Amazing Race
The Race Begins

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: B+ | 3 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
Swing, you fat bastard!

The first challenge, it seems, is figuring out which airport to go to. (That's what they get for being in New York. It's a ball of confusion.) While a team with its back to us speculates that the flights probably leave from either JFK or LaGuardia, Joe and Bill very nearly snort that it's obviously not LaGuardia, but they allow as how it might be Newark. Matt and Ana flail wildly without a clue where to start, while Kevin and Drew bicker like an old married couple. Speaking of which, Margaretta feels "terribly slow," and Brenda and Pat for some reason note the nearness of Times Square. I'm fairly sure none of the flights are leaving from Times Square, ladies, so I'm not sure why we care so much about that, unless they're interested in catching a porno movie before they leave town. It occurs to me that half of getting a jump on people at this stage of the game is knowing New York and its airports, which hardly seems fair. Knowing New York is, after all, not a life skill so much as an accident of residence. This would be like if they started the game in Bloomington, Minnesota at the Mall of America, and the teams had to start by finding the Ritz Camera -- no, not the Ritz Camera on the third floor, the Ritz Camera on the FIRST floor. Hey, that would be cool! I would totally win.

Team Guido and the teachers catch cabs, while Paul and Amie call for flight information. Paul argues that the flights are probably all leaving from JFK, but he calls South African Air anyway, all the while telling Amie that he'd rather take the cheap train than the expensive taxi to the airport. Rob and Brennan try in vain to hail a cab, while Kevin and Drew also choose to take the route of calling ahead to find the right airport. At a pay phone, Drew grouses that "you have to hit six numbers to get a live human being on the phone," and thank you, Drew, you have successfully hit upon the Number One Consumer Complaint of 1996. Kevin: "It's amazing that you even got up this morning and tied your shoes." Drew: "Oh, shut up." Me: "Hee!"

Paul establishes that he can get to JFK by taking the A train (daaaaaaaaaa, daaaa da da bah-daaaaaaa…), but first Amie has to get through the turnstile, an act she not only has trouble completing with her pack on, but also has to have EXPLAINED to her. No, really. She has to be told how to go. Through a turnstile. And it's not a magic turnstile, or a turnstile that needs an electronic keycard, or a turnstile with glass shards sticking out of it. It's the same kind they have at every baseball game, amusement park, and subway station on the planet Earth. You'll want to file away this moment for later.

Nancy and Emily argue in a very mom-and-daughter way about the fact that Emily wants to just take off for JFK, while her mom wants to stop and figure out where the flights leave from first. Nancy voices over that not many mothers and daughters would even consider doing something like this together, and the mothers and daughters of the world, speaking as one, raise their glasses and say, "Amen." I mean, I love my mother, and more to the point, I like my mother. Nevertheless, I would NOT attempt something like this with her, because I would like us to still be speaking in a year. One of my friends, of course, insists that he could go on this show with his mother, because the worst thing that could happen would be that he'd do something wrong, in which case she would just abandon him by the side of the road and go on without him. No hard feelings.

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Amazing Race

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