Friday, March 20, 2009

When We Did It, We Called It The Lifestyle

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.

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.
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.

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."

Have mercy.

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.


  1. Geez, when he starts yelling in Hebrew....RUN!!!!!! Burning laptops is just plain WRONG!

  2. That was a riot...

    $20,000 eh?

  3. Lol! Hilarious. I don't think $20K is worth it. Some technophobe nutjob would require your family to spend it on encyclopedias and a root cellar for to keep your lifetime supply of preserves fresh. (She would have made Mathman and the kids pickle things the entire time you were gone, believing canning to be the only cure for the interwebs.)

  4. Sorry about the knock down. We won't need that clothes line at the new place anyway.

  5. I think it's a bad idea. So many people go into it thinking the money would be helpful, but with someone else deciding how I should spend my "ill-gotten" (i.e. painfully earned) gains; I'd have to say, "No f---ing dice!" Poor Mathman would end up with a witt-less humorless Menonite who doesn't even believe in zippers, let alone the Internets! It would make for some great television to see that and how you inspire the other family with your schutzpa and intelligence. They'd be begging for the 21st Century before it all was over!

    Have a great week-end. I know things are a freakin' topsy-turvy mess right now, but we all know you guys will come out of it showing us how it's done! :)

    I'm pulling for ya. Just make sure that knot is tight!

  6. Kkryno -- For the record, Mennonites wear zippers. And about the same percentage have wits and senses of humor, as in the non-Mennonite population.

    Lisa, I liked this sentence: 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.

    Do you think same-sex couples can apply? The Queer version of wife swap?

  7. I thought we had a Wife Swappin' Meet Your New Mommy pact. Can we raise $40,000 to blog about our trading places? Or, some variation? We could trade kids or you for Mr. Bee. Or, I'll just rent out that ground floor, or we can screen in that back porch and I'll be safe until the kudzoo takes me.

    BTW- I see through your innocent facade. This was erotica in disguise. You can't fool a fooler. I think Flo Joe's gonna have to have a Wal-Mart relapse. Oh goddess, I wish she would.

  8. lisa, you are out of your mind, you do know that don't you .... how do you come up with this stuff?? must be the decades of thinking about blog posts to write!

    I would be right there watching if YOU were switched out with what would for sure be some fundamentalist, thinks computers are tools of the devil mom who hates cats and throws your tv, play station and all other electronics in the dump, no, fireplace! hahahaha....that would be a great show!

    maybe.... no never mind...

  9. I wish I was hooked up so I could be on "Dyke Swap."
    They'd send me to one of those horrible log cabins in the woods where I'd have to tolerate some snaggle toothed Earth Mother vegan who plays the autioharp and listens only to wymmin's music.
    And the only thing to read would be "Off Our Backs" and there'd be no TV and no computer and we'd have to bathe in crick water with homemade soap and sleep on a buckwheat mattress and flour sack sheets with three large female dogs.
    Holy cow, I just scared myself straight.
    Just kiddin'.

  10. Not me; I've spent too many years of my life barefoot and unafraid to speak to even consider it. I can just imagine what would happen; they'd send a 'tard to live with me, and I'd need the $20,000.00 for bail money. They'd refuse to pay because I broke the contract. A bad deal all around.

  11. Was that truth or fiction? Anyway, it read well.

    I get a kick out of the idea of you being on Wife Swap, although in general I would say Run A MILE.

  12. Funny post! I have no idea about those in Puerto Rico...we just TV up here in the mountains and what a shock reality TV is! Parent's trying to get rid of girlfriends, dancers competing for attention and votes, murders investigated right away or murders investgated after decades! I think your wife swap would be time intensive...maybe it would cost money to be successful would have to be for fun not the money...I guess you would get a lot of blog material! Did the police really come to your house? Okay the fantasy started when you were tied up right? I thought you were going to say it was a dream. Glad you didn't because the doubt -is it real-part is compelling. <3

  13. *snort*

    Blogging wife swap mom with foul mouth, sharp wit and dizzying levels of intelligence.

    $20K won't be enough, but it is a start.

  14. Wife Swap has done same sex couples -- they did the usual complete opposites swap. It was interesting, from what I can remember. The hetero husband started off skeptical and hostile but turned tolerant; the hetero wife did a lot of Bible thumping, hysterics, general bitchiness, and bailed before the 2 weeks was up. Viewer reaction was overwhelmingly in support of the gay couple.

    I think your older kids could probably deal with the notoriety, but Garbo's been going through a rough patch as it is -- lots of trauma at a time in a kid's life when they're in transition to begin with -- so I'd think long and hard about what type of shit she might end up taking at school if you guys actually got picked. Isn't she getting to be the age where the mean girl cliques turn really vicious?

    On the other hand, do the application anyway -- who knows what'll be happening a few months from now, and you can always say No if/when they call.

  15. Being the cretin who doesn't watch television, at first I thought you were talking about, you know, wife swapping for real. It took a few minutes to sink in that you are talking about one of those reality shows that were all the rage instead.

  16. I've never understood why the show is even on TV. Maybe the folks at Disney are having a 'Beavis and Butthead' moment. "He said Wife Swap, hehehe."

    $20K and a free plane ride aren't enough, after taxes you still wouldn't be able to buy enough sex toys to fill the safe.

  17. Holy cow, that was a riot. How much time does it take? Might not be worth 20 grand if it's weeks and weeks of lost pay, but if it's just a week or so? I'd totally watch it (and if you and Frieda decide to swap and YouTube the results, I will be happy to pay to see that! Ba ha ha!)

  18. Darn, I was getting ready to set the DVR!

    Have a great weekend.

  19. I don't know which is funnier, the idea of you on Wife Swap or Karen Zipdrive's comment!!!

    I've seen that show, and all they manange to find are the bat-shit crazies. Honestly I've never seen one reasonable person on there. Anyone see the episode with the Rasta family? Too funny!

    Just let us know when it's on!

  20. Chocolate pudding throwing women are just what they are looking for on that show. It's very "I Love Lucy." I always thought you were a secret pudding thrower.

  21. What about bird-shit crazy? If so, I think you guys could pull it off (not that I'd advise you guys to). Now see, if they had a internets bloggery on the tube only deal like CDP's suggestion, that would be funny to watch.

    "The rules are changing and I'LL be doing the blogging here!"

  22. Great writing. Very funny. It was fiction, wasn't it?!

  23. Disney?? It sounds more like a production of Marquis de Sade!

    Now Lisa, untie those ropes, put on a nice skirt and apron and go cook dinner for MachoMan and the kids.

  24. If you signed up for the show, would they make your replacement Mom flirt with lesbian bloggers online?
    Not saying you do that, but...
    well, never mind.

  25. You really need to balance out all that acid with some amphetamines... As your attorney, I strongly suggest you start huffing more of this ether as well....

  26. Hell, I got stuck on what would happen if I couldn't cuss.

    I think my face would implode.

    Not good!



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