Except we have to do something else first, and it's something I dread. I dread it every time I find myself in any formalized group setting. It's the "go around the room and introduce yourself" phase of the process. I briefly consider whether I can skip out of this part and go do something more fun, like have bowel surgery, but I decide that this is the only way I'm getting on the show. Besides, I'm not getting out from between 33 and 35 without a lubricant. Lorelai has a clipboard, and she's giving us strict instructions: when she calls your number, stand up, state your name, age, where you're from, your job, and something memorable or unusual about yourself. And do it in ten seconds, or she'll cut your ass off with no compunction. I start to suspect that Lorelai may be my girlfriend. Brad tells us to show energy and personality, because this is "a casted [sic] show." He says they're looking for people with some spark; people who can fight back against Anne; people who are prepared to put each other down. Except for that last part, Brad's speech indicates to me that he has never, ever, seen the show in question. I'm not here to show off my personality, Brad! I'm here to show you my big brain! My large, squishy, frontal lobe!
I will now repeat the introductions of every person there.
No, not really. I didn't bring a tape recorder, and even if I did, I'm not about to bore you with all that. That pain is mine alone. Okay, mine, and Lorelai's, and Brad's, and 7's, and Cute-Dark-Haired-Chick's (some of whom still have to do it two more times today, the poor blighters), and the-other-149- people-in-the-room's, but still. It's definitely not yours. But I'll tell you about a few of the ones I remember.
There's number 36, two seats down from me, who among other things is a former wrestling announcer. At Lorelai's request, he does a few seconds of announcer-voice, and he's really good. There's the guy who once sat next to Janet Jackson at a basketball game, but didn't realize it until he got home and saw himself on the news. There's the guy who writes radio and TV ads for the Minnesota Lottery, many of which make fun of game shows. "Uh-huh. Siddown," Lorelai snarls. Big laugh. Oh, yeah, she's my girlfriend. There's a scientist who claims to be the first person to merge human and plant cells. Sure, he might have the fancy book-l'arnin', but can he tell you who played Screech? I think not. There's a woman who announces, "After being in a coma at age seventeen and being told I would never learn again, I'm now one year away from my doctorate." Instant, spontaneous applause from every person in the room. "Dammit," I think, "why wasn't I ever in a coma?"