Korean Blow-Up Dolls Could Save Hollywood

Baseball is returning at the end of July, and I couldn't be happier. I've been getting my baseball fix by watching last year's Cincinnati Reds games on the date they were played, but it's not the same.

But I can finally watch live baseball and experience the sounds that I love: I can hear the crack of the bat and listen to the announcers spin stories of their glory days.

What I won't hear is the roar of the crowd.

Thanks to a bunch of anti-science mouth breathers who won't wear face masks even as COVID-19 cases skyrocket, most teams will open the season without fans in attendance. Stadiums will be emptier than church on Monday morning.

We'll be able to watch the games on TV though, and I can finish out the summer with live baseball instead of last year's games of a team that couldn't even make the playoffs.

But it will be weird to see so many empty seats at a Reds game — more than usual, that is. Games will feel less important, and they'll lack the energy of a regular Friday night game. They'll be less formal and awkward, too. Like bumping into your high school English teacher 10 years after you graduated, and she asks you to call her by her first name.

Maybe Major League Baseball could try a trick one of the teams in the Korean Soccer League used to inflate the crowd at a game and pump up the players.

The Korean soccer team, FC Seoul, put 25 inflatable dolls in some seats and dressed them in FC Seoul jerseys to support their team and lift their spirits. The dolls were even wearing masks and seated more than six feet apart.

The problem — which some media wags are calling Inflategate — was that these were inflatable sex dolls.

And while some of the dolls were holding signs that said "Go FC Seoul," some of them were holding signs for a sex doll manufacturer.

During the game against Gwangju FC, some eagle-eyed fans pointed out that some of the mannequins looked like actual sex dolls. That's when social media blew up.

This was an embarrassing blow to the team and the league in general, because the match was televised worldwide.

"Just look at their breasts," wrote one fan on FC Seoul's Instagram page, "they were four times bigger than those of normal mannequins."

First of all, don't body shame, it's not nice. Besides, who made you an expert on a mannequin's "normal" breast size? How do you know they were four times bigger? That seems rather specific and implies knowledge of a personal and intimate nature.

Needless to say, the screwup was embarrassing for both FC Seoul and the league, and the team was fined 100 million won (roughly $81,500) as a result. The problem arose because team officials said they had failed to check the shipment, and they didn't know these were "adult products" until it all blew up in their faces.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, league officials blamed FC Seoul ". . .for not being able to tell the sex dolls apart from ordinary mannequins."

Again, you're expecting specific knowledge that is of a personal nature between consenting adults and silicone products. I don't know how much "normal" people actually know about sex dolls versus mannequins, but I consider myself blissfully ignorant.

The team was appropriately ashamed and embarrassed after all the blowback, but that doesn't mean they weren't onto something. In fact, it seems to have sparked an idea for the producers of CBS' long-running soap opera, The Bold and The Beautiful.

They're going to start using blow-up dolls as a stand-in for love scenes.

According to a story in the New York Post, the B&B cast and crew are taking appropriate precautions once the show resumes shooting this month, after closing down in March.

Head writer Bradley Bell told the Post that they had been reviewing the scripts and taking out all the romantic scenes and they fell as flat as a normal mannequin's bust. So they decided to bring out a doll they had used several years ago as a corpse.

"We posed it and it was very convincing," Bell told the Post. "It's a great doll and we'll be using her with hair and makeup as a stand-in to match some of our leading ladies."

Producers are taking other measures, including using the actors' real-life spouses as stand-ins for kissing scenes and love scenes. They're going to test everyone for COVID-19 and "we'll make sure it's safe and the husband and wife are comfortable kissing."

I can't imagine you'll have too many problems since they were probably already comfortable with kissing or else they wouldn't have gotten married.

Bell said they're even looking to add more dolls, both female and male, to the stand-in cast. The show has begun searching other websites as well as scouring around Hollywood to see what's available.

Actually, I know where they can get another 25 dolls for a pretty good price.

Photo credit: Martin Vorel (LibreShot.com, Creative Commons 0)

My new humor novel, Mackinac Island Nation, is finished and available on Amazon. You can get the Kindle version here or the paperback version here.