Fun For The Whole Family

Episode Report Card
Shack: C+ | Grade It Now!
What, No Dowries?

During the conversation, John David points out that if this little competition goes "100& 'our way'" -- yes, that's actually how he describes it, like the whole family is in a competition to get Brooke married off -- then they're going to "lose" Brooke, because she'll leave Alabama. Aaron deigns to give a direct answer this time and says that he does have obligations to his family in Missouri. But he'll try to compromise. Jeez, they're treating Brooke like she's a child in a divorce hearing. Mom and Dad will get Brooke one weekend a month, and then she gets to stay with them over the summer. Is he going to lock her into the condo? If he's from this rich family and he's got his own plane, they can all come visit whenever the hell they want. Mom asks if Aaron has feelings for Brooke. Aaron gives some long-winded cagey answer, of course, because he can't exactly commit to any of the women yet, but doesn't want to end up being called a liar. Mom says that they're taking Aaron's visit very seriously. Yeah, we can tell. It's a little scary how serious they're taking this. I think they're more interested in Aaron than Brooke is.

In an interview, Mom says, "Oh. My. God. What have I gotten my child into?" That's a quote they've been using in the previews, like Mom's horrified that Brooke's on the show. But of course, as she continues to talk, it's not what it seems: Mom explains that she's afraid that Brooke is going to get her heart broken if Aaron doesn't eventually pick her. Back at the table, JohnDavid (that's what they're always calling him, like it's all one word) says that family is important to them. He explains that he has another brother, a Marine in South Carolina. JohnDavid threatens, "If yew hurt Brooke, he's gonna kill yew." There's silence for a couple of seconds, so the editors can cleanly clip out that quote to use in the previews as well, and then everybody starts laughing. Brooke tells us all what JohnDavid just said, in case we didn't catch it, even though they've shown the damn quote before every single commercial break.

Now it's off to visit Brooke's parents at their home. I have this image in my head of Brooke dragging Aaron all around Albertville, introducing him to everybody. Along the way, Brooke tells Aaron that the real test of how her parents feel about him will be if JohnDavid shows him the "'Bama Room."

Brooke and Aaron arrive at the parents' home. It's a lot more modest than Dot and Randy's place. Brooke explains to us that there's one room that Mom isn't allowed to touch -- that's the Alabama Room. Essentially, the room is a huge shrine to the University of Alabama, all things Crimson Tide, and their elephantine mascot. (There's something vaguely gory and creepy about the name "Crimson Tide." It always makes me think of the elevator scene from The Shining.) Although huge displays of college sports memorabilia are hardly unique (and not just in the South), what separates the 'Bama Room from those lesser shrines is that JohnDavid built himself a set of shelving display cases that actually spell out "BAMA." I find it awe-inspiring. Although I'm fairly far from being a sports fan, I'm always fascinated by these personal shrines. Or anybody who has a huge collection on display of any sort of memorabilia. I guess it's perhaps that it's because I'm somebody who would never, ever, ever do something like this, so it makes me curious about people who do, rather than just dismissing them as crazy. Aaron drinks the room in, a bit surprised. JohnDavid points out pictures of himself with Dick Vitale and Joe Namath. He could probably charge people money to look at some of this stuff. I think he could eBay off the contents and live for several years off the proceeds, if he were so inclined. I think, however, he'd rather starve to death than give up his 'Bama Room. He's got one of Bear Bryant's hats. I don't know crap about college football, but I know that's a big deal. Brooke insists to us that JohnDavid wouldn't just let anybody into to room, so that means Aaron is "special."

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