Project Please Kill Me Now

Project Please Kill Me Now
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

I hate myself for what I'm about to say:

I've been watching Project Runway.

It's one of the most annoying shows I've ever watched, like watching a train wreck, or meeting someone with a really disgusting growth. I want to look away, but I can't.

It's a show about wannabe fashion designers who are supposed to create fabulous new designs out of different exotic materials -- colorful fabrics, recycled blue jeans, and even candy bar wrappers. Last year, the contestants had to use recycled materials for their designs.

Each week, host Heidi Klum tells the designers, "either you're in, or you're out." And she says "out" with each T perfectly enunciated and crisp, like a snare drum -- "out," "outt," "ouT." It's so annoying, I've begun to hate the word.

"Honey," my wife asks, "do we have any more milk?"

"No, we're ou--I mean, there's none left."

"Where are you going?"

"I'm going ou-- dangit! I mean, I'm going to get a beer with the guys."

I think she does it on purpose.

She's also the one who got me hooked on the show. She's been watching Project Runway for two seasons, and occasionally I would watch a couple minutes, for something to do. Pretty soon, I started watching the last 15 minutes to see who got booted. Now, I watch the first 15 minutes, wander off for a half hour, and then come back to catch the last part.

Please understand, I don't care what happens to these people.

Actually, I do. I want them to suffer painful and humiliating embarrassment. I want them to lose in the most spectacular manner, stumbling off the runway, sobbing uncontrollably, tears and snot running down their bony faces.

I'm sure they're all very nice people, once you get to know them. But I don't want to.

They've got all the emotional depth of a high school dance. They have more self-induced drama than a week-long Shakespeare festival. And they Capitalize when they speak, as if they're talking about Important Things.

I just really hate them So Much.

Except Jillian. I like Jillian. She's a 26-year-old fashion designer from Long Island who has her own label and consults to other fashion designers. She's smart, doesn't throw tantrums, and seems to be the most level-headed of all the fashionistas. My wife thinks I have a crush on her. I just like her, because she does her job without all the drama.

My least favorite designer is Christian, a 21-year-old Obnoxious Brat from Maryland. He's an effeminate, officious little diva whose hair looks like a pack of deranged apostrophes attacked his head. He looks like a backup singer for a Kajagoogoo cover band. Even the women are more macho than he is.

With Christian, everything is "Faaaaabulous" or "fierce," and he could "just die" if something doesn't go just right.

He's also Spoiled. Every time he doesn't win, he gets a shocked look on his face -- how dare you?! -- like he's going to stamp his little feet and storm off the runway.

The problem? He's good, he's really good.

Even I, who knows absolutely nothing about women's fashion, look at some of his stuff and wonder if they'll ever make it in my size.

I'm also worried he's going to win. Week after week, he easily makes the final cut. He rarely comes down to the last two designers, who are forced to listen to Heidi's catchphrase, "one of you will be in, and one of you. . . will be out."


I want him to lose. To be laughed off the runway because he used shoulder pads and epaulets on a cocktail dress. Or because his model "just died" when she was crushed by the "fierce" little jacket he made out of the reclaimed doors of a 1978 Buick Skylark.

Because every time Christian makes The Cut, it reinforces that his whiny, simpering arrogance is an Acceptable Way to go through life. I just want to cut his hair off with dull Pinking Shears.

I'm really not a mean person. I try to like people, and find the good in everyone. I've been told this is my most endearing, and most annoying, trait.

So why can't I like 15 people who have devoted their lives to making a bunch of painfully thin women look beautiful? Why does a weekly show about a bunch of drama kings and queens instill such loathing in me.

More importantly, why do I watch the Stupid Thing each week? I'm worried I'll start watching entire episodes. And checking the online blogs, voting in the little contests, and actually caring about whether someone is In or Outt.

Because if Jillian doesn't make it, I'll Just Die.

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