The train carrying Other Rachel and Dave and Joey "Fitness" and Danny pulls into Ehrwald later, when it's still dark but not by much. Both teams hop into their cars and get going. "It'll be fun to meet up with Art and JJ again," Rachel says. As the sun comes up, Art and JJ find the restaurant, and commence the wait for the 8:30 opening time. Joey "Fitness" and Danny show up next, followed by Other Rachel and Dave. Greetings all around, and they all do a pretty convincing job of seeming happy to see each other.
At 8:30, the doors open, and that damn polka band strikes right up, including a yodeling chick with a 60-year-old voice coming out of a 20-year-old face. JJ finds the table full of gnomes right away, which isn't hard, and they read the clue on the bottom. Looks like a Detour: "Fairy Tale" or "Champion Male." Now here's Phil, walking through falling snow with the picturesque town in the background, telling us about how important German writers are in the world of fairy tales, and also about the country's history of successful showings at something called the "World Beard Championships." Now that sounds interesting. Is that where people compete to find out who can most convincingly claim that their closeted homosexual partner of the opposite sex is a tiger in the sack? We'll come to that in a minute.
First, Phil explains that for "Fairy Tale," the teams will have to follow a trail of gingerbread fragments through some woods, collecting it in a basket as they go until they arrive at the "fairy tale-inspired village of Oberammergau," where a woman in a witch's costume and makeup is stirring a cauldron. Then they'll have to use the gingerbread they collected to shingle the roof of a half-finished miniature gingerbread house to get their next clue from the witch. Who has a really lame cackle, if you ask me. Phil barely spares her an eyebrow. I think she's not so much a local performer as a production assistant who lost a coin toss.
"Champion Male" is not what it sounds like -- it's just going to another tavern, where a bunch of guys with big beards are waiting for the racers to show up and style their facial hair into the over-the-top designs they displayed at the World Beard Championships, as shown in the photograph of each fully-styled contestant that will be supplied to the team that chooses him or her (just making sure you were paying attention there). They'll have access to a whole table full of hair products and blow dryers and rollers and stuff to use, "Until no hair is out of place." There's one guy there whose white beard and mustache is already shaped like the top of the wrought-iron gates of Stately Wayne Manor. He is apparently the defending world champion, who will decide whether each team's work matches the photo well enough to earn them their next clue. All three lead teams decide to style beards. And when I say, "defending world champion," I may just be using the word "defending" literally.