Monday, November 21, 2011

My Crackers Were About Ready To Come Out

This week we are plopped into the center of the land of waffles, sprouts, and chocolate. Belgium isn't a large country per se, but it is a powerful one - powerful enough to smoosh your junk into teeny weeny briefs and make you pose for your supper. Bodies oiled, thighs tanned, and necks tree-trunked, body building is an ancient art form dating back to the 19th century. Of course, back then it was men posing in top hats and pantaloons, but it was a display of physical perfection nonetheless. Throw ten gangly Americans into the mix and you've got yourself a festival of physical bawdiness. Parts we shouldn't see peek out around lycra corners to wave hello and we find ourselves, unwittingly, smack dab in the thick of a flesh parade. Skin and skins, oh my! Let's recap, shall we?

(I had to whip this one up quick, folks. Not my best, but I didn't want to leave you hanging.)

We continue this interminable, never ending, eternal," for the love of god, make it end!" race in Copenhagen. Team Bert & Ernie (Cindy & Ernie) was the first team to arrive and is now the first to depart. Teams are now instructed to drive to the Hans Christian Andersen statue where they'll find their next clue. Bert glanced over at her Caucasion lover with pride and thought to herself, "Who cares if he's not Chinese?! He's a snazzy dresser and hair like that doesn't come along everyday." When you see jaunty spikes of blonde lusciousness, you grab that bitch up and hang on tight. At least that's what I've heard. So our young lovers drive off to the statue and discover that one of them is to memorize a Hans poem, bicycle ride to a theatre, and then recite said poem with dramatic flair for a curmudgeonly judge in period garb. I thought for sure Ernie would skip up and claim this challenge as his own, but it was Bert who took the plunge.

Cross-legged and focused, Bert sits in front of the statue and recites the poem over and over to herself. After pelting rocks at tourists trying to block the poem from her view, Bert hops onto her bicycle and pedals off to the theatre. With arms moving gaily and purpose-driven words (To move, to breathe, to fly, to float), Bert impresses the bespectacled drama critic and is now instructed to drive to Legoland and find the pirate carousel ride.

Back at the statue, Team Geritol (Bill & Cathi) and Team Snowbunny (Andy & Tommy) have memorized their poems, but unfortunately have no idea how the hell to get to the theatre. So while Cathi and Tommy are taking their impromptu tours of Denmark, Team Armani (Marcus & Amani) arrives and is given a chance to catch up. Amani sits with her head in her hands trying desperately to memorize the poem while that buffoon husband of hers leaps in the background shouting, "74! 22! Deedle deedle dee! Touchdown! Titanic!" His theory is that if Amani can withstand his asshole-ish tomfoolery, then she'll be able to withstand that evil ascot wearing drama critic in the theatre. Somehow, this cockamamie logic actually works and a breathless Amani passes which I think is a credit to Amani rather than to Marcus.

After touring Denmark and meeting some lovely people, Cathi and Tommy finally arrive at the theatre and both promptly fail. Cathi failed for missing a word and Tommy failed for being a lackluster person made of wood. Cathi even warned Tommy before she pedaled off to be dramatic, but Tommy somehow felt he knew better all on his own. Stiff and stone-faced, he ignored Cathi's wise words and offends the fashionable fop in the audience. At this point Team Grammer (Camille/Sandy & Kelsey/Jeremy) has joined the race and I'm not sure if Camille has had her morning mimosa yet or not because girlfriend stands on that stage like a cardboard box and fails the challenge. Eventually, everyone catches the acting bug and amidst grand sweeping gestures and strange stage right to stage left pacing, our Danish dandy gives the three remaining actors the thumbs up and off everyone goes to Legoland.

Once at Legoland, teams must sit in the spinning teacups and try to piece together a puzzle telling them to go to Hamburg, Germany. The catch being that they can only work on their puzzles while the ride is spinning. Bert & Ernie climb in and with Ernie's scarf blowing in the wind, they solve the puzzle on their second spin and are now instructed to drive across the border into Germany and head to the Hamburg train station. Ernie puts his earrings back on (he didn't want them catching in his scarf) and the two drive off into the distance just as Team Armani is pulling into Legoland.

Amani takes one look at the spinning teacups and her insides instantly begin to burble. Spinning things, whether it's teacups or footballs, make Amani want to hurl so I put on a poncho, strapped a plastic lid onto my gin fizzy, and prepared for awesomeness. I don't know about you, but the idea of Amani throwing up all over her own teacup - not to mention her husband - filled me with a giddy sense of glee. I'm annoyed at how these two keep slithering through this race and the idea of them having to sit in a car covered in vomit all the way to Germany filled me with a sense of evil satisfaction.

While Marcus & Armani continue to spin in violent circles, Team Geritol and Team Snowbunny get hopelessly lost while the Team Grammer makes up some much needed time and arrives without incident at Legoland. However, Camille takes one look at the spinning teacups and instantly regrets those vodka rocks she had in the car on the way over. Her face turns a little green while Kelsey hurls her into the teacup and his puzzle pieces go a'flying. One lands outside of the teacup while Camille grips the edge of the spinning porcelain madness and leans over to spew cocktail-scented spittle into the wind. Children watching get hit in the face while Kelsey contemplates pushing her out of the teacup altogether. "It was an accident officer. One second she was in the teacup and then the next second she wasn't. I guess I'll have to keep the Aspen house now."

Blood mopped up and crying children appeased, the teams eventually finish their puzzles and head to the Hamburg train station where they're instructed to travel by train to Brussels and head to the Parliament building. Bert & Ernie have already been at the train station for hours... long enough for Ernie to purchase three sets of lederhosen AND long enough for Bert to lose half of their tickets and have them swept up by the janitorial crew. Germany is nothing if not spotless. It was the anger of discovering that all teams would be on the same train, and the sight of Ernie in his hot pants, that caused Bert to become so distracted. Once they discover their train tickets are gone, Team Bert & Ernie attempt to buy another set only to discover that they're out of cash. In my mind the solution was easy - make Ernie dance for cash. With legs like that, they'd have their money in no time!

Midnight approaches and the train makes its departure. Bert & Ernie are ok to Cologne, but after that they're going to have to rely on their wits and an unassuming passenger's luggage if they're going to make it all the way to Brussels. Tiny and compact, Bert crawls into an unattended Samsonite while Ernie hops into the overhead compartment and holds his breath between nervous giggles for the next several hours. Tommy kept winking at the conductor and pointing to the compartment above him where Ernie was hiding, but his winks came across as a nervous tick and Bert & Ernie's plan works! The stowaways arrive safe and sound, although a little crumpled, in Brussels and it's now a taxi race to the Parliament building.

The next clue instructs teams to strip down, spread oil all over themselves, make friends with a burly gentleman, and then flex with all their might for a panel of judges. In other words, just another Saturday night for Ernie. Teams must earn at least 12 points to pass the challenge. Upon seeing the tiny little bikini laid out before her, Cathi gasps and whispers, "Oh dear." Oh dear is right lady! You think we want to see you with your loose skin flapping in the wind? *gag* But hark, who goes there? It's Cathi strutting her stuff and she doesn't look half bad for an old broad. Standing next to her we see some pecs and hip muscles (like Pink has) winking at us. It takes us a second until we realize that it's Bill. Bill! He may have a farmer's tan, but the dude is kind of ripped for a guy of 95. Way to go Team Geritol.

Naturally, I expected the Snowbunnies to be cut with washboard stomachs, but instead we got two little stick figures with legs like string beans. On the flipside we have Ernie, who has clearly been bench pressing lady boys during his mandatory rest periods. He embraces the entire experience: from giggling at the Snowbunnies rubbing tanning oil all over each other to attacking each pose with precision and gusto. Meanwhile, we discover that Camille could probably float in the event of a maritime mishap (nice boobages Camille!) while Amani's breasteses were all excited to get some air time (hello ladies). With classical music in the background, our greased up teams bended and flexed, grunted and posed. Arms pointing awkwardly to the sky while knees bent painfully towards the ground. Andy moaned about past snowboarding injuries hindering his bending ability, but I think he was just nervous about his little snowboard peeking out and saying hello to the CBS audience.

Now, it's competition time. Bert & Ernie are up first and while the audience clapped for Ernie's leaps and pirouettes, the judges gave the duo a measly score of 9. One judge in particular said, "Try to verk moah on ze detail." Ernie gives the judge a wink and a thumb's up and promises to do better next time. The Snowbunnies go next and Tommy is so mortified and uncomfortable that it made everyone mortified and uncomfortable. The guys score a negative 23 and I smirked to myself hoping that this would be the challenge that would finally send them home.

The flesh parade continues and understandably Marcus excels. He's a big dude with ginormous appendages - the crowd loved it! The Armani's score enough on their first attempt to pass and are now headed to the Pit Stop. Bert & Ernie pass their second try while both the Snowbunnies and Team Geritol continue to lurch into failure. The big surprise of the night, however, was Team Grammer. Kelsey wiped the sneer off his face while Camille proudly displayed her accoutrements. Bam! They knelt into position. Boom! Kelsey's abs rippled in the footlights. Kapow! Camille jutted her chesticles forward while the crowd hollered and whooped with approval. In the end, those Grammer's posed the pants off of the Armani's and scored higher than any other team.

With the Snowbunnies and Team Geritol still awkwardly tripping over themselves, the Armani's and Bert & Ernie engage in a foot race to the Pit Stop. You wouldn't have believed it if you hadn't seen it for yourselves, but Team Armani finishes first and wins a trip to Panama. We can only assume that Bert & Ernie finished second because the blasted episode ends with one of those annoying "To be continued" graphics hogging up my screen. Grrr. I hate nonelimination legs! When I see a nonelimination leg, I know it's one more week that I have to write about this nonsense. It hurts my soul, I tell you. Anyhow, so that's that for this week. What did you guys think? Should Bert & Ernie be in a German jail? How the hell do the Armani's keep slipping through? Wouldn't you like to have Camille on a sailing trip with you in case of an accident? Comment it out bitches and have a great day and a wonderful Thanksgiving!