Monday, October 16, 2006

The Amazing Race: Indian Driving School Non-Dropouts

This week's theme: Everyone hates Peter. The teams actively working against him hate him, the teams nominally working with him hate him, Phil hates him (he's just too polite to admit it), and his partner hates him. Sarah finally gets into it with him at a bus stop, but, sadly, does not leave him there. Come on, Sarah! Just pick up some guy off the street and race with him!

The teams are sent from Thailand to Chennai, India, but first there are the mat-leaving interviews, and there's a particularly mystifying crop of them this week. Rob and Kimberly think that the race is a metaphor for life together. In that case, they've been forewarned that their life together is going to involve a lot of screaming at each other and getting thoroughly sick of the sight of the other's face. James and Tyler compare the feeling of powerlessness on the race to the feeling of powerlessness that comes with addiction. Now, I've never been an addict, nor have I been on a race around the world. But the two things seem quite a bit different. The Cho Bros make me laugh with a pair of awesome shirts. There's a picture of Phil, and it reads "Lost" on top, and below, "Reward: Bushel of Kiwis." Oh, Chos, you make me laugh against my better judgment. Phil, incidentally, is less amused by these shirts, because he thinks the picture is unflattering.

On the bus to Bangkok, the Chos decide it would be fun to mess with the other teams – okay, mess with Peter – by pulling out a fake cell phone and pretending to get reservations to India. This is, as you can imagine, extremely stupid. It's happened before, and it just makes the other guys work harder to try and catch up with you. And since you didn't actually do jack, they pass you. Chos, this is why I hate to like you, because you do stupid stuff like this. As it happens, everybody does what they can to get the good flights into Chennai, and only Dave and Mary get screwed due to bad luck. When they get to Chennai, the editors have a bit of fun at Mary's expense; she says confidently, "We do not think we're in last," but the caption begs to differ.

The Detour involves wrangling crocs or filling in a sand painting, and, for some reason, the two teams in last (Tyler and James and David and Mary) decide to take the slowest Detour, the sand painting. Then there is one of the most terrifying Roadblocks ever: obtaining an Indian driver's license. They have to learn how to drive on the left side of the road through packed, chaotic streets. The teams pass easily, becuase there don't seem to be many Indian driving laws, except for "don't drink and drive" and "don't hit kids and animals." This would explain the chaotic streets.

Eventually, David and Mary come in dead last, but Mary has charmed Phil enough that he can't bear to eliminate her. Nor does he rob her, as he has in seasons past. David and Mary can keep all of their money and their belongings, but they still get punished. They have to come in first at the end of the next leg or they will incur a 30-minute penalty. I like this more than simply stealing their money and/or worldly possessions, because it gives them an incentive not only to come out of last place, but to get as far ahead as they possibly can. Losing money and possessions will make the rest of the race uncomfortable, but it doesn't actually galvanize the teams the way this pentalty will.

Next week: Robot camel jockeys. Seriously.


Liz said...

I've read about the robot jockeys! Craziness. Also, I totally need one of those Phil shirts. I'm not sure why the bushel of kiwis makes it so funny, but it really, really does. A box of kiwis wouldn't be nearly as good.