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Frames of Time...

003_04 - I Lost the Date
While in college, I received a post card indicating I had been "suggested" to appear on THE DATING GAME. For those not familiar with the show, it had a young girl ("bachelorette") choose a date from three unseen, by her, males. She would ask questions, the men would give answers. Based on those answers, the girl would pick one of the bachelors and the two would get to go on a vacation.

Having little experience with a "real" TV show, I decided to go and called the number on the card. The first audition was held in a room that looked a bit like a school room. Lots of tables with one table up front. Around 50 guys came in and sat down. Each of us was asked a question. We were told to be "humerous" with our answers. After all had answered a question, we were told we could go.

Several weeks later, I got a call to come back. This time there were only around half a dozen other guys. We each got to answer several questions. Again, we were told we could go. A couple of months went by and I got a call asking if I could be there on a specific day. I said "yes!"

I showed up and spent around an hour in make-up. As the artist stated, everyone had to have a golden, California tan. When I met the other bachelors we all noticed one thing, we were all around 5'2". We laughed, and guessed correctly that we had been chosen for our stature as the girl was also short. Before we went on, we were again reminded this was an entertainment show and to be as clever as possible with our answers.

The game started and she began he questions. Her question to me was something to the effect that she liked winter sports, so what would I think she looked like. I responded something like "a cute little snowball". She seemed baffled by the answer. Baffled enough to not give me a second question. Her next question, to the bachelor next to me was that she loved fishing so how would he ask her for a date. He replied "I would probably throw you a line." Her response was "you mean like a fish line, or string?"

The three of us exchanged glances and raised eyebrows. One had to work hard to stifle a laugh. From that point on in the show, we were seldom shown as it became obvious we were making fun of her. While we watched the show later, you could hear the audience laugh every so often for no apparent reason. It was due to our behaviour.

She did not pick me. And she ended up, by her expression, wishing she had picked the other bachelor. For my time, I received a blender and bunch of blank audio cassettes.

Since this was in the days before most folks had video recorders, I thought my performance would have been lost. However, a week or two after the show aired, the picture above arrived in the mail. An associate of mine was working that night in a TV lab at college. His class was preparing a report and was taking photos off the TV screen. As they surfed during commercials, they happened upon THE DATING GAME. My associate shouted, "I know that guy" and snapped a photo.

I may have lost the date, but at least I got a photo.

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