Fightin’ Words

  • The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club.
  • The second rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club.

Uh…sorry. Gonna break the rule. Guys! Over here! Fight club at The Bachelorette mansion! Or, at least those were the only parts of the most recent episode I cared about. Two complete matches that revealed a TON about the people in them. And the setup for next week is Round 3. So…let’s talk about fight club!

First match on the card: Rachel “the Lawyer” Lindsay vs. DeMario “Oooo—who’s that?” Jackson.

Entering the ring first was DeMario, who had taken a little time to gather up the sand he’d thrown all over the place while digging himself deeper and deeper into his yup-that’s-my-girlfriend hole, and who wanted to apply for re-admission to the Bachelor mansion. Next was Rachel, backed up by a posse of men eager to stand with their arms folded to prove they were there for the Right Reasons. She thought DeMario had made “a damn fool” of himself the day before, and was curious what he might attempt to say now.

In a spirit of full disclosure, let me openly state that Rachel, for the duration of this scene, was my spirit animal. My goddess. She’s the person who comports herself with poise and maturity in a fraught situation, listens to her opponent, then calmly and graciously disposes of him. Forget fight club–this was an Olympic-level gymnastic tour de force. She let him state his case, cut him off when he’d gone on long enough, and then did a rhetorical twirl that turned his argument right back at him and stuck the landing. Hands up. Thunderous applause. Judges: 9.995 out of 10.

DeMario had clearly rehearsed his argument. It came out in a single-sentence stream that ran for quite a while before it got to this:

“…and one of my favorite quotes is that in order to experience joy you need pain, and I realized these faults last night, not being able to sleep, so I’m begging this from the bottom of my entire heart, will you please give me another chance to come into this house because I feel like you and I really can have something…look on the ride over here I explained to my driver that I was going for the woman of my dreams, and he said you know what? Don’t take no for an answer…Look when I met you my entire life changed, and I do give you that—”

At that point, Rachel gave him the hand. Enough. Said she was looking for a man who, when faced with a difficult situation, doesn’t start to lie. Said she’d seen a boy the day before, not a man. And then tied it off with this: “I’m glad you realize that you should move forward, but you should know that forward is not that way (thumb over shoulder) into the mansion, but forward (pointing in the get-the-hell-out direction) is outside of it. So I’m glad this has been a life lesson, and I’m glad you gave me the quote about the joy and the pain, and I hope that the pain that you’ve gotten from this gives you joy somewhere else, but that’s just not here, not now.”

Mic drop. Turn and walk. HOW DO YOU DO THAT? Me, it would take days to come up with something so tidy. He just turned away with a headshake and an awed smile.

This might be a good time to mention…

  • The third rule of fight club is if someone yells stop, goes limp, taps out, the fight is over.

To me, that looked like he  went limp. Or tapped out. Either way, the fight is over. (Though it sounds as if he took the driver’s direction to not give up, and will be appearing on Bachelor in Paradise.)

Second match: Lucas “Whaboom” Yancey vs. Blake “The Flop-Top Sworn Enemy of Whaboom” Elarbee.

They had been circling each other for some time, doing the weigh-in stare-downs, making accusations (“I woke up and he was eating a banana” vs. “Well, that’s crazy because I’m on a ketonic diet and don’t eat carbs.”), ratting each other out to Rachel…the works.

  • The fourth rule of fight club is only two guys to a fight

Rachel, champion of Match 1, understood this rule and dismissed them both at the rose ceremony, sending them outside to face off mano-a-mano during their confessionals.

In stark contrast to Rachel’s tour de force performance, their argument consisted of a lot of sound effects, cartoon walking, name-calling, and mocking imitations of each other. Consider the following excerpts:

  • I hate him.
  • What a workout trainer guy.
  • What a piece of $%&.
  • You’re a washed up joke.
  • If you weren’t here, I could’ve had a chance.
  • It’s not about winning. It’s about the world, brother. [Parroted “It’s about the world”] And you have no idea what the world means. [Parroted “what the world means.”]
  • You’re the whaboom clown.
  • Oh, yodabudodowahwuh.

I’m calling this one a draw. They both lost. Badly. I thought the state of the world was pretty precarious before I watched this, and now, acknowledging that these two are freely ranging about in it, I’m markedly more depressed.

Filler occupied the rest of the show until the setup for the next fight. I’m nervous about this one. I have a feeling it may break the fourth rule of fight club (as well as the fifth: only one fight at a time) and turn into a full-on brawl. I fear invocation of the seventh (fights will go on as long as they have to). During a visit by Rachel’s “girlfriends” (fellow bachelorettes from her Bachelor season, so obviously the people who know her soul better than anyone), a couple of other men started to raise red flags about Eric, suggesting he might not be there (you guessed it) for the right reasons. I may have been a little too bored by the surrounding show and missed something, but I was baffled by what in this man’s behavior was making people turn against him. All I saw was a lot of unasked-for truth-telling from his accusers, wherein they say they’re being “open” because they’re telling him they don’t like him to his face, not behind his back. No one seems to be considering the possibility of just…not doing either one. You know, like adults in the wild.

Or, like Rachel. Fight club tip: pay attention to the only person who won a match for guidance on how to win your own. Know yourself, your boundaries, your values, your standards. Own them. If you do that well enough, there’s really no reason for fight club at all.

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