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Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?

by Stephen Lautens


March 3, 2000

It's shocking how the entertainment industry can cheapen a wholesome family value like marrying a rich total stranger.

I think we've all learned a painful lesson from the aftermath of the Fox special, "Who Wants to Marry A Millionaire?"

The lesson of course is that making a mockery of the institution of marriage is only justified if the guy really is a millionaire. No matter how good the ratings are.

The other lesson is that there is no shortage of people willing to line up for the opportunity to marry a stranger. I knew my wife for seven years before we got married, and I still wondered if I was rushing things.

This new crop of shows based on getting a million dollars is disturbing. The advantage of a show like "Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire" is you don't have to answer a lot of difficult questions from Regis Philbin. You just have to look good in a swimsuit.

So for future reference, I thought I'd make a list of some of the tell-tale signs that you have not in fact married a millionaire:

  • The wedding reception is held at a Chuck-E-Cheeze.
  • You go Dutch on your honeymoon.
  • He spends his day reading Archie comics instead of the Wall Street Journal.
  • When he says he's going to his Club for lunch, he means he'll be eating at the lunch counter at K-Mart.
  • The engagement ring is something from the Joan Rivers collection on the Home Shopping Network.
  • The jar of pennies on his dresser is referred to as "The Trust Fund".
  • His wedding tuxedo is really just one of those printed joke t-shirts.
  • His idea of investing in pork futures is to put the bacon in the freezer a day ahead of its "best before" date.
  • The "limo" is a 1981 Chevelle.
  • You have a lot of candlelight dinners - not because they're romantic, but because the hydro has been cut off.
  • His art collection features a lot of paintings of sad clowns and dogs playing poker.
  • He has to leave in the middle of the honeymoon to report to his parole officer.
  • He says he likes to take public transit because "it keeps him in touch with ordinary, decent folk".
  • His investment counsellor's business card only identifies him as "Slick".
  • Where you go for dinner is determined by the coupons in his book.
  • His "charitable foundation" consists of him going to Mac's Milk and buying instant win lottery tickets.
  • He never seems to have any cash with him because "he lent his last half million to that moocher, the Sultan of Brunei".
  • His private jet is always "in the shop".
  • All the wine he serves comes in returnable bottles.
  • His "Registered Retirement Savings Plan" are Pokeman cards buried in a field in a tin can under a big rock forty paces from an oak tree.
  • The office door to his real estate management empire has a sign on it that says "Superintendent".

When will we learn that TV has to return to classic, educational programming - shows like "When Circus Animals Attack", and "The Worlds Funniest Groin Injuries"?

In the meantime, if I can save just one person from marrying a fake millionaire in front of hundreds of thousands of TV viewers, then I'll be able to sleep a little better.


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