Burgers Plus Brian Plus Jets Equals Romance
The Fab Five jump into their SUV and discuss Brian, a 38 year old Jets fan who has been married twice already. Apparently his second wife calls him Satan, and Ted is intrigued because they’ve “never made over the Lord of Darkness before.” He has a new girlfriend, Rachel, who learned all about the Jets from him. They now have season tickets and go tailgating (read: get plastered all day and yell obscenities at fans of the opposing team) at every game. Their mission, they decide, is to have him propose to Rachel at the next Jets game. Thom hopes it’s not on the jumbotron. Ted suggests they make him do it from the field instead. I’m with Ted on that one.
Credits. What exactly is Carson looking up at when he comes out of the animated store with animated bags? What’s up there, Carson?
Run run run into Brian’s suburban abode. First, the guys have to jump over about 18 pairs of shoes and sneakers on the enclosed porch. Then Brian opens the door. He’s wearing a black shirt and jeans, a bit sloppy but not that bad. What’s bad is his hair. Kyan asks if he cuts his own hair. That’s a yupper.
They run into the girlfriend, Rachel, and the two daughters.
Carson asks one of the daughters, “Are you Rachel’s daughter?” She answers, “Rachel is my dad’s girlfriend.” A bit confusing. Carson catches on, “Oh, so you’re Brian’s daughter.” She nods. He continues, “So is it your mother who thinks he’s Satan, or was that the other wife?” The girl keeps her composure and answers something to the affect that a lot of people may think that but she still loves him. That’s kind of nice I suppose.
The home décor has Thom in a tizzy. All white walls. Grayish sofas. Brian and Rachel own a cool coffee table—glasstop and bean-shaped. So Thom compares the sofa cushion to the coffee table: Frightful, fabulous, frightful, fabulous. The office has no room to walk. The desks are huge and face away from each other. Carson finds out that even though there’s one phone, the home business has about ten voicemail options, which he finds hilarious. The kitchen has a floating island that doubles as a dishwasher. Interesting.
Carson makes his way into Brian’s closet, as he tends to do. He finds a plaid collection, as he usually does. What is it with straight guys and plaid? I swear, it’s all about Old Navy. That’s all that store sold for about five years straight and every guy bought one shirt in every color. All Brian’s plaids are in shades of blue and green.
In the living room, Thom breaks out Brian’s underwear and asks him if it’s part of his seduction routine. Ted covers the daughter’s eyes, as well he should because no one needs to see her daddy’s undies. Ew. Rachel then talks about tailgating and how they love to do it at every game. Yeah, it’s fun to get trashed and be gluttonous in parking lots at huge sporting events.
In the office, Carson finds some old socks. He finds the use for them—they’re good to wake you up when you’re falling asleep on the job. Heehee. Kyan then uses the multi-line phone’s intercom system to call all heteros to the office.
Rachel tells them how she met Brian on the internet. At first, she thought he was a little creepy because he told her something like as soon as he met her in person, she would never want to leave his side and he wouldn’t leave hers. Umm, I would have run away. But she stayed and good for them because they haven’t been apart since. Okay, you lucked out and didn’t find a sociopath on the internet. Aww. However, the most romantic Brian gets is giving her the first burger at the tailgate party. Nothing says romance like charred ground beef.
Back in a different room, Carson gives Brian a play-by-play about how to go about proposing at the game. He tells him to put on the jumbotron, “Will you marry me, Raquel?” In this case, if Rachel says no, Brian can just say it wasn’t for her, it was for some girl named Raquel. Smart.
In the living room, Thom is still fretting over the horror! the horror! Now, it’s the plaid recliner that is pretty heinous. He sits in it and tries to break it.
Back in the other room, Carson and Ted go through Brian’s underwear. Why would they touch another man’s undies? That’s gross. Brian apparently color-codes his underpants. Red ones are for Mondays, and so on. Basically, Ted finds out that he’s holding Brian’s dirty underwear. See? Told ya. Then Carson asks Brian what he’s planning on wearing to the game/proposal that night. Brian holds out a Jets jersey. Carson says, “That’s not even your name on it.” It says Martin, obviously a Jets’ player. But that’s funny. Carson explains that, although it’s a game, he’s still proposing and can’t wear only a jersey. Brian nods, chuckles, and agrees.
Meanwhile, Rachel shows the guys what they eat off of while tailgating. These old, metal things come out from nowhere and are kind of gross. Thom tells everyone to “gather round for botulism.” Hysterical! Ted ponders the menu for tailgating, seeing as how he usually caters indoor gatherings and makes sauces.
Kyan goes through Brian’s bathroom products. A rule of thumb? Avoid all products that smell like bubble-gum. What about the body spray I use that smells like bubble-gum on purpose? Oh, that’s right. That’s supposed to be for twelve year olds. Moving on. Kyan notes that Brian likes environment friendly products. He needs to combine good for the environment with doesn’t smell like gum.
Elsewhere, Ted and Carson find a bright red wall that’s hollow and apparently fake. Carson strokes the wall and laments, “If these walls could cry.” Now that’s really funny to me at least because I have an inside joke with two of my friends about the HBO special, “If These Walls Could Talk 2.” And yes, I’m well aware that Carson doesn’t know about my joke, but in my world, he said that just for me.
Brian tells Carson that Rachel is his soul mate. Aww. So Brian really is romantic. He is a nice guy. It’s just that haircut that throws you.
Rachel tells Kyan that Brian always says to her, “I want to be your guy.” That’s one of the sweetest things a guy could say to a gal. It’s as if he’s giving himself over to her. Romance! There it is! Complete with the first burger in the parking lot.
Elsewhere, Thom is wearing a giant green fist. Must be a Jets thing. As is everything else in the house. Fanatical, Brian is.
Rachel and the girls leave. Brian tells Jai that he and Rachel were meant for each other. Sure they are. They haven’t left each other’s side since Brian said that really cyber stalkerish thing to her way back when. The boys get ready to make Brian over.
Brian’s friends think Brian is fashionless.
Rachel says Brian has pit stains.
In the SUV, Brian talks to Jai and Ted about getting married again. They ask if he really wants to do it again because of his two divorces. I guess that is a lot. Especially, since his ex calls him Satan. How can she say that about him? I mean, did she not get the first burger? Seriously, though, this guy is not Satan and the divorce was not completely his fault. Brian says that he’s positive he wants to marry Rachel, even with two divorces under his belt.
Ted and Brian get out at the barbeque superstore. Wow. The closest thing I have to a barbeque is my George Foreman grill. This store is a world of wonder! Lots of stainless steel and grills. For some reason, Jets legend Marty Lyons is there. Apparently, retired NFL players either become color commentators for FOX or they sell shiny barbeque equipment. Marty the football star says that every tailgating party needs a table, an umbrella, a football (actually, Ted adds that), and a gas grill. The guy who works at the store, who is also named Brian, comes over to show Straight Guy Brian different tables. So, just to make it clear, Marty Lyons doesn’t work at the store; he just hangs out there and tells people, “Hey, that’s a nice grill.” Store Brian sets up a bar table that has game boards on its surface in case they break out into a random game of chess before the football game. The best part about it? It comes in Jet Green. “The way I BLEED!” Brian screams out. Scary. Very. Scary.
The four men agree that charcoal barbeques are great. However, a gas grill will cook food faster and it’s more convenient. Marty the football hero points out that you want to have your food by game time. Ted throws some steaks on the grill. He tells Brian that he can’t have any because he’s a scary yet nice man. No, really he just sends him off to shop with Thom.
Thom and Brian arrive at Ethan Allen, which will be the only store name I can spell and that I’ve heard of in this episode. Thom says that it’s a great store because it has all your furniture needs and hot salespeople. However, once they’re inside, I don’t see any salespeople. The two men sit at a small table and Thom sketches out the living room, pointing to dead space and where furniture should go and how to separate the space to make the most out of it. Brian nods and says “right” and “uh-huh.” He has no clue. He’s just smiling and nodding. He says that Thom’s doing “fong shwa” and Thom says, “Yes, fung shui.” Heehee. That’s how I correct all my students—“it ain’t cold out” “That’s right, it isn’t.” Obligatory sofa sitting. Thom chooses a brown rattan-like chair with navy cushions. Brian says that this is the most fun he’s ever had. Do I detect a hint of sarcasm? But Brian is a good sport and seems to be having at least some fun. Thom suggests he also look into some smaller desks for their completely dysfunctional office.
Next, Carson takes Brian to an Italian clothes store that Brian can’t pronounce and neither can I, so it has nothing to do with him being a clueless straight guy and everything to do with Carson studying fashion for years and years and being accustomed to Italian brand names that no one else knows. And I’m Italian and I still have no clue what he said. So this store has dressy sportswear that Brian will fit into and feel comfortable wearing. Carson explains that you need only four pairs of shoes: a dressy black or brown pair; a casual shoe; a sophisticated sneaker; and your everyday run-of-the-mill sneaker. Then Carson asks Brian to beat him because he can’t believe he said you need only four pairs of shoes. I need at least four pairs of dress boots. Then there’s snow boots. And then some sneakers, a dark pair and a light pair. Then some hooker up to the knee boots. And a pair of silver strappy sandals. Beach sandals. Flippies. Slides. Mules. Loafers. Maybe he meant that men need only four pairs. And I might add, I’m happy he said pairs and not four pair without the “s” because that’s just not right and so very irksome. Thank you, Carson.
Carson dresses Brian in an off-white button down with skinny navy blue plaid but the good kind of plaid. He puts a blue zip jacket on followed by a tan jacket. Layers are the key here as he’s going to be outdoors at the game. For a dressier wedding look, they look at a navy suit and a gray suit. Here’s a tip: the gray is more useable than the blue in the winter. Who knew? Brian feels like Deon Sanders. I think his nickname was Neon Deon, which is just plain stupid because Neon has nothing to do with athleticism. Then again, neither does a refrigerator and still that guy on the Bears had that as his nickname. I guess I just don’t understand these sport things sometimes.
Moving on to Jai in the flower shop with the florist, Luis, who has tattoos on his forearms and I get the sneaking suspicion that arranging flowers was not Luis’ first calling in life. In any case, Jai reveals some flowers that he picked from Brian’s yard. Luis pairs them with some flowers from the shop. He mocks Brian’s semi-wilted flowers and Jai says they’re lesser but they’re from Jersey so that’s okay. There’s a hidden insult in there somewhere. Luis tells Brian that he should wrap the flowers in tissue paper but the paper looks like brown packing paper or butcher paper. But I’m not about to fight with Luis the “florist.” Wink wink.
Off to Kyan. Santa Maria Novella? The original pharmacy by this name (or close to this name) is in Italy, and it’s the oldest working pharmacy in the world. Kyan smells Brian’s neck. Oh, it’s a fragrance store. Now that makes sense. John the Fragrance Seller, who looks like he could be an undertaker, brings them over to a bunch of testers. Brian notices a bowl of coffee beans, and Kyan explains that the aroma of coffee cleanses the olfactory nerves between cologne samples. Hey, remember that Hulk Hogan commercial for that deodorant where he says olfactory? I loved that commercial. Anyway, Brian reveals that he loves the smell of wood. Oh, yeah, hardwood floors. Someone hold me back. John the Fragrance Seller has him try sandalwood and Kyan nixes it right away. Then they try pomegranate which Kyan says smells like someone’s Aunt Suzy. Ha. Finally, they come to Amber Lavender, which both Kyan and Brian say sounds like a stripper. Yeah, a stripper who falls into porn and cocaine and shoots off her own toe and then finds Jesus. They love the smell and decide it’s the perfect wood scent.
Rachel says their home is all white and hospital-like.
Brian’s friend says his home is made of the stuff other people get rid of.
Back in the SUV, Jai gushes over Brian’s new haircut. He runs his fingers through Brian’s hair. Wouldn’t it be funny if he kicked Kyan out of the SUV and ran off with Brian? Maybe that’s just me. They return to the proposal conversation. The guys ask him if Rachel will say no. Brian says there’s no chance of her saying no. If there were a chance, I don’t think he’d be proposing at a Jets game. Plus, when a guy proposes, does he ever think there’s a chance that she’ll turn him down? That’s something I would be sure about before I did it.
They arrive at Casa de Brian and go inside. AWESOME! I love this house and want to move in, even if they are Jets fans. The gray couch and white walls are gone. The walls are now brown and red with some black trim. Large orange-red couches fill the space. Thom has used the “fabulous” glasstop coffee table, the only remnant of the old room. And, every man’s dream, a flatscreen TV has found its way into the living room. Plus, a huge-ass clock is in the center of the huge room, which separates the space into a definite living room and a definite dining room. The dining room is pretty, too.
Up into the bedroom where, as they say on MTV Cribs, the magic happens. In this case, it’s Jets magic. Jets paraphernalia abound! Not my idea of a romantic bedroom but he seems to like it. I get the feeling that Rachel will like it, too. If she agrees that the Jets bedroom is romantic, then the woman has no right to complain about the hamburger thing. She’s urging him in this direction.
Down to the office. There are smaller desks that are organized. Beige walls. Some plants. You can actually walk around. Wow, a functional space! Imagine being functional in an office. Jai brings in some flowers, picture frames, vases, photos, and jellybeans. Either he has an arts and crafts project or he’s trying to woo Brian because of the great new haircut. Jai tells Brian that he needs to frame some pictures, give his wife some beans, and make a nice vase of flowers for the desk. Then he needs to make another bouquet for after the proposal and hide it in a bin for the tailgating party. Jai hands him some sunflowers to start and Brian smiles wide. “These are her favorite!” Aww. Again, I’m pleasantly in awe of Brian’s subtle romantic side. He’s so sweet! I love sunflowers, too. But usually I get a single 50 cent rose from the local 7-11.
Then Jai tells Brian that he’s talked to someone at the Jets and they’re going to call Rachel down on the field for the Half-Time Field Goal Kick-Off Extravaganza. Then Brian should present the ring during the kick. Jai starts to actually tell Brian what to say. Wait a minute. This is Brian’s proposal. Jai is clearly overstepping his bounds—maybe he’s actually trying to propose to Brian here. See what a great haircut can do?
Brian cuts off Jai mid-sentence and says some stuff about love and fun and being happy happy happy. It’s all very sweet and Brian gets higher and higher on the romance list. Aww. (Have I said Aww enough yet?)
Carson calls the guys into the bedroom and has Brian model the clothes they picked out at the store with the difficult Italian name. He instructs Brian to take his clothes off and pretend he’s in the locker room. Hee. He models khakis, brown shoes, a brown jacket with a light blue shirt underneath. The blue shirt matches his eyes perfectly. At least, that’s what Carson says, and I’m trusting him because I have a ten inch screen across a rather large living room and I’m lucky I can make out their heads without using binoculars let alone the guy’s eye color. Then Carson shakes his head at people who paint their bodies in the colors of the team, and Brian mumbles something about having to support the team. He could be doing a Puddy impression from the Seinfeld episode when Puddy goes to the NJ Devils game and paints himself red and black. But I could just have Seinfeld imbedded in my head and Brian just sounds like him. In any case, Brian supports body paint and Carson doesn’t. Instead, Carson breaks out a pair of khakis that has Jets patches all over it. Brian loves them. I don’t. As much as I don’t approve of face painting, I’d go with the green body over these dorky pants. Then he gives Brian a green t-shirt that says Marry Me on it. Oh, God, how cheesy! But I guess the whole proposing in the middle of a football field is a bit cheesy to begin with. Or maybe hokey is a better term. I’m not completely sure of the subtle differences between hokey or cheesy, so make your own choice here. Carson instructs Brian to wear the shirt under his zipped-up jacket.
Brian says he loves the guys for thinking outside of the box and admits he’d never think of any of this on his own. Obviously, or else you wouldn’t be on the show, buddy.
Kyan takes Brian into the bathroom one more time to show him some new products that don’t smell like bubble-gum. Recycled toilet paper, a flow-reduction showerhead, a line of body stuff from Jason. He then gives him a choice of two flavors of body wash. Flavors? He gonna eat it? Then again, some guy from last season tasted the shaving cream for no reason, so I guess now Kyan encourages tasting the products. Or he means SCENTS instead of flavors. More organic, fragrance-less products. Then a lesson on cologne: spray it on your chest after you shower and your body heat will make it emanate from you later on. Groovy.
Back in the kitchen, Ted makes orange-squash-onion-bacon-butter-thyme things that he wraps in aluminum foil. I have no idea of what they are because this is the show where they say things that I can’t spell. And I have no idea how you eat these things because it’s just a bunch of food thrown together. Very messy and doesn’t seem to be a very good thing to eat when there’s no big picnic table to sit at. Then for the entrée, Ted wants to grill buffalo steaks because the Jets are playing (dramatic pause) the Buffalo Bills. This, too, is messy, but more tailgate-ish. Finally, Ted provides him with Busch. Beer.
The guys recap all their instructions as they normally do. Ted warns Brian not to drink too much before or at the tailgating party because he has a lot to do. The boys make a huddle and break, leaving Brian alone. With six beers all to himself.
Hip Tip: Jai says don’t use cute nicknames in your work email. Does that apply to Neon Deon and The Refrigerator Perry too?
Brian’s daughter says he’s such a great guy.
Rachel says that Brian is giving her the longest first date. Aww.
The Fab Five gathers round the critic couch to watch Brian in action. Brian first makes a photo collage and a flower arrangement for Rachel’s workspace. That’s very nice. Then he makes the post-proposal bouquet, wraps it in the butcher/tissue paper, and hides it in a tailgating bin. He’s following directions to a tee.
In the kitchen, Brian falters a bit, dropping stuff from the oven onto the floor. I think it’s the botulism trays, so no big loss there. The guys all yell, “RELAX” in unison at the screen. As if he hears them, Brian does just that. He again follows directions to a tee, and Ted calls him confident.
Brian makes his way into the bathroom for some grooming. At first, they approve of his shaving technique. He shaves very slowly unlike some other straight men of seasons past. But then he starts shaving completely against the grain. Ouch. Kyan cringes. Carson notes that Brian’s using Crest White Strips. Obvious product placement. I mean, Crest White Strips don’t make your teeth so much whiter on the first usage, so why is he adding an extra step to getting ready when it won’t make much of a difference for the proposal? BTW—the white strips work miracles! I had stains from my braces on my teeth from when I was 13 and after using the strips? No more stains! Fabulous. But that was after two weeks, not one usage. Brian moves on to fixing his hair (Jai swoons on the inside) and then sprays himself with Stripper Scent, more commonly known as Amber Lavender for those not in the porn industry. He sprays it at himself as if he’s spraying poison. His face is all fear, as if he’s scared he’s spraying it wrong or he might inhale some or something.
He gets dressed in the Cheesiest Outfit Known To Man. Or is it hokiest? Can’t decide. Rachel and the girls arrive at the house. She immediately grabs HIM and says how she loves HOW HE LOOKS! Now that’s how you know she’s going to say yes. Instead of gushing over the house as a lot of the other ladies do, she’s impressed with him. Ted notes that as well. It’s so nice to see that she’s happy to see him and she likes his new look (it’s all about the hair.) Then she tries to take his jacket off of him because it’s semi-warm outside. All the guys cry out, “NO!!!” because the Marry Me Tee is merely one thin layer away. To divert her attention from his jacket, Brian begs, “Smell! Smell!” and shoves his chest in her face. Heeheehee!!!! That is Hil. Air. E. Us.
Then he drags the three females into the living room where they all ooh and ahh. Brian calls the TV their new baby. They all laugh. Ted says that they have so much family energy. Thom says that this is the best tour any straight guy has given to his loved ones. That’s very true. Brian’s doing a good job. Rachel laughs and falls speechless when she sees the office. She blurts out, “Be still my heart,” and walks through. The daughters joke that now they can actually work in the workplace.
They make their way upstairs chanting “Jets! Jets! Jets!” for no reason other than he loves the Jets. Come to the bedroom that’s decked out in all Jets Jets Jets stuff. Next, Brian shows Rachel all his new Jason Line Products. He’s a pro at this. Rachel loves it and is so proud of him. Aww. He calls the family into a huddle and they yell, “Go Jets!” Then it’s off to tailgate.
In the stadium parking lot, a lot of people are already set up. Ted makes fun of all the other lame tailgaters’ set ups. Brian and Rachel jump out of their car and now Brian is wearing the scary green Hulk Jets hands. Thom and Carson reminisce about how they tailgated at Fashion Week. Heehee.
Cut to the daughters decorating one of those football carts that carries things around the stadium. I think it’s also used to take injured players off of the field. Now that spells romance. They attach streamers and beer cans to the back of the cart. It’s for after the proposal, Carson explains.
Back in the parking lot, Brian gives Rachel the first burger. Keep the romance alive! She jokes that it’s a little gamey, but then says it’s perfect. Then there’s a lot of “J! E! T! S! Jets! Jets! Jets!” going on. Cut to Brian and Rachel entering the stadium. Jai comments that he got them really good seats. Hell, yeah. They’re about three rows from field. On the sidelines, there’s a guy waving a Jets flag and the guys gush over the Flag Dancer and love how the Jets have a color guard. Ha.
The Jets Rep that Jai talked to earlier comes down and tells Rachel that they’ve been randomly chosen to do the Half-Time Field Goal Kick-Off Extravaganza. Rachel’s first reaction is to cover her face with her hand and exclaim, “Oh, no!” That’s never a good sign. Brian may have been convinced that she’d say yes to the proposal, but did he ever think this part through? The part where she needs to agree to go out onto the field and kick a football, something she’s never really done before, especially not in front of a bunch of football fans? And how many is a bunch? Thom says 80, 000. Thanks, Thom. She doesn’t want to. She doesn’t want to. Brian’s nerves kick in and he coaxes her gently at first by saying he’ll hold the ball for her. The Jets Rep says, “Great idea.” Rachel still says no. So Brian does what any guy would do. He starts berating her like a four year old, saying, “Oh come on it’ll be fun do it do it I’ll do it with you come on come on.” The guys think he’s blowing it by doing this. Finally, she gives in, I think partially so Brian will shut up.
Cut to Brian and Rachel in the tunnel before the field. Carson calls Rachel oblivious as she practices some kicking motions. I’m impressed she’s actually doing this. Then, they go out on the field. Brian kneels on one knee and holds the ball. Rachel backs up in her cute Jets jersey, jumps up and down for a moment, and then has at it. She runs to the ball but then Brian pulls it away a la the Peanuts comic strip with Charlie Brown and Lucy playing football. He quickly grabs into his pocket for the ring box but Rachel, still oblivious, turns away and runs back to her original position to do it again. If she had waited just a second longer, she would have seen Brian taking out a ring box. But she is too preoccupied with the kick. So Brian has to call out, “Wait! Come back! Come here!” which she doesn’t hear at first because they’re in the middle of a football stadium with 80,000 plus people making lots of noise. Finally, she turns around, sees the box, then turns away, then turns back. He then opens his jacket to reveal, MARRY ME. She beats him on the arm with the stupid giant Jets hands. Then they get a microphone shoved between them as he slides the ring onto her finger. He says, “So you’ll marry me?” and she says, “Yeah.” Yeah? That’s a hearty answer.
The announcer tells the stadium to congratulate Brian and Rachel on their engagement. And the crowd goes wild! The daughters come out onto the field to bring her Brian’s arrangement of flowers. Then they all ride off in the medical mobile.
The Fab Five comment that he did everything right. If they needed a sixth guy, it would be Brian. But they don’t even need five, so why another one? Oh, because Brian has a new haircut and Jai wants to marry him. They toast and yell, of course, Jets! Jets! Jets!
This week’s tips:
Jai says that real fans go to every game because they join fan clubs and get pre-sale tickets.
Thom says that you can fill nail holes in the wall with soap.
Kyan says eat six meals a day to lose weight. Umm, wasn’t that last week’s Hip Tip?
Carson says you can antique a belt buckled by bleaching it.
Ted says to season your grill with veggie oil and your steaks won’t stick. And no one likes a sticky steak.
There you have it. Another sweet straight guy off the market and some free promotion for the Jets franchise.
–Christina M. Rau/GatsbyGirl
Questions? Comments? Know the difference between cheesy and hokey? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org