I don’t want to sound like an old lady telling tales of the “the old days”, but I’ll have to take that risk for a moment. It occurred to me that kids growing up in today’s school system have no idea what it was like when I was in school. The current wave of political correctness was barely a twinkle in the public’s eye and the idea of students having any sort of rights would have been deemed insanity. It was a time when teachers not only had paddles they used, but also took a fiendish delight in naming them and introducing them to their classes on the first day of each new year. If you were unlucky enough to have one used on you, the likeliest scenario would be that you would get another spanking when you got home. The teacher’s word was gospel and they often controlled their classrooms with an iron fist.
It was this tyrannical environment that spawned one of my early teachers. We’ll call her Mrs. Watts. Anyway, Mrs. Watts had grown up in New England and was transplanted to rural Kentucky when her husband found work there. To her horror, she discovered a butchery of the spoken word that she had never before known existed. She made it her life’s mission to wipe out every “aint” and “you ‘uns” she heard. To this end, Mrs. Watts charged her students a fine if they made a grammatical error in her classroom. In fact, she often stopped kids from other classes in the hallway and would “fine” them as well. Each offense was worth a different amount and she would have the students work off their debt in various ways. It could be by doing anything from copying pages out of the dictionary in longhand to washing her car during recess. She once put aprons on some of the worst offenders and took them to the school’s kitchen to help wash dishes. Back then, while you were at school, you were at the whim of the teachers.
I thought of Mrs. Watts as I viewed tonight’s episode of Big Brother. As I listened to the housemates, I imagined that their unique take on grammar would have sent her into paroxysms of despair. She probably would have made out like a bandit on the slave labor, though. All I know is that I’ve never winced and cringed quite so many times in a single hour over the misuse and abuse of the English language. Fortunately for them, the $500,000 prize will not be determined by an impromptu oral presentation or they would all be screwed.
Thankfully for them, the outcome is determined by your standard backstabbing and betrayal. My favorite reality host, Ms. Julie Chen, arrives to remind us that Marvin and Will are up for eviction tonight from falling victim to that staple of reality TV. I’m totally distracted through this little spiel by Julie’s necklace. It appears to be large pieces of brown glass strewn along a thin rope. I’m vaguely curious if she’s fashioned it out of broken beer bottles. Visions of Julie Chen procuring broken beer bottles from getting into barroom brawls amuses me momentarily and then I’m forced to try to pay attention to her drone-like voice again. I fail, so we’ll pick up at the house.
The Grass is Always Greener
In an attempt to decide which side of the fence she should be on, Diane decides to go talk to Will out in the yard. Will confesses to feeling betrayed and hurt by Adria’s decision to put him up on the block. However, he claims to be most hurt by the fact that in the first weeks of the show, Adria had made a sacred pinky swear that she would never cast a vote for Will. Everyone knows that the Pinky Swear is the modern day equivalent of a blood oath and Will is appalled that Adria would break her word.
Diane shows her keen grasp of the obvious by telling Will that she thinks Adria is pushing for the tie because she wants to be the one to make the decision about who should stay and who should go. Why yes, Diane. That’s how it works in the event of a tie. Diane is then shown in confessional admitting that she would prefer that it come down to a tie in order to take some of the heat off of herself. Inexplicably, in between tonsil-hockey sessions with Drew, she’s found herself in a key position in the game and is uncomfortable with it. Two alliances have sprung up in the vacuum left by the disappearing Horsemen and Diane finds herself smack dab between them. She just wants to go back to playing kissy face with her cuddlebunny and seems totally perplexed by these circumstances.
Diane tells us that she had been discussing strategy with the twins and Drew one night in the HOH room when she decided to go to bed. Drew told her that he would just be a few more minutes, but stayed an extra forty-five. Diane expresses concern about this development and begins to wonder if she can trust Drew or the twins. It’s at this point that Diane drags the word “paranoid” from its happy adjective existence and forces it to labor through not one, but two sentences as some bastardized verb. In her first sentence, “I don’t know what it was that paranoid me so bad about Drew being in the HOH room with them,” the poor word fell out of her mouth in complete confusion, wondering why it had been brutalized in such a manner. She then adds insult to injury by proclaiming that perhaps the twins had tried to “pare-annoy” her on purpose. It took ten minutes for the hair on the back of my neck to lay back down after this verbal equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard.
As Diane is busy with her one woman assault on the English language, we see that the twins were indeed up to no good after her departure. They tell Drew to keep his woman in line. We soon see that the vacant expression on Drew’s face actually harbors a not-so-nice guy as he refers to Diane as “crazy” and promises to keep her under control. With no guilt apparent, Drew crawls into bed with Diane after strategizing and assures her that everything is fine. Diane is unconvinced and gets out of bed to go into the kitchen.
Already in the kitchen is Marvin and Natalie. The quieter half of the Evil Twin Bloc is explaining to Marvin that when a book becomes tattered you might decide to throw it away and then discover it still had some good things inside. Marvin is looking at her as if he’s decided she’s either insane or has been hiding some good weed somewhere. However, he nods and grunts politely, probably trying to determine if he’s supposed to be the book, the person throwing it away, or the person bopping Natalie in the head for coming up with something so lame. Before we find out, the paranoid Diane makes her entrance and notes that the two scramble away from each other like cockroaches when the light comes on. Natalie claims Marvin had been craving a PB&J sandwich, but Diane isn’t buying it. She knows the two hate each other and suspects they’ve been discussing strategy.
The next day, Diane tells Nakomis and Will about the kitchen redezvous of the previous night. The news infuriates Will and makes him want to question them immediately. Diane discourages this because the Twins still believe she’s in their alliance. To Diane’s credit, she decides that the only thing to do is go straight to the horse’s mouth with her concerns. She ambushes Marvin in bed to ask him what was going on in the kitchen and tell him she feels caught in between the two alliances. Marvin tells her he can’t remember what happened. Then he cleverly falls back to his proven tactic off launching into an unintelligible speech that somehow manages to sound comforting, despite the fact it could be a recipe for yams. Whatever he said, Diane seems to feel better and notes in confessional that although she doesn’t really trust the twins, she does trust Drew.
We soon find out that Diane’s beloved Drew is in a strategy session of his own with the brain trust that is Cowboy. Taking the burden of thinking out of Drew’s ill-equipped hands, the increasingly creepy-looking Cowboy informs him that it’s only a matter of time before Diane betrays him. Drew is easily persuaded and reasons that he wouldn’t be attracted to Diane if she betrayed him so he’ll betray her first. That’s why you should leave the reasoning to the professionals, Drew. You could hurt yourself. Anyway, Cowboy warns menacingly that if Drew tries to saves his Diane again, there will be dire consequences.
Diane’s powwow at an end, she returns to the bedroom where she finds Drew laying on the bed, reading a book. Since this activity flies in the face of everything I think I know about Drew, I decide immediately that it must be a book about body hair removal. My world view back in focus, I listen as Diane complains to Drew that she feels caught in the middle and asks him for advice about how she should cast her vote. Obviously feeling guilty after his own chat, Drew avoids eye contact, adjusts his hat, and tells her that he doesn’t know. Before he can show us more classic male avoidance techniques, one of the Twins (no, I can’t tell them apart and have decided that when I don’t know, I shall simply call them “Adrianatalie”) enters the room. Diane, recognizing the fact that her man is firmly entrenched on the dark side, proclaims that she wants to be put up the next week because she doesn’t want to be there anymore. Adrianatalie and Drew can barely contain their glee that she’s made such a beneficial offer and Diane storms out. Adrianatalie asks Drew what was wrong with Diane and he eloquently explains that she’s “freaking out, I guess”. The twin takes this new development back to her sister and tells her that Diane is playing both sides and soon the others will see that. Diane retreats to the hammock with Marvin and Will and tells them that she loves them both and will go all the way to the end with the person who isn’t evicted.
Easy Money Time For Julie Chen
Back in the studio, it’s time for the weekly question and answer session between Julie and the houseguests. She asks Karen what its like in the house after the departure of Jase. Karen answers, “clean and not sticky,” which haunts me with questions of my own that I hope are never answered. Julie then turns to Diane, asking her how she likes her second week of PB&J. I always hope that one of the houseguests will answer one of these insipid questions with a smark aleck response like, “Oh, I love it! I’ve decided to open a restaurant when I leave here that serves nothing but PB&J.” Sadly, however, Diane gives the expected answer that she hates it. Julie then cruelly asks the clueless Cowboy what he considers the most important piece of fashion advice he’s received in the house. He claims that the houseguests prefer the cleanshaven look and hair that is “up and goin”.
We are left wondering where Cowboy’s hair has decided to run off to as Julie twitters happily and turns her attention to Nakomis. Julie asks Nakomis what she would do for a day in the outside world after seven weeks in the house. Nakomis says that she would not only give her right arm but be willing to be blindfolded, handcuffed, and thrown in the back of any random car. This caused unbidden images of the Big Brother crew running up to some elderly woman’s car and tossing in a bound and armless Nakomis, but unfortunately Julie’s news isn’t nearly that exciting. Apparently, one of the guests will win a trip to guest star on the CBS soap opera, “The Young and the Restless”. This is the proverbial pot of gold for this group of wannabe actors and Cowboy, in particular, acts as if he’s been given a new saddle. Julie informs them that America will vote in the coming week and that the winner will be determined by them.
After leaving the houseguests, Julie tells us that the live eviction is coming up soon and shows us confessional footage of the houseguests giving their thoughts on the upcoming vote. Once again, these thoughts have been scattered throughout the remainder of the show and for the sake of continuity, I’m going to compile them all for you here.
Karen- Says that having both Will and Marvin on the block is psychologically tormenting for her. Believes that she could continue without Will but wouldn’t want to. She says that this is the ugliest eviction that she has seen yet.
Drew- Explains that Marvin is such a good player that it makes him a threat down the road. He says he’s scared of Will because he’s been so tight with Karen and Nakomis but would like to have him in another week because he would win the trust of Will’s sidekicks.
Natalie- Claims that some of her trust for Will has diminished. Says that Marvin is in his own state and its hard to know what to do with him.
Diane- Would like to see Marvin stick around simply because she wants to see him put the twins up on the block. She loves Will and thinks he’s trustworthy. She thinks it sucks to have to choose between them.
Nakomis- Says that Marvin is always willing to work for the good of the team but he’s hard to trust because you never know what he’s thinking. Claims that Will is willing to sacrifice himself at anytime for the good of the cause.
Cowboy- Says that Will has a huge alliance (three constitutes huge, apparently) and that by taking out one member of that alliance, it’s a big factor in Cowboy’s game. I guess Cowboy hasn’t quite figured out that he has no game left.
New York State of Mind
Before the eviction ceremony can take place, we are taken to New York City to meet Will’s friends. They tell us that Will may have been born in the South, but he was made for living in the city. His friends explain that Will is nonstop fun and drama and has a unique fashion sense. The reason I’m not giving his friend’s names, by the way, is that my local channel decided to run their freaking logo in the corner of my screen when the names where being shown. So, Will’s friends, if you’re reading this recap irritated that you didn’t get your name in it, blame WKYT. Anyway, Will’s male friend (whatever his name is) tells us that he was pleased to see that will was able to connect which everyone from the Alpha Straight Male to the Countrified Cowboy. He explains that is exactly what makes Will the quintessential New Yorker. His other friend, Kara (who’s name I did see) says that Will has a wide range of friends from every background. We are shown the three friends getting together to watch the episodes and declaring the twins “evil”. They want Will to win, but also miss him terribly and would like to see him come home.
Returning to the studio, we find Julie Chen interviewing Adria in the HOH room. She asks Adria how hard it was to put Marvin and Will up for eviction. I wonder what it would be like if Julie Chen ever had to interview anyone but these self-absorbed attention hogs that like to prattle on with little encouragement. I imagine it would go something like this”
Julie- Sir, was it hard to rob that liquor store?
Julie-How have you been dealing with the pressure?
Julie-Do you like peanut butter and jelly?
However, since these people do love to hear themselves talk, we get to hear every thought that crosses Adria’s mind. She tells us that she thought this would be an easy week because she believed that the team she had would vote with her no matter who she decided to put up on the block. She was genuinely surprised when they wanted to know the reasoning behind her decision. She tells us that she decided that since they refused to just blindly trust her judgement that they probably wouldn’t have been there for her in the future anyway. She tells us that she hopes that the vote comes down to a tie so that she can take the responsibility on herself and relieve some of the pressure from her sister. She believes that Natalie has received some unwarranted flak over Adria’s HOH position and wants her to be able to play as an individual.
That Carmen Is a Sneaky One
When we return from commercial, Julie reminds us that the two nominees are Will, the registered nurse from New York and Marvin, the mortician from South Carolina. She informs us that whoever is evicted will be seen again as the first member of the Jury. Julie then allows Will and Marvin a few moments to plead their cases. As expected, they both thank their family and friends and say that it’s been a life changing experience. They graciously wish each other luck and express that they have found a friendship with one another. Julie then calls for the eviction ceremony to begin and the houseguests enter the Diary Room to cast their votes. This monstrous waste of live TV time consisted of Julie calling each houseguest in individually, explaining to us how their vote could swing either way, saying hello to each of them, asking them to state their vote, and then sending them back out. Besides the votes, the only other thing of interest was Diane valiantly fighting to keep her microscopic skirt from flashing the live audience during her own walk to the booth and back. The voting turned out as follows:
Cowboy- Votes to evict Will
Karen-Votes to evict Marvin
Nakomis-Votes to evict Marvin
Natalie- Votes to evict Will
Drew- Votes to evict Will
Diane- Votes to evict Marvin
As this leaves the household in a tie, Adria is left to decide who is evicted. Adria proceeds to give a nervous, bumbling speech that would have been right at home as a sixth-grade oral book report. She says,in part, that she wants to continue her friendships with the two of them “hereforth” and that “in conjunction” it’s been a tough week, so she tossed a coin in her head and that she “evicts to choose Will…err, chooses to evict Will”.
I’m not sure how that mental coin tossing works, and Will seems equally unimpressed with her methods as he refuses to hug her during his goodbyes to the houseguests. He hurries out the door and tells her as he leaves that, “If karma is a boomerang, I’ll see you sooner rather than later.” This led to a serious moment of confusion for me, as I thought he said, “Carmen” rather than “karma”. I racked my brain for several minutes trying to figure out who this mysterious “Carmen” was and why she would be out to get Adria. About a half an hour later, I was chomping on an Oreo pondering this and suddenly shouted, “OOOOOHHH!!! If karma is a boomerang!” I learned two important life lessons at that moment. First, Oreos help you solve the mysteries of the Universe and you should always stay well-stocked in them. Secondly, it’s not wise to yell out random things about karma in your kitchen with other people around if you want to maintain the guise of a sane person.
As Will makes his way to the studio, Adria plays the martyr role to the hilt, announcing to her housemates that she’s glad they didn’t have to make the decision that she just made because she thinks the coming weeks will be easier on them. In the studio, Will tells Julie that Adria has proven herself to be untrustworthy because she assured him he would be safe and then put him up for eviction and cast the deciding vote to send him packing. He also discounts the mental coin flip and says that he believes this was a calculated move because the twins knew that he had become aware of their dirty gameplay. Julie then brings up the broken pinky swear, leading Will to say that it was a solemn swear on their lives and that Adria had broken it. I must not be up on my revised pinky swear statutes, because I have to admit that I was unaware of the “death” clause in the pinky swear vow. Although it does sound like Adria should at least lose a pinky finger over the deal.
Will goes on to say that he was surprised by the week’s events because he had always fully supported Adrianatalie throughout the game. He also was irritated that instead of taking full responsibility for her decision, Adria had claimed that God told her to put Marvin and Will up on the block. I have to admit that I question whether God would take time out of his busy schedule to do the “pop-in” at the Big Brother house and advise Adria to nominate the two minorities. However, you have that whole “mysterious ways” thing going on. Maybe it fits into his bigger plan of world peace somehow. Still, every time He talked tete-a-tete with someone in the Bible, it meant there was some bad mojo about ready to go down. So, let’s hope Will was right in his “ducking responsibility” theory. Otherwise, I’ll be out in my backyard, building a boat.
The HOH Competition
As I’m sure you are all aware, the fun isn’t over yet. We still have to crown a new HOH. We join the houseguests outside in their traditional game show configuration as Julie Chen tells us that this competition is called “Who Said It?”. The object of the game is to guess if a quote came from Jase, Mike, Holly, Lori, or Scott’s pre-show questionaires. Natalie and Cowboy are eliminated on the first question and Marvin, Karen and Drew are eliminated on the third question, leaving Nakomis and Diane. They both answer wrong several times, but I can see why they would miss a few. When the quotes are things like, “Who said they don’t have a favorite author because they don’t read?” then choosing between Holly, Jase, and Scott becomes like pulling a rubber ducky out of the water chute at the fair.
Nakomis and Diane are finally pushed into a tie-breaker question when their answers continued to match. Jules asks them how many pounds of M&M’s were used during the “Admit One Luxury Movie” Competition. Nakomis is closest with 500 pounds (the correct answer was 900). Adria hands over the key and we leave the houseguests chattering about the game and the Twins looking very uncomfortable about the new arrangement.
How will this power shift shake out? Join the very cool, talented Hepcat as she takes the wheel for your next episode.
If you are Mrs. Watts and want to fine me for all the errors in this article, I can’t wash your car right now. I’m busy building a boat at firstname.lastname@example.org