I Would Not Survive
6:15 PM: hour eight continues. We're almost up. Bambi with her tan, bare belly is number fifty. C is fifty-one. I am fifty-two. Bambi perches on the stool, stares into the camera, and bats her fake eyelashes. "What wouldn't I do for a million dollars?" she asks in a breathy baby voice. "I would never hurt anyone emotionally, mentally, or physically. Or animals. I would never hurt animals." The flamboyantly gay man next to me turns around and rolls his eyes at me. We've bonded over our mutual hatred of Bambi. Over on camera three, a young guy holds up a big "Pick Me!" sign.
6:21 PM: still hour eight. C is on the hot seat. I can barely hear her over the chuckleheads in line for camera three, who are doing some kind of cheer. I see the pixie lesbian over at camera one. She's yodeling the Survivor theme. She's darling. She's in. The guy after her gets up there with wood and newspaper and tries to start a fire. In the tent. The camerawoman doesn't bat an eye, but at least she doesn't walk away this time. On camera three, a woman has removed her leopard print tank dress to reveal a shimmery camouflage bikini. She holds up a CD made by her garage band and then flexes her biceps. The cameraman turns his back on her and rubs his eyes. I hear C say something about only having one kidney. "She has one kid?" Flamboyantly Gay asks me. "One KIDNEY," I correct him. He nods. C clambers off the stool. "I have no idea what I just said," she tells me.