Survivor
Back from Africa

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Crap from Africa

When we come back from the commercial, it's Lindsey's "darkest hour." Bring it on!

Peachy struts about the set in his basic black and tells us that "Survivor has a way of making strange bedfellows." The next group we'll visit includes "one old-fashioned guy, two strong-willed women, and someone who clearly is a different drummer."

This segues to Lex "Da Plane! Da Plane!" van den Berghe playing drums in Santa Cruz, California. He insists that his life prior to Survivor was a good life, and he doesn't want us to take that the wrong way. He doesn't seem to know we've been taking him the wrong way the whole season. He says he spent ten to twelve years working in the high-tech industry and "goin' out and catchin' a good surf," but he never felt he was cut out "for that kind of ordinary life." I, on the other hand, have always known I'd be average. Lex Loser points out "some good tattoos," including a devil's head, a Catholic schoolgirl, and a "samurai snake." Just as I'm thinking I'd much rather see the bad tattoos, he points out his two favorites, which have been drawn by his sons: there's a little stick figure that's supposed to be Lex Loser, and an insect of the multipede variety. He also has the names of his sons tattooed on his stomach, and one of their middle names is "Elvis." There's a little too much Lex Loser belly goin' on throughout this segment. He tells us he celebrated his tenth wedding anniversary, when he returned from Africa, with a new tattoo. It's on his stomach: it's a skull, dice, and what appear to be some entrails. His wife has the same tattoo on the back of her neck. "We're freaks!" he proudly proclaims.

Lex Loser tells us he was "stoked" to come home and see his family. He shows us his luxury item -- his son's baby shoes -- and says they'll now occupy a special place in his home. River agrees that he remembers learning to walk in the shoes; that's unlikely, but I'm not calling him a liar. Lex Loser sits cross-legged and says that the only thing that's ever been important to him is his family and friends. That's two things, actually, and I'd say he'd have to add tattoos as a third. He tells us he's been in his band Lucky Dog for almost twenty years. He brags that they play "all original music," but I like a good cover, myself. He also says they have a good time doing it -- which is good, since twenty years is a long time -- and that it's always been a huge part of his life. Lex Loser preaches that Africa is "nothing like the States." He says that you might as well have dropped the sixteen of them "on Mars or on the moon," but I don't think that would have made a difference to most of them, since it's where they came from in the first place. Lex Loser didn't anticipate the dangers of Survivor; he thought it would be difficult, but he didn't think they would ever be in harm's way. As he talks of the unanticipated dangers -- threatening animals, a poor water supply -- we see clips from Africa. Lex Loser says that the drinking water made him sick, and that he spent his first few weeks at home in bed; as he says this, a dog bounds over him. Lex Loser's doctor found "no less than four parasites and a couple of different bacteria" upon his return, but that's not a fair study, since there's no control. If Lex Loser went to Africa with thirteen parasites and five kinds of bacteria, then he did pretty well out there. Lex Loser laughs over the fact that he has to take a dozen pills every day. He tells us he is still dealing with having spent forty days in such a dangerous, "real" place. It's not just the Africa of fairy tales, people. People always ask Lex Loser whether he had fun during Survivor, and whether he would do it again. He says he had the time of his life and would do it again in a heartbeat. A seal basks and barks in the sun symbolizing...well, I have no idea, but something, obviously, in Mark Burnett's twisted mind.

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Survivor

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