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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sorry, But I Just Can't Marry a Woman That Doesn't Look Hot on the JumboTron

John Jodzio

Hey, Sarah, remember how ten seconds ago I was just down on one knee and I gave you that ring and everyone cheered for us? Well, I’d like to take it back now. The ring, the proposal, everything. I know, I know, you are still jumping around and you are talking to your parents on your cellphone and everyone in our section is backslapping and handshaking and taking a gander at your huge new ring, but I just don’t think this is going to work out for me now, O.K.?

Why? Well, I just finished watching the replay of my proposal in dynamic, pixelated high resolution and I’ve got to tell you that I made a JumboTron-size mistake. Look here, there’s the replay of the proposal up there on the screen right now. Now watch closely—see right there, when I snap open the ring box and I look up into your eyes and ask for your hand in marriage—I look really great, huh? My tight black T-shirt accentuates my pecs and I am exuding a confident, yet somewhat shy air. Good stuff.

Now look at you, right there, jeez. See how your face pinches up when I pop the question? Ouch. In real life, you are a scorchingly hot woman, but on the JumboTron, where it counts, your beauty just wilts away. I don’t know what to say. Honestly, look at that, right there when you scream the word “YES!” to me, I hardly even recognize you. You look jowly, a little jaundiced, and vaguely masculine. Like a hydrocephalic Andie MacDowell after a hard night of drinking.

Don’t fret, darling. This is one of life’s great mysteries—why some people look hot in real life and some people look hot in real life AND on the JumboTron. I am not sure if there are any scientists out there who have ever studied this in a sterile lab environment, but I would be willing to argue that some people simply lose their beauty in the translation of their flesh into megapixels. Or that it has to do with the fact that real beauty is more readily available when your face is enlarged to 50 square feet. Ultimately, I don’t know which one it is. All I really know now is that I hope you find a new apartment pretty damn quick.

Yes, what this boils down to, Sarah, is that I can’t marry you. I’m sorry, but I attend a number of major sporting and entertainment events each year and I just can’t be with a girl that doesn’t make everyone absolutely drool when she is put on the kissing cam or randomly shown doing the wave or even yelling, “Charge!” Call me a purist, but I just can’t accept anything less than drool.

What a shame it is to have to return to the shallowness of single life, but I suppose all of us have our own cross to bear (see above for yours). There is no other way for a crazy dreamer like me though, huh? I just know that she is out there somewhere and as a soldier of love I am compelled to soldier on accordingly, no matter the cost, to find her.

John Jodzio is a writer living in Minneapolis. Recent fiction of his has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Concern,, In Posse, and Bullfight Review. He has been published in Opium Print #2 and has a new story coming out shortly in Opium Print #3 that won the First Annual Opium Fiction Prize.