Amazing Race
Think Like An Office Chair

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: C | 4 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Sawing logs, indeed

Rockets! Phil explains that we are at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where the teams engaged in bits of local color such as signing on to America Online. He calls it "one of NASA's most prestigious research facilities," and "a living tribute to America's exploration of space." I like the idea that a research facility is "living." Maybe if it's crawling with bacterial samples. And here we are, at the space shuttle Pathfinder, and...don't even ask me what they're doing dressing Phil this week, seriously. It's like as part of the Family Edition bumbledee-doo, they've decided to purchase all of Phil's clothing from the Pasty Tourist Dad Collection. He's wearing hiked-up white pants (GAH!), along with a shirt with wide vertical stripes in green and white. This is what you get if you are forced to improvise an outfit out of nothing but picnic tablecloths. Can I make a request that Phil never wear white pants again? Would that be a hard rule to follow? Is there some contract with the Unflattering Trouser Company that can only be paid off in trade? Is something compelling wardrobe to continue shopping at Irregular Crotches For Men? Because there are times when even clothing that is being sold at a 40 percent markdown should not be purchased, even if you are blowing the rest of the budget on securing that killer Roadblock location at the Kenosha outlet mall. Anyway, Pathfinder -- or, rather, a random stretch of empty ground kind of near Pathfinder -- was the third pit stop. Mandatory rest period to come down from all the blistering excitement, blah blah blah. Phil wonders whether the weird way the Weavers are acting will "further distance them" from everyone else, which hardly seems possible unless it involves simultaneously dancing and witnessing, and whether the Gaghans can drag themselves out of last place.

1:15 PM. Papa Wally and the Tonyas are getting ready to go. When they rip their clue, it tells them to "find the largest office chair in the world." And you thought nothing exciting was going to happen in this leg. Phil explains that said office chair is located in Anniston, Alabama, 100 miles away. When we see a shot of the chair, it turns out that it's kind of just...a chair, more than an "office chair." I was envisioning one of the doodads with the pneumatic lifts and all the levers for adjusting the lumbar support. This is more like what the Jolly Green Giant encounters when he goes to the DMV. It's a 24-year-old "roadside attraction," which isn't surprising, because that means somebody came up with it in about 1981, not one of the most scintillating periods in American cultural history. You can imagine somebody spending some time building a giant chair at a time when the alternative was Rick Springfield. When they arrive at the chair, one member of each team will have to climb a ladder up onto the seat to get their clue. It's kind of sad how there's no activity around the office chair anywhere, but I found Graceland to be the same way. I don't know what I expected, but if you've ever been there, you know it's like, "motel, motel, gas station, White Castle, gas station, Graceland, motel, gas station." Maybe Graceland would seem more spectacular if it had a really big chair in the front yard.

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Amazing Race

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