James Lileks
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Minnesotans, to the barricades! One of our own was humiliated by a Peruvian rake on national TV.

Perhaps you’ve heard: Perfectly nice gorgeous Minnesota woman gets a marriage proposal on “The Bachelor.” And then he says, “You know, on second thought, I take it back.” And goes back to his ex.

Everyone gets dumped at some point in their life, but if you get your walking papers at a back booth at Perkins, it’s a fairly private event.

This was winning an Academy Award, walking up to the stage as millions watch, then being told you didn’t win — and being hit on the head with the Oscar statue.

Let’s be honest: This wasn’t exactly the equivalent of releasing someone’s secret text messages. We’re pretty sure she knew she was on TV, what with all the cameras and lights.

The contract probably said something like “Participant acknowledges that the purpose of the show is the crude, ceaseless yanking of the heartstrings of millions who use the series to compensate for their own lack of charismatic drama, and hence Participant grants full right to be treated like a meat-flavored chew-toy thrown into a kennel of rescue canines previously used for illegal dog fights.”

That said, it was just mean and cruel.

Any decent person with a sense of empathy would think: Well, what can we do?

How about we give her all the special jobs? She can be Princess Kay of the Milky Way at the Fair. They’ll carve her in butter, then carve her rival in cheap margarine and roll that into the Swine Barn. Make her Aquatennial Queen! Wouldn’t that be nice?

Well, no. Sympathy, however earnest, essentially reduces her to someone famous for being jilted.

A more Minnesotan thing to do would be to somehow get the jilter to move here, and then give him the full passive-aggressive freeze-out treatment.

Billboards with his face, and a slogan: “Oh, we’re sure you thought you were doing the right thing.”

When he buys something at the SuperAmerica, the clerk doesn’t say, “Thank you” but just gives him a tight smile and a nod.

At the grocery store line, we let him cut in, then say, “Oh, go ahead, you first. That must be how people act where you’re from. Oh, Peru? My sister went there. She got worms. Of course you’re probably immune — right? — because you’re born with them?”

Eventually he would crack, and wander the skyways a broken man, stopping strangers at random to insist that he was really a good man.

We can do this. He was cruel to one of our own. The least we can do is be really, really less than nice to him.