Monday, October 3, 2011

Dude, Indo

Indonesia, the land of tricksters, tomfoolery, and hijinks. This Asian country of tiny islands is home to at least 150 active volcanoes and an inordinate amount of seismic activity. Tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and agriculturally crippling amounts of ash have devastated Indonesia and left in it's wake a gaggle of deviously devilish orphans. Oh sure, they may look cute on the outside, but these little diabolical witches want your money Mr. & Mrs. Tourist and they want it all! I hope you brought your reading glasses, teams, because after Miss Hannigan (Phil) sent Sandy (the dog, not to be confused with Sandy of Team Ambien) to the sausage factory, she's typed up a tiny sign to ruin your day. Will you stop to read the sneaky English sign or will you skip on past it and collapse dramatically into Phil's arms the Pit Stop? Only time will tell. Let's recap, shall we?

Teams must now fly to Jakarta, Indonesia where they'll then catch an overnight train to Yogyakarta. Beware, teams, because for the first time in Amazing Race history, there will be a double elimination. *thunder claps in the distance* Since Team Bert & Ernie (Cindy & Ernie) were the first to arrive at the Pit Stop, they are now the first to depart. Bert (Cindy) reads the part of the clue about a double elimination and is immediately horrified. She doesn't like these last minute curve balls thrown her way. Once you start messing with the TAR formula this early in the race, who knows what they'll try to do come leg 4 or 5. It'll be chaos and anarchy! Since I'm pretty sure Bert alphabetizes her shoes and soups, chaos and anarchy are a recipe for disaster. To-Do lists have to be retyped, her days of the week underwear will be all out of whack, and do you have any idea how hard it'll be to fill a prescription for Xanax in Indonesia?!?

The rest of the teams read their clues and it's a hodgepodge of horror. Camille Grammer (Sandy) shrieks while Carlton (Justin) and Jennifer bicker in the back of a cab over how to push the buttons on the phone the right way. Let's pause for a brief station identification because I'm changing some names around this week. Team Ambien (Jeremy & Sandy) will now be referred to as Team Grammer. Sandy doesn't like it when I call her Camille Grammer so, hey, that one's a no brainer. Plus, I think the resemblance is uncanny. Next, Team Aniston (Justin & Jennifer) will now be referred to as Team Fresh Prince. Justin is simply way too much of a Carlton for me to ignore. Besides, didn't he have a bitchy sister on that show?

All of the teams are at the airport and the question on everyone's mind is: Where is Team Geritol (Bill & Cathi)? The last anyone ever saw of them was in the rearview mirror of a bus speeding away from the airport in Taiwan. Bert thinks that since this week is a double elimination, last week must have been a nonelimination. Jenna glares at Bert out of the corner of her "Medusa eye" and says she'll be thrilled if Team Geritol is still around. It's one more easy team for her to beat. Oh really, Miss Jenna? We're that confident this week, are we? Well, we'll see. *evil laugh*

Eventually, Team Geritol arrives on their Rascals and are greeted with a round of applause. Team Snowbunny (Andy & Tommy) dig the old folks' energy while Jenna quietly adds their names to the "List Of Easy People We Can Beat" she keeps her in her pocket right next to her bright yellow TAR clues and her tiny vials of likability.

Whish! Splat! Welcome to Jakarta. All of the teams caught the same flight and now it looks like they'll all be boarding the same train as well. However, Carlton thinks trains are for suckers. Who cares that the clue said they all need to catch the overnight train to Yogyakarta? Instructions be damned! Carlton wants to feel out other modes of transport. Perhaps there's a speedy rickshaw or a canoe company for hire. What about soap boxes or maybe go karts? You know, those motorized pogo sticks can move really fast if you know how to work them properly. Jennifer listens to his musings on the merits of traveling by mule and just sort of stares at him in disgust. She asks him, "Do you want to go find some available tricycles or do you want to go wait for this train?" Carlton replies, "I want to be a better team than we are right now." Jennifer walks away and mumbles something about better teams being born out of brothers lost in tragic accidents. One thing is for sure, these two hate each other. I don't know who the hell talked them into racing together, but I'd like to send that person a fruit basket.

Eventually, Carlton calls off the giant turtles he planned on riding all the way to Yogyakarta and boards the train with everyone else. Once teams arrive in Yogyakarta in the morning, they'll race by taxi (not donkey, Carlton!) to a creepy cave called Goa Jomblang where they'll find their next clue. Miraculously, Team Geritol ends up in the first place cab on the way to the cave and since the roads are winding and narrow, it's impossible for any other cabs to pass them. Pulling up the rear, RonBill begins to panic about his blood pressure. These Indonesians don't believe in silly things like stop lights, turn signals, or lanes. It's a free for all of crazy and I hope Carlton realizes that those donkeys would have gone splat had his sister not pushed him inside of a cab when she did.

Team Geritol arrives at the cave first and discover a Road Block. Indonesia is famous for it's intricate network of caves so for this Road Block, teams will go spelunking. I don't know what spelunking is, but if it's anything like kerplunking, this could be fun. Who wouldn't love to watch a few marbles crash down on some of these people's heads? I know I would. Alas, spelunking is not kerplunking. In Spelunk, teams have to descend into a dark cave and search for a Japanese mask and a dagger. Once they have their mask and dagger, they must scale a giant bamboo ladder and deliver their wares to some dude in a robe who will then hand them their next clue.

Not so fast cowpokes. Since Bill & Cathi finished in last place in Taiwan, they are now confronted with the evil time consuming Speed Bump. Will they have to hike to a remote tiny village and paint a villager's home? Will they bungee jump into the cave? Will a nearby school finally get electricity? No, no, and no. Step right up Bill & Cathi and get to work on untangling this little pile of rope. Oh sure, you finished hours behind the other teams on that first leg, but these clever little knots should even up the score. The threat of blisters that hangs thickly in the air is not one to be trifled with. Tangles TAR, really? Come on! That's not a Speed Bump! That's a hint of a burble of an inconvenience at best.

Team Bert & Ernie arrives at the Road Block with Team Parent Trap (Liz & Marie) hot on their heels. Bert is thrilled because when she's not arranging her vitamin bottles smallest to biggest, she's out climbing mountains and crawling in caves. LizMarie, Geritol Bill, and Marcus of Team Armani (Amani & Marcus) will also spelunk. No one is deathly afraid of heights, no one cries, and no one falls head first into a jumble of bones and innards at the bottom of the cave. All in all, it's a joyously merry descent. Yawn.

At this point, the rest of the teams arrive and the spelunkers are quickly chosen. Meanwhile, Bert, LizMarie, and Bill are making their way through the dark cave to retrieve their masks and daggers. Whoever thought of giving LizMarie a dagger is one sick individual. Do you remember what she did to the monk back in Taiwan? And that was just with her fists and shoes! Imagine what she could do to that poor robed man innocently waiting to hand out clues at the top of the bamboo ladder. Something tells me this won't end well. She has a taste for bloodshed now. She's getting better at her craft. *makes the sign of the cross* I'm envisioning a trail of corpses around the world by the time we reach leg 10. *shudders*

The spelunkers quickly get their masks and daggers and head out to the bamboo ladder while Marcus is just now making his way into the darkness. Meanwhile, Jeremy, Tommy, Carlton, Ethan, Kaylani, and Gilligan (Zac) are all making their descent. At the ladder, Bert's tiny little legs are no match for the giant bamboo rungs laid out before her. Instead of climbing the ladder like Bill, Bert has to shimmy up like a spider monkey. She does a good job until that evil LizMarie starts waving her dagger around and making deep gashes into the ladder structure. *covers eyes* The look in her eyes, the wicked cackle... why are you so evil LizMarie? Why?!?

Geritol Bill delivers his mask and dagger first and now it's off to the Detour. In this Detour teams will have to choose between: Shake Your Moneymaker or Be A Ticket Taker. In Shake Your Moneymaker, teams must travel by taxi to a congested intersection and turn tricks. One team member must learn a local dance while the other accompanies them on a drum thingy. They must earn 30,000 rupiah to complete the task. In Be A Ticket Taker, teams must make their way to a mall and work as motorbike parking attendants. They must earn 15,000 rupiah to complete the task. Both Detours require teams to travel to an orphanage and turn in all the money they've made in order to receive their next clue. But that's not all! In addition, teams must read a teeny tiny sign that tells them to turn over ALL of the money in their possession. If they do that, they'll receive yet another clue to help them find the Pit Stop.

Bill & Cathi trot off to be ticket takers while LizMarie is making her slow and careful approach to the robed man waiting in the hut with the clue. There's an evil glint in her eye and we all know what's coming... *Psycho music* RIP kindly robed gentleman. I don't know why she kills the way she does. It must be a twin thing. They read each other's thoughts, they speak a secret language, and they brutally kill! Again, she covers him up with the skirts of his robe, grabs LizMarie by the hand, and off they skip into the daylight to shake their moneymakers.

The others finish spelunking and eventually everyone heads to the Detours they've chosen. Team Parent Trap has arrived at the busy intersection and LizMarie begins her herky jerky dance of joy. To be honest, I'm not sure she doesn't do this dance anyways after every kill. Whatever the reasons are, she's doing a bang up job and the locals are quick to hand over their money to her. Over at the ticket taking place, Cathi is running out into traffic and tearing bikers off their bikes. She hurls the bike into Bill who then parks it without cutting the engine. *shrugs shoulders* Hey, it seems to work for them so who am I to protest?

Bert & Ernie arrive and those sneaky sneaksters head up the road apiece to catch all the bikers that Cathi can't manhandle into the parking lot. It's a method that works swimmingly and they make their 15,000 rupiah in no time. The others back at the cave are finishing up and in the taxi Camille Grammer is telling Kelsey that they cannot make a mistake or else she's taking the Aspen house and the Hawaii house and that's that! As you and I both know, Camille has trained all her life as a dancer so, naturally, Team Grammer chooses to shake their moneymaker. I was hoping for some sassy stripper moves from Camille, but instead she turned into Sally Struthers and begged the passersby to give in the name of the children. *smacks self in head* Ca-mille! Stripping is the universal language of love. Charity is not. Remember that for next time please.

Team Survivor finally arrive to shake their moneymaker and Jenna is immediately annoyed at the costume she's supposed to wear. "I have to wear this?!?", she spits in disgust. Ethan, on the other hand, is having a grand ole time putting on his mask and pretending to make out with Jenna. Jenna smacks him upside the head and tells him to stop wasting time. Ahh, young love!

Meanwhile, Bert & Ernie are now at the orphanage. They are thrilled to hand their tips over to Annie and her friends, but *gasp!* they miss the sign that sits inches from Bert taking her money out of the envelope. Instead, they race out of the orphanage and struggle to figure out what the gold and red medallion they were given could possibly mean. It turns out the medallion is a reference to the Kraton Palace which is the next Pit Stop for this leg of the race. Team Geritol and Team Parent Trap arrive at the orphanage and also miss the sign. At home I clapped with glee as gin dribbled down my chin. Stupid mistakes on The Amazing Race are what we all live for. As there is little opportunity for anyone to be really cutthroat on this show (unless of course your name is LizMarie and you cut throats for fun), I'll take any drama I can get.

So while Bert & Ernie, Geritol, and Parent Trap are headed to Phil, Team Snowbunny (Andy & Tommy) are now at the orphanage. On their way out, Stoner #2 glances over his shoulder and sees the sign on the table and thank goodness he did! The snowbunnies hand over the rest of their cash while at the Pit Stop - dun, dun, DUN! - Evil Phil has made an appearance. "Bert & Ernie, you are the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop. HOWEVER..." There are two things you never want to hear Evil Phil say and those two things are: "You have been eliminated" and the word "However". Sometimes "however" can be a good thing, but today it's bad. Bad, bad, bad. Evil Phil stifles giggles as he tells Bert & Ernie that they have to go back to the orphanage and give those bratty kids all of their money. Bert's face falls into a frown and a waterfall of sadness begins to seep out of her eyes.

Bert & Ernie begin the jog back to the orphanage as tear after tear gently plops into the Indonesian streets. It's not easy being a competitive Asian. I feel your pain Bert. I'm not Asian, but I didn't like that look in Phil's eyes one bit! He definitely enjoyed delivering that bad news. Maybe LizMarie will stab him when she gets there. Fingers crossed.

Back at the Moneymaker Detour, Ethan & Jenna are finishing up and disrobing. Ethan asks Jenna if she remembered everything and Jenna barks, "Yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah." You can stuff your yeahs in a basket, lady. It turns out Jenna dropped her Detour Clue where she changed clothes and once again I open mouth giggled with a trap full of gin. They get into the cab where Ethan asks her where the clue is. She tells him it's in his pocket. He was like, "Nuh uh" and she was like, "Uh huh" and I was like, 'More gin for everyone!" They stood in the street screaming at each other while at home I gently dipped one breast into my awaiting bowl of glitter. I chose purple - the color of Jenna's shirt. After a while of blaming each other, Jenna finally admits that losing the clue was her fault all along and somehow they managed to shut the hell up long enough to race back and get it.

At this point, most of the other teams are trickling into the orphanage and it looks like pretty much all of them are missing the sign. Meanwhile at the Pit Stop, Phil is turning away both Team Parent Trap and Team Geritol. So, even though Team Snowbunny was the fourth team to arrive, they are now in first place and win a trip for two to Ireland. I'm not sure if they have surfing or snowboarding in Ireland, but some of those gingers look like pot smokers so I'm sure the bunnies will have a grand ole time.

Back at the orphanage, both Team Gilligan (Laurence & Zac) and Team Pink Ladies (Lisa & Kaylani) see the sign which makes me think that maybe the sign wasn't such a slight of hand trickery after all. I can see how in a rush you could miss it, but still... it was a sign in English on the table. All teams should have stopped, paused, and read it. Alas, all teams did not stop to read it and the end was a big giant clusterfuck of fun. Teams would skip jauntily into Phil and then Phil would, with a giant sweep of his arm, swoosh them all away. It was awesome!

Team Gilligan arrived eighth to the Pit Stop, but it turns out they're now in second place. When Ethan and that Jenna strolled up all confident and smiley, I had my glitter ready because I knew what was coming... "Ethan & Jenna, you must go back and give all of your money to the orphange." *ceremonial dunk* Beautiful! Now I have a pair of purple boobies. By the time the Pink Ladies arrive, Phil has gotten the hang of crushing souls. He tells them ever so solemnly, "I am sorry to tell you that you are the tenth team to arrive." His eyebrows converge, his mouth droops, and those Pink Ladies burst into tears. How I love Evil Phil! Evil Phil then says, "Haha! Just kidding! You're really in third." The Pink Ladies are a mixture of devastated, confused, and elated. That's the magic of Evil Phil, ladies and gentleman.

In the end, Bert & Ernie made it back in time to place 4th with Team Parent Trap right behind them in 5th. Team Grammer ended up in 6th with Team Geritol behind them in 7th. And, rounding out our top 9, we have Team Fresh Prince and Team Armani. That means that this week we say goodbye to both Team Survivor and Team Stewardess (Ron & Bill). For the most part, I'm pretty good with those eliminations. I liked Team Stewardess, but they didn't really give me too much other than a lot of paranoia. And Team Survivor... well, good riddance. So, what did you guys think? Did you like the sign trickery? Are you sad to see Team Survivor go? Which teams are you rooting for now? How many more victims will meet the evil hand of LizMarie? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!