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
- 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
- His wedding tuxedo is really just one of those printed joke
- 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
- 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.