The Dating House

Big Brother Logo
Big Brother Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a dream last night that has really stuck in my head. In the world of my dream, the noxious and odious television show Big Brother had finally been cancelled. “Hooray!” I hear you cheer. But don’t celebrate too much. In my dream Big Brother was replaced with (drum roll, please)…The Dating House.

I know, it’s not too overly imaginative, but that’s what it was called in the dream.

Okay?

The rules were simple. Young people in their twenties were chosen from nightclubs and discos from around the country to come and audition for the new show. Once you had gotten past the first stages of audition you then had to ‘walk the gauntlet’ which consisted of walking miles through a main city street and hope that someone had sponsored you to the house.

The way you found out you’d been sponsored was a group of very pretty Asian girls (dressed like the Gangnam dancers in PSY’s video) called out the name on the sticky backed name tag  they had been given. If your name was called, you had been chosen to go in the house. By the time the potential contestants walked through the city, the numbers would dwindle as names were not called or folks just got tired of waiting.

After reaching the outskirts of the city the contestants who received a name tag, with a number, would be called to verify their identity and to get their ‘official’ name tag. You were then given keys to your room in the house. Once you had received these two important items you were led to a huge party area where the contestants were greeted and introduced to one another.

All this was televised and you could, at any given moment, see yourself in these huge television monitors that were set up around the area. After the long introductory party the contestants are led to the house and the first hurdle of The Dating House would commence. If your room key did not also open the entrance door to the Dating House, you were not allowed in.

The numbers dwindled further after this sly key trick. Now there were only ten men and ten women. You each had your own room and you were expected to take part in all the group activities. If you were late to an activity or decided that you did not want to partake in that particular one, you were out of the house.

They way you won the Dating House was to get paired up with a girl or guy via public vote. The public would vote at the end of each episode for the contestants they thought should be together. If you did not get enough votes, or weren’t voted on at all, you were ejected from the house.

Just like the current series of Big Brother, cameras were everywhere in the house. The show, in my dream, was wildly popular and young people fought to be on it.

Now in my dream, I’d somehow managed to get into the house. I not sure how, because I was still in my 50’s. I do know it was some sort of mistake. I had lied about my age when asked in the nightclub (I said I was 51) and apparently I looked a lot younger as well.

In the dream my activities were not overly viewed. The dream centered around the long walk to get in, the politics behind the scenes (amongst the contestants) and the end voting results.

I was (amazingly) voted to be paired up with an adorable brunette in her late twenties. I say adorable, because when she learned of the voting results she came and knocked on my door. When I opened it, she stood there in tears and said, “I like you a lot, Mike, but I love Simmy. I’m sorry.” She then stumbled down the hallway, presumably to find Simmy and tell him or her the bad news. Either way, it was adorable that she’d personally come to ‘let me down’ and in tears yet.

After leaving the house, I was once again in a nightclub and then magically I was once again walking the long walk to get into the Dating House.

And that’s the dream.

Now what is interesting  and downright weird about me having this particular dream is as follows:

I don’t dance. Well not very well and not for years. Back in the day,  I had to be pretty damn lubricated with alcohol to even attempt it.

I don’t go to Nightclubs or discos for essentially the same reason as mentioned above.

I don’t lie about my age. I’m fairly proud that I’ve reached 54 years of life without too much trauma. (well, compared to most folks)

hate reality television shows like Big Brother and I would most definitely hate The Dating House.

*Just for posterity, I will go on record as stating the I hate all reality tv. Britain’s Got Talent, The X-Factor, et al. I think the people who dream these damned things up and the participants should all be lined up against a wall and shot. Repeatedly.*

Lastly, I am not ready to date…anyone. I can solemnly put my hand over my heart and say that if I never date again, it would not bother me. I’ve been married twice, I think I’ve fought long enough in the wars.

Gangnam Style

So I cannot really figure out why I had the dream. I can understand the Asian girls dressed Gangnam Style, I am a huge PSY fan and love the video. But none of the rest of it makes any sense.

Unless…

I wonder (at the risk of taking myself out and lining up against a wall to be shot) if I’ve not been given a germ of an idea for a new television reality dating show.

No, it would never work. Where on earth would you find that many young people with noxious and odious enough personalities to fill the house?

Hmmmm.

Of First Nights and Jingle Bells

I can still remember making my stage debut in a  High School play called The Curious Savage. I did actually make my debut much earlier. I was a Jingle Bell in the first grade Christmas play.

I came out on the stage on cue  and stood there. I was supposed to jingle my bell (and doesn’t that sound bad). I instead simply stood there, solemnly gazing at the audience. I then turned around and sauntered off. A fact  that my mother will never forget, to this day she finds it hysterically funny.

But my first proper debut was in the tenth grade of High School. I was the only ‘serious’ character in a comedy filled with ‘crazy’ people. I was cast, as I often would be, as an authority figure. I was Dr Emmett the staff doctor who looks after his charges with a caring and humane touch.

The play, The Curious Savage, is about an eccentric widow whose husband has left her a fortune. Ten million dollars worth of a fortune. Her step children are trying to have her committed and declared mentally incompetent. Then they will have free reign over the money.

I do not remember very much of the play at all. I do remember the radio commercial I did for it and can still recite it verbatim. The only line that I can remember from the play was a quite serious one, I was the ‘serious’ character after all.

The line, probably the only one I did not have trouble delivering, was this: “Well, that is an ever present symptom of psychotic thinking.” I say the only line, because I do remember getting tongue tied repeatedly in rehearsals. In fact the only other line I can remember is the two word sentence, “Mrs Paddy” which for some reason I insisted on saying as “Mrs Paddy-fi.”

As this happened during our last dress rehearsal, our teacher/director was bordering on the apoplectic. “NOO! NOT MRS PADDY-FII!”  She shrieked out for the sixth or seventh time straight that I said it. Finally she gave up getting me to say it properly, muttering something about ” It will have to be all right on the night,” which completely confused me at the time.

So, opening night and we have gone through the vast majority of the play. I had not slaughtered or mangled any of my lines and even said, “Mrs Paddy” instead of Paddy-fi. I was just beginning to deliver my ‘quite serious’ line when from the silence of the auditorium came a lone voice. It was high-pitched and in perfect tone. Drifting up slowly and with feeling were the lyrics to Jingle Bells.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way” nervous laughter came from the audience and although I had instinctively stopped my composure was almost completely shot.

I could feel hysterical laughter threatening to burst out of my mouth. Using every bit of self discipline I had, I managed to not giggle or even snort. I did say my line, but it sounded something like this:

“Well (pause) it is on aver prassent systom of (pause) psychactic thinking(gasp).” The audience managed to not fall in the aisles in gales of laughter, but it was a close thing.

I found out later that it had been my old Public Speaking teacher’s daughter who was about four or five years old. She had been sitting of the front row which was why I could hear her so well. I did ask him to let me know when she would be performing so I could return the favour. He was highly amused by this and said sure.

Despite this initial ‘not so brilliant’ start, I decided that I wanted to be an actor. Because even then, I could not miss the irony of my first public appearance as a silent jingle bell and having a Jingle Bell come back to not-so silently taunt me.