Survivor
This Has Never Happened Before!

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Palau, Right In the Kisser

We dive down on top of a boat making its way through the rich, blue water surrounding a bunch of lush islands. If you're thinking that Burnett's shows are looking a little flushed, people, I agree -- and I am diagnosing them with a serious case of Lush Island Fevah! Seriously, Pearl Islands...Pearl Islands...Vanuatu...and now this? When do we get back to the desert? Or a real jungle? Or the frozen tundra of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, where one could have a hell of a game just by making everyone set up camp in the parking ramps at the Mall of America in December? Talk about unfavorable conditions, scarce resources, and utter desperation.

Anyway, Jeff "Stop Calling Me Phil" Probst is perched on the boat, and he explains that the part of the Pacific we are in is "remote and absolutely breathtaking." Because he is bossy, and he thinks you're too dumb to notice. It turns out that all this blue, perfect, untouched water is holding up "the island paradise of Palau." Probst claims that there are "hundreds of lush islands" (told you!), and that there are also coral reefs and little fishies everywhere. And during the video tour of the undersea community, we learn that there is a clam down there who has had a very bad day and quite frankly would be quite happy to eat you and spit you out as a pearl. That is one perturbed shellfish. And best of all, the music editors make it appear for all the world that the clam looks right at the camera and says, "OY!" I think it's just a trick. It also turns out that Palau is where jellyfish come for spring break. They party, and they drink, and unfortunately, they engage in unprotected stinging. That there is a public health crisis, people.

But as idyllic as all this looks now, it turns out that "some of the most fierce battles of World War II" took place in this area, and there's all kinds of military junk lying around in the jungles and on the bottom of the ocean. So in other words, like most of the beautiful things in the world, it has already been ravaged by man's inhumanity to man. (Speaking of the Mall of America in December.) Probst calls Palau "an eerie mix of man's explosive past and nature's power to reclaim." Because, you see, all the military stuff has weeds on it. That's the nature part. Nature is gradually reclaiming the enormous rusting tanks, and in approximately five million years, there will be no trace of them. I have a feeling nature would actually welcome a little help in the form of a few freaking tow trucks, no matter how much pride she may take in "reclaiming" tons of metal. I swear, it's not bad enough that mankind can be such a bunch of warmongering assholes...we have to litter, too. Were we born in a barn?

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