Back from Africa

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Crap from Africa

Ahead. Ethan acts kooky, and we learn what it took to win.

Okay. Who has seen this crazy commercial for anti-scent Vanish with the little girl who makes all the terrible faces and gestures because her father took a smelly dump in the bathroom? It must be Australian.

Peachy's all GQ with one hand in his pocket. He tells us that Ethan "Got it Goin' On" Zohn won Survivor with his "strength and smarts" and "by sticking to his principles." Ethan's Mrs. Costanza-esque mom tells us that before he left for Africa, she told him that he didn't need to come home with a million dollars; he needed to come home with integrity. Ethan told himself before going to Africa that he would return with dignity and self-respect. He says that when he goes home to Lexington, he usually "make[s] a grand entrance." I suppose he means he was already something of a hometown hero because of his professional soccer experience. We see him going into a school while the kids cheer for him; he points out a kid in the class who has hair like his, and the boy is pleased. I'm sure the similarity to Ethan's hair put a stop to the "Brillohead" comments. For at least twenty minutes, anyway. Ethan tells us that he goes and sees his chiropractor brother when he's in Lexington to get a "little adjustment." He says his brother "straighten[s] [him] out a bit." He also stops to see his mother "in her little knitting store." He walks in and quietly says, "Hi, Mommy," and all her friends laugh. He nails that one -- one degree different and it would have been more creepy than boyishly charming.

Mrs. Costzohnza says she cringes "a little" when her friends call Ethan "hot," and then Ethan tells us that he's always liked women -- he thinks it may be because he was brought up by his mom. He refers to "the whole sensitive guy thing" and proudly says, "I'm in touch with my feminine side." Ethan's mom thinks he may be comfortable around women because she doted on him after the death of his father, when Ethan was just fourteen. We see family pictures of Ethan's wistful, same-haired dad. Ethan tells us that the time between his father's diagnosis of colon cancer to his death was a year. Mrs. Costzohnza tells a sad story about how Ethan always made sure to be home in the evenings when his father needed help getting up the stairs. She says Ethan could have been having the time of his life, but he'd always be home by 10:30 or 11 at night. Like most fourteen-year-olds, but anyway. I'm sure he was a sweet kid. Mrs. Costzohnza continues that if her husband woke up in the middle of the night and needed help, Ethan would be there to lift him time and time again. Ethan tells us that overcoming his father's death was his "first lesson in survival." He thinks he could have "gone the whole drug route, drop out of school, be depressed [his] whole life," but that didn't happen. His mother says she saw a new intensity in Ethan after his father's death, and this statement is accompanied by a beautiful picture of a soulful-looking tuxedo-wearing Ethan that made me and my friend both exclaim, "Oooooh!"

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