This producer is so excited that he sounds like he might wet himself. I dutifully agree that, yes, many of us are now worried we might have turned gay. As he continues to probe me for details, I make up names for my jilted roommate bachelor ("Hal") and the jokester transvestite-rental guy ("Mike").
I agree to fax him some proof that my bachelor party actually took place--"I got to protect the sanctity of our show," he explains. Yes, of course you do.
As it turns out, the Judge Joe Brown producer was right to stake his claim.
Over the next two days, I'm bombarded with offers and counteroffers from some of TV's finest legal issue-resolvers.
A producer from The People's Court calls me in an attempt to derail Judge Joe Brown's inside track. She pleads with me, "Please don't sign anything with the Judge Joe Brown show!" I tell her that I'm still fielding offers.
Next, a producer from the Judge Maria Lopez show e-mails me: "I'd like to strike a deal with you today, considering that other shows are calling you ... I promise I'll make it worth your while."
Worth my while? Well, butter me sideways! I'm hot s**t in the TV courtroom world. It was time to give one of these shows exactly what they'd been asking for.
I phone the Lopez producer, ready to play court TV hardball. "Are you guys willing to wheel and deal?" I ask.
She sweetens the deal offered by the Brown people, enticing me with more cash. Yes, cash.
After much deliberation, I decide to go with Judge Joe. His strong, firm courtroom demeanor makes me feel like this is a place where a man wronged by transvestite strippers can truly have his day in court.
I assemble a couple of improv actor-friends to play Hal and Mike, and arrive early to find a line of people waiting for a chance to be part of the Judge Joe Brown studio audience. Wearing a suit, I'm in character and trying out a facial expression I call "I Like to Eat Babies." Faux-jilted groomsman Hal walks by my side.