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Your Reality Is Showing

Biter finds out what really happens when single women go to the highest bidder


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BITER WAS sincerely cynical about what type of vacuous drooling creeps might show up to a Bachelorette Auction and Hawaiian Luau at the King's Head Pub. But in the end, our disparaging mind-set was proven wrong. Lisa Slade, the self-proclaimed "Meddling Brit" who organizes such events to raise money for the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Alliance, threw a groovy get-together, and all parties involved were good-hearted souls. Almost everybody decked themselves out in Hawaiian garb, and the drink specials included Blue Hawaiians and Hawaiian Orgasms. We waltzed in, ordered a beer and immediately accosted the DJ and demanded he play "Pearly Shells" by Don Ho. And he did.

Slade, who hosted a bachelor auction that we infiltrated last November, had never sold women before. And rather shockingly, no moral crusaders complained this time. "When I sell men, I get called a pimp," she said. "But when I sell women I get no complaints."

Here's the process: After placing leis around the necks of all the men, the bachelorettes lined up in the blistering sun on the outside deck of the King's Head Pub. One by one, the emcee explained who they were, their hobbies and interests. After that, they each answered a quick question, like, "What makes you cry?" or "How do you define romance?" Then the men in the audience bid on a date with the bachelorette. The highest bidder wins a gift certificate for a local restaurant and then exchanges phone numbers with the woman. He then writes out a check to the SIDS Alliance.

Biter asked if we could bid for all the bachelorettes at once, throw 'em in the back of a pickup truck and then take off down the road and claim the whole thing as a tax write-off, but we were denied.

As the show began, the auctioneer asked which guys were actually there to bid and not just watch. Most of the guys raised their hands, including us.

Bachelorette No. 1, Lina, said she liked playing with big dogs. We didn't want to hear the rest of that story. "What makes you cry?" the emcee asked her, and she answered, "When someone sacrifices his whole life for the better of humanity." Oh, dear. This made us recall the famous Charles Bukowski quote: "Humanity. You never had it from the beginning." Lina's highest bid was $55.

Bachelorette No. 2, a 24-year-old software engineer named Ha, said she could play pool better than most guys. She brought in a whopping $75 and, based on ambition alone, appeared to be well worth the dough.

Oddly enough, none of the women seemed embarrassed in the least about being auctioned off like slabs of meat. Bachelorette No. 12, Marie--whose interests, according to the program, were hiking, travel, reading, fine dining, science and attempting to cook--said she wanted a guy with all of his hair and all of his teeth. We definitely qualified, so we almost bid on Marie ourselves, but we chickened out and used the fact that we didn't have our checkbook with us as an excuse.

Now, it turns out that most of the bachelorettes brought friends with them to jack the bidding up. It seemed like everyone knew everyone else, and parts of the auction appeared to be rigged from the start, but it was a great party, well worth the $5 admission price. And $800 was raised for the SIDS Alliance. The King's Head staff even roasted a pig for a traditional Hawaiian luau. We accosted the DJ to play the Hawaiian war chant before we left.

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From the August 7-13, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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