The game of dating | PostIndependent.com

The game of dating

April E. Clark
April in Glenwood
April Clark
Staff Photo |

I’m not much for blind dates, or even being set up on non-blind dates. That’s probably why both rarely happen.

I should be more adventurous.

If I were committed to the idea, I’d probably have more luck Internet dating. There’s at least a chance to match up on life goals, swimsuit preferences and political beliefs. I can also hope for a little witty bantering before the first inevitable date.

Especially if the match is equally as awkward.

In life, but not as much in love, I try not to turn down offers for stage-time. I need all the nerve-wracking experience I can get up there. So when I heard I was nominated to be in a live version of the old TV show “The Dating Game,” I did exactly what I do when I don’t want to do something.

I acted like it wasn’t happening.

I ignored the call-out for single ladies looking for love in all the remote places. I was vague when responding to the friend who nominated me. I made up an imaginary boyfriend, an idea my good friend Susan has been telling me to do for years. I convinced myself I didn’t need a silly game show to meet the next Mrs. April Clark.

I heard someone say that once and it made me laugh.

This might be hard to believe but sometimes I need to be talked into doing things. Usually it’s the other way around, but dating is a whole different enchilada. Eating cow tongue for the first time is a perfect example. Not something I had on my bucket list. Once I tried it all fried up in a taco with fresh cilantro and hot mango salsa, I was all right with it.

Tongue: Maybe someday it will be what’s for dinner.

I do enjoy helping a good cause, and “The Dating Game” fundraiser was supporting the Paonia Players theater troupe and the historic Paradise Theatre. What could I lose? My dignity.

Maybe.

Although I’m pretty sure that’s lost somewhere in Daytona Beach. Would I be embarrassed? Probably. So what. I’ve spent my entire life being embarrassed about something I’ve done, so that wasn’t really a problem. Maybe I was afraid I would have to go on a date.

A seriously blind one.

Some of the original contestants on “The Dating Game” went on to be celebrity hunks and foxes in the ’70s and ’80s. Posters of these Hollywood hotties plastered walls of pubescent teens coming of age, donning feathered hair and tight denim. Farrah Fawcett, Tom Selleck and Arnold Schwarzenegger were all on “The Dating Game” before they became bad guy-fighting lookers featured on lunch boxes across America and Russia. As was a “photographer” Rodney Alcala.

As in serial killer Rodney Alcala.

It may be well known how easily creeped out I am by many things in life. Sometimes it’s as easy as a bat flying near my head, specifically in close proximity to my hair. Other times it’s watching that show “A Haunting” alone and being terrified by the flashbacks with the re-enactment actors.

It just seems so realistic.

Playing “The Dating Game” with a serial killer is definitely something that creeps me out beyond comprehension. That’s what happened with old Rod. He somehow made the show but the date never happened. The contestant he picked declined the date because she said he was, simply, “creepy.” And that was in 1978 when creepy things really were creepy. Now everything’s creepy.

Even re-enactment actors.

Not all “Dating Game” memories have nightmare-inducing quips. Some of my favorite funny people on the show included Steve Martin, the Unknown Comic and Bob Saget.

Not in any particular order.

John Ritter was a Dating Gamer, and that crack-up Vincent Price. And my favorite — I would have given him a standing ovation if I were in the live audience — Andy Kaufman, who played the game under a pseudonym Baji Kimran.

For that I say bravo, Andy Kaufman.

In my nontelevised, Paonia version of “The Dating Game,” Bachelor #2 followed suit and was in character. I thought he sounded like Larry the Cable Guy. He was offended. He thought I called him Harry the Cable Guy.

He made sure to tell me he shaves all the time.

Lucky for this episode of “The Dating Game,” there were no serial killers. Although during my questioning of the three bachelors, I did confirm with Bachelor #1 he did not have such tendencies. In an ironic twist, I picked him. And he is an honest-to-god cowboy. I know a few people who aren’t surprised.

How’s that for adventurous.

— April E. Clark thinks someone from the audience should take out Bachelor #3. He seemed nice. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@gmail.com.


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