Amazing Race

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M. Giant: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Gratuitous Footage

Tammy and Victor run for their cab, and Victor's leg is cramping. "Jennifer can't swim," Tammy points out, "So I knew that we could do it before them." Unlike Victor, however, Jen can probably run with both legs.

Inside, a distraught Jen puts on her cap, goggles, and life jacket and jumps in, flailing down the length of the pool. Apparently Kisha's first hundred yards counts against their total time, so at least they don't have to start over. As she goes, Kisha says, "I'm glad she's finishing strong. I think she feels like she let me down but she didn't. I'm proud of her right now," she says, tearing up herself. Kisha explains that like Jen, she's wearing a life vest of her own in solidarity. I suspect that the life jacket, which is helping keep Jen near the surface, is reducing her drag a hell of a lot more than the micro-engineered swimsuit she's wearing is. Aw, cheer up, Speedo. Maybe next time you can product-place flotation devices.

Victor has to slow to a walk, now that he's got cramps in both legs. Jen finishes her first length, and as Tammy and Victor try to get into a taxi, Victor suddenly lets out a bellow of pain. He can't even get his legs in the cab, they're cramping so bad. I know I really should be laughing at the noises he's making, but what's happening to him right now? Has happened to me. Multiple times. My calf muscle would spasm so badly that it looked like I was walking around with a subcutaneous Rubik's Cube in there. Except I wasn't so much "walking" as "flailing helplessly like Cara during a Chinese foot massage." It happened to me a lot more during my twenties, but eventually I gave up movement of all kinds and it hasn't recurred since.

By now, Jen has finished her first lap. Victor's calf is still seizing up, as though to provide some suspense while Kisha finishes her second lap, again telling Jen to finish strong as she jumps in and starts back-floating down the pool. Victor lets out some more musical howls and has to stand up outside the cab. Finally he manages to cram himself inside behind the driver, who doesn't even move his seat forward. "The race is humbling," Victor says in an interview. "Even though we had a communication advantage, we're still at the mercy of the local taxi cab driver knowing where to go. And Road Blocks, and challenges that we're not too comfortable in." And cramps that make you sing like a eunuch choirboy. "Let's hope we're not the last," Tammy says in the cab.

Kisha and Jen have finally finished with a cumulative time of eighteen minutes and nineteen seconds flat. Which I suspect means that on Monday morning, eighteen Speedo marketing employees were fired and nineteen were shot. As Jen climbs out, we hear her narrate, "I just had to push through that. Kisha knows my weaknesses, and I'm glad she was there pushing me. I'm sure lot of other people would have just let me quit, like I wanted to. Luckily I had my sister there." Right there with her, as they walk out of the Natatorium in last place. They get in a cab, looking as unhappy as Speedo executives.

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Amazing Race

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