Question: What do you get when you cross "The Bachelor," "The Great Race" and "Happy Days?"
Answer: Milwaukee's entry into the already overcrowded arena of reality-based media.
Finding himself single at 34, Bob Murray will head across country to find love and he wants America to join him for the ride. On April 29, Milwaukee native Murray embarked on a cross-country journey by taxi cab from Milwaukee to Los Angeles going on nine dates in nine cities by using one of the most popular and successful mediums to find women – online dating.
Better yet, he's raised $20,000 to make a movie about it. Bob's burning philosophical question is "Am I single because of who I am or is Milwaukee not my style?"
We thought this would be a good point on which to start the interview. "What would you say your style is, and how would you describe Milwaukee's style," we asked pointedly in our questions via email. Unfortunately this was one of the two questions Bob neglected to answer.
The other thing we wondered aloud was whether the potential love interests minded that Bob seemingly quit his day job to pursue this pipe dream. This question also went unanswered.
Marilynn: I went on a date from a matchmaking site with a guy who said he was an architect. 'Was' being the key word. He'd lost his job almost two years prior and was still unemployed. I'm wondering if Bob realizes that being an unemployed cross-country love seeker could be a deal breaker for some women?
Anjl: Well not for all women, apparently. There are scads of them on the Date America Facebook page, just begging for Bob to ask them out. Of course they're all here in Milwaukee, which we know isn't Bob's style, but we don't know why. Maybe this was his goal all along. He's probably home with the curtains drawn and the lights out, not answering his phone, fabricating travel tweets about his "love journey."
Marilynn: If that's true, he totally stole that idea from an episode of "Castle." You know, the one where the sociopath says he's trekking through the North Pole, skyping with a grade school class but he's really in an apartment in Brooklyn with a big fan and fake snow?
Anjl: He's waiting for just the right moment when he announces his triumphant yet sad return without having found the girl of his dreams. The Milwaukee chicks will be lined up outside his door to have a crack at him.
Marilynn: They will have found that he's gained 40 pounds from $20,000 worth of takeout pizza and Chinese food.
Anjl: Booya! NOW who's Milwaukee's style?
Joining Bob on his love journey are two cameramen, one sound engineer, one production assistant and the cabbie, who also happens to be his dating coach. Isn't this sort of cheating? Like having Cyrano de Bergerac hiding in the shrubs, feeding you poetry?
Marilynn: Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this mean that in every city, a woman is going to be on a date with Bob and five other people? That sounds more frightening than the group dates on "The Bachelor."
Anjl: Personally, I think it would be fabulous to have a dating expert right there on the blind date, someone you can turn to and say "Is this guy for real?" The dating coach can do little NFL-type penalty signs. It's like having a Love Ref.
Marilynn: Since his dating coach is also the cabbie, you probably can't understand what they're saying anyway. Maybe hand signals should be the cabbie standard?
Anjl: I hope you're referring to the soundproof glass between the front and back seat, and not a strong foreign accent?
Marilynn: Do you think the cabbie/dating coach sits on one of those wooden bead things?
Anjl: Heck yeah. Don't forget this is a 3,000 mile fare. I wonder if Bob makes the girls split the tip.
Marilynn: That's another thing: a lot of Chicago cabbies won't even drive you up to Gurnee. How did this guy find someone to drive 3,000 miles?
Anjl: I'm guessing Bob offered up top billing for this reality show. I wonder if Bob popped to have the cab steam cleaned before the trip. If not, that cab smell won't ever come out of a decent leather jacket.
Marilynn: That's another thing – have you ever been in a cab that didn't smell weird? This is how you want to make a first impression? "Hi, I'm Bob. Please ignore the smell."
Anjl: What is that smell, anyway? Cabs retain a small olfactory memento from every fare ever picked up. Photographs should last so long.
Marilynn: It's a universal thing, an iconic odor. Cabsmell. One word.
Anjl: What do you think Bob's chances are of finding love on the road? Bob is going on nine dates in nine cities. We asked Bob if he's willing to relocate if he finds love in, say, Tulsa. He's got a problem with Milwaukee's style, but does he really think Tulsa will be a better fit?
Marilynn: Good thing you came up with the Tulsa question, Anjl. I see from his answer that he's now reconsidering that stop. If I were Bob, I would have only made dates in cities that I wouldn't mind living in. By the way: Tulsa? Not on my list. Not a fan of tornadoes.
Anjl: I wonder how he chose which cities to stop in. Maybe he has college buddies/wingmen in these places? Someone that can hit on the disapproving chaperone/girlfriend so that Bob can work his magic?
Marilynn: So you're saying if these girls figure that since Bob's got a date posse, she gets to bring one too? Between wingmen, cameramen, girlfriends and the cabbie/coach, I'm starting to think these dates aren't going to be very intimate.
Anjl: Not with the cameras rolling! Although it never stopped Bret Michaels.
Marilynn: Or Paris Hilton.
Anjl: It seems that dating is a team sport nowadays.
Marilynn: Speaking of team sports, as the single/unattached girl on this writing team, I'd only go out with the unemployed-pipedreamin'-cab ridin'-movie makin'-Tulsa/Milwaukee disser if I were looking for a chance to be on camera. If I just wanted a hopeful date with potential for it to be a love match, I'd go with a guy that has both a job and a non-metered, pleasant smelling vehicle.
Anjl: I wonder if this whole thing is scripted. Maybe he knows ahead of time which girl wins? Oh wait, I forgot ... Bob is most likely holed up in his apartment right now, nose buried in his Facebook page, going on make-believe dates, with General Tso's chicken dribbling down his chin. Line up, local ladies!
But seriously, we wish Bob well. Whether he comes back to Milwaukee as a reality TV star or a poor unemployed dude with a "good try" under his belt, the nice folks of Milwaukee will welcome him back with open arms.
To see our full interview with Bob Murray, go to our Facebook page.
Anjl Rodee is a jack of all things right-brained. After a variety of odd jobs, from singing telegrams to ballroom dance instructor to weekend overnight DJ on Lazer 103, Anjl earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Mary College and settled down to a nice career as an award-winning artist. At night Anjl can be found playing with a variety of local bands. She currently fronts a classic band called Radio Doctors, and plays bass and accordion with her friend Chris Demay.
Marilynn Mee has been a fixture on Milwaukee radio for most of her adult life. After a short stint on WQFM, she joined Lazer 103 at its inception. After several years as a Bob and Brian sidekick, Marilynn became midday host and music director, earning national recognition from the likes of Billboard magazine and Radio & Records. She is currently the midday host on 96.5 WKLH. Marilynn is a well-known animal lover, lending her name and free time to humane societies and animal rescue groups.
Anjl is a mother and grandmother and is in a committed relationship. Marilynn is single and mom to 2.5 dogs and a one-eyed cat. Anjl and Marilynn both hail from the greater Milwaukee area and have been best friends for 20 years.