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Meet My Folks, February 8 - The Scantlins: A Kiss Is Just A Kissby Andrea Shuman -- 02/10/2003
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This week, we meet The Scantlins:
Here's Dad, who looks like William Daniels, circa The Graduate. He's a real man, and doesn't tolerate any funny stuff from other men, if you know what I mean. And I think you do.
Here's Mom, who is plump with long wavy blonde hair and a wee too much eye makeup. I don't want to say she's unattractive, but her style is one I don't especially care for on women of a certain age. I'm sorry, Mrs. S, I'm sure you're a lovely person (and I don't say that about everyone, trust me) but your look needs some updating.
Oh, and there's daughter Melena. She's very pretty and a former Miss Missouri USA. She appears outrageously nice 'n normal. What's she doing on this show? Ah, of course… she's in show business. Well, why should she be different than any other contestant we've seen so far this season?
Eric Apple (goes by "Apple"): He's a television host of an Extreme Sports Show. While he appears outwardly pleasant, my Slime-O-Meter starts to rise. Never one to rush to judgement, I will merely keep my eye on him for now.
The Other Eric (goes by "Eric"): Doesn't give a profession. And he has plucked eyebrows.
Brook: A Marine. Thank God, a regular person.
As usual, we begin on Friday afternoon. The boys are dropped off from their limo (how posh!), and are handed the first challenge before setting foot in the house. One boy must kiss Dad on the cheek, another must pat Mom on the butt, and the third must refrain from touching Mom or Dad in any way, handshakes included.
Apple, who has read the challenge aloud, claims exemption from kissing Dad as his reward. Brook, good soldier that he is, accepts that task. The two Erics go Rock Paper Scissors for the right to pat Mom's tush, and Apple wins. Eric II must not touch anyone.
Failure to follow through on the tasks will lead to the following Bad Facts being revealed (if I have to sit through them, so do you): Brook once loaded porn on his girlfriend's computer, Eric won't date girls whose behinds won't fit in the palms of his hands, and Apple calls scoring with three different women in one day "hat tricks," and so far has experienced this five times.
The Slime-O-Meter clicks up a couple of notches.
Now that all is organized, the men enter the house. Apple greets the parents and pats Mom's tush upon hugging her. Mom is shocked and offended.
Brook enters the house and immediately hugs Dad and gives him a peck on the cheek. Dad is shocked and offended.
Small tactical error by Brook, right here, folks. This could've been a no-brainer. He should have opened his arms wide, and cried out, "Buongiorno!," embracing Dad ala Roberto Benigni. Still, Dad overreacts and thinks something's fishy about Brook.
Eric enters the house, and while he does pass off a flower bouquet to Mom, he refuses to shake anyone's proffered hand. Mom and Dad are shocked and offended, and more than a bit confused. However, Dad is still obsessing about the kiss on the cheek.
Everyone settles in the living room when the Dirty Little Secrets arrive and Dad reads them aloud. Brook once cheated on his live-in girlfriend, moved out on her, and left her with the mortgage payment. Apple has flashed people over one hundred times. Eric is addicted to gambling.
The only one with any explanation is Brook, who claims the relationship was at an end and his girlfriend was hanging onto him. Okay, it's really not an explanation, but at least he makes an attempt. The others smile charmingly and babble. Mom, Dad, and Melena express their horror to the cameras.
Cut to dinner. The fax rings and reveals that the men had challenges to do upon meeting the family. At this point Dad offers up a prayer that Brook was ordered to kiss him, and didn't do it of his own accord.
Remember when Cher slaps Nicholas Cage in the movie Moonstruck and tells him to "snap out of it!"? This is exactly what I want to do to Dad Scantlin.
Dad is quite relieved to learn Brook didn't kiss him willingly. Dad is also oblivious to the fact Apple had patted his wife's behind at all.
All right, let's just lay our cards out on the table, shall we? I know that there are some men who get very antsy over displays of affection from other men, but Dad here is in danger of crossing the line into homophobia. It's not a pretty display of your inner psyche, Mr. Scantlin. Perhaps this is an issue you should work on.
Friday night: after everyone is asleep, Apple sneaks downstairs with Eric's shoes. He drags them through the mud and wipes them on the carpet. He pours out some beer bottles and leaves them around the living room, along with assorted other trash. Evidently, Apple is used to winning by any means necessary, including sabotage. Apple is having a grand old time.
The Slime-O-Meter clicks ever upward.
Saturday morning, Mom discovers the mess and Dad storms into the boys' room, wanting to know whose muddy shoes are these? While Apple and Brook stand silently by, Eric admits they're his shoes, but instead of merely telling Dad the truth, he tries to charm everyone. This is so pathetic, even I don't believe he didn't do it, and I sat through the videotape. Twice.
We sprint into the private dates. Eric and Melena go ice skating, where he tells her, and us, that he's a virgin. Is this a joke? Who knows? Who cares?
Brook and Melena go to some kind of petting zoo/farm/place where they sell taffy apples. They kiss. Major sparks fly.
Apple and Melena take a ride on a horse-drawn carriage. There's chemistry, but Melena tells us she likes Brook better. Melena is no dummy.
Saturday night, dinner: Mom brings out dessert from the Meet My Folks Bakery. (Heh! Cute!). Inside the pretty pink box are three videotapes with the boys' Big Secrets. We all gather 'round the VCR to watch.
Eric is a crybaby. Pass the kleenex. Dad is concerned because he doesn't like "whiney men." Maybe because they'll end up kissing him?
Brook once worked as a stripper, but stripped for men. But he's not gay. He just had to earn a living. Dad cannot process this. His brain is overwhelmed by the concept of a man stripping for other men. It… just… does… not… compute.
Apple's secret is that he loves to be dominated, and has had electric cattle prods used on him as sex toys. The Slime-O-Meter stays steady, because I refuse to judge someone on their personal sexual kinks. Consenting adults and all that jazz. Okay, I'll admit it: it's strange and funny, but it's not slimy.
Evidently, the Scantlins don't share my enlightened views, because Mom and Melena look like they're about to vomit. Dad probably is, too, but still is busy obsessing about Brook, the kiss, and the stripping. At this point, Dad says it's time to take a break, and wouldn't a night out at a comedy club be fun? Let's all go. Right NOW!
No one argues and before you know it, we're in a bona fide comedy club, complete with an audience. It's great to see the silent movie patrons from The Maloney episode have gotten work again. A rotund MC works the crowd as the Scantlins and suitors are seated at front tables, natch.1 2 Next-->
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