Amazing Race
A Confederacy of Dunces

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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Gone with the "1"

Sandy and Amani are both telling their respective partners that they got it. But Marcus smacks into the runway pretty hard, rocking the whole simulator, whereas Jeremy makes a smooth, straight landing. Worse, Marcus veers clear off the right side of the runway. "Landing was a bit harsh," the teacher says diplomatically. I used to tell my wife Trash the old saying that any landing you can walk away from is a good one, which may be why she doesn't like to sit next to me on the plane any more. But Jeremy and Sandy successfully bring their plane to a safe stop on the fake tarmac, having done it on the first try. "Nice work, here's your next clue," the instructor says. They run out of the simulator happily while Marcus covers his face with his hands in unsimulated frustration.

Out in the hangar, Sandy reads from the clue, "Find the former residence known as 'The Dump.'" Sounds lovely. Phil says they'll have to figure out that "The Dump" is actually the former residence of Margaret Mitchell, "The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gone with the Wind." And she lived in a dump? But a writer's life is so glamorous! In fact, I'm wearing new house slippers right now! Outside the big red block of a house, a woman in a Scarlett O'Hara getup is waiting to hand them their next clue. Jeremy and Sandy are off, and are pretty pleased to see two other cabs still waiting outside when they emerge. They get in and ask their driver to look up on his phone "the former residence known as The Dump." But then they decide to ask someone at...an intersection. Because if you want to do research, the place to go is where two streets meet. Whatever, you two, go ahead and take a ride to Peachtree and Peachtree, see if I care.

Back in the building, Ernie and Marcus both "go outside," which I guess means turning off their autopilots. Marcus asks an imaginary control tower for taxi information, and the instructor politely explains that they can't do that until after they've landed, so he's blown it again. Ernie seems like he's coming in a little hot, with the plane rolling from side to side, but he sets it down level. "Third time's the charm, right babe?" Marcus asks. Or maybe a higher number. Having completed the task, Cindy says, "That was so whack!" Marcus again tells himself the third time's the charm. He should say it one more time. Out in the hangar, Ernie and Cindy open their clue and know nothing about "the Dump." Marcus is praying for help. The second Ernie and Cindy are outside, she asks their driver, Ben, if he knows "the former residence known as The Dump." She borrows his phone again as they figure that Jeremy and Sandy must already be done and gone. And back in the building, Marcus smacks the runway at a vertical speed of ten feet per second and tries not to lose control. "Little movements," Amani reminds him, and looks impressively calm as he skids off the runway again. Marcus looks less calm about this. I happen to think this would be much better TV if, after going off the runway, the simulation included the landing gear buckling, the plane flipping over, and the fuel tanks exploding. It would also make for more effective symbolism.

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Amazing Race

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