Previously on National Buffoon's European Vacation: Chuck felt a little constricted, and not just for the obvious reasons. The ethics of line-jumping were analyzed at a level of coma-inducing detail that hasn't been reached since the New York Times sat down, plunged its nose into its navel, and emerged with a forty-thousand-word explanation of how someone named "Mike" came to be identified in a photo caption as "Doug," and what that means for the future of American journalism. Jeff put the Chipsters' integrity in question, and AirSteve did the same for the integrity of their tires. Jeff thought the real question was why the models all feel "privileged," while I thought the real question was whether Jeff has lifts in his shoes. Tian and Jaree used the Fast Forward to stay out of last place, and Dave used what was left of his knee to keep from having to be taken to the pit stop in a golf cart. Josh and DadSteve were Philiminated, which is a sad but necessary thing, because honestly, I don't think I could stand to see someone cross the finish line in a Public Enemy t-shirt. Horns of Perseverance (HoP) Count during this week's previouslys: Three. Last week really did set the standard.
"Who will be eliminated..." Heartened by the Spike Lee lawsuit, hundreds of men named "Stu" file claims against Dinty Moore. ". . . tonight?"
Credits. This Week's Fun Fact You Can Learn From Zaprudering The Credits With The Assistance Of TiVo: DadSteve keeps Josh in an iron cage. [BOMP.]
Commercials. You know, I always say I would eat more peanut butter sandwiches if they weren't so darn much work. It's about time someone eliminated all that tiresome spreading.
Drunken cameramen careen around Marseilles, which Phil, the host with the educational most, points out was founded by the Greeks and has become one of Europe's busiest port cities. We then swing around to look directly down the driveway of the picturesque Chateau des Alpilles, which Phil explains was the fourth pit stop. During the recap of last week's mat arrivals, I notice that Jeff arrived wearing his sunglasses over the bandanna on top of his head. Nice look, if you're cleaning chimneys in Fort Lauderdale. Phil explains that the teams got here at the end of the leg, and they've been enjoying their mandatory rest period ever since. Well, considering some of the dispositions we're dealing with, I suppose "enjoying" is a strong word. But I suppose Phil is in no position to speak the truth, which is probably that the break allowed them to eat, sleep, and make rabbit ears behind the heads of the other teams during their interviews. Phil wonders aloud whether the bickering Tian and Jaree will find a way to make peace, and whether AirSteve and Dave have enough magic left to keep pulling quarters out of the ears of fate.
2:26 AM. Tian and Jaree. Tian is wearing her ever-present sleek black stretchy pants, and Jaree is wearing her ever-present like-I-care cargo pants. Seriously, I am convinced that the pants are the key to unlocking their personal conflict. Tian seems to have a firm belief that this whole thing should look like an episode of Charlie's Angels, and she's got a partner who dresses like Amy Wynn. It's no wonder they're fighting. Anyway, the clue tells them to get to Amsterdam, Holland, which Phil explains is a thousand miles away. Not wanting to be too obvious with the clichés, the camera guys swoop over a windmill to illustrate the concept of "Holland." HAVE A TULIP! AND PERHAPS A DISEASED ELM! In Amsterdam, Phil says that teams will have to find the Magere Brug, which is reportedly a famous bridge, though it's not clear what it's famous for. Phil does say it's the "famous skinny white bridge," so maybe it's famous for being skinny and white. (I hear that's the only kind of bridge Harrison Ford will cross anymore, by the way.) Anyway, for this leg of the race, they're only getting $90. Why do I think it's by design that they haven't padded the racers with cash as they send them to the land of legal pot and hookers? Tian and Jaree toss their stuff in the car and talk about finding their way to the Marseilles airport. On the road, they have a tense exchange in the car about directions, and Jaree interviews that she's not so big on being treated like a child just because she drives instead of reading the map. I totally agree that backseat navigators tend to forget that driving is partly in the execution, and it's not like the person driving isn't doing anything. The driver is the one who actually has to get the car into the lane she needs, and manage the strange roads. The driver isn't always the slacker in these situations; it's just a different skill.