Talk among the tribe turns to Brad's decision to sit out the swim and do the puzzle instead. He explains that he feels like they keep losing challenges at the end and choking, and he wanted to be there at the end. In the end, though, he agrees that they needed another strong swimmer. So the debate is over, right? He agrees that it was probably the wrong choice, and they understand what he was thinking? Of course not! No, in an interview, Nate says, "For Brad to want to take the back seat today, and want to be puzzle boy? When we have a swimming challenge? Pissed me off. I don't know what his deal was. Maybe he didn't want to get wet, maybe he was cold, maybe he's a nancy boy, I don't know what he was thinking. But he did not get his ass up and swim. We needed him there, I don't care about no stupid puzzle." And then Nate adopts a distinctly soft, mincing tone and says, "'I'm good at puzzles, I'm real --' I don't care about that nonsense." First of all, there's no excuse for "nancy boy" under any circumstances. Obviously, it has a homophobic stench, whether you mean it that way or not. Second of all, why isn't this just a matter of Brad making a bad strategy decision? Why would it mean he was weak, or that he didn't want to swim? What about Brad's wrestling Ozzy last week made anybody think he was weak? What about Brad in general would make anyone think that he would shy away from a physical task? "Afraid to get wet"? It's just a little suspicious to me that Brad happens to be the only gay person on the tribe, and he happens to be the one being called a "nancy boy." Is it possible? Oh, I suppose. Is it the most likely explanation? I think not.
Back around the fire, Jenny, Nate, and Parvati are continuing their little snotty business about this. Jenny bitches that Brad knows he's one of the better swimmers, and she's like, "How hard is it to do a puzzle?" HA HA HA! Oh, dear. Ask the four billion teams who have lost challenges at the puzzle portion, folks. You know how Jeff always says fire is life? Actually, puzzles are life. If your team is good enough at puzzles, you can usually win, and if they're not, you can't. The idea of blowing off puzzle-solving as a useful skill is just idiotic, and it suggests that they're not being logical, they're just being pissy. Parvati is on about how this really made her angry, too, and she chooses to be indignant on behalf of Rebecca, who of course almost killed herself by swimming out once. "I don't know why he insisted on the puzzle," she says of Brad. Of course, we didn't see any insisting. It's not that there couldn't have been any, but I didn't see any. In fact, we didn't even see anyone questioning Brad on whether he should do the puzzle or swim, nor are they claiming here that they did. All we saw was a choice on Brad's part, in a task where everyone was called upon to do one task or the other, that he'd rather do the puzzle than swim. Parvati goes on to say that she's so angry she could punch Brad in the mouth. For that? You'd better be careful, lady, or somebody's going to think it's not a coincidence that the one guy who you can't effectively wave your boobs at happens to be the one you don't like. And she finishes up with, "God, that was miserable today," which is what this is really about. They're all unhappy, and they're looking for someone to blame, and it would be so refreshing if they could just own it, you know? Nate complains about how now, there's a storm, and he has to take care of the women, and apparently they're just sitting around camp knitting and churning butter, and it's just so hard to be the only real man with a nancy boy, you know?