Monday, June 19, 2000

Bobbin' for a Million Dollars

My life is one big party. I'm such a lively guy that I don't even have to plan my excitement. It just happens.

This summer I was going to lay low, trying to recuperate from my wild and wacky ride through winter and spring. The only thing on my docket was a possible trip to Salt Lake City to see the Buzz (featuring Doug Mientkiewicz, Chad Allen, Javier Valentin, Torii Hunter, Dan Perkins, and Todd Walker) play AAA baseball. Other than that I intended on tending to my garden and patterning my life after the mellow Mr. Max as much as possible.

But you never know what's up ahead. Just these past few weeks a couple of vital unforeseen ingredients have popped into my life quicker than the weeds have spread through my garden.

Last Friday I zipped right from work down to downtown Minneapolis to try and get my Harmon Killebrew bobble head doll. The Twins were giving them out to the first 5,000 fans in attendance at that night's game. I parked and saw a great number of people already lined up around the dome. I met my friend and together we stood in line. The gates weren't supposed to open until 5:30 but they decided to open them up shortly after five. Luckily we both got our bobble head dolls. It was one of the few times in my life I was glad to be one of 5,000 people.

Being a season ticket holder sometimes I have wondered over the past few seasons if I'm getting my money's worth. When I looked over the schedule and the promotions this year I actually looked forward to the four bobble head nights. My plan was to get four nice marble stands, collect the dolls, put the stands in the corners of my living room, and voila, have a festive decorative conversation starter. Having gotten my first piece I must say it really is a nice item. Made out of porcelain and hand painted, Harmon's little bobbin' head has entertained me for days. I noticed later in the week people began putting up the dolls for auction on Ebay. There are bids up to $147.50 though I wouldn't think of selling my little guy for anything in the world. He's just too darn fun.

In addition to being a proud roommate to a bobble head doll I also met another who made my heart pitter patter in excitement over her inspiring presence. Along with tens of millions other Americans I have become hooked on CBS's Survivor show. There's no need for a deep analysis here- all that has been written about the fascinating look at group dynamics and the disturbing growth in our collective voyeurism- is probably true. The premise of the show- sticking 16 people on an island, putting them through the trenches, and having them vote each other off the island until one person remains (and wins a million bucks) is probably as stupid as it sounds. Yet it is spellbinding TV. Better than MTV's The Real World, Survivor certainly has been the talk of my office (and has gotten superlative ratings throughout the country). It's the most exciting show since Savannah.

Of course from week one I was rooting for one particular member, a young attorney from San Francisco, Stacey Stillman. Stacey, who specializes in environmental law, seems to be the type of person who I could walk up to and ask why the St. Paul air smelled like toast most of last week. If this was Gilligan's island, Stacy would be an acidic Mary Ann, immediately mesmerizing with her sarcastic allure. Her feud with Rudy, the ex-Navy Seal has been the most entertaining part of the first three shows.

Unfortunately this week that feud came to a head and it became apparent that one of the two would be the next voted off the island. As the Tagi tribe made their way through a pouring rain to the Tribal Council to make the fatal decision- Stacey's time as a surviving member was sadly numbered. When the final vote was tallied and she indeed had been voted off, a look of defiance and disappointment crossed her pretty face. She was sure they had made the wrong decision and darn it, so was I. I don't even know if I can continue to watch the show with her spunky charisma missing.

If you would have approached me only a month ago (and why didn't you?) and told me that shortly my life would revolve around a nodding porcelain doll, with my heart smitten with a 27-year old San Francisco survivor who didn't survive on a silly little TV show, and that I'd be so entertained by watching people eat beetle larvae and rats, I would have bet my house that wouldn't be the case. Oh life can be strange.

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