Amazing Race
The Family Christmas Card

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Miss Alli: C- | Grade It Now!
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Even pink girls get the blues

Commercials. It was one thing when people didn't know what happened to Steve Martin since The Jerk, but now I'm like, "Steve Martin, what's happened to you since Father Of The Bride Part 2?"

Morning comes to Turtle Ranch. The cows are backlit, the horses are taking the gallop seen in the credits, and it's time to get moving. "Mornin', folks," says the...I don't know, ranch hand, or whatever, and the teams all go through the gate. He explains that they'll all take off running toward a row of vans that are waiting with drivers on a road across the field. The teams take off. The first into a car are the Linzes. Then the Weavers, Bransens, and Gadzookskis. Basically, the drivers start driving, and the teams really have no idea where they're going or what's going on. Mama Weaver prays for "wisdom" as Rolly chews something conspicuously in the seat behind her. She'd be better off praying for a discount orthodontist.

We now move to a large green field, where a single tepee stands along with a single Indian/Native American (believe me, it depends on whom you ask; they don't identify him by tribe, which is what he would undoubtedly prefer) chief. Teams pull up and hop out and run to the clue box. The Linzes are the first to pull the clue, and it's the Detour. Phil explains that this week's Detour offers a choice between Pioneer Spirit and Native Tradition. Pioneer Spirit, as much as it sounds like the name of a task in which you construct a hokey and jingoistic Rose Parade float, isn't. In fact, you attach four wheels to a wagon, hook up some horses, and drive the wagon a quarter-mile. In Native Tradition, you use provided materials and tools to build a tepee. (Again, I found multiple spellings, and at that point, I am Merriam-Webster's pawn, so please don't email me.) The idea of the Detour is supposedly that driving horses is hard, but putting a tepee together the way it's supposed to go isn't so easy either. The Linzes and Bransens take the horses, while the Weavers and Godlewskis take the tepee. "How hard can it be?" the pinks wonder. Boy, there are some famous last words for you. Right after "you can't miss it," you'll find "how hard can it be?"

It turns out the horse-wheel people have to start out by finding the right colored wheels in the field and dragging them back (a suspiciously tacked-on-seeming step probably intended to make this task take longer), so they go off to find them. As the Weavers walk up the chief, Rolly remarks, as if the chief is a statue, "He's cute." What is it, do you suppose, that's making this 14-year-old boy call a much, much older man "cute"? Because I don't think the answer is a very pleasant one. ["I'd pretty much already decided the kid could free his own damn self, but that cinched it." -- Sars] As the Godlewskis start the task, rather than just putting up the pieces for the frame, Christine runs over to "measure with [her] feet" how far apart each of the pieces should be on the ground.

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Amazing Race

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