A blogpal emailed me the application to appear on Wife Swap, along with this note:
I did something really silly, I applied for my family to participate on Wife Swap. My religious background was the hook for the show, so yours wouldn't be the same. But, interesting families are what they're looking for and yours is right up there.First of all, the very idea cracked me up, as did Crevass's cover note. I responded with a quick thank you and said that I'd think about it.
They pay (dollar amount deleted) two weeks after the show airs and you get to travel first class somewhere around the country, while your family back home terrorizes some poor woman.
I included an application if you want to know what they want to know. They also do a background check to make sure you're not a sociopath, or a convicted sex offender, as well as psychological screening. They want interesting, but not bat-shit crazy. It's a Disney show after all.
So, think a bout it. In my case, an extra twenty grand could go really, really far.
And I did think about it. Alot. I asked MathMan what he thought about it. Unfortunately, I picked the wrong time, when he was distracted. "Hey, honey, would you want to go on Wife Swap?" I asked out of the blue while we were puttering around in the kitchen.
He closed the cabinet he'd just finished emptying so we could pack up some things and muttered, "I thought you wanted to lose a few more pounds before we started doing that again."
I asked The Dancer. She simply rolled her eyes as if she's heard one too many of these get rich quick schemes from me. What a tart. When pressed and convinced with the idea that the money earned from the show could be applied toward her tuition, she conceded. Some. "If they choose us, it better be after I've left for school."
Then I asked The Actor and Garbo their opinions. At first they were incredulous. Or maybe really groggy because I asked them as we drove to school. After I'd convinced them that I was really considering it, they started asking questions. Veteran viewers of the program, they had a pretty good idea of what the producers would be looking for.
"So if we're going to be on it, we need to think of what an opposite family would do," announced Garbo.
The Actor offered further clarification. "It' really has to do a lot with how the mom in the family is so we have to think about what the other mom would be like."
The two of them set about tossing out ideas.
"It could be a mom who never cusses and doesn't allow any cussing." Boring! was the verdict.
"It could be a fundamentalist Christian mom." They've done that to death.
"A Republican?" "A health nut?" "A mom who hates music?"
"It could be a flat chested mom," offered Garbo. Oh, nice. Very nice. And no.
"I know! It could be a mom who thinks computers and electronics are the tool of the devil and who doesn't blog!"
They agreed that would be perfect. They could stand to learn something from a mom who answers questions with something besides "Google it" or "Well, if it isn't in the Urban Dictionary, it can't possible be true."
Finally, I opened the application and read the questions. I kept thinking about what Crevass had said, "They also do a background check to make sure you're not a sociopath, or a convicted sex offender, as well as psychological screening. They want interesting, but not bat-shit crazy." Hmmmm.
Then I got to question that asked which adult in the family "wears the pants?" Yeesh. Now there's an outdated euphemism. The twelve year old trapped inside me wanted to note that both MathMan and I wear pants. Sometimes. Except on those days when we go without. Oh and on the second Tuesday of the month, MathMan wears a kilt for giggles.
Sure, sure - I get it. Who's in charge? Talk about a snag. I mean, I just asked MathMan who wears the pants in our family and you know what his answer was? You guessed it - "We both wear pants. The question is, who wears the frillier underwear?"
What a sexist thing to say. I took a running leap at him, attempting to deliver a death blow to his temple (I'll show him frilly underwear!), but I missed and landed on my back flat on the floor, MathMan threw the chocolate pudding he was holding at me and then shouted something nasty in Hebrew. I must have blacked out at that point because when I came to, the county sheriff's deputy was there taking statements from the neighbors. MathMan was sitting mute, covered in leaves and grass. Upon closer inspection, I noticed he wasn't wearing his pants.
The deputy mentioned that the house appeared to be in quite the state of squalor (hey! we're packing to move, dumbass!) and our neighbor from across the way shook his head sadly, "Weeelll, the've always been kind of loud, but they kept mostly to themselves," he spoke softly to the deputy who was still surveying the living room with a look of shock on his face.
I looked down and realized that I was tied to a chair in the middle of the living room and a fire was blazing away in the fireplace behind me. I tried to twist around in my chair to see what was on the fire that was making that terrible smell.
"Excuse me," I croaked to the deputy and Mr. Neighbor. "What's burning?"
The deputy's eyes flickered over me and then he exchanged a quick smile with our neighbor. I cleared my throat, getting anxious and impatient. Both men looked my way again and the deputy pulled a serious face.
"Well, ma'am, that's a laptop in the fireplace," he said. I could hear the hint of laughter in his voice.
Mr. Neighbor craned his neck and looked around me at the fireplace. I could feel the heat against my back and I was getting really uncomfortable. Why weren't these yahoos untying me already? My head hurt. My back hurt.
Mr. Neighbor took in a sharp breath. A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. "Ah think there are actually two laptop computers in that fireplace," he choked out, bobbing his balding head up and down.
"What?" I shrieked, struggling to turn in the chair. Damn those ropes were tight! I started to go berserk, fighting against the restraints and wriggling about. MathMan turned his head and watched silently and expressionless as the chair and I toppled over. I lay on my back again, my feet, ankles bound together, in the air. It was then that I noticed that I wasn't wearing any pants either.
I guess we'll have to find another way to earn that (dollar amount deleted) because Disney will never call us now.