went to the supermarket last week. No surprise here. Everyone eats. After a few minutes wandering the aisles, grabbing anything that looked tasty, I had a basket filled with tangerines, pop-tarts and It's Not Delivery It's DiGiorno pizza.

As I approached the checker, I glanced down to open my wallet, make sure I've got enough money. I looked up: BOOBIES. The checker was topless. Now, I live in Berkeley so I wasn't surprised. The whole city is packed with weirdos, whackos and various other mixed nuts. I'd seen everything. The Naked Man. Hate Man. Happy Happy Happy Man. Reads kinda like some second-rate indy superhero comic. The big thing you learn from living in Berkeley is not to stare. This task isn't hard when the oddity at which you shouldn't be staring is a bum urinating on the sidewalk or a bearded lady. But this was a topless chick. She was kinda cute. No. Make eye contact... not those eyes, dumbass. Now: quick, make small talk, act natural. But what to talk about? Talk about the weather: "Cold, isn't it?" Fuck.

That's not working, so I turned to the register and notice the total is now $1353.28. One thousand, three-hundred fifty-three dollars and twenty-eight cents. No sense.

"Why is the total over a thousand dollars?" I asked the nearly naked grocer.

"It's ok," she said cheerfully.

"What?" What the hell was she talking about? I thought. "What the hell are you talking about?" I asked.

"Don't worry, sir," she shook her shoulders. Her tasty tata's jiggled invitingly. I didn't look. For long.

"How does a bunch of fruit, pizza and strawberry pop-tarts cost over 1300 dollars?"

"It's nothing to worry about," she soothed, touching her elbows behind her back. Impressive. But I still wasn't paying a grand for this shit. Maybe I should have got the generic toaster pastries. They're much cheaper but they taste a little like cardboard with anti-freeze spread over the top. Before I could say anything a goofy looking redheaded guy in a green suit jumped up from behind the counter.

"Gotcha!™" he shouted with a huge grin on his face.

"What the fuck?" No, really, what the fuck? I no longer have any idea what's going on here.

"You're on Gotcha!™"

"Beg pardon?" Yeah, he's a fucking psycho.

"Gotcha!™: The reality show where we harass and humiliate strangers on national television!" He was too excited. Everything he said ended in an exclamation point. He spoke too fast. Like I'm-on-a-speed-binge fast.

"What are you talking about?"


"I'm on a TV show?"

"Yes! You are!... Gotcha!™"

"I've never heard of it."

"Sure you have!" he stared, huge grin, like that statement required a response.

"No, I haven't. What channel is it on?"

"We don't air for another year!"

"I thought you just said I'd heard of it, how can I hear about it if it's not on yet?"


"So you mean all this shit was to showcase my reaction to your stupidity on whatever network lacks sense enough to pick you up?"

"Yes! Isn't that funny! You almost bought a tangerine for $250! Don't you feel foolish! And that's after the SuperSaver discount!"

"No, it isn't, I didn't and I don't. I feel pretty fucking pissed actually. Do I at least get a prize?"

"No! Just the thrill of being on TELEVISION!"

"Why would I want to be on television?"

"All Americans yearn for their fifteen minutes of televised fame!"

I kicked him in the throat. I hate reality shows, but I watch them anyway. Maybe it's because there's never anything good on in the early evenings. Maybe it's because there's never anything else on. Last night I sat on my couch and watched: Road Rules (I fucking hate Donnell, he is a fatass, racist, bigoted piece of shit and he deserves to die a horrible death), Surf Girls (I hate Jenna, she is a skanky, whiny, little bitch and I'm glad she got eliminated. I hope she cracks her head on a reef, gets impaled by her board and then sharks eat her), For Love or Money...2!!! (I motherfucking hate Munch. What kind of a goddamn name is that anyway? Go fuck yourself, Munch) and Who Wants to Marry My Daddy (I don't know any of your names, but I hate you all. You make my eyes bleed). That last one is some new show in which four spoiled rich kids pick a new mommy to wed their wealthy father. Whoop di fucking do. Why is everyone so infatuated with watching rich people? Why is everything they do so worthy of being televised? No wonder everyone is so fat.

For Love or Money is ridiculous. Fifteen guys live together in a house, attempting to woo a single, sexy woman. Nothing tricky here. Each week guys are eliminated. At the end, the last man standing chooses between the girl or the money. Still pretty straight forward. What bothered me was how often the guys referred to the whole ordeal as being romantic. I mean, I'm not a dictionary, and I'm a bit rusty on my Engrish, but last time I checked, 'romantic' was not living with fourteen other card carrying members of the cock club and competing to win a million bucks or some hot chick you don't even know but desire because she has been deemed desireable by some boob-tube executive.

It gets worse. Not only was the show's setting repeatedly dubbed romantic, but half the guys claim they came to find true love. Who the fuck finds true love on a television show? Here, I'll answer that, so you don't have to think too hard: no one. I don't think these fucks even know what 'true love' is. They clearly don't know what romantic is. The chick eliminated five guys on the first show. Five poor souls out of fifteen go home after meeting the dame once. One of the guys who was eliminated nearly cried. "I thought I had found the one," he sobbed. How can you be so fucking devestated? How can you know she is the one: you talked to her for five (pause) freaking (pause) minutes.

The chick on that darned love or money show was way too polite when she eliminated people, too. I would at least have been honest, if not because I'm an asshole, then because I feel the viewers deserve honesty. Rather than saying "I thought you were great and really nice, oh, this is so hard for me, but I feel that perhaps you may be able to find someone else, oh, I'm terribly sorry, I hope I didn't hurt your feelings too much in turning you down? Hugs!" as she said to every goddamn person she let go, I would say "You're ugly, go home. I don't even know why they let you on television in the first...beeeeep, We are experiencing technical difficulties, please stand by."

And for all those who would prefer to simply watch a regular Joe being dupped? You've got Scare Tactics or "Look, we just killed your friend, oh, wait just kidding, please put down the knife" and The X Factor with Jamie Kennedy. Jamie, here's a tip: no one has ever fucking heard of your show. So when you pull a prank and then say "You've been X'ed!" no one knows what you're fucking talking about. You just looked like a damned fool. Goddamn, people piss me the hell off.

Copyright © 2003