man can’t hang with that much cinnamon.

He’s opening, chewing and swallowing a piece of gum every 8.5 minutes. If I was wrong and he wakes at 6am, this falls to every 6.8 minutes. If I was challenged to eat a piece of gum every 8.5 minutes, I’d last 8.5 minutes. This seems like a very specific, strange eating disorder. He’s clearly worried about it enough that he’s asked his doctor.

I’m just so confused. If you went on a date and your date ate like 10 pieces of gum during dinner, would you trust that person? Would you worry for your safety? Would you want to get them help?

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In Men In Black, a giant bug alien skins a human farmer, puts on his skin (played brilliantly by Vincent D’Onofrio) and stumbles around the house interacting with his dimwitted wife. His odd appearance, his herky-jerky walk, nothing makes her too suspicious of him.

Until he asks he to pour an entire bag of sugar into a glass of water. Then, she’s suspicious. Because as humans, there’s just some things we don’t do. Sure, we CAN drink a glass of sugar water. We CAN eat a pack and a half of gum by noon every day. But who do you know who actually does it?

Just like I have a hard time trusting a man showing his penis to people all the time (Mr. Wiener), I have a hard time trusting a chronic gum eater.

It is not fact that gum stays in your system for 7 years. Not even 7 days, usually. I checked with Yale’s Scientific Journal, who I trust because lots of presidents from both parties and scientists of all beliefs have gone there. Dr Milov quoted in the journal had this to say:

“Gum is pretty immune to the digestive process. It probably passes through slower than most foodstuffs, but eventually the normal housekeeping waves in the digestive tract will sort of push it through, and it will come out pretty unmolested.”

I want you to picture the size of 35 pieces of chewed bubble gum. I want you to picture Mr. Spicer having to pass that amount of undigested gum in his stool every day. I dare you to watch a White House presser without thinking about the fact his body pushing a fistful of undigested gum through his colon. Actually, seven days worth.

It’s an honest concern with no political motive. There are probably many, many people willing to take on a high stress position from President Trump who do not eat an egg-sized amount of gum before lunch every day.

Just something to consider. Or if you are friends with him, get him some help.

Excuse me while I chug a gallon of prune juice.

 

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BachCap IV: Alternative Facts

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This week, we learned Alternative Facts are a thing. Not a thing we do, but like a thing-thing. Like if your boss tells you that you were late, you can just say “I was on-time, in fact, if anything, you were early and your family needs more attention.”

For readers of this blog and watchers of this show, you knew alternative facts existed forever. The Bachelor mansion is the home of the alternative fact and frankly, I’m surprised it took the government so long to catch up to the cutting edge of culture that’s been sweeping the nation ever since Chris Harrison first drank a martini with the adrenal glands of a rattlesnake instead of olives (#AF). If you’re curious, you order that martini like, “dry gin martini, three rattlesnake adrenal glands, it’s tongue as a twist.”

Do that, you get a show.

First random observation. Nick holds girls hands vertically. He holds hands like how Oprah holds hands when she’s saying, “girl, you are gonna beat this and I’m betting on you with A NEW CAR.” Supporting my theory Nick does something really, really wrong in bed, he holds your hand like Oprah holds another woman’s hand. (For the record, I support Oprah and her hand-holding.)

Chris Harrison arrives to let the ladies know they are going on a journey around the world. As they bubble with excitement, Chris lets them know that journey is to Wisconsin (which I don’t even allow as a connection flight). Nick is so a part of the Bachelor machine, he so has no idea who he is, they basically were like, “we’re saving money so when there’s 20 of these crazy humans chasing you, they get airfare to Milwaukee (which I didn’t even attempt to spell because I don’t care, I just literally wrote it phonetically and let the redline correct it because no one needs to know how to spell it.)

We get to see Nick’s parents again and his mother cannot stop crying. There is so much going on here. She definitely drove from WAUSUSHSAH to MULFEKFKEE to get a big city haircut and she’s been on the elliptical like the Target Lady since Nick went on Paradise. As nice as she seems and I’m not one to shame a mother ever, she very much seemed like a Kristen Wiig character we haven’t seen yet. A mother hoping her son will stop being on reality television while trying to mix a deadly combination of vodka to relax her and bulletproof coffee to jack her up (she read about it in a wellness email passed to her by another friend and the title of the email was in ALL CAPS™ because it’s BREAKING MEDICAL NEWS™.

Nick’s dad, by contrast, just wants his wife not to explode because he’s digging his big city sweater and glasses combo and feels like he’s definitely sitting in the Shamu “Splash Zone” with his wife’s persistent crying.

Do I remember what they talked about? Eagle Rare Bourbon. I just kept drinking it and thinking how much better it was than this conversation.

Inner Side Boob (the beauty salon mogul I’ve nicknamed because while she has a commitment to side boob, it’s the opposite side of most of what we encounter on the internet and bad night clubs). My wife just closed the browser despite probably agreeing. Gwyneth would never do anything but TASTEFUL SIDE BOOB™ – again, she would agree, but my wife is long since left her computer and thinking about what to do to take her mind of her decisions (specifically, marrying me).

But Goop doesn’t have an Inner Side Boob email. Just saying.

Oh yeah, they go on some date and Nick brings out an ex-girlfriend, presumably to prove he’s been with a human woman (our only evidence comes from this show). I was so sure it was one of his 20 siblings and this would be a funny joke. But no. It just made me sad. This was his ex-gf (now bff) who he put on TV. Because he loves women and this is one of them. Accept it. He’s tremendous at dates. He goes on the best dates.

Then, let’s keep it real. They went rollerskating. I like rollerskating dates. I like rollerskating alone. I mean, it’s pretty good. But Nick is a REALLY GOOD ROLLERSKATER. He was doing like step overs and going forwards and backwards and Oprah Hand Holding. How does one get good at this in 2017? If I wanted to, I feel like I’d end up on Craigslist and on some Amber Alert watch list. I mean, he was beautiful on the rink, don’t get me wrong. Nick was like a young Nancy Kerrigan out there, but how? Why? When?

Next.

The group date was on a dairy farm which Nick in no way has ever been to before, but in the effort to culturally box in every location, Wisconsin has cheese and cheese is cows, go to cheese cows. Then again, if the Packers aren’t playing, what else would one do?

Watching Nick milk a cow made me feel the same way I feel watching a sex scene in a movie theatre with my parents. Like, nothing is wrong, but something is wrong?

I did enjoy all the girls shoveling manure in white pants. That’s just great and big, steaming shovelfuls of cow shit is a great metaphor for this show in general.

Ivanka doesn’t want to do this. Any of it. She whines, says some epic stuff I don’t need to repeat and let’s just get to the point. At the night date, she gets in a million fights, gives a million great one liners in some language between baby talk, internet and trust fund and then grabs her boobs. Oh yeah, and she was mad racist about her nanny.

But, New America was on display when she gaslighted Nick and was like “dude, everything is amazing, the girls are great, these facts are alternative in nature.”

Epic. She may be the first contestant who gets executed by her co suitorettes – my money is on So I Married An Axe Murderer, who is still so normal and attractive that I don’t get why Nick. Why.

Raven had a one on one at some point as well, but all I remember was she had a really crazy accurate description of seeing her boyfriend cheating on her and then her beating everyone in the room up. It was like an X-rated Carrie Underwood song. Or a G rated Rihanna song. However you like to roll. Hillbilly song off Lemonade? I could do this all day.

One last point – can we not do the Rose Ceremony at the beginning of the next week? It’s a series. I get it will be continued. Unless Chad is about to slice someone’s head off, I prefer just to know who dies at the end of the show.

That’s all. Survive the week. Get out of Wisconsin.

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BachCap III: What Does It All Mean?

Sorry to interrupt you from telling everyone on Facebook the ten most important albums to you when you were a teenager, but we should probably BachCap. I’m snowed in up in Portland and it’s getting like the Shining around here.

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Let’s BachCap.

I need to start with a question: Is Nick really into this? Are we torturing Nick? I’ve never seen a Bachelor more robotic, more awkward and less confident than him.

Is his natural element tossing salt on the games of a house full of dumb jocks? Is it wearing too-tight bathing suits on a beach in Tulum?

With the bright lights of Monday night, niche reality entertainment shining upon him, he seems to shrink away from the camera. This would be fine if we had some big personalities amongst the women, but they seem like your average police line up at a Tempe drunk tank, so I have to ask: Where is the Bachelor this season of the Bachelor? I mean, besides not-at-a-speech-therapist.

We arrive at the mansion and can’t focus because no one is wearing make up and it’s confusing. There’s not even an errant eyelash stuck to the wall. It’s just a bunch of people thinking this isn’t a beauty contest. Nick was up at dawn getting waxed, spray tanning, tweezing anything the waxer missed, getting sugared where the tweezers were too time consuming, a little light yoga, a little heavy yoga, a little medium yoga (for balance) and a little yogurt (after yoga) because colonics are ‘spensive (I’m told). My wife just closed the browser.

Nick is DIALED IN™. You can’t just be au natural. This isn’t a Dove commercial. Put down your Dove bar and get DIALED IN™ as well or Nick’s going to cut you some asymmetrical bangs.

Nick starts off trying to explain more about his sexual encounter with Crazy Ex Girlfriend, but the girls either don’t care or can’t understand as his second tongue (he has two) seems to be playing ping pong with tongue one’s attempts to speak. Mainly, I think the kind of lady often still around in week three is the kind who understands this show best. She’s comfy with her sexuality and the fact that by week ten, if all goes well, if we’re all here for the right reasons, they’ll all be related.

Then the Backstreet Boys (who are now middle-aged) came in. You never expect the Muppets™.

You know how I know this date was 100% Nick’s fantasy (for some reason)? Let me submit to the court the following exhibit as evidence:

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Effing Kevin was born in 1971. He’s 45. He literally could be most of these contestants’ father. And not in the way we say that about guys dating women too young for them (like Nick, who is too old for these women). I mean quite literally that if Kevin Scott Richardson slept with a groupie in the year Quit Playin’ Games With My Heart came out (1996), she’d be 21. So yes. Literally. Their Dad. Not a stretch.

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This means Backstreet Boys are Counting Crows now. Donald Trump is president. Our life is REALITY TELEVISION™.

Nick was a darling 16 year old in 1996 and I’m sure he thought, “One day, if I wish hard enough, if I make enough people like me, I’ll get to learn the choreography to Backstreet’s Back and show everyone! Take that varsity football sports team!”

And here he was, learning that choreography, showing that varsity football sports team with an army of women in red spandex. It was strange. If this was Ben (last season), we’d have the predictable homophobic “I’m not much of a dancer” montage happening. Not with Nick. He was barely on camera. He was like “Bish, get away, I’m learning my steps. Film Corinne, she’s thirsty.”

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Anyhoo.

The world’s saddest two hundred people attended what had to be a midday-in-the-San-Fernando-Valley taping of a fifteen minute Backstreet Boy concert held on the Burbank stage of a failed daytime talk show. Danielle L. gets the honor of an eighth grade dance with Nick who shows us why he seems to fail at the fantasy suite stage. “Come over tonight. I’m gonna waddle up on you, girl.” Aaaaand my wife just closed the browser again.

But f’real. Waddles™ later? ::crickets::

The only thing of note on the night date is that Ivanka made me vomit in my mouth when she came out in some creep trenchcoat with some producer-planted readi-whip and made Nick’s balls invert by forcing him to eat whipped cream off over her in between flashing him her nipple, which Nick wasn’t that excited by and neither was America.

She then gets drunk again, cries because the sight of her nipple doesn’t lead to on-camera fornication and then she passes out because CHEAP CHAMPS™.

Who cares.

Date two is with the French-Canadian Italian teacher who every time I think is gorgeous I remember she really looks like Nancy Travis in SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER and then the feeling is gone.

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This reference is as old as Nick and the Backstreet Boys.

Chris Harrison is really, really excited about this date. They spent a lot of money. His own money. That’s because they are going up on the plane that flies to near-space so gravity vanishes and you float around like you’re in outer space. Harrison is a huge fan of this because having tried every drug on earth, this is the only high left for him to experience before he one day launches himself into the center of the sun. I’m coming with you, Chris. We’re from the same town and we’ve never gotten blackout drunk off snake venom at the Four Seasons Westlake together. I think you are missing out. If I was the Bachelor, I wouldn’t invite the Backstreet Boys. You and I would buddy cop this shit together.

Anyway SIMAAM (So I Married An Axe Murderer, get used to it) and Nick go up in the vomit comet and then she vomits. This was less cool than when Kate Upton did this same thing on the exact same plane for Sports Illustrated for reasons I don’t care to explain.

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Easily the farthest a pervy thought ever got taken. Someone suggested this as a wet-dream-slash-joke and America had the will and money and power to do it.

The most notable part of this date was after SIMAAM pukes, Nick kisses her and says it tastes great or something nuts like that. Also, pro tip: don’t crowd someone who is about to puke. Nick was like swirling around her as she was trying not to puke up her half-Luna bar breakfast. Don’t. Space. Give people space. Even in space.

I don’t remember the night part of the date. She gets a rose. And she’s someone to take seriously.

The other group date is track and field related because after you live our your fantasy to dance with the backstreet boys, you need to do some jock shit for continuity. And fair play to Nick, who did run track in college – which is not the same as football – and he knows this. Carl Lewis showed up. Loved you in the 88 Olympics man. Ben Johnson robbed you of the gold in 100m because he was roiding. Sorry, just felt like saying it. Just like Carl Lewis felt like wearing this in his music video.

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Honestly, I blacked out for this date. I woke up at a pool party where Nick was dry humping Ivanka in a bounce castle and the girls where none too pleased.

If anything else happened, I wasn’t aware of it. There’s a point where you are just ready for them to trim the fat, get on a plane and reduce the entire history and culture of a foreign country into an outfit, an outdoor market, a plate of untouched food and a dumb local legend.

SOON.

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BachCap II: Tops Optional

Oh, hi. For those of you coming for the USC End of Sanctions post, click here. For those of you here for the right reasons, let’s BachCap:

Chris Harrison stared into the mirror. His face implant looked great. Better than great, better than he expected. When a Cuban surgeon suggested over Cohibas and Guatemalan rum that he could have a more youthful version of his current face 3D printed on baby calfskin and grafted onto skull, he could hardly believe it. Still, he took the  man’s number in his 24K gold iPhone case designed by his personal slave Neil Lane and often debated using his untraceable server to call the surgeon. He figured maybe he should get it done now before Trump rescinded passage to Cuba and his chance for a new face was gone.

Looking in the mirror this morning, the results spoke for themselves. Already handsome before, no one would even know he’d undergone a procedure. But he did. Confidence came from within, and also from his standard week two breakfast, a modification of Hunter S. Thompson’s menu del día: Half a cantaloupe drizzled with rum, chicory coffee flown in from New Orleans and served black, a rasher of Kobe bacon (hard for even him to get as it comes from pigs owned by Kobe Bryant) and one double-wide line of cocaine.

Elan Gale came to tell him it was time to start week two. For a moment, the familiar nerves returned, but that might have been the blow. Or the coffee. He knew what America knew. Anything he said to these “women” would be received much the same way a merle-colored labradoodle would be received by a middle-school sleepover. Reactions of shock, glee, surprise and delight and the total lack of impulse control followed anything he said. At the bottom of the bottle, he often fantasized about writing on a date card, “Tonight, one of you dies, one of you gets extra time with Nick.” He already knew they would do this.

“Chris.”

“Huh?”

“Chris, it’s time.”

“Right, Elan. It is. What exact time is it?”

“6am.”

“How long have they been drinking?”

“They haven’t stopped.”

“Right. Perfect. Thanks.”

“And sir?”

“Yes, Elan?”

“Your face. It’s beautiful.”

“We said we’d never speak of it. [long pause] But, thank you.”

The first tear Chris Harrison was able to produce with his new face rolled down his cheek and he bottled it. He locked it in a safe in his house and told no one.

But I know about it. If there was a movie about my own life, and there should be, it would be like Indiana Jones and I would go on a quest for that one, bottled tear. It cures cancers, but it also produces the most intense chemical high possible. What would I choose? The fate of the world or to truly understand the feeling of being Chris Harrison, my lifelong hero, a man who stands on the winner’s podium of my influences along with Prefontaine, Rick Steves, Gordon Ramsey (pre-2008) and Corey Seager.

Oh, shit. You wanted me to talk about the parts of the show they filmed. Fine. MY WIFE CLOSED THE BROWSER FIVE MINUTES AGO BUT NOW SHE’S DELETING MY NETFLIX ACCOUNT INEXPLICABLY.

Chris Harrison tells the women that it’s time to get down to business and maybe it was the dragon blood talking, but he said that it’s “physically impossible” for Nick to get dates with everyone. But I think he just meant logistically. Or maybe it was because they could physically only fit so many people into the awful Tom’s Natural Toothpaste colored Buick Whatever-The-Fucks some media exec sold through.

They looked like three Tic Tacs rolling through Kanan Canyon. Those cars were an ad for a midlife crisis. They made me want to buy a Porsche RIGHT NOW™.

These minty suppositories were heading for the Getty Villa and Franco Lacosta, who is my personal spirit animal. One part partyboy™, one part West Hollywood safari guide, one part fernet branca and two parts 70s cop, this man is a national treasure. Literally, he’s Puerto Rican so we get to count him! Also, he’s got less instagram followers than I do. Fix it, America. Tell ’em the Bearfighter sent you.

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Nick talks like he is secretly hiding a tongue ring from his family. I dub thee – SECRET TONGUE RINGER™. Secret-T is way too stoked for this photo shoot. He’s wearing a metallic tux with no buttons. He’s not looking at the naked women, instead mugging for the camera like a toddler who knows they’re cute.

It’s weird. He’s the bachelor, but he doesn’t feel like he’s in the show at all. He was a great villain. He’s just sort of a meat-filled humanoid going through the motions on this show. I kind of want him to let the cat out. Show those claws, Nick!

Dolphin Shark is made to dress like “shotgun bride” – which just means pregnant. Having the girl from New Jersey do this is racist against New Jerseyans if being New Jerseyan was a race. (editor’s note, I lived there until 3rd grade and that explains a lot). She’s up there with my favorites, especially when she celebrated her boobs’ birthday with two flesh-colored cupcakes.

Ivanka managed to get drunk by 7am and go full a-hole on everyone. The Girl With The Heart Tattoo who is Two Inches From Crazy thinks Ivanka would be a bad person to bring home to parents. But like, you put the most generic tattoo in the least generic place. I want to know how it happened and why. What’s the statement? You’re pro-love? You wear your heart on your heart? I’m fucking lost.

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What else, oh. Brittany makes a whole big deal about how small the bikini bottoms she’s been given are and then comes out looking aces. I’m guessing central casting had clocked that ass from before she got there. Good for her because it pisses off Ivanka, causes her to drink more and then awkwardly go topless in the pool while Nick keeps going “ewwwww” although in this case I agree.

Ivanka at one point at night is bragging about how no other man will ever hold her boobs – her nanny is a woman so her adjusting her bra for her in the morning doesn’t count. She says something like, “He’s the first, first, first person I’m falling, falling, falling, falling in love, love, love.” Holy shit. Shut shut shut shut up up up up now now now.

She gets so drunk while stealing Nick (can Nick be stolen?) she says, “I think the world to him.” I am sure I know the two things her brain is trying to say.

Look, more and more I’m convinced the “multi-million dollar business” she runs for her Dad is just like, The Sims or something. Like, her Dad put The Sims on and was like, “keep them alive and we make millions” and that’s what she does all day, staring at the ocean and forcing a nice lady to cut cucumbers for her.

Someone else mentioned “getting naked is the most romantic thing ever.” I dunno. My last physical wasn’t romantic.

Ivanka gets the rose, mainly because of the success of crime dramas at the Golden Globes and they want a murder at the mansion. Speaking of mansion, this cool thing from Trulia let’s you tour the mansion in my hometown. I was not paid to say this. I just like it. Also, probably a solid investment for an IVF clinic. Plenty of specimens in that pool alone.

Oh yeah. Taylor, who is NO WAY A PSYCHOLOGIST™, tells Nick she loves how he does this thing where he has a thought and goes with it. Jesus. You’re describing being alive.

Danielle had a date with Nick and the only thing I remember was the relief on Nick’s face when she told him her ex died of an overdose and thinking man, he just wants to be on TV and got relieved he could just be nice and talk instead of trying to figure out how to turn on all of America at once and be everything his family and the producers expect all while selling software and working out and waxing and holy-shit-I-need-a-psychologist-that-isn’t-Taylor.

The last date is mainly about Crazy Ex Girlfriend (great show) and her giant-ass back tattoo planting the fact she slept with Nick to Christen, who is a Powder Puff Girl that de-animated and grew up. The time bomb is set. They go to the museum of breakups which apparently is a thing and we’re meant to believe Neil Lane left a five-figure ring there for art. Nice try. Also, Nick, no one cares or remembers.

They do a bunch of fake break ups, whatever whatever. Eventually, Crazy Ex Girlfriend just alludes to the whole thing in her scripted breakup and then Nick dumps her like third period French. Which is fine because she was probably going to peel his skin off eventually and make one of those ugly doctor evil cats out of it. Like it doll form.

Shit, I’m talking about skin peeling a lot today. My wife just closed the browser.

And I’m spent. See you next week.

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The End of The Sanctions Era

 

We meet again. I don’t know what this post is going to be. But I know I need to post. You all have asked me to weigh in. I expect it’s going to be about the future and about this team. It’s going to be about the school. It’s going to be about the end of the Sanctions Era and my small, but shockingly bigger than I’d have expected role in it.

Let’s just start in the beginning.

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I started this blog so long ago I barely remember the guy who wrote it. I’d write about my weekend. I’d write about not much at all. And eventually I started writing about USC football because I love it. I love my college and their football team. I love that we were named after an army that lost and became famous for how hard they fought in doing so. I’ve played our fight song heading to cancer surgery, to job interviews, on my wedding day and any time marathon training sucked on a cold, rainy day here in Portland.

This blog exploded when USC got handed sanctions by the NCAA because Reggie Bush and his parents took money from an ex-convict hoping to become a sports agent. They said we should have known. Maybe we should have. But the committee was lead by Paul Dee, the AD at Miami, who was paying for abortions for strippers impregnated by players on a booster with on-field privileges’ yacht while doing cocaine. You can’t make that shit up. Playing for Miami under Paul Dee was doper than any party montage in Scarface and in USC’s case, the NCAA let Scarface judge their case.

The penalties were second only to SMU’s death penalty. A two year bowl ban. 30 scholarships. Vacated wins. And other things that came from it, our severed relationship with Reggie (which is thankfully being slowly mended, but damn dude you couldn’t just pay the dude off like the other guy?).

Our Rose Bowl opponent (Penn State), fought the NCAA harder than Pat Haden ever did and they actually shouldn’t have because Penn State is horrible. More on that later.

Uncle Pete had just left. We had very, very limited coaching options and when we hired Lane Kiffin, it seemed like a low point. We all felt it. I saw on social media something I never had before. Trojans not being sure how to feel. Wondering what the Coliseum would be like. Wondering if Rome, who we celebrate with our architecture and with our name (Rome was said to be founded by Aeneas, a Trojan), had fallen. After the Pete years, the fall was steep. It was a long way down.

I didn’t want us to fall. No one did.

As I said, I love my school. I have a screenwriting degree from the best film school on earth. It’s statistically harder to get into than Harvard Law School (at least it was then). I heard Tom Hanks was one of the people who read our 70+ page applications. I am hell with a pen.

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The only thing I could think to do was write. So I wrote this.

I suggested that the Trojan identity, both tongue-in-cheek and in reality, was about a lot more than football games that count. I suggested something we already knew, something we already identified with – our arrogance. I knew that our parents and grandparents who went to USC when it was a “gentleman’s C school” felt the same way about it that the current students feel about a school that’s sitting in that just-out-side-Ivy-League crowd with UCLA, Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon. There was never an option to not go to USC.  We’re better than everyone else when there’s data to support it and when there isn’t.

We’re a cult of personality.

And that personality is arrogance with a smile. We’re fundamentalist Trojans and it makes us so, so intolerable for our rivals. It was classic Sun Tzu, Disruption, whatever you want to call it. While the Bruins wait for a good season to emerge and boast, I figured correctly that with the right motivation we didn’t even need to be playing football that “counted” in order to be a better fan base, better school and better story than UCLA. Or anyone for that matter. If someone had to line up against us, we still had the opportunity to violently impart our “culture” on them and the scoreboard.

The NCAA was going to let us play games (because business), so it became obvious. We had to ignore their attempt to throw salt in our game. In fact, we had to celebrate everything that sucked. Nothing demoralizes the enemy more than celebrating when you should be sulking.

Those that follow me on Twitter or Instagram know in Portland I’ve fallen in love with the Timbers. They’d hate to hear it, but what attracted me to them was their fundamentalism. When the rain starts, we get louder. “Let it rain! Let it pour! Let the Portland Timbers score!” and then you dance in circles dumping lager on everyone around you flipping middle fingers.

You can’t lose if you refuse to. You can win if you change what that means. It was already in us. I used a focus group of every Trojan I ever met from the old salty dog talking about the 60s to the fratboys on campus and realized we all needed a kick in the ass and a reminder to just keep being ourselves – because everyone else hates us.

When sanctions hit, people weren’t just rooting for us to lose. They were rooting for us to shut up. Losing, well, not much control there. But shutting up? Not on my watch.

So, the Bearfighter was born.

I made shirts. And thousands of them sold. Enough that I related to the Catholics vs Convicts 30for30, except for the fact that shirt and Notre Dame in general is super racist and South Bend is boring, I don’t care if Rudy was a good movie (and he was offsides and a hobbit).

Lane Kiffin was the only coach who wanted the job and Tennessee fans drew dicks and vandalized his home?

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Got a shirt for that. All hail the mighty visor, his hot wife and everything wrong with this deeply flawed man! Follow the arrogant man into battle!

Bowl ban?

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Eff that shit, anyway. It’s only a party if we show up.

And for the Pac 12 schools who thought we were going to vanish and it was their time?

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This last shirt was easily the biggest seller and the most personal. It really is as Fight On as it gets. It’s been copied, parodied and there are so many more stories I never put on the blog. At one point, I got a cease and desist from USC signed by Kiffin, Haden and company. It was amazing.

But then it took off. You couldn’t go to a game, walk campus or watch on television without seeing signs of the fan base I dubbed Arrogant Nation.

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On my wedding day, I shit you not, I woke up and turned on GameDay who was at the Coli for an Oregon game (we lost, whatever, we won emotionally) and a reader had a “CONGRATS ZACK AND EMILY” sign. Dude. Trojan fam!

The greatest contribution of the blog, in my opinion though, was that as I got to know some players and students, I found out the players were reading it. I loved knowing they knew the fans were behind them no matter what. The games mattered to us. In fact, this is the most special era in the history of our school because in any normal year, we’re favored to win the conference.

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This was an era we were supposed to lose. But we “qualified” for bowls both years. Won the south one of them and it lead to UCLA having to play in the title and get smashed by a Duck team we beat. We totally screwed that year up for Larry Scott. We never had a losing record. We are unkillable.

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After games we lost, I’d spin it that we won because “we don’t live in Tempe” or “Berkeley is a shitty town” – just kidding, we haven’t lost to Berkeley in a decade, lol. Bears.

I started to get a ton of traffic from fans of the other team. Stanford and Oregon especially. They just wanted to see if we’d break. Nope. Not even a little. We actually became friends at times.

The school quietly tolerated me, if not embraced me. It became really clear from my insiders, friends and friends of the program that I was saying a lot of the stuff about the NCAA they couldn’t. So, they gave me the mic.

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The most surreal moment in my life was hosting our pep rally the first time at Galen Center. When I came out and thousands of students cheered instead of treating me like a whack ass MC, it blew my mind. I got to introduce The Spirit of Troy, the band, my biggest advocates. I wear the t-shirt they game me every big game. Band people, if you are reading this, you guys kept me going even when we lost and I didn’t want to spin it. You guys are a gift and you did more than almost anyone to get us through the Sanctions Era.

This was rad. I used to buy drinks there and then they named one after me. I didn’t even have to play football. BRAND RECOGNITION STRONG!

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We had some fun with things like Arrogant Game Predictions, guessing how many times Kiffin would go for 2, how far Kyle Negrete (hey homie) would punt the ball (predator drone launches) and what Kiffin would wear.

We made it fun. We kept it alive. It was no small feat. Building a culture is hard. Maintaining it is hard. Ask UCLA. It’s not like they haven’t won games and bowls. It’s just that their culture sucks. They don’t demand the best. They never fight on. They clap 8 times and ride buses to their stadium that’s nowhere near their campus. They wear powder blue because Cal claimed actual blue because in black and white television broadcasts they needed to stand out. Basically, they know they aren’t more relevant than anyone.

And when they think they are, they try to win like a loser.

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How’d that work out? That’s how it started. Know how it ended?

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Culture breeds confidence. Arrogant Nation was all about maintaining our culture despite being painted unfairly (see pending McNair lawsuit) as cheaters or whatever they made up. I’m sorry we looked good winning and had fun. I’m sorry I think your school is worse than mine. No, you can’t change my mind. And you never will.

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Arrogant Nation wasn’t all roses. There was the time the Daily Trojan tried to take me out. Then all of you jumped to my defense and I had to tell everyone to chill out because the journalist was getting a lot of flack from my readers. His punishment was covering Ohio State for a while. It worked out in the end, he’s covering USC. Fight on!

I didn’t want to hire Coach O for reasons I put on the blog and reasons I couldn’t. We beefed hard on that. I still stand by it. But yeah, I pissed you guys off.

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We also disagreed about Clay Helton. While at 1-2, I was a little shaky. I believe I said it was “getting hard to defend him” – but I also came out strong that when he took over the team started to play like we did under Uncle Pete. More later on this.

Enough about the blog. I want to talk about the talisman of the Sanctions Era. Matt Barkley.

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In some ways, it felt better than Barkley didn’t win the Heisman. He did something so much bigger. He became Mr. Trojan. He’s everything I want our school to stand for. He’s smart and also a fierce competitor on the gridiron. He’s obsessive about technology and reading defenses. When we begged him to stay, he did. When the season didn’t turn out how we’d hope, he still got a legend’s send off. He is the fiercest Trojan I’ve ever written about. In life, you have to put your money where your mouth is. He, and his teammates, certainly did.

I got to know him a bit at events. Now and again, we’d text about shit. I once got a drink with him at the 9-0 with Negrete. No, I didn’t pay. Yes, he was 21 years old. Chill out, NCAA. It’s been a minute, but my wife and I still check out how he’s doing in the NFL and it takes us back to the days when I was WAY younger in my career, spending nights with my business partner Morgan drinking a fifth of whiskey and hand delivering the first batches of t-shirts and making friends with everyone in Arrogant Nation. Everything was scrappy.

BTW, Morgan opened a killer brewery – Indie Brewing Co. – and it’s near USC. Go on gameday home or away and drink beer. Fun fact, I write a lot of the labels. When you buy Indie, you support Arrogant Nation and USC.

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The point is, whatever uniform Matt wears, you should pull for him to win. He’s the good part of what the USC culture is all about.

I’m the other part.

Lastly, let’s talk about the End of the Sanctions Era, which concluded with a last second field goal and our 25th Rose Bowl win.

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The media attempted to make this a “mirror” story. Two sanctioned teams that made improbable runs meeting in a bowl game. We were both back.

First, it’s important to remember why Penn State was “gone” – three decades of systematically covering up and looking the other way from the child abuse going on in their facilities. They were cowards to put football and money ahead of children and I will never support or respect Penn State. I can’t.

Had it been one incident that was immediately dealt with, ok. Bad things happen all the time. But even though it’s new players and new administrators, they didn’t shut the program down and they fought to lessen sanctions. They should have sat out four years. A game. Anything. It’s about money. It’s embarrassing. Like most Americans, when I see their logo, I see the cover up of sexual abuse.

If you ask me the one thing that could make me stop watching USC football, it’d probably be what Penn State did.

But, we do owe Penn State a bit of gratitude. They provided the stone to sharpen our sword. This 25th Rose Bowl win was maybe the most special. It was the end of sanctions. I know the effects are technically still being felt, but USC won the Rose Bowl. The stated goal of Uncle Pete every year. Achievement unlocked.

Here in Oregon, everyone knows we’re back. Recruits know we’re back (not that they ever left, there just were so few of them compared to teams that weren’t abused by the NCAA).

People generally know we were unfairly treated at this point as well, which is incredible. Those that don’t certainly will when McNair wins his case the NCAA has been trying to postpone for years. When they write him an 8 figure apology check for “maliciously” lying about the evidence they never had, that chapter will be over.

More importantly, our chapter of not feeling like USC on the field is over. When USC beat UCLA last season the way it did, by pounding the rock and staying in control, I had a feeling Clay was using Pete’s playbook. They went back to throwing it up for our wide receivers to let them make plays. They controlled games so the other team makes mistakes.

We are passing the eye test. As great as Darnold is, and wow, he’s great, great players often emerge when things click. I’ve never been so fired up about where we’re going. In fact, I’ve been so fired up I’ve largely retreated to just tweeting about SC and enjoying things as a fan.

A lot of you have asked why now that we’re back I don’t write that much. It’s because I hate being the last one to leave the party and in the end, this isn’t about me. I wanted us to get through sanctions. I wanted to brand Arrogant Nation. I wanted SC to be SC again.

Since all that has happened, I’ve been doing what you’re doing: enjoying the ride.

Fight on. Thanks for everything.

And you never know. If a bear jumps out, I’ll won’t be far away.

FTFO.

 

 

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BachCap I: A New Hope

O Waddup, 2017. Now that the earth has finished rotating around the sun and we arbitrarily are calling it a new year, everything will be better. Starting with this blog. I’m all in this season, but I need to warn you of a few things before we get started, you start tweeting at me all day asking where my posts are and all the cute things we do as a couple together.

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Trump is the president. I am trying to Make This Blog Great Again (#MTBGA) so you don’t have to solely focus on what promises to be THE MOST DRAMATIC SEASON OF AMERICA EVER™. That doesn’t mean from time to time I won’t slip into pointing out the giant burning turd monsters we’re all going to be dealing with. If you supported Trump, that’s okay. You’re more than welcome to enjoy my free content. If you don’t like it, I’m sure there are plenty of hilarious, GOP-alt-right-friendly reality television bloggers in REAL AMERICA™ because Mississippi is known for two things: holding on to the Confederate Flag like the last person at a party who just won’t go home and BLOGS ABOUT WEST-COAST LIBERAL ELITES LIVING IN A MANSION TRYING TO FIND LOVE.

Oh crap. You’re stuck with me. Like we’re stuck with Trump.

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Let’s BachCap™.

The first episode is always the worst. We’re treated to some staples of the show, all of which are less fun than what comes later.

We start this time, like we start every time, with a Nick-retrospective. This is Nick’s public rehab tour and the first thing we have to do I get him to never-ever talk or appear in public. But that would make for bad TV, so they decided just to coach him up. It’s sort of like when Chris Columbus was directing the first Harry Potter movie and he’d literally just say every line to the young actors exactly how they are supposed to say it and with the perfect facial expressions and then tell them, “Don’t act, just mimic what I did.”

What I’m saying is Elan Gale or someone is sitting in front of Nick being like, “If I get knocked down, I’ll get up and show everyone my true self.” I’ve seen Nick’s true self. It’s on his Instagram. He’s shirtless. He’s a shirtless “software salesman” who is shirtless with ten other shirtless folks at Chicago nightclubs. He’s a man who posts pictures of himself like this:

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Kudos on not eating carbs and what I assume is a pretty good pilates regime. But, when people tell Nick to go eff himself, he’s like, obviously, what else would I eff? Take the lower left photo. Outside of a 25 year old, pre-metabolism girl taking an “I’m thinking, but mainly about how fun I am” staring off to the side photo on a daddy-sponsored beach vacay, who takes this shot?

Actually, what guy have you ever met that created a five photo montage, pic-stitch of themselves? Did you like that guy? I don’t either.

Look. I think the person deep inside Nick is probably solid, but his family is super religious and he’s constructed some kind of effeminate playboy image that he thinks pleases them. Which is weird because how is that what pleases a 37 person family is Waushcheecadka, Wherever USA?

Be yourself, Nick. Like you almost were on Bachelor in Paradise. I got your back.

Wow, Elan Gale is good. He got me to say it. Shit. I’m brainwashed NICK I LOVE YOU TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF. My wife just closed the browser.

Speaking of his oddly religious family (oddly because Trump proved God moved on to another planet already), kudos ABC for only showing 5 or 6 of them and mainly just Bella, who seems like a good kid. As they moved through Nick’s varying “suit game” – which I interpreted as the many personalities he’s tried on over the years to feel accepted – his dad asked if one look was a “vampire thing.” For clarity, naming your daughter Bella in the Twilight Era is the most vampire thing you can do short of actually drinking another human’s blood.

LEAVE NICK ALONE RELIGIOUS FAMILY. HE LOVES YOU.

Anyway. Nick, like all broken men who want to be the Bachelor, is afraid he won’t find love. After coming in second to so many men on this show, you start to break down what happens. The question I ask is what is happening when he sleeps with women? I’ve never seen someone succeed so often in conversation-leading-to-coitus or (CpC in advanced metrics, write that down) with such a terrible Deal Sealing Fail Rate (DSF/R).

He mostly nails private convos with girls. He’s mastered being something between the Backstreet Boy they grew up fantasizing about (maybe it’s One Direction now) and their female best friend they listened to the Backstreet Boys with (maybe it’s One Direction now).

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Then, the girls sleep with him and decide it’s not a forever type of thing. Which is very ungirl after finding the unlikely mix of sensitive guy with a ripped body who also is kind of a dick. See my point? What isn’t adding up? That is literally the 3 part recipe for MILLENIAL GIRL HEROIN™ (maybe it’s Molly now).

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They did the awful scene where they have Nick meet up with former Bachelors for advice. This was the bottom of the barrel. Ben is a child who couldn’t make it work with an Oregonian flight attendant, a human who comes from a state known for politeness in a profession requiring you to deal with turbulence and assholes simultaneously while trapped in the air. Oh, and she won’t eat a carb unless she gets the stomach flu.

They brought out Chris Soules, who’s back to being Fat McConnaughey and still has no personality. The fact he did the show to drum up promotion for his hardcore Trump-style land-takeover business makes him even worse. Chris Harrison said this show is a journey to find love, not land ripe for fracking. The only fracking this show allows is in the fantasy suite. My wife just closed the browser.

Then there’s Sean Lowe (Strawberry Lemonade), who at this point looks like a Westworld robot somewhere between being in milk form and human form. I commend him for getting married and having a kid. I just don’t know if that’s because Jesus told him to (personally) or he means it. Still, I’m leaving him alone, because unlike the other two cowards “pretending” to drink whiskey, he finished his glass.

BTW, they were at Bogie’s, which is in my hometown. It was voted the Conejo Valley’s Best Spot To Hook Up With Your Friend’s Newly Divorced Mother Now That You’re An Adult While Santana’s “Smooth” Is Playing. When I bought a house out there before moving to Portland, I tried to take my wife, but it became obvious we were both going to end up swingers by the end of the nights. My wife just closed the browser a record third time.

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Side note, snuck into the Golden Globes once and smoked a cigarette with Stiffler’s Mom and the lady who wrote My Big Fat Greek Wedding. They were lovely. We just smoked and talked shit about Diane Lane who “doesn’t eat.” I thought it was a brutal, rockin’ takedown and they are perfect.

I’m just gonna cover girls I remembered because it’s frankly too damn early to care.

  • The first-impression rose recipient who’s a litigator, LOVES VACUUMING and most be broken in some way if she is on this show.
  • The Canadian Italian French special needs teacher (bacon must be confusing in that house) who seems great so she must be broken in some way if she’s on this show.
  • The girl from Secaucus (read, the train station in NJ where you transfer trains trying to get to your family in better parts of NJ while you are staying in NYC and don’t want to pay 232 dollars for an Uber in 2 hours of traffic) who dresses like a shark and claims to be a dolphin.
  • The girl who slept with Nick and didn’t give him her number (read my previous explanation of what happens when girls sleep with Nick) and then lost 30 pounds and her fucking mind and now wants another round, but not of pastries. She’s past that.
  • TEETHY, who wore yellow and thought it was SO WEIRD™ that she had a fan. Um.
  • The Golden State Warriors cheerleader who brought Neil Lane’s botox-reanimated-latex face with her on day one.
  • The 1990s Love Interest girl who said she wasn’t wearing underwear and when she smiles it’s like A LITTLE TOO BIG and you wonder WHAT’S WRONG THERE.
  •  IVANKA TRUMP, the horrible bacon-wrapped-turd who speaks in the third person, runs a “multi million dollar business” and has a nanny who brings her cucumber snacks. Please bring back MESA VERDE and CHAD and lock her in a room with them. Spin off. Bachelor in Horror-dise. I’m in.
  • Other people who are probably totally broken in a really bad way that we’ll all exploit while drinking wine (bourbon for me).

Well, Nick. You got what you told your parents you wanted. A bunch of weird girls virtually guaranteed to pick you first. Hope you stopped doing whatever that thing you’re doing in bed is. Stop reading Cosmo for male sex advice. It’s not something you can reverse engineer.

I got your back. Make this season great.

One other piece of housekeeping. Have a quick read Trojans – or people who don’t feel like going back to working yet!

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I’m CLINICALLY LIT™ that my USC Trojans won the Rose Bowl last night, effectively ending the original purpose of this blog, which was to be a propaganda machine to combat the NCAA sanctions handed to USC for “not knowing Reggie Bush (the one who dated Kim Kardashian) and his parents took money from a guy who wanted to be an agent.” Last night, USC beat Penn State, another team who was sanctioned, but managed to get their penalties lessened – even though they got in trouble for three decades of covering up 30+ cases of child abuse that happened on campus in team facilities at a state school with tax payer money.

Just because I have a large readership, I want to point out that there’s a big difference between Penn State and USC. Or Miami (who did some pretty gnarly stuff). Penn State put business/football ahead of morality and good judgement. I know people love their schools. I know we want to fight against people who point out that we’re wrong. But Penn State covered up something really bad for a long time and their excuses are terrible. Especially that the current players and coaches and administration “had nothing to do with it.”

I object to Penn State having a football team the way you’d object to  your meth-addict child having meth. It’s the bad influence causing you to make really heinous decisions. I’d buy the argument “it’s all new people” if you had the courage to shut your program down for four years and hit the restart button. Maybe then we’d pull for you or admire your team. You have to actually repent to be forgiven.

Until that point, rooting for Penn State football sort of feels like seeing the movie Spotlight and rooting for the Catholic Church. Sorry.

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