1:03 PM: hour three. We're inside the CBS Studios parking lot. "This line is so quick!" C says. "I think we have about an hour and a half left," I agree. We've made friends with the people around us, all of whom seem relatively normal, with the exception of an Al Pacino look-alike about ten people up, who is wearing huge mirrored sunglasses, his pajamas, and a pair of slippers. He scares me. Apparently, he doesn't scare Jay Leno, who comes through the line interviewing the freakiest contestants he can find. He asks Pajama Man if he plans to wear his jammies on the island if he makes the show. Pajama Man jabbers incoherently. Jay Leno, by the way? Short. Also, travels with a bunch of people who constantly feed him his lines. On the other hand, he seems pretty nice. I'm getting very hot and my feet are starting to hurt. Still, I can wait it out an hour and half. The guy in front of us leaves, saying he can't handle the line anymore. "What a wimp," I mutter to C. "You'll never make it on the island!" I call after him.
2:40 PM: hour hour. The line has stopped moving and I don't know why. It's extremely hot. Like, fiery-intensity-of-a-thousand-burning-suns hot, and it's all directed right onto my head. Also, I haven't eaten. I feel a little funny. C and I make friends with a nice older guy behind us who tells us he's a tri-athlete. He's in marvelous shape. His name is Wayne, he's about fifty, and he's not white. He's a demographical slam-dunk. "The producers are going to love you," I tell him. He smiles. A woman dressed like an extra from Clan of the Cave Bear saunters past. I can see her nipple. One of the producers walks down the line, eyeing us all. She stops and talks to Wayne for a good fifteen minutes. "You're in," I tell him, afterwards. He grins mildly. I'm getting very sunburned. "How much longer do you think it'll be?" I ask the talent agent in front of us, a blonde woman named Toni who is now one of my bosom friends, as we have already discussed my getting laid off from my copywriting job and the fact that her husband, a TV producer, has been out of work since January, and she's getting a little bitter about being the sole breadwinner. Toni thinks we have about an hour and a half. I turn around to face the other side of the parking lot in hopes of at least sunburning evenly
3:11 PM: hour five. The crowd has degenerated to sitting on the asphalt silently. We've moved about ten feet in two hours. The pixyish Audrey Hepburn look-alike lesbian in front of us is talking to the guy in Elvis sunglasses about the classes they're taking at Groundlings. There's an actress we'll call Bambi lolling around in Earl Jeans cut so low on the hips that I'd have get to get a Brazilian wax before I even put them on. Her top is cropped right below her breasts. Toni, C, Wayne, Elvis, the Pixie Lesbian, and I agree that we hate her and her belly button. Another producer comes by and talks to Wayne. "You're gold," I tell him when she leaves. He smiles. The guy who brought a folding lounge chair with him has pizza delivered through the chain link fence. I'm starving. I would kill lounge chair guy for a slice. I'm hot, tired, and sunburned. I really want to go home. But C and I have put so much time into this already that we can't in good conscience leave now. Besides, we're about thirty feet from the cameras, and it can't be much longer. "Hour and a half?" Elvis asks. We all burst into barely controlled laughter. C and I try to plan what we'll say on camera. She thinks she'll talk about how unsuited, physically, she is for Survivor, but how she's all Machiavellian with the scheming. "I hope they go with the flabby smart people for S3," she says, "because if they do, I am so in." My plan is to just go with whatever comes out of my mouth.