The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Throwdown

I was going to blog about LK's Baby Race (which you knew had to be on the Great Reality Television horizon at some point) mostly because who doesn't love a news opening like this: "...where three couples are testing different fertility treatments - who has been the first to conceive? One couple has undertaken IVF, one couple acupuncture and the other couple have attempted to reach their 'peak' nutritionally. But which ones have got pregnant? Sam and Nev are the lucky couple and they have done it purely through diet." IVF? Apparently not as helpful as eating whole grains. ICSI? Not as effective as more fruits and vegetables!

The fact that the first couple to conceive was seeing a nutritionist rather than an RE only means that you will now be bombarded with advice from people who have watched this television program. Advice such as, "you don't really need fertility treatments! You just need to eat more oily fish!" or "my next door neighbour's daughter's friend's cousin tried that diet and she got pregnant the next month."

In the great tradition of Americans ripping off UK television programs, this is how I envision the Great Baby Race as played out around America's favourite grill--Throwdown With Bobby Flay.

Transcript for the October 8, 2008 episode: Bun in the Oven and Fish on the Grill

Pages 1--3

Bobby Flay (voice over): [setting: walking in downtown Manhattan outside Cornell offices] Even though I have no background in gynecology or reproductive endocrinology, I was excited when I opened my folder and saw today's throwdown challenge--get an infertile woman knocked-up. And who better to challenge to a throwdown than Cornell's very own Pak Chung!

Assistant with Blond Hair: [opening the door to the waiting room] You ready for a Pak Attack, Bobby?

Bobby: [laughing to self. Enters Pak Chung's office. Chung looks up from some paperwork in surprise]. Hey, Pak--I've heard you have great success at getting a bun in the oven. While I don't have a strong background in baking, I'd like to challenge you to a little throwdown.

Pak Chung: I think you're mistaken. I'm a reproductive endocrinologist. I help people conceive and maintain a pregnancy--I'm not a chef.

Bobby: Well, fertility is totally tied to what you eat. That's why some people can't get pregnant. They're not eating the right foods.

Pak Chung: No, no, it's much more complex than that. Though diet can play a role in hormone production, treating infertility is not as simple as...

Bobby: You say to-mah-to and I say to-may-to, right, Pak?

Bobby (voice over): [setting: Bobby's kitchen] Everyone knows that while real hot crossed buns are made with milk and flour, getting a bun in the oven takes a low-carb, high-antioxidant diet. I'm planning on wowing the judges with some grilled fish topped with my famous mango salsa, a sweet cucumber relish, and low-sugar blueberry tarts for dessert to help balance glucose production for optimal fertility.

Bobby to assistants: I was going to go with a series of Mediterranean spreads: you know--spreads on breads and spread your legs--but I really think the grilled fish is going to knock the socks off the judges. Let's get to work!

Pak: [setting: trying to close the door to an examination room. In the background, a woman is clearly in the stirrups] I'm going to have to ask you to leave. This is ridiculous. A chef can't get a woman pregnant.

Bobby (voice over): [setting: cooking in test kitchen] Except when that chef is preparing the perfect blend of fresh fruits and vegetables in order to protect genetic material through antioxidants.

Pages 7--8

Assistant with Brown Hair: Bobby has been given the assignment of getting Angela Ashtonberry pregnant by feeding her prepared meals rich in essential fats from oily fish and zinc for optimal egg quality. Angela has been trying to conceive for three long months and she has a heartbreaking tale of sadness and frustration.

[Setting: long shot of Angela Ashtonberry walking through an empty field holding a single flower. Switch to a close shot of Ashtonberry sitting on the porch outside her home]

Angela: It's been really hard. We've been trying for three months now. Each time I get my period...(Angela pauses and tries to collect herself). I haven't tried stuff like charting my temperature or ovulation predictor kits or examining cervical mucous because I've heard that those things are a waste of time. Good fertility is tied to what you eat. I try to limit the amount of alcohol and caffeine I consume, but it's really hard.

Angela (continued): I wouldn't try things like IVF or one of those weird test tube things because I don't think they really work either. I mean, those tubes are really small and I don't think they can really fit a baby inside. My friend tried it once and it cost like half a million dollars and she didn't actually have a baby until she started eating more strawberries and carrots.

Pages 12--15

Bobby (voice over): Our judges for the throwdown are Jack Bender from Cafe Deluxe known for his high-antioxidant fruit concoctions and Allison Cohen from the GNC on East 59th Street. My grilled fish with mango salsa is on plate A. We're still waiting for Pak Chung to prepare the signature dishes he uses to get his patients preggers.

Pak Chung: I'm not participating in this. It's a mockery of the medical reality of infertility. It's like saying that you can cure cancer by drinking grape juice.

Bobby (calling over his shoulder to blond assistant): Write that one down for a future throwdown.

Allison Cohen: I'm going to have to go with Bobby's grilled fish. It's high in essential oils which you can also intake through our GNC Salmon Oil 1000--it's 180 soft gel capsules for the low price of $12.99 at GNC.

Jack Bender: I thought Pak Chung was going to be the clear winner based on his high live birth rate. But now that I've tasted Bobby's cucumber relish, I really have to rethink my vote.

Bobby (voice over): And the real success? Allison Ashtonberry is now pregnant after eating a diet low in carbs and high in B vitamins. She is expecting her first child this upcoming spring.

Allison: Right in time for English peas to be coming into season. Thank you, Bobby. I feel so blessed to have been chosen for this throwdown. I can't believe we're finally pregnant after all of those months--three long months--of trying to conceive.

Pak Chung: She wasn't even infertile! Does your production staff understand the multitude of factors determining infertility?

Bobby (voice over): So to all you cooks and reproductive endocrinologists out there, keep doing what you do. But ask yourself this, are you ready for a throwdown?

37 comments:

chicklet said...

Oh my god, what is wrong with people that they'd make this into a tv show??? Jesus, the assvice is gonna be aflowing...

Chili said...

Who on earth would think that would make good television? It's going to create a frickin' nightmare for IF's everywhere!

Lori said...

I just want to know how you got double (or triple) helpings of creativity and wit.

Bean said...

First of all, OMG! That's really effing unbelievable. However, if it had to be done, thank you Mel for using it to make me laugh once again. hahahahahahahahaha...

Ann said...

Perfect send up of the Bobby Flay Throwdown! But really, who thinks it's an ok thing to have (on television no less) a baby race to see who gets pregnant first? That's horrid. I know when we were trying, it felt like a race, but I always worked to remind myself that that wasn't the case.

Not to mention the fact that on a one off case like this, it means absolutely nothing for the rest of us which couple conceives first, but like you say, it's likely to lead to more people thinking they're being helpful when they mention that really all you need is to eat more fruits and fish - oh, and stay off the caffeine and alcohol. Gah!

Inconceivable said...

OOOOOOOo, Im ashamed for TV all over the world. This is serioulsy and outrage.............. NO way can I even beleive this

PCOSMama said...

Seriously, you are amazing! I can totally see that on reality tv - and sadly, unless by some freak chance there is an infertile at the station that gets their hands on it, a show like that would be approved as a great idea!
I hope to God that never happens!

Leah said...

OMG, this is exactly what I needed tonight. Thank you! The sad part is that your script is probably no less ridiculous than the shit they churned out on the real TV show.

For the record, "spreads on breads and spread your legs" made me choke on my lemon-lime seltzer. Bubbles up the nose!

Starfish said...

Hilarious tv parody aside, I am truly horrified that this was a tv show. Lord in Heaven, PLEASE tell me that no one in my family saw that show....even though I no longer have the equipment, no doubt I will STILL get ridiculous advice about nutrition!

Patience said...

You, my friend, are hilarious - truly....

My question is, when will the world get some class? When will 'someone'out there realise that some things just should not be put out there for the entertainment of others? Just disgusting...

FattyPants said...

Wtf? I would like to know what obstacles these couples were overcoming and what hormone supporting herbs the nutritionalist couple was on because I call bullshit. I think they got lucky. The american version should be interesting.

Jess said...

I.Love.It.

But seriously, the first person who tells me that I wasted money on adoption and IVF when I probably needed to eat better wins a good beating.

And btw, I mentioned the IF TV thing to my husband and he stared at me. He was like, "seriously? That's sick." and he NEVER thinks anything's a big deal.

So you know, it must actually BE sick.

Drowned Girl said...

We don't have those whows, but hasn't stopped me laughing my socks off!

May said...

You have no idea. I am British and I have to share a country with this. And yes, the 'are you eating enough fish?' assvice is now everywhere. Answer, yes, I do eat enough fish. And enough veg. And fruit. And nuts and seeds. And I avoid caffeine, sweets, white flour, potatoes. No, it's not helping (though my hair looks lovely, thank you). I didn't ovulate when I weighed 120 pounds, I really don't see how losing weight now is going to make me ovulate now. No, I don't eat dairy. You mean I should eat dairy? No? Dairy is bad? OK. Hang on, wait, dairy is good? MAKE UP YOUR DAMN' MINDS.

*sobs bitterly into her herbal tea*

ms. c said...

WOW, Mel, you're GOOD. I'm very impressed with you reality tv skills.

(That British show- what a load of bull.)

Beagle said...

I DID try the diet thing (pre blogging phase) the Julia Indichova version of heal your body and mind and get pg without an RE.

I DID NOT work for us.

Anyway . . . your script was great!

Anonymous said...

But what if you can't relax when Bobby Flay is in the room?

You are a genius. The makers of the TV show are lucky you have me laughing too hard to hunt them down like animals in the wood.

Ellen K. said...

Bwahahaha -- great satire!

Chebbles' Mama said...

Well I guess everything is solved now. We'll just have to await the "Gimme-a-Baby" cookbook. Imagine the $$$ we'll all save!

Carla said...

Mel, I can't stop laughing! Hopefully we will all be able to laugh at the assvice we are sure to get from this!
Carla

Jamie said...

Thanks for the laugh this morning... I really hope they don't start this in the US!! :)

Meg said...

LOL - that was wicked funny!!!! Classic....

But what dumbasses for making a show like that....

Aurelia said...

Mel, you are too too funny. I think I love you.

I can't wait until that show comes to Canada, hehe. As soon as it airs I can lay a complaint with the CTRC for violation of the broadcasting code, get it yanked, get a fine levied against the hideous jerks who produced it and maybe even a tidy monetary settlement on behalf of infertiles everywhere.

Hmmmm, don't you guys have something like this in the U.S.? Like the FCC?

Are there any lawyers reading this? Class Action anyone?

Heather said...

God, I needed that laugh so bad...Thank You! You are hilarious.

Unfortunately, I'm sure I will be one of many to get that "insider's tip" on getting pregnant. UGH!

DD said...

I'm glad I didn't watch the show (or even heard of it before now) as I'm sure we would have been out the next day shopping for a new TV after I had thrown a melon through the screen.

I have enough "reality" in my life, I don't need to watch some one else's on TV. And what were these couples' fertility "issues" anyway?

GAH!

Anne said...

Baby race? Are you kidding me? Was it interspersed with shots of them MAKING the baby? Love your Bobby Flay script - please be careful that it doesn't get into the wrong hands - I want to be able to watch the cooking network!

Nica said...

Okay, I am doing all sorts of wacky nutritious eating and pounding vitamins and herbal concoctions AND accupuncture... but even *I* don't think it's enough.

Dianne/Flutter said...

OMG! Where do get this stuff! HAHA....BEAUTIFUL! Love it. :)

Tigger said...

I got irritated just reading it...probably because I recognize all the actors as being people in my life. I think if this ends up as an actual show I will throw my TV out the window.

Allison said...

Wow, Mel, that was amazingly funny! I laughed so hard I almost forgot about how horrible that show sounds!

Grad3 said...

You know, I think that this could actually happen... yikes!

My favorite part is where Pak Chung says, "She wasn't even infertile..." Lol... oh man did I need that!

Do I want to know what your veiws about 'The Secret' were? :)

A.M.S. said...

Oh, hell. My freaky, nut-job sister is already trying to tell us that all of our health problems are because we do things like eat tomatoes and onions. Well, duh. We're Italian...what does she THINK we're going to put in the sauce? All I need is for her to get wind of this. She'll expect me to live off of wheat grass and flax seeds or something similar. (No offense to anyone who likes wheat grass...I've given it many a try, I just can't do it. As for flax seeds, they're great but I wouldn't want them to be the main feature of my diet.)

tryingin2007 said...

what a frickin' riot! thanks for making my crappy day a little nicer.

Kami said...

Mel, I loved your story. I just don't know whether to laugh or cry.

In and Out of Luck said...

What a fabulous send-up of a truly sickening television concept.

One piece of assvice I got recently - my mother read an article saying that tap water causes reproductive problems. There is literally no end to what you can hear.

daisychain said...

You, well, you know! I mean really, the stuff you can pull off. Amazing.

Come to think of it, I have not had enough IVF and DIET trauma in my life...where do I sign up!
Daisy

Stacie said...

Now, did all the women have reasonably close, medically diagnosed issues. For example, did they all have severe MFI on the one part and progesterone issues for the other? Because, unless they have controlled the variables as much as possible,,,

The idiocy of the world never ceases to amaze me. Let's all go on a nice vacation with good food...that will solve everything, right? Or was it clowns? Didn't clowns solve everything a whie ago? In that case, this post will help someone with its funny...