YOU know when you are joining your cows, but your neighbour is joining through the fence, and his bull smashes through into your paddock, and your bull smashes into his paddock, and then you have no blooming idea who is who and what has joined what?
That is this season of Farmer Wants A Wife.
It finally arrived - the Wednesday after the Olympic Games.
As we watched divers twirl, skateboarders soar, runners pound and fencers... fence, in the back of our minds, like a rival potential wife watching the favourite get chosen for a date, we were thinking about how those five blokes were getting on.
Those five farmers (well, four farmers and Sam) who'd taken us all on their love journey. Plus a journey to Delegate.
With Tokyo's Olympic flame extinguished and Bruce McAvaney put back in mothballs for four more years (or will it be three?), it was back to the "Barrel Room" to find out what these rural romeos had been up to, one month since the final episode.
Let's break this down, farmer by farmer (plus Sam).
SO once we have all the slow-motion walking, enthusiastic hand-shaking and lots of calling each other "boys", as well as asking producer-forced questions on the verandah that no one answers, we finally sit down with Farmer Will.
He is growing a mullet. Yep.
Will has already dropped the line: "I hope some love stories come out of this", so I am already expecting him to sit down on the fancy couch with Nat and pull out a bucket of yabbies to sort.
So there's plenty of boring recaps of the whole love story, which let's be honest feels like it happened 10 years ago.
We recap the snogging, the chicken pecking, the hippo flirting, and then Will says it again - his favourite date was with Kristina.
If Jaimee does come down those stairs, I'm pretty sure she's going to be carrying a shovel.
But then they announce it - Jaimee is here.
And down she comes and we are expecting a romantic embrace - bus alas, it's like when you see a friend you haven't seen in 20 years and you can only remember their nickname. So it's like "hey...mate" with an awkward hug.
They say they are still together. Cue the bunch of shots of her helping out on the farm, dog patting and that sort of jazz.
Apparently she has met his family and is great with his nieces and nephews. I'm really glad she likes children - she might need to real soon.
It all seems pretty awkward - you know, like when you are going to pen up in the shed and you bust a shearer having a wee in the catching pens. It felt exactly like that.
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There's lots of talk of what the future will hold, and then before Jaimee bursts into tears or that cool wallowing pig wanders into the barrel room, they are ushered off onto a couch.
And literally sit a few feet apart. The whole time. It was like Will had a case of the scours and Jaimee is trying to keep her distance.
Nat even tried singing out "Jaimee, stop being flirty and lovey-dovey". We look to see Jaimee and Will sitting 10 feet apart and looking like the bureau has just predicted a five-year drought.
Something tells me this is not all it seems. Can anyone hear a baby crying? Maybe it was the producers.
EARLIER in the evening, Farmer Rob successfully shut down "Farmer" Sam, with some well-timed dry humour, and it doesn't stop there.
Sam decided to fire a shot at honest Farmer Rob, "eight girls, nine girls and you couldn't pick on?" he laughs.
To which Farmer Rob quickly replies, "12 actually Sam".
Then this from the big dog, "I didn't give each one of them a hickie like you." BOOM.
Now be quiet Sam.
Our man from Snowy River is called up onto the club lounge. His highlights' reel goes for twice as long as the others for obvious reasons. He speaks of there being no lightning bolt moment, no passion, no spark, etc.
Then admits he and Vici were different spiritually. Nat probes and invites Rob to expand on that notion.
Then this piece of gold from Rob, "Vici's got a shaman in Byron Bay and they're light on the ground in the Monaro, so I don't know how she would have gone down......there," he trails off.
There was an icy moment between Nat and Rob, when he told her the program is a "bizarre concept" that doesn't translate in the real world, which anyone in their right mind would agree with.
Nat doesn't agree. Blasphemy.
In fact, I would say it never occurred to her that inviting multiple potential lovers into your home to cohabitate and battle for top honours was weird at all.
Nat rattles of the stats we never stop hearing about, "nine marriages in Australia, 200 worldwide."
I notice, the divorces are never mentioned.
Rob tells us his "farm gate's always open," which if my source is correct, it was very much left open by an unwitting producer who let a mob of sheep out.
IF it wasn't for the shots of Matt hand-feeding some plump Angus cows, one would suspect he was a chilli grower, or that he sniffs paprika just before going on camera.
His continually red eyes immediately indicate there's something more going on than simply trying to snag a girl.
As it turns out, he's got some pretty heavy excuses for the teary look. His father's passing before the series, and then his grandfather's passing the week prior to this episode, was obviously weighing on him.
So he can be forgiven for not slipping a ring on the finger of his chosen girl, Tara. Incredibly, Tara is there though, sitting on the lounge beside him, showing how supportive she is.
Based on her track record, she may have simply up and left at any moment but the producers must have put velcro or something on the back of her dress to prevent that happening.
In reminiscing about his experience with the show, Matt delivers the insightful line about the women he wined and dined with: "I couldn't have gone through this experience without them."
It is a very true statement. Imagine if the producers had forgotten to line up some gals to be potential wives? It'd just be a show with images of farmers doing stuff, and Landline's already got that covered.
Nat asks Matt if he kissed all the girls. He denies he did. Although, footage then plays of him locking lips with a considerable number of his pack.
Truth is he'd probably forgotten his Chapstick and this was the next best way of grabbing some free lips product.
It's not the only indicator old Matt is a thrifty operator.
Apparently Tara did seven hours on a tractor baling hay. That's a fair saving in labour costs right there.
Matt gives a big wrap to Tara and says the reality of the situation hit home and that there was so much going on it wasn't fair to pursue something with her at this stage.
He trots out: "It all comes down to me." For Seinfeld fans, that's the equivalent of the old: "It's not you, it's me" card.
So it's a no-go for Matt and Tara at this stage.
They end with admitting that: "We still talk daily."
Yeah, probably about the next baling contract.
EARLIER, when the boys assembled on the porch, "Farmer" Sam announced he had been "speaking with a special someone", most likely a therapist, during the off-season.
All the boys cheered with excitement.
Cut to the barrel room and it is Sam's turn to scoot up onto the lounge in his very hemmed jeans.
Like Rob, he left the show empty-handed.
He was casually going about his business doing all manner of things, not at all on the hunt for love, when alas he tells us he "ran into this particular someone", which is super explanatory.
It happens to be his mate's sister. That tried and true dating method.
The mate's sister is called Rhiannon.
We are shown footage of them blissfully roaming about the lease property, before Sam takes her for a driving lesson on his Tonka tractor, and repeatedly bangs on about "riding the clutch".
I rewind just to double check that's what he said....and yep....it was definitely CLUTCH.
WELL, after rushing through the hot mess that was the other farmers, we get to Farmer Andrew.
The other boys got five minutes. And it looks as though there is going to be 40 minutes dedicated to Andrew. Uh oh - feels like a Hail Mary pass here.
Recap, recap, kissing under the mistletoe (you guys need more possums), recap, recap, "I'll get more wood", recap, "mallows"', recap, recap.
We have shots of Jess turning up at Andrew's place (which had every farmer watching saying "gee it's dried off a bit there"), and Jess and Andrew wearing matching shirts.
Jess says it has been great to get away from the craziness of the experiment - you know, with a full camera and production crew. Sounds just like a normal day on the farm.
Jess has got involved with the seven people who live in Delegate. They turn up at the pub and producers have coerced some poor bugger in a bluey to sit on the verandah and say "Hi Jess" as they walk in. I'm totally convinced.
There's quotes like: "I never thought I would meet someone like you," while he drags her on the wool pack full of dags through the shearing shed. Ah, every girl's dream.
Jess turns up in a yellow dress and everyone says "awww".
She says Andrew is the kind of man who helps little old ladies with their groceries - you are all set, Rob.
There's lots of enjoying each other's company, calling wedding number 10, I love you babe, blah, blah.
And then comes the awkward dancing in the barrel room, including Rob and Sam doing a Blue Light Disco jig in the background like they've both dislocated knees.
Of that's not enough, we have to go back to these guys again. It feels like when you think you're done drenching for the day, and your husband says: "Well, maybe just one more mob?".
After Nat addressed the giant pink baby in the room, we go back for more soppy stuff, just in case we hadn't got the message.
Jess says: "I might be Mrs Farmer Andrew." She is going to be dirty as heck when she finds out his first name is not "farmer".
There's talk of bringing each other boulders or something. I'm not sure - I think I dozed off.
And just when we think Rob being baptised in that river was the most uncomfortable scene of the series, we see the slow-mo of Andrew and Jess walking down the road, turning and blowing kisses to the camera. I choke a little on the chop I was eating.
Andrew says: "You've made me look like the sappiest man this side of the Murrumbidgee."
Oh, sorry. Um, I'll get some wood.
SO that's a wrap on FWAW 2021, which Nat sincerely sums up as "another successful season".
Sheesh - what show was she watching? One of the five blokes ended up with a girl. (Let's be honest - we've probably all read those shenanigans between Will and another contestant so it'd be fair to say old Jaimee didn't hang around.)
Will the series return in 2022? No doubt. The station is on the hunt for new contestants already.
Here's hoping we can all once more next year enjoy what well-grounded Farmer Rob dropped as the ultimate truth bomb: "a bizarre concept".
Farm Lesson of the Day: A casual seven hours on a tractor picking up hay is not a deal closer for a relationship.
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