Nick and VPD are out on the raft when Dan says that he wants to tell Nick a secret. Nick gives him the go-ahead. "Well," Dan says, "it turns out I did a little more than just work on space shuttles." "What are you saying?" Nick asks. "Well, I had an opportunity to be aboard a few of them." "As in?" Nick clarifies. "While they were flying," Dan tells him. Nick stops paddling as he listens to Dan explain that he was on three space-shuttle flights. "Dan, that's unbelievable," Nick says, duly impressed. He interviews that he never expected to meet, let alone live with, an astronaut. Nick praises Dan in an interview for "how humble he is" about the astronaut thing. And...you know, I like Dan, and he seems like a good guy, but I don't think humility has anything to do with how he carries the fact that he was an astronaut. I think it's sort of the opposite of that, to tell you the truth. I think Dan doesn't tell, because he likes the drama of telling. I think that telling people he is an astronaut is the best thing that ever happens in Dan's whole life, and the more he holds back, the more fun it is to tell. I fully and completely believe that's why he didn't tell in this situation. He told Terry first, because he knew that Terry would be so impressed that he couldn't wait. And now he's telling...pretty much everybody on his team. People who really don't want to tell don't spontaneously start announcing it (see: Hogeboom, Gary, who may have been clumsy, but was sincere in trying to keep his secret).
Back in the shelter, now that it's an open topic, Dan is talking and talking about how people told him he could never be an astronaut, blah blah blah. He rattles off how many times he's been in orbit, how many space walks he's done...again, it all impresses me, too ["me? Eh" -- Wing Chun], but the thing that impresses me the least is Dan's faux humility, which I think is very, very much faux. Nick and Austin agree that they need to do something good so that they'll have a better line for these situations, the better to match up with "Did I ever tell you about zero gravity blah blah blah." Austin interviews that Dan "actually has dined with Neil Armstrong," meaning that VPD has managed to fit that piece of marginally relevant information into the conversation, too. Austin goes on to say, "Dan Fuego is a stud. I told you from the git-go, he's a pimp." Heh. He reminds me very slightly of a very lovely Tennesseean/Texan I once knew, who would have said that in precisely the same way, so I find it charming. As Dan holds court in the shelter, he says that he didn't tell everyone, because he didn't want to be "the astronaut guy." Again: not true, I don't think, but I don't really blame him, either. I'm not sure Dan has gotten a lot of attention over his lifetime for a whole lot of things, and I don't begrudge him his love for his Ultimate Cool Job at all. ["Ehhhhh. It's not like he can sneak you into the movies for free. Now that is a cool job." -- Wing Chun] I just don't think Dan really tries very hard to keep it on the down-low, if you see what I mean. Dan claims in an interview that telling his tribemates was all about the fact that they're all "really good friends" now, and that he doesn't want secrets. Phooey. "It's just another way for us to bond," he says. HA! Bullshit. Dan's a nice guy, but what a load of crap: "My explaining how I am awesome brings us all closer together!" Anyway, Austin closes this segment by confessing that he's secretly John Grisham. In that case, write a new good book, John, because I used to like you.