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Art Imitates Life

For such a conservative show, The Bachelor had us looking toward the future more than we might have imagined this week, and boy was it bleak. The future isn’t something that figures too prominently in our Riddiford Street shit-den, but there we were—two pallid idiots contemplating what lies ahead.

Listen, readers: we know what you’re thinking (we always do). Our futures are none too bright either. The world isn’t exactly George’s oyster; he’s staring down the barrel of diabetes and 50 hours a week in “sales”. Joe’s hoping to live off those little psychology tests you see pinned to the Old Kirk notice boards and is determined to make a career in MW3. But look, at least we’re resigned to our lot. You’ll be pleased to know it’s not our dim future we’ll be dwelling on this week—we’re having a good look at what’s in store for Art.

By this stage we know our hero pretty well. Art’s a hunk with a capital H and he dresses like a hungover Max Key, but that’s about it. Art imitates life: he almost appears sentient. He has an IQ in the low 80s and he’s almost as inarticulate as Joe after one of his “weekends”.

If you asked Art about his future, it’d be an incoherent mishmosh of property development, fad diets and endless barbecues. But as we’ve established, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Picture Art twenty years down the line: his good looks have faded and his chiselled abs have given way to what might kindly be described as a solid gut. Someone’s bought him some denim shorts and an ill-fitting Volcom t-shirt. He’s probably sat in his regular spot at some despicable Waitakere sports bar. The Blues might be playing some Paraguayan expansion team in the Super 23.

In a departure from his regular (two jugs of Tui, one glass), he’s bought a little coffee cocktail in order to relive his days on The Bachelor. It’s been 20 years, after all.
Lord knows Matilda/Alysha/Dani has left him by now for a high-flying career and a man who can spell his own name. The women are destined for better things.

And what of Puru? Presumably Jay-Jay and Dom are still spewing bile into people’s homes (they probably float now—the homes, that is), but now Mike’s found his niche on the art-house circuit. He’s directing horrifying short films which make even Jodorowsky look well-adjusted. Puru lives alone on his hover-boat. He eats out most nights.

Back to the flat. All this thinking had got us sleepy: George’s posture has never been great but this time he had slipped into our ratty little couch (The Rat looked rather put out). Joe was rubbing his eyes with his feral dressing gown, inadvertently flashing George. We’re long past caring.

This wasn’t easy for us. We’ve always lacked imagination: all through kindergarten George handed in the same picture at art time. Joe was a perennial loser in the Opihi College creative writing competition. But we weren’t done. Joe discovered a Smirnoff Ice in the veggie draw and we were off.

How are our cast-in-the-future feeling, looking back at their time on The Bachelor? Well, dear readers: most of them aren’t proud, and they have no right to be. Matilda/Alysha/Dani doesn’t think about that period of her life any more, and time is no longer linear for Puru; the past has no meaning.

But then there’s Art, alone with his wedges as the Paraguayans run in another maxi-try (a 10 pointer, between the posts). He looks at the bartender-tron, the droid blinks vacantly back. Art stares into his cocktail. He never even liked these fucking coffee things. “Will you accept this rose, Art?” he whispers. But he knows what he knows. He sways up to the hover-bar: “Two jugs of Tui, droid.”

We were done. Too much imagination for one night. George was dozing peacefully on the floor and Joe was curled up in his basket (don’t ask). All was quiet. The Rat nibbled serenely at the Mi Goreng beneath the couch.

It’s not looking great for us, but it could be worse.

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