LAST EDITED ON 04-01-09 AT 03:39 PM (EST)
***TAR 14.7 Official Summary: School of Rock Meets School of Hard Knocks***
Be Ye Warned: Not all aspects of the episode are reported accurately. Artistic license is a terrible thing to waste.
Previously on The Amazing Race: Two blonde women got suspended until the end of the race. Of course, this happens in every season of The Amazing Race, so if you want to know which two blonde women it was this time, read Seana's superb summary.
First period: Urban Studies. Today’s featured city is Jaipur - Jewel of India - Home of Anonymous Maharajahs - Tercentenary Metropolis in the Northwestern Corner of India - and now, Pit Stop for Greedy Americans. Phil is pacing, as he usually does, and acting as tour guide at a fort 600 ft. above Jaipur. For those who don’t normally watch, he lets us all know that the fort was a pit stop in a race around the world. There are 6 teams, ready to head out to god-knows-where.
Leaving at 10:21 a.m. are Tammy and Victor. Victor, voted most likely to fall 37 times on a butcher’s knife that happens to be held by his sister, is thrilled to learn that the next destination in this most awesome senior trip is Phuket, Thailand. In Phuket, racers will need to find a statue of gorilla, which is almost as cool as the Phoenix Suns Gorilla (shout out to my favorite team). Tammy, voted most likely to rack up a huge therapy debt, is equally ecstatic. She then regales us with yet another sob story about how difficult her life has been. Poor little Tammy went to Thailand with over-protective parents who didn’t let her have any fun or meet any interesting people.
Assignment for Tammy: Watch Brokedown Palace or several episodes of Locked Up Abroad. Write a summary with anecdotal accounts of what happens to naive tourists in southeast Asia who want to have fun and meet interesting people.
Mel and Mike, the father and son team, leave the Pit Stop at 10:50 a.m. Mel, voted most likely to make the world a better place, states that Phuket is his favorite city, thus leading me to believe that he’s been there before and maybe he’s visited some of the city’s attractions, like the zoo or something. Mike, voted most likely to succeed with the gullible guy/girl of his choice if he just started name-dropping like the DAW that he is, asks his dad if he knows any Thai. Mel answers, “Yes. Mai Tai. (pregnant pause) That’s a pun.”
Pop Quiz (because I just can’t resist them): Based on what we know about Mel & Mike’s relationship, what can we assume Mike was thinking during the pregnant pause?
A. Oh My God, he’s an idiot.
B. He’s going to say “That’s a pun.” It’s coming . . . It’s coming . . .
C. ***white noise***
D. I wonder where I can score some weed in Thailand.
Twelve minutes later, Kisha and Jen leave the fort. They are not going to Phuket, but to Pakoot. Kisha, voted most likely to scare the heck out of a bunch of timid middle-schoolers, relishes her competitive edge. Meanwhile, little sister Jen, voted least likely to have visible panty lines, focuses her
aggression attention on Kisha.
Margie, voted most likely to be happy, admits that having to be the intermediary between Luke and the rest of the racers is exhausting. She needs a break, so she’s planning to sell Luke as soon as they visit a country where that’s legal. Luke, voted most likely to come up with a new ASL sign for “that Dajaki chick is cool”, signs that he loves his mom and is excited to go to Phuket. He then signs, “Do you think it’s legal to sell your parents there?” They leave at 11:03.
And at 11:04, Jaime and Cara follow, determined to shadow Margie and Luke wherever they go. Jaime, voted Best Mean Girl Ever, lets us in on the fact that patience isn’t her virtue. Really? I wouldn’t have guessed. Cara, voted most likely to find charm in the annoying habits of others, agrees that Jaime is impatient, and hates foreigners, and hates languages other than American English, and likes to yell at people, and refers to all people born outside the US as “them”, and drinks too much caffeine. But she’s a sweet girl, really she is.
Mark and Michael, who leave at 11:11, are excited about going to Foo-Ket, home of world-class diving, to display their very manly swimming skills. Mark was voted most likely to be an outstanding example of masculinity in every athletic pursuit. There was only one vote cast, and it was Mark’s. Michael, voted most likely to carry a childish nickname into adulthood, just nods in agreement.
Assignment for Mark and Michael: Research the term “Napoleon Complex”. Prepare to openly debate the validity of this perceived disorder. Mark will take the side of proving its existence and Michael will oppose.
All the teams have the same flights to Phuket, so, unfortunately, we go without the drama of various flights, missed connections and Tina boasting that she talked an airline into producing a larger plane. Mark tries to liven up the atmosphere though with his witty, “Lices and germs, welcome to my airline.” I’ll bet he’s said that every time they’ve gotten on a plane. And no one laughed then either.
Pop Quiz: Given the lices and germs comment, another witticism Mark is likely to have made aboard the plane is . . .
A. “Mel makes puns, but I’m much punnier.”
B. “At culinary school, are the restrooms labeled ‘Boils’ and ‘Grills’?”
C. (as the food service cart comes) “I would like the cheeseburger with cat soup and mouse turd on the side.”
D. “Mickey, doesn’t Fooket sound like *#%&@!?” (starts to giggle)
Fourteen hours later, we viewers are treated to the obligatory montage of “Scenes from Thailand”. The final scene is of 12 Americans dashing like madmen for cabs. Mel and Mike must have misbehaved on the flight, because they’ve been sent to the back of the line. They end up waiting something like 47 hours for another cab to come along.
Cara and Jaime, who has decided to practice the three Rs (repeating, ranting and raving), have a driver named Sak (very unfortunate name). Jaime wants to make sure that he understands that they are on a race . . . a race . . . go fast race . . . hurry hurry race . . . you know, a race. In confessional, Cara admits that if one doesn’t know what a sweet girl Jaime really is, one could conclude that Jaime is a witch with a bee. Now, I don’t know much about witches (except from the Harry Potter series which, I must confess, I’ve practically memorized), but I do know about bees, especially Spelling Bees.
Assignment for Jaime and Cara: Jaime, spell “superciliousness”. Cara, spell “enable”.
Second period: Music. Tammy and Victor, showing their happy faces, are delighted with their cabbie, Mr. Bandit. He wants to share a bit of his language and tells the toothsome twosome that in Thai, “bandit” means “teacher”. Tammy assures the driver that it means the same thing in English and complains that every teacher she ever had stole her time, her individuality and her desire to fight “the man”. We’re presuming “the man” is Victor. Midway through her anti-education diatribe, Tammy breaks into song.
We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.
Mr. Bandit, who happens to be a huge Pink Floyd fan, gets into the impromptu concert and plays percussion on the steering wheel.
Mel and Mike finally catch a cab and head straight to Patong Beach. Because that’s where they’ll find the aforementioned gorilla statue. At a beach. Do we already hear the final bell for these two? In town, Mel and Mike catch up to the other teams who have abandoned their cars to accost hapless locals. As father and son watch, the scene plays out something like this:
Jaime: (runs up to frightened family) “Gorilla! Where’s gorilla? Speak English? Gorilla statue! Gorilla!”
Jen: (using her height to her advantage, she looms over a small man) “Where is the big ##### Gorilla?”
Mark: (with one hand to head and the other curled under his arm) “Ooo ooo aaah aaah? Donde esta?”
Margie: (signing to her son) “I say we just let these fools find out where it is and then we follow them.”
Mel and Mike lose patience with the other teams and keep on going towards Patong Beach.
Third Period: Zoology. No animals were harmed in the writing of this summary. The same cannot be said for this part of the TAR leg.
Lo and behold, the gorilla statue is to be found at the Phuket Zoo. What a surprise. Or at least it will be to Mel and Mike, who apparently don’t see the connection between gorillas and zoos. Cara and Jaime are the first to find the clue box. They are to take a “Walk on the Wild Side”. In TAR terms, that means get a picture taken with a shackled tiger and lie down while an elephant tramps all over you. Mark and Michael, using their superior sprinting abilities, beat the girls to the tiger. Michael notices that the tiger handler has only one arm. So do the two remaining female teams, who encourage Mark to touch the tiger. Up by its mouth. While holding a raw and bloody steak.
Pop Quiz: This task would have been more interesting if the chained Bengal tiger would have . . .
A. actually eaten either Mark or Michael.
B. taken the club from the handler and gone Detroit Tiger on him.
C. reenacted the Boise Zoo incident of 2000.
D. been a PETA demonstrator in disguise.
The diminutive duo head off to the elephant task while Cara and Jaime, followed by Kisha and Jen, get their pictures taken with Eso the Tiger. Jaime is on the verge of joyful tears. She just loves zoos and states that if she could, she would spend her life in the wild and never see people again. Okay, so Jaime hates people, noise and crowds, and she was an NFL cheerleader?
At this time, I’m going to take advantage of a weak segue and state that, for the first time ever in a summary, I am not going to mock the Arizona Cardinals. Despite a so-so season, they actually made it to the Super Bowl and nearly won the dang thing. So, Congratulations. I hope my state enjoyed it, because it’ll never happen again.
And back to the summary . . .
While all the rest of the teams are at the zoo completing the tasks that are replacing this leg’s Roadblock, Mel and Mike are getting the scenic tour of Thailand. Mike, who realizes that it’s about time to capitalize on his celebrity, drops the biggest name in his arsenal. He holds up the picture and says, “See this big famous gorilla? My friend was in a movie about a big famous gorilla. His name is JACK BLACK. Do you know Jack Black?” At the enthusiastic nodding of the cabbie, Mike continues. “My friend, Jack Black, is making a sequel to our smash hit Nacho Libre and we’re calling it Satay Samurai. If you get me to this gorilla, I’ll have you cast in the new Jack Black movie.” To which the cabbie responds, “Oh, that gorilla. It’s in the Phuket Zoo.”
Fourth Period: Math. Mark and Michael, who Cara and Jaime jokingly refer to as the Tweedles, are the first to finish the zoo jobs and get their next clue. They are to go to Old Phuket Town and find the Nguan Choon Tong Herbs Shop. There the shopkeeper will frustrate and annoy Jaime to the delight of all. He will also slowly and painstakingly open the numbered drawers of a huge apothecary cabinet to reveal hidden clues for our racers.
Teams quickly crowd the herb shop and begin shouting out drawer numbers that they want opened. To maintain some semblance of order, the shopkeeper forces the teams into an orderly line. Jaime, in her best Mean Girl voice, rebels and demands the opening of Drawer #211. The apothecary, knowing he holds all the cards (and the clues), revises the rules for Jaime and will only open the drawer once she has given him the square root of 211 (correct answer 14.52583905). Mark and Michael choose an incorrect drawer and Cara and Jaime choose Drawer #212, which is opened after they multiply 212 by pi (correct answer 666.0176426).
Mark and Michael find their clue first and are directed to a Detour. The choices are “100 Barrels” or “2 Miles”. In “100 Barrels”, teams prepare a fishing boat for 10 days at sea. They must load 53 empty barrels on the top deck and fill 47 barrels on the lower deck with potable water. In “2 Miles”, teams choose a rickshaw, fill its tires with air and run 2 miles through the city to a local park.
On the way to Rickshaw Temple, we learn that this detour choice is a no-brainer for the brothers, who apparently specialize in no-brainers. Mark breaks a race rule by deliberately tampering with equipment (he stows all the tire pumps back in their box so other teams won’t notice them) and the team hires their cabbie to lead them to the park despite the clear direction not to do so. Mark then slaps on a coolie hat and does a gross stereotypical impersonation of a rickshaw driver.
Pop Quiz: Summer school for Mark and Michael will consist of lessons in . . .
A. reading and cultural awareness.
B. reading and cultural awareness.
C. reading and cultural awareness.
D. all of the above.
Back at the herbalist, all the teams except Cara and Jaime are quickly finding their clues. Kisha and Jen opt for 100 barrels as do Margie and Luke. Tammy and Victor go for the rickshaw, leaving a fuming redheaded team in the shop. Now without an audience to entertain, the shopkeeper turns to Jaime and says in perfect English, “Look, I’ll open a drawer with a clue in it if you can give me the correct definition of a googol.” Cara, who’s smarter than she looks, slaps a hand over Jaime’s mouth and answers. “It’s a 1 followed by 100 zeroes.” The girls get their clue and hustle to catch up the Margie and Luke just before Mel and Mike finally arrive at the shop.
Fifth Period: P.E. The teams that have decided on 100 barrels are having a difficult time finding the correctly marked boats. Jaime and Cara and Margie and Luke decide to head for the rickshaws before they get hopelessly lost at the docks.
Tammy and Victor have already started the rickshaw journey, having wisely gotten a map from their cabbie. Unfortunately, Mark’s deviousness has paid off and the siblings don’t notice either that their tires are flat or that there are tire pumps just a few feet away. The added friction from the flat slows the rickshaw and Tammy, incorrectly blaming her size 2 figure for the sluggishness of the ride, wishes she had dieted before the detour. Victor also starts complaining but, realizing his head is a perfect target for anything Tammy wishes to throw, refrains from calling her a fatty.
While Cara and Jaime and Margie and Luke are loading their rickshaws, Mark and Michael collect their next clue at the park. They are to head to Wat Thep Nimit Temple where Phil and what remains of the Buddha are waiting.
Kisha and Jen find the correct fishing boat. Kisha stays on the lower deck to hand empty barrels up to Jen and to fill the 47 remaining barrels with water. Just one problem. She forgets to fill them with water. Kisha finally notices the freshwater hose that’s hemorrhaging into the bay as Mel and Mike race to the neighboring boat, which is ominously named Andrea Gail. Jen is secretly glad to see the father and son because this assures her that they are not dead last.
Mark and Michael, among numerous fist pumps and high fives, spot Phil and his Thai wife at the Pit Stop mat. Phil announces that they are the first to arrive, then gleefully cuts short (now I’m punny too) the brothers’ celebration to tell them that they are being sent to detention for one hour because they broke the rules. Mark and Michael pout and drag themselves off to the nearest curb.
Jaime and Cara, despite dealing with their own flat tire, are doing pretty well with their rickshaw challenge. They frequently switch places and Jaime, who cannot refrain from any opportunity to be rude, calls Cara a mule. I think she thinks it’s a compliment, albeit a back-handed one, so therefore it’s not really rude at all. The redheads make it to the clue box at about the same time that Victor and Tammy do.
Margie, who is sitting in the rickshaw, feels like her son is about to dump her into traffic. She must resort to lobbing various objects at his head to gain his attention. Luke is convinced to give up the driving of the rickshaw to his mom despite the fact that she’s 51 and hasn’t had a drop of water since the bottle she purchased on the airplane for $8.50. Margie, who quite literally is on the verge of collapse, and Luke make it to the park’s clue box. On the way to the Pit Stop, Margie says that Thailand is the hottest place she’s ever been. Margie has never visited Dajaki in July.
Sixth Period: SAT Prep. Tammy and Victor rush to the mat. Phil, with eyebrow raised high, says, “Tammy and Victor, you are team Number One. But before you can claim your prize, you must answer one final exam question. What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
Tammy and Victor, lawyers don’tcha know?, quickly conference and reply, “The correct answer is ‘unable to be determined’ as you have provided neither the exact type of sparrow, European or African, nor have you considered location of flight and said location’s prevailing weather conditions.” They win a trip to Oahu, complete with a helicopter tour, a sunset dinner cruise and a submarine tour. Just the sort of romantic vacation you want to take with your brother.
Cara and Jaime are the next to arrive and receive their question: What do the initials NFL stand for? The girls stare blankly for several minutes before Cara answers, “National Foosball League?” Phil rolls his eyes, mutters "Close enough" and shoves them off the mat.
Finally, Mark and Michael’s detention period is over and Phil calls them to the carpet. “Guys,” he says, “your final exam question is an easy one. Who is the tallest, best looking, tallest, most intelligent, and tallest man in the immediate vicinity?” Michael, still feeling sheepish over being forced into detention, mumbles, “That would be you, Phil.”
Margie and Luke, who are, by all accounts, barely hanging in long enough to make it to the mat, are somewhat disgruntled to learn that they have to answer an exam question. Phil asks, “What is the ASL sign for ‘that Phil guy is one cool dude’?” Margie, deciding now is as good a time as any to take that long awaited break from signing everything, collapses in a heap. She is doused with water and hauled off to the school nurse.
Kisha and Jen, having finished their detour task just ahead of Mel and Mike, nearly lose themselves in Phuket. The sisters are taken to the wrong temple, but the orange clad monks take pity and hand them over to a family of worshipers who are going home. They are the fifth team to arrive and, because the producer is still busy with Margie and unable to whisper an exam question into Phil’s earpiece, they are quickly shuffled off to the interview station.
Final Bell: Mel and Mike, who made up quite a bit of time at the detour, are the last team to arrive. Unfortunately, they have been eliminated from the race. While Mike softly weeps, minister Mel pulls a poem he wrote from his pocket and asks Phil to read it.
Amazing Race, how sweet the ground
Over which I’ve raced with my son.
We have been lost, but now we’ve found
‘Tis time that we are done.
Oh, wasn’t that beautiful. So goodbye, Mel and Mike. Enjoy Sequesterville with the losers that have gone before you. And just for fun, Dajaki can’t namedrop like Mike but I can do Less Than 6 Degrees of Separation to Mike: Dajaki who has met her SIL’s neighbor Melissa who is the hair-and-makeup woman for Sarah Silverman who co-starred with Mike in School of Rock.
Next time on The Amazing Race: Karaoke Kabs provide endless footage of blackmail material and Mark and Michael realize losing their backpacks may not be smart, but it’s better than losing their fanny pack.