When I hired Paula Abdul to be my life judge, I had hoped she'd provide the self-esteem boost I so desperately needed. I figured some positive judging from her would help me get out of my funk and motivate.
Things started off great. Paula moved right into my home, and right away, her kind judging made me feel better about myself. For instance, when my sons complained that the eggs I made for them were runny, Paula Abdul said they didn't know what they were talking about.
"Your eggs shine, Christopher," she said. "I could tell that you gave your all to the eggs, and that' what I like about you-because you give your all and you shine, just like your eggs shine. Way to go, Christopher! Way to go!"
Nobody had ever told me that I shined before. I felt awesome.
"Thanks, Paula Abdul," I said. "That means a lot."
"My pleasure," she replied. "You have any donuts?"
Later that day, I was feeling really lazy and unproductive. Instead of forcing myself to get to work, I turned on the television and watched a rerun of Fear Factor. Afterwards, I really beat myself up for wasting so much time. Thankfully, Paula was right by my side to lift my spirits.
"You're a showman!" Paula Abdul lauded. "You went in there and gave it all you had, and that' the type of thing I like about you. That' what America likes about you-how you give it your all and how you just have a way about you that' infectious. And Christopher, gosh, you shine, and I just think the world of you and you're going to go a long, long way!"
"I'm so glad you said that, Paula Abdul," I said. "That helps a lot. Plus, I think Joe Rogan is terribly underappreciated."
"Me, too," Paula Abdul cooed. "You have any decongestants? I have the sniffles."
Throughout the rest of the week, Paula Abdul kept chiming in with praise that helped build my confidence. She deemed my half-hearted vacuuming "heroic" and my five-hour Gears of War XBox 360 marathon an "inspiration for dreamers everywhere." When I accidentally drove over a squirrel on the way to the donut shop, she clapped like a seal and said it was "bold, daring, magnificent and bold."
I hadn't felt this good about myself in a long time. I mean, this was the woman who sang "Straight Up" and appeared in videos with Keanu Reeves and a cartoon cat-and here she was saying I was a shiny and infectious hero.
My wife, however, was less enthusiastic about Paula Abdul' life judging. She confronted me about it one evening while I was watching The Bachelor.
"All the donuts and Sudafed are gone," she said.
"So?" I answered, slightly annoyed. I hate being interrupted while watching my shows. The great Chris Harrison deserves my complete attention.
"So all the donuts and Sudafed are gone, and your life judge is dancing on the dining room table with powdered sugar on her face," she clarified.
Sure enough, when I peered into the dining room, Paula Abdul was standing on the table, slow-dancing and making out with an empty box of donuts.
"Hey there, superstar!" she beamed. "Stay true to yourself because that' what keeps you going and striving for more in your very, very, very talented journey. And we're out of donuts again."
From then on her behavior became increasingly erratic. She continued to shower me with kind life judging, but her praise often bordered on the incoherent. "You are a beautiful moth who enjoys melons and cornflakes," she told me after I hadn't bothered to recycle an empty tuna can.
"So spread your wings and fly, beautiful moth, all the way to Africa or the library, and create magic that is sparkly and marvelous."Soon after that, she started to ask bizarre favors, like begging us to start buying NyQuil in bulk or requesting permission to call me "Emilio."
One time, she told me to drive her to the dog track. Once there, she had me take off my shirt and sing "Ribbon in the Sky" to her while eating a hot pork sandwich. It didn't feel the slightest bit shiny or heroic.
"I don't understand what' going on here, Paula Abdul," I told her, holding back tears. All of the dog track people were staring at me as pork grease dribbled down my chin.
"You're doing an excellent job, Emilio," she said, popping a Sudafed. "You take my breath away and you love melons and cornflakes and dog track pork sandwiches and America is falling at your feet and it wants to hug you and shower you with love because you radiate a likeability factor that' bold and daring and magnificent and bold!"
"But I don't feel safe," I said.
"Keep singing!" Paula Abdul ordered. "You have a gift for touching people and making them smile, so hold on to your dreams because as long as you hold on to your dreams and keep them true to your heart and buy me donuts and antihistamines, you will be an enormously successful cantaloupe that will take the industry by storm!"
"I don't want to be an enormously successful cantaloupe!" I yelled, tossing the dog track pork sandwich aside and making a break for the nearest exit.
"Come back, Emilio!" Paula Abdul cried out to me, but I was done. Her overly encouraging life judging was second to none, but things had gotten way out of hand. Besides, I'm a tenor, and "Ribbon in the Sky" was a horrible song choice for me.
When I returned home I sponged down my chest and hugged my wife and kids. It was then that I realized I didn't need Paula Abdul to tell me how great I was: I had been doing great all along. Best of all, an America' Funniest Home Videos marathon had just started. I sent my sons out for some donuts, jumped on the couch and waited for the laughs. That Tom Bergeron is so underrated.