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Grates Deo The Bachelor

This is the story of two guys circling the drain like day-old curry. It’s also a cautionary tale about The Bachelor, and what it can it can do the Hopeless and Lost. It came as a bit of a surprise to us when The Bachelor finished on Wednesday. And we’re going to get to all of that soon enough—we promise—but first, you need to hear our story.

We first met while “grooming” cars at a rental car agency. It wasn’t at Pegasus, but it might as well have been. We were both down on our luck—Joe was taking a “semester off” and George was struggling with mounting credit-card debt. We found something in each other that we really needed.

We’d be huddled in the corner of the smoko room on one of our customary two-hour lunch breaks, Joe would be leaning back on the chair, fiddling idly with his zipper, while George rested his head gently against the formica table. He would sit like that, shaking his head softly and muttering something about having “once played U15 cricket for Otago.” Our comradeship got us through some dark times at not-Pegasus, and we quickly became the firmest of friends.

What’s this got to do with New Zealand’s most critically maligned reality TV series? Admittedly, it’s only of tangential relevance. But bear with us.

Look, readers: it doesn’t always go to plan. George started dating someone that he met at an anti-fracking sit-in and Joe began to fall by the wayside. Joe’s band—British Frankness—was playing to empty rooms out in Halswell. George had stopped coming.

It wasn’t until George finally got dumped in favour of some Greenpeace guy that he came back hat in hand, but by then it was too late. Joe was suffering some of his darkest days and no amount of George’s infantile cajoling could bring him round.

At the start of 2009, we moved into the Shit Den, and honestly, we only started talking in August 2013. A period of detente settled and we’d occasionally play Wii together or take The Rat for walks.

Enter The Bachelor. A doleful George suggested we could give it a go—writing a little piece each week about the show, maybe “things could be like they used to be.” Joe came round.

And it worked! We had something to talk about. No more stewing away in the dark, flicking through photos of ex-partners and sucking hopefully at near-empty goon sacks. George would come bounding in with something approaching genuine enthusiasm: “It’s Tuesday!”

We would begin at about 5:30pm when Joe came back from his first lecture and George had woken up. Three hours of silent anticipation, broken only by the gentle bubbling of the bong. After it was all over we would talk for hours, excitedly dissecting the evening’s events.

  • “Isn’t Natalie great?”
  • “I think she might be a young Hegelian”
  • “No, no–she’s definitely an ortho-trot; she’s got the theory of permanent revolution written all over her!”

We entered a golden age of inter-fuckwitian relations.

And so, as Art admitted his undying physical attraction to a worried-looking Matilda, and a sobbing Dani trudged off stage right, we found ourselves wondering just what we’ll talk about on these cold winter nights.

There’s an irony here that hasn’t escaped us, dear readers. We watched a terrible television show about fucked up little love stories and while Art remains incapable of human affection, we accidentally managed to happen upon a little tryst of our own!

Our hands touched as we both reached for the last Gordon’s G&T Mixer, and we both retracted them gingerly. Something was afoot: The Bachelor’s disquieting erotic tension had seeped its way into our flat. After some clumsy fumbling we gave up. Who were we kidding?

It was over before it began but it’ll have lasting repercussions. We stopped talking the following day (this column is the product of a terse gchat). We were never meant to find love, and certainly not with each other. Obviously The Bachelor had messed with our expectations. Where was our rose?

You’re right, this is self-indulgent, but there is a point here. The Bachelor fosters a terrible aspirational culture in which everyone thinks they can find things like love, satisfaction and employment. It encourages people to think that if they aren’t having a stupid date on Michael Hill’s gratuitous death-boat then they are missing out. It has unemployable shit sacks like us aspiring to things like “romance” and “horseriding” and “the beach.”

The Bachelor brought us together and then it tore us apart. The period of detente has given away to a terrifying arms-race of mediocrity. George has racked up a bunch of fines on his sacked-out WRX and he’s hemorrhaging cash fast. Joe’s just plain hemorrhaging.

And so, as we draw our mouldy little curtains for the last time and block you perverts out of our sad little existence, once more we solemnly invoke: Grates Deo The Bachelor.

Thank God for The Bachelor.

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