Amazing Race
Check Your Tires Because…Oh God, You Never Know What'll Happen!

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Barbarians at the gate

Commercials. I suppose you could eat Total, but you could also take a vitamin and not eat anything at all, and that would taste better.

Back at the gate, everyone is furious because the Chipsters and Tian and Jaree are waiting up by the entrance instead of choosing to wait in the line that they invented. Chip tells Reichen that he wants to go back and get in line to avoid trouble, and Reichen goes along. I think Chip senses that they're starting to build up a lot of dammed-up resentment in other people, which -- deserved or not -- could wind up being both very unpleasant and potentially bad for their standing. Tian hammers at Jaree that she is not pulling back, no matter what anybody else does. "Whose team are you on?" she demands when Jaree protests a little. "I'm on our team," Jaree says carefully, "but we play fair, we don't..." "We are playing fair!" Tian insists. "We're parking where they told us to park, Jaree, that's the end of the story."

In the back of the line, Reichen is noisily bragging about how they so politely have put themselves in back of the line -- not that he had anything to do with it. DadSteve tries to offer Chip a handshake for being a good guy, and Chip turns him down. "No, no, I don't want to shake your hand, because everyone's questioning my integrity!" he shouts. Oh, please. Dial it back, there, Susan Lucci. Chip now gestures in a way that is somehow both emphatic and wimpy that he was, after all, at the gate first last night, and left only because he was driven off by the guard. Jeff, slow-talking like a surfer guy, says, "You guys think you're privileged," which you'll recall is exactly what he said about Tian and Jaree. David Spade! That's who Jeff reminds me of. Thank God, that was driving me crazy. Anyway, this goes on for a bit until Chip again goes on a "Don't question my integrity!" rampage. Up in the Tian/Jaree car, Jaree argues that the rest of the people are all going to hate them now, which is probably not a good thing.

What I love about this entire sequence is how they all disagree with each other, and yet every single person is full of shit. Tian? Wrong. Wrong because she's trying to claim that her reason for staying at the gate is that she was told to park there, when in fact her reason for staying at the gate is that she has managed to get ahead of other people, and because it's a race, she wants to stay there. She ought to just admit it, really. Chipsters? Wrong. Wrong because their being there the night before has no bearing on anything, because once you leave and go to a hotel rather than staying nearby, you've given up whatever you got for yourself by your early arrival. Jeff? Completely wrong, because it has nothing to do with feeling "privileged." It has to do with lucking into an opportunity to get ahead and taking it -- or in the Chipsters' case, not even taking it, but thinking about taking it. AirDave? Wrong, because you can't just order people to follow a line that isn't even a real line, but just a group of cars waiting near a gate, particularly when you have a history of line-butting yourself. As far as I'm concerned, it was the responsibility of the people waiting on the shoulder to guard their advantage by watching in the morning and approaching a guard as soon as it got light out, asking whether they could pull up and wait at the gate, and if he said no, asking when it would be okay to do that. Barring that? Sucks to be you.

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Amazing Race

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