Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jane Austen's "Daisy of Love" Chapter 8


The five remaining gentlemen assembled in the kitchen. There they stood, awaiting their beloved Daisy; and soon their waiting was rewarded by the sight of the object of their sweetest affections, descending the elegant marble staircase.

She and her manservant, Mr. Rachtman, stood before them. Daisy said, "The French have a saying- La nourriture est la vie. This is one of the many sayings by which I have guaged the course of my life."

The gentlemen nodded their agreement. It was indeed a worthy estimation shared by everyone of their station. That is why they employed their servants, and dined in the finest eating establishments. Because La nourriture est la vie.

"For that reason," Daisy persisted, "I am much enamored of the gentleman who is able to cook. I enjoy eating the fruits of my intended's labor, all the while maintaining my ladylike figure. Today, I shall observe your skills as chefs here in my kitchen, as you prepare for my dining amusement a five-course meal!"

The gentlemen glanced at one another, their minds racing. Cooking was one pursuit that none of them pursued. Sinister's previous attempts at cooking were of a dish he whimsically referred to as a "Trailer Park Pizza," which consisted of a slice of bread smothered in catsup, and then covered with a slice of cheese. This was then left in the sun until the cheese had melted.

For his part, Flex's last cooking experience had been to boil a packet of Asian soup.

This is the kind of food Daisy's suitors usually cook. The reason for this is that they are all young go-getters with little time for things like "cooking."

They also probably cook with a lot of this, too.

As if reading their troubled minds, Mr. Rachtman explained, "Because you are gentlemen and, therefore, likely unskilled in the culinary arts, our kitchen servants have been charged with providing assistance and guidance in your quest to impress the lady Daisy's palette."

At this point the gentlemen noted the presence of the four servants standing a few feet from them. Despite the drabness of their dark clothing, the gentlemen were surprised to note that the two women servants had appearances that were pleasing to their eyes, and might perhaps make excellent consolation prizes should their wooing of Daisy end in heartbreak.

No; the gentlemen were there to impress Daisy.

Flex was especially determined to impress her with his culinary skills, despite the fact that they were nonexistent. "I shall show her that I can cook," he thought to himself, "even though I cannot."

The gentlemen were given one and one half hours in which to cook their individual dishes in the proposed five-course dinner. Flex would be preparing Chicken Cordon Bleu, Dave a Red Velvet Cake, Sinister a lasagna, Chi Chi French Onion soup, and Big Rig a zucchini quiche.

"This shall be the best thing Daisy has ever had in her mouth," Big Rig thought, hopefully.

The menu was charmingly out of date, obviously, but this was part of Daisy's cunning. It would allow the gentlemen to display classic cooking skills, while not being too taxing for gentlemen used to being served, rather than serving.

"Why are you crying again?" Big Rig asked Chi Chi.

"I am not crying," Chi Chi replied. "I am merely slicing onions for soup." He wiped away another tear.

Big Rig laughed. "Your tears are of an emotional and sensible nature, having nothing to do with cooking!"

Flex was surprised to discover that he was becoming most aroused by the sensual nature of the endeavor. Hammering the chicken with a tenderizer brought to mind situations most romantic, and he could not help but see the face of his beloved in the meat.

Chi Chi, having recovered from his onion slicing, set the perfect table with black tablecloth, candles, champagne, and rose petals. Dave said, in a charmingly self-deprecating tone, "Who would have thought that a group of gentlemen such as ourselves in the kitchen could produce such a fine meal?"

The gentlemen eagerly took their places at the table, with Daisy and Mr. Rachtman joining them. The first dish to be served was Big Rig's quiche.

"What is quiche?" Daisy asked, playfully.

"Is it supposed to be runny?" Mr. Rachtman asked, with equal playfulness.

Upon hearing of the ingredients, Daisy gave several gasps of appreciation. "I don't know how you could have cooked such a complicated dish!" she exclaimed.

Then, upon tasting it, she exclaimed again. "This is good!"

Everyone at the table agreed.

The next course consisted of Chi Chi's French onion soup, which met with equal praise. Chi Chi felt his small body swell with pride. "Any time I can make Daisy happy is a good day for me," he thought, tenderly.

Sinister's lasagna was next. He'd gone to the trouble to place upon the dish a signature of sorts, topping it off with a noodles arranged in a motif of skull and crossbones.

"Yum!" Daisy said.

Flex served his Chicken Cordon Bleu.

"Is it supposed to be pink?" Daisy asked, again playfully. She was having a bit of fun pretending to be completely ignorant of the fine and delicious food with which she was being wooed.

"There's ham in it," Flex replied, with his typically wry tone.

"I am shocked," Daisy conceded. "As gentlemen, I am sure you all employ servants to do your cooking for you, and sot he skills you've displayed are quite impressive."

"Do not speak too hastily," Dave said, jokingly. "You have yet to taste the desert!" He retrieved the red velvet cake he'd made, and in doing so thought, "I know how Daisy loves her sweets, and 12 Pack is a sweet gentleman." Then, he hastily corrected his own misspeaking mind: "I mean, of course, that 'Dave' is a sweet gentleman."

"This cake is most delicious of all!" Daisy exclaimed.

"I can't believe how well you all did," Mr. Rachtman complained. "Unfortunately, there is little with which to find fault."

Daisy nodded her head gravely. "Therein lies the trouble," she said. "I fear it will be difficult to decide the winner of this challenge, and who shall join me on the most romantic date I have planned for tomorrow morning." She used a napkin to elegantly wipe away the remains of red velvet cake from her lips, and surveyed the final five gentlemen. Each of them had their own unique faults and strengths. Each of them was undoubtedly a gentleman. Each of them had performed today's task with admirable equanimity. Each of them was physically attractive.

Her reverie was interrupted by an idea that suddenly occurred to her, an idea which she now articulated to the assembled gentlemen: "I should like to hear each of you tell me, in your turn, which gentleman you believe to be the most compatible with me, and which you believe to be the least compatible with me." She hastened to add, "Of course, you cannot vote for yourself in either case."

The gentlemen's faces betrayed the mixed emotions this new task inspired. Flex believed the choice should have been easy; having tasted every dish, he knew his Chicken Cordon Bleu was the best. Dave felt merely uncomfortable. Why should they help Daisy to make her decision from amongst the five of them?

Daisy turned to Chi Chi. "Who do you think is the most compatible, and who the least?"

Chi Chi hesitated only a moment before stating, earnestly, "If it's not me you want, I believe Sinister would be your most compatible. He, too, follows a musical muse-"

Mr Rachtman interrupted him. "You always say Sinister," he pointed out. "No matter what the situation."

Indeed, Daisy could not help but find herself wondering, yet again, if Sinister and Chi Chi were there for each other, or for her.

Chi Chi said, "I truly feel that way."

"And who is least compatible with me?" Daisy continued.

Here, Chi Chi answered with less alacrity. "Although this person is one who has stated that he enjoys a duel- despite their being mostly out of vogue- and is willing to face prison time to fight anyone who besmirches his character, I would have to say that I believe Big Rig is least compatible with you." He quickly turned to Big Rig and said, "I mean no disrespect to you. I merely mean that you two come from completely different worlds; hers is a world of charm and elegance, and then, well, you come from your world..." he said, his voice trailing off.

"I won't duel with you now," Big Rig replied.

Daisy now turned her attention to Sinister. "The same question to you," she said, elegantly.

"First, I will start with the person I think is least compatible, which is Big Rig," Sinister said, flinching involuntarily.

Big Rig had made no movement, merely glared at him.

"As to who is most compatible," Sinister began, only to hear his own voice become arrested mid-sentence. He sat in the chair, agonizing over the decision. He racked his mind for any sign of a perceived spark between his good friend Chi Chi and Daisy; but, alas, he could remember none.

"Please answer the question," Mr. Rachtman said. "It is ungentlemanly to waste our time."

"Flex," Sinister said, finally. "I think Flex is your most compatible."

"Excuse me," Chi Chi said, fighting back tears for the second time that day. He rushed out of the dining area and into the bathroom, where he and his tears could be alone.

"If rushing out of the room in tears at the slightest provocation doesn't prove that Daisy and I are soulmates, then I don't know what will," he thought.

Sinister rushed to the bathroom door. "Are you alright in there, my friend?"

"I'm fine," Chi Chi said. "I merely have a slight case of diarrhea from your lasagna. Rest assured I'm suffering from nothing so unmanly as offence to the point of tears by your choosing Flex over me."

"Okay," Sinister said, reassured. "Just so you're okay."

At length, Chi Chi returned to the dinner table. He could hardly fault his gentleman friend for speaking his honest opinion. After all, each man wanted what was best for Daisy.

"Now that we're all back at the table," Daisy said, "Big Rig, I pose the question to you."

"I feel Flex is most compatible, and Chi Chi is least." He gestured in Chi Chi's direction, and all eyes at the table turned to see Chi Chi's downcast countenance staring morosely at the empty plate before him. "Emotional-wise, he cannot handle a woman like you," he said, with grammar made questionable by his fervent desire for Daisy.

"Dave?" Daisy asked.

"Wait," Mr. Rachtman interrupted. "Who is 'Dave'?"

Daisy gestured toward Dave. "The gentleman formerly known as '12 Pack,'" she clarified.

Mr. Rachtman stared at Dave, slack-jawed.

"Yeah," Dave said, proudly. "'12 Pack' is called 'Dave' now." He then turned his attention to the important question at hand. "I would say Chi Chi is least compatible, while Flex is most compatible. Though Flex is youthful, he is determined and gentlemanly."

"And Flex?" Daisy asked.

"I would say 12 Pack- I mean, Dave- is most compatible. He has a good job and a successful side career as a reality television contestant, and understands the vaguaries of fame. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Chi Chi, who is least compatible."

Daisy nodded her head, musing. "This has truly opened my eyes to some things that perhaps I was blind to before," she thought. "I have decided, that since you all seem to have come to some consensus about Flex being the most compatible, then he shall be taken on the special solo date I have planned for tomorrow. Then, later in the day, both Big Rig and Chi Chi shall accompany me for another, slightly less festive affair. There I shall decide for myself if you're correct that they are the least compatible with me."

The other men think Flex is most compatible with Daisy de la Hoya. This is an insult, and I wouldn't take it if I were him.

Their bodies and souls thus satiated, they retired to the garden for some good-natured revelry, where they put into practice another favorite famous French saying, Le revelry est la vie. Seated before the fire, Sinister and Daisy displayed their connection through song, joining in a moving duet, each singing,

My love is true,
My love for you,
Is deeper than,
The deepest tan,

Moving all nearly to tears, before Daisy rose from her spot on the rock wall and declared, "I should like to retire for the evening."

Sinister rose, put down his guitar, and embraced her tenderly. "I feel we have a wonderful connection," he stated. "Our shared musical endeavor just proved that."

"Indeed," she agreed. Then she asked Dave to accompany her to her room.

Sinister, feeling gloomy as his name implied, went to the bar to mix himself a drink. "How could she take Dave to her bedchamber, after the deep and true love song we sang together?" he asked the aether. Then, to Flex, he asked, "Where is the vodka?"

"12 Pack- I mean, Dave- took it to Daisy's bedchamber," Flex said, helpfully.

"How am I to make a Tom Collins without vodka?"

"A Tom Collins is made with gin, not vodka," Flex pointed out. "And there is plenty of gin behind the bar."

"I need vodka!" Sinister declared, leaving the bar and heading up to Daisy's bedchamber.

Daisy and Dave were sharing a quiet moment of contemplative conversation on important topics, in Daisy's bedchamber. Each told the other how much they enjoyed the others' company. Finally, Daisy retired briefly to the bathroom, at which point there was a knock heard at Daisy's door.

"Hook your boy up a little bit," Sinister said, in the parlance of the most modern but intoxicated gentleman.

"What?" Dave asked, slightly less of the times.

Sinister shook the tumbler in which he'd been mixing his vodka Tom Collins. "Hook your boy up a little bit," he said, by way of clarification.

"Oh, you want some vodka," Dave said, obligingly pouring from the bottle.

"That's enough," Daisy said, not wishing to see Sinister become any more intoxicated than he was.

"Have fun you two," Sinister said, ironically. "Have a good night." He then attempted to slam the door, but his fingers had trouble with the knob. Then with the door itself. Finally, he pulled the door until it was nearly completely closed, and gave a hard tug.

"I cannot believe his temper tantrum," Daisy said. "I do not have time for temper tantrums. I hate it when people have temper tantrums. When they just start to cry for no reason. When they are overcome by sensibility. That is a pet peeve of mine; being as I myself am immune from such frivolity."

12 Pack/Dave is a veteran of two other VH1 reality shows, and as such, he was uniquely suited to keep a straight face while Daisy launched into her hypocritical rant against "tempter tantrums."

"I don't understand why he had to do that to you," Dave said.

Daisy's thoughts became deep and confused, and she gave voice to them now. "It's just so hard for me. Every time I turn around, someone is leaving the estate, or lying about being in a committed relationship, or challenging someone to a duel. Am I not amazing enough for you gentlemen?"

Dave touched her arm tenderly. "If you ever need to talk," he said, reassuringly, "let me be that person."

Downstairs, at the bar, Sinister had mixed his Tom Collins, and was appalled by the taste. "I should have used gin," he sang, as he drummed against the bar. The raucous sounds made their way up to Daisy's bedchamber where Dave and Daisy were interrupted in the middle of a touching conversation.

"We should return downstairs," Daisy said. "If we're to know no peace until we do."

"Everywhere you are, there I find peace," Dave said, deliberately.

Everyone had returned to the garden, to find warmth and comfort by the fire. Sinister, however, seemed immune to the restorative power promised by the fire's heat, as he wore upon his face an expression as gloomy as the dark sky that hovered above them.

Big Rig told him, "The only reason you're insecure is because you are physically unattractive and you lack charm."

Sinister was unmoved by Big Rig's attempts to provide him reassurance.

"I thought everyone was going to bed," Daisy said, as she and Dave rejoined the others.

Now Sinister's head rose. "It hurts me to see you physically attracted to Dave," he said. "What am I supposed to think when, after sharing with you a duet of sweet, enticing music, you choose to take Dave to your bedchamber, there to fulfill the promise laid out by the music!"

"What am I supposed to think?" Daisy exclaimed. "This is a difficult situation for me. I have been wooed by music before, don't forget, and my heart broken as a result! I do not know who is being earnest with me, who will stay or leave- my mind is plagued with turmoil! There is only one of me, and I am doing the best I can."

With this profound declaration, Daisy turned away from the gentlemen and took her leave for the night.

Sinister sat and watched her leave, fighting back tears. He had been unaware of just how profound an impact his actions were having upon the psyche of the woman he loved. Watching her disappear behind the bushes, he now fully understood, and was filled with melancholy regret. Just as he'd given chase to his friend Chi Chi earlier in the night, so to did he now give chase to his beloved Daisy.

Upon catching her, he declared, "Please accept my humblest, deepest apologies for sending you into further turmoil."

"I am overwhelmed," she said, earnestly.

"We had a lovely night, and I ruined it with my sensibility."

She nodded. "I shall see you on the morrow," she said, again taking her leave.

Sinister was in a mood of such overwhelming pain that not even the Daisy head pillows with which he slept were able to bolster his mood. "I hope I have not given my beloved proper cause to have me removed from the estate," he thought, for most of the day.

Daisy and Flex shared a date beside the pool. Their instructor was dressed in a loincloth and laurel, a comical set of wings, and nothing else. He held in his hand a quiver of arrows, and a bow. "My name is Cupid!" the man declared. "And I am here to instruct you on the shooting of the bow and arrow!"

"Are you really Cupid?" Daisy asked, wide-eyed.

He winked at them, and smiled, revealing a row of crooked teeth. Daisy laughed when she saw them, for she knew that gods had only the most perfect teeth- this "Cupid" was merely their instructor in disguise.

After their instruction, Flex and Daisy shot the arrows at a target on the far side of the pool. For each arrow shot, Daisy bestowed upon her beloved Flex a tender kiss. So carried away were the two, that they forgot their instructor, and, after so being ignored, he disappeared, perhaps flying away with the wings on his back.

At lunch, Flex decided to be less humorous and charming, and more sentimental. In this way, he hoped to show Daisy his true personality.

"Were you surprised the others chose you as my most compatible match?" Daisy asked.

"No," Flex replied, honestly. "The only strike against me is my youth. But this, of course, is no strike at all."

Daisy nodded in agreement. "What kind of person are you looking for?"

"You," he replied. "Everything you do entices me. Such as coming into my bathroom. So very charming!"

Daisy thought, "Could this be the man of my dreams?"

They shared tender kisses for the remainder of the lunch.

After their date, Daisy returned to her bedchamber, where she was accosted by a troubled Sinister.

"I am here for you," he explained, "and not my friend Chi Chi. He is a gentleman and a dear friend, but I hope you send him away from the estate."

Daisy was taken aback by Sinister's candor.

"He is my friend and he will understand. He wants the same thing I do. My feelings for you are strong."

"I have been waiting to hear one of you say that very thing to me," Daisy replied. They shared a tender kiss.

Daisy has been worried that Sinister and Chi Chi were not there for her, but for each other. But this is ridiculous...

...How could they NOT be there for her?

Daisy took Big Rig and Chi Chi to a public house, where both men were eager to prove to their beloved that they were the gentleman for her. Daisy was filled with uncertainty, and her mood was reflected in her face, which had lost some of the luster the men had so often commented upon.

"Chi Chi," she said, addressing Chi Chi, "I worry that you do not do enough to demonstrate for me your true feelings."

Chi Chi shrugged.

"Are you not jealous of the other gentlemen?"

"Why should I care if other men flirt with you, or purchase for you intoxicants? That is good for your self-esteem, and it saves me money."

Big Rig grumbled his disagreement.

"Well, as much a gentleman as you are, you are still given over to occasional bouts of violence," Chi Chi said, again involuntarily flinching.

"I am not violent," Big Rig said. "The proof of that can be found in the fact that you are still upright, and I am not challenging you to a duel right now."

Daisy said, "I grew up in a household of turmoil, so I need to be sure that any gentleman to whom I pledge my heart can control himself."

"I can control myself to a real extent," Big Rig said.

Chi Chi said, "I want you to be happy," with such earnestness that Daisy could almost feel her heart breaking.

Her mind was still vexed even upon her return to the estate, where she consulted with her advisor and manservant Mr. Rachtman.

"The first thing to consider," he began, "is, are you falling in love with Big Rig, as he is obviously falling for you?"

Daisy nodded gravely. "That is a most interesting query. For now, let us table it, and turn our attention to Sinister and Chi Chi, for they are much on my mind. I think Chi Chi believes Sinister is more compatible with me than he is himself."

Mr. Rachtman nodded.

"I believe the two of them should not remain in the estate together."

"I agree," Mr. Rachtman said. "Tonight is the night to separate them."

Having come to this agreement, Mr. Rachtman took his leave of Daisy, so that she could prepare herself for the elimination ceremony.

And so it was with some shock that Mr. Rachtman later observed Daisy sending Big Rig home. "I wish I was falling in love with you," she said, earnestly. "But, alas, I am not."

Big Rig, with tears coming out of his head, left the estate in as gentlemanly a manner as possible. On this night, he regretted two things: The first was that he had ever joked about Chi Chi crying. The second was that he had not challenged any of the other gentlemen to a duel when he'd had the chance.

But, alas, there are no "do overs" in "Daisy of Love."

Flex pic source.
Ramen pic source.
Sinister and Chi Chi pic source.
Daisy crying pic source.
Jack pic source.
12 Pack I Love Money pic source.


shampoo said...

yay! big rig's gone! lol on Daisy's tirade against an excess of sensibility. I haven't seen the episode yet, but now I'm looking forward to it.

shampoo said...

I have seen half the episode and now I wish big rig was still there. because daisy didn't send him home. the producers did because they do not even want to find out what he does when london dramatically re-enters the game, I mean daisy's heart.

Ricky Sprague said...

Thanks shampoo. I had a hard time with this one, for some reason. I wasn't "feeling it."

That is an excellent theory about the producers whispering in Daisy's ear about London's return. Big Rig probably would have flipped out, and punched him. As it is, Flex might try to sucker punch him from behind (but probably not- his self-esteem is too high to really feel threatened by him), and Sinister might throw a tantrum and bang on the bar or something, but otherwise, London's pretty face should be safe.

shampoo said...

I saw in the comments of a video someone purporting to be from vh1 reminding everyone who protested against big rig's outster that eliminations are made with the producers' consent. I don't know if he was who he said he was, but that made sense. I guess daisy tells them what she wants to do and they tell her if she can do that or if something else must be done. or maybe they just flat out decide.

I was disappointed in the lack of a cupid costume. but with a $5/date budget I guess it's out of the question. hehe

I am getting the impression that neither daisy nor chichi are giving sinister the attention he craves. and he's feeling very alone in that.

A.Jaye said...

Big Rig sgould try out for a real reality show - The TUF finale shows that the British are good as hooligans.

London incoming.

lissachelle0991 said...

I swear to God, you need your own column in People magazine or something!

shampoo said...

A.Jaye, Big Rig tried out for TUF and somehow got cast on DoL. I think he did like Daisy after he met her. And would've be happy if she'd picked him. He seemed to expect she would which is a little odd and makes me wonder about that house.

Rumor has it there's STILL someone left with a girlfriend. I mean, damn, I don't even blame Daisy for taking it personally at this point.

Also, Rikki should have briefed her to keep the straight ones, if she's the only female in sight, they'll become interested eventually (or become monks or turn gay). Clearly, with all the makeup being worn, he might have needed to tell her which ones are the straight ones.

Unless Daisy is really a dude.