We're Not At Charm School Learning How To Be A Gentleman, We're Racing
The Amazing Race 4: Episode 9
Previously, the Racers come to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and do a lot of stupid things including, among others, trying to see how good they will be on a Survivor challenge and how they will fare in case they somehow have to earn their living as fishermen (verdict: not good). And that is after they barely escape India, the Country That Will Not Let You Leave. It's a non-elimination round, so we are still stuck with five Teams. Someone please drag the Oily Bohunks away. I really cannot stand watching them anymore. There ought to be a rule forbidding Moo and Monotone from signing up on reality shows.
Anyway, credits. I have a floss stuck in my teeth. Damn.
Philo Koughie, our hostest with the mostest mysterious on-and-off manboobies but always hot nonetheless, comes on screen in a really sexy blue shirt. The wind blows dramatically so that Philo's shirt can flutter and hint at a really nice body underneath. We need more wind. He tells me that we are at the Manukan Island, "just of the coast of the Malaysian Borneo", whichh is not entirely true because Borneo is a colonial name, and now us independent feitsy third-world people prefer not to use the name anymore. But if I still call Mumbai Bombay, I guess it's fair that they call Kalimantan and East Malaysia "Borneo". He talks about Racers spending time at the Pit Stop eating - cue a really scary shot of Chuckles the Werewolf biting on some pastry. His hair! Must be the third werewolf stage advancement thing here - drinking - one of the Oily Bohunk holding a Coke bottle that has more personality than the two of the Bohunks combined - sleeping - the Barrs asleep and Dan sporting a major case of nippleage, I'll let the following screencap do the talking, ahem.
Don't they look so innocent asleep? Then Dan is awake, and lo, Philo just has to continue from where he left off from "sleeping" - now he says "mingling", and look! Dan Barr comes on and he grabs Top Gun's right nipple and no, not just pinch, he grabs it, probably pinches it first, and without letting go of the nipple, then jiggles the whole manboob in a way that screams "I'm gay all the way from Soho to San Francisco!". Chippo is beside Top Gun, grinning, as Top Gun tries not to look too excited as he smiles at the camera. Everybody - except the MillieChuck - seems to be so touchy-feely at the Pit Stop. I bet there's an X-rated As The Pit Stop Turns footage extravanganza that's screaming to be released on bootleg DVD. In the meantime, enjoy the screencaps of Dan sexual harrassing poor Top Gun as Chippo the yummy stud looks on in horror. Hey, if I can rewatch the footage again and again because I'm weird that way, those who missed the show can see for themselves what they are missing. Adrenaline, bitchiness, and hoyay - what else can one ask for from a reality TV show? Nobody makes nipple pinching this good like The Amazing Race, so you people, watch it while it's still on. And while you're at it, write some letters to Less Moomoo at CBS because apparently there may not be The Amazing Race 5 ever.
Anyway, back to the race. At 2:05 am, the Sideshow Bobs and the DADT are standing side by side, each with their respective clue envelopes. DADT will leave at 2:06 am, but it really doesn't matter actually as long as the Sideshow Bobs leave the mat first. The Sideshow Bobs read aloud the clue that tells them to take the boat back to the mainland and travel 78 miles to the Poring Hot Springs (heh) by cab. There, they will walk on a wooden bridge hanging 100 feet from the ground. And in case you're wondering, Poring Hot Springs is one of the many ersatz "nature hike" spots in Malaysia. There is a high chance you'll die of boredom than to be attacked by wild animals. Anyway, one of the Sideshow Bobs look at the camera, puckers up his obnoxious mouth to imitate Babe the Pig (only Babe is cuter), and says loudly just like the camera ho that he is, "Hot springs!" In case I'm deaf and still not getting the fact that he's a Funny Clown, I guess. Yo, Clowns, I eat unfunny ugly freaks like you - in a non-sexual alimentary way, just to make this clear - on my birthday parties, so read my lips, buster: You Are Not Funny. Now bug off, you obnoxious freaks. It's a good thing you two are good racers. The DADTs dash after them. Both teams are neck to neck in getting on the boats reserved for each team.
The Sideshow Bobs talk about how they are positive and also clowning around and how this gives them a mental edge over other teams. Yeah, and I'm also feeling the edge of the razorblade on my brain each time they decide to "clown" around and balance the remainder of my good mood on their ugly tubby noses. Let's stuff them in a cannon and shoot them right into Alcatraz! The DADTs talk about how they don't annoy each other and how they "click" together without having to vocalize the clicking. Or something. Anyway, for this team, "clicking" means "Yes, Sir Chippo, you say, I obey". It's too bad that Chippo isn't good at navigation at all. I'd prefer this team to win if the Barrs can't, because they are Mr Personalities compared to the dull and personality-free Sideshow "Obnoxious" Bobs and the Oily "Oh Just GET LOST Already!" Bohunks, but really, they need to work on that navigation thing.
At 2:19 am, the MillieChuck are released from their cages. Millie the Mole talk about how they have not been sleeping for the last few days because they are up all night studying maps - hmm, I guess it's probably useful to draw out a map for the locals to show them the direction - and books - what books? She says that she's aggressive and he's passive and they are slowly getting on each other's nerves. She talks about "strategizing", which in MillieChuck speak will translate into "Chuckles, it's all your fault you didn't listen to me and I hate it when I have to make all the decisions but I guess if that means you and I are not to be I will start crying and say I just want you to be happy, but in the meantime, oh look, here's a Detour or Roadblock, Chuckles you do it, no, do it like I told you to, darn it, see? We're behind and it's all your fault!"
2:50 am. The Oily Bohunks count the money they are given for this leg of the race ($130 if you have to know) and one of them comments in the voiceover that they are "impulsive". "Really, huh?" my husband says skeptically. The Bohunk then says that they must work on not trying to be "impulsive". Bohunks, oh Bohunks, the last thing you two need is to be less "impulsive". If you are any less impulsive you will be the two wooden planks with confused faces scribbled on one side of each plank. Since Kali in India doesn't want these two, I wonder if the local pagan deity Old Man Of The Sea will want them instead. ("What did I do to make you hate me this much?" - Old Man Of The Sea.)
Now, the Sideshow Bobs and the DADTs have reached mainland and are now in cabs. Top Gun talks about how this Race is now "every man for himself". He asks what must be the theme of the show, Ask The Cab Driver To Go Faster. Alas, the cab's headlights soon reveal an ominous roadblock ahead: the cows have come to laze on the highway ahead. Heh. The Sideshow Bobs point out that there are cows on the road, in case I've never see cows before and mistake those creatures on the road for the Sideshow Bobs' circus mates. He adds that the cows are either sleeping on the road or just idling around. The cows go moo. I like cows.
At 3:36 am, way, way behind of the other Teams, the Barrs are finally ready to leave. Roseanne tells in her voiceover that they have learned to negotiate and compromise and that's the most important thing in their relationship. To prove this, they smooch and cuddle on the boat as they depart for the mainland. I swear I hear the nipple-pinching Dan Barr agree, on Roseanne's insistence on him not bargaining as they are last, to pay the cab driver two hundred ringgit to get to the Hot Springs. Let me say this: if Dan actually pays two hundred bucks for a cab fare, he has been screwed most royally and a very happy cab driver will be able to take the rest of the day off from work. I pay two hundred bucks to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu. I do not pay two hundred bucks for a cab ride, unless it's from the Thai border straight down the Peninsular Malaysia to Singapore, and even so, I have to be very drunk to agree to the two hundred dollar cab fare. Still, the Barrs are probably rushing for time to stop and consider economics.
The DADTs are the first to arrive at the Hot Springs. They realize as they talk to a security guy through the locked gates that the Hot Springs will only be open to the public at 6:30 am in the morning. It's 5:02 am, so there's enough time for the other three Teams to catch up. As the Sideshow Bobs, the MillieChuck, and the Bohunks pull up in their cabs in that order, Chippo talks about how the teams are all rather frosty to each other. Or rather, he says every team is "standoffish". Come on, guys, let's take off your shirts - you too, Millie - and let's all pinch nipples together! And after that, let's all sing happy songs - the Sideshow Bobs will clap and lead the way - like Hee, Hee, Hee, We Are One Big Family! But these Racers are serious, so all they do is to wander around the carpark as morning slowly inches forward. Millie the Mole yawns to the crowing of a rooster. Then she and the rest of the team hold the gates like prisoners staring at the world outside from behind bars, looking, well, like Very Miserable People. One of the Bohunks say that only the Barrs are not here to reenact Schindler's List with the rest of them. The Racers this season sure have mastered the art of pointing out the obvious.
The Barrs are in their cabs now heading towards the Poring Hot Springs. It's 6:26 am. Dan Barr mysteriously says aloud that they are almost there. How does he know? The cab driver told him? Hmmm.
Then it's 6:30 am and the gates are opened! The shorty shifty-eyed Bohunk says that this will be a "footrace", and indeed, everybody just flings his or her bag aside and sprints towards the direction of the wooden bridge the instant the gates are opened wide enough for them to squeeze through. Millie the Mole scurries forward to lead the pack, all the while calling Chuckles to hurry up. Chuckles do catch up, but while Millie just dash across the bridge without care, Chuckles gets the panic and causes a mild bottleneck on the bridge. Top Gun says, "I was afraid I didn't have my footing because the people behind us were kind of shaking the bridge, and it was making it really difficult to run in a straight line." I notice that the Short Shifty-Eyed Bohunk, the last in the bottleneck queue, almost lost his footing twice. Before he even climbed on the bridge.
Millie almost dashes past the clue stand, and then thanks the Good Lord Above when she sees it and backtracks almost at once. Then Chuckles catch up and they both realize that they must now head towards a grammatically-challenged oil palm plantation called the Trushidup Palm Oil Plantation, which is odd because you can't plant palm oil, only oil palms. But that's Malaysian English for you. The plantation is about 145 miles away.
In case you're wondering why oil palms, well, that's because in the 1970s towards the late 1980s, palm oil is Malaysia's biggest export to the rest of the world, so it's a Malaysian identity thing. Yes, palm oil is bad (too much saturated fatty acids), but if you expect to find an olive plantation in Malaysia, you really need to worry more about your Geography than your Health Education. And besides, palm oil is cheap. We Malaysians don't care too much about the healthy oil thingie. That's why we are generally more healthy than the health-conscious Americans. You should see how the Chinese liberally use pig lard to fry the ever delicious char kuey teow, best eaten with mildly cooked and still bloody cockles. A good char kuey teow, by the way, will have the oil still dripping from every strand of noodle on the plate. Oh well, what we lose in terms of bad diet we make up for by eating really delicious unhealthy food that we enjoy.
Anyway, let's go back to Race before I really get hungry thinking about food. The Sideshow Bobs get their clue second, then DADT, then the Bohunks, in that order, and then all are making their own ways in the designated vehicles provided in the car park to Trushidup.
The Barrs are now pulling up at the Hot Springs. Roseanne starts calling Dan to hurry up as Dan just has to unzip by the roadshow bushes to answer the call of nature. It could be worse, I guess - Dan could have unzipped his pants and then squat over the bushes. My husband comments that it takes a very daring man to shove his, uh, "friendly family" (I can't believing I'm quoting the Bohunks) into the bushes in a wilderness. You never know what you may annoy in the bushes with your... stuff: snakes, warthogs, orangutans, tapirs - the mind boggles, really. I personally believe Roseanne will do better to get Dan to hurry up by screaming that she sees a cobra in the bushes. If Dan calls her on it after he wets his pants, she can tell him that, well, she's not exactly lying about the cobra, and Dan will forgive her lie because his ego will take over his senses. Am I not a smart wife that knows how to handle my man? I hope my husband doesn't read this or he'll be on to me the next time he drags me to some nature trek in some godforsaken wilderness in search of "adventure". When Dan is done fertilizing the grasses, he runs towards the very impatient Roseanne, telling her that he regrets drinking two cups of coffee earlier that morning. Oh, is it coffee that drives Dan to go around pinching nipples? How will he be under the influence of alcohol? Forget hiding the lampshades, let's just flee the house!
Meanwhile, the other Teams are leaving. The Bohunks dash past the MillieChucks, followed by the DADT and the Sideshow Bobs. Chuckles, standing over an arched wooden walkway that lead out of the Hot Springs, calls to Millie to "suck it up" (really) and hurry up. Millie, probably having exerted all her energy on the dash across the bridge, stumbles. Go run and then carry her, you silly man, Chuckles. She's almost dead on her feet. You want to be fast, you help her. Same with you, Millie. Sometimes I really get annoyed with these two because they know how to blame each other or complain about each other being their "opposite", but I rarely see them stopping to actually help each other in time of need. All they do is to yell at each other to hurry up or slow down. It's not fun to watch, really.
The Barrs are running in the right direction, but Dan hears the others running and Chuckles calling in the other direction and tells Roseanne to follow him that way. Then they wonder why they can't see the familiar red and yellow flags that point towards the location of the clue stand. Still, they trudge forth, straight into the ersatz wilderness. Good luck, you two. Say hi to any monkeys you meet along the way for me.
Now the other four Teams are on the road. Leading the pack are the Bohunks. The MillieChuck are behind, followed by DADT and the Sideshow Bobs. At this time, they are leaving the cooler environment of the forests and with the day heating up, condensation begins to form on their windows and windscreens. One of the Sideshow Bob comments to the other to defrost the car. The Bohunks are cursing when they can't see the road. Chuckles complains to Millie, who's at the backseat, that he can't see clearly. Meanwhile, Chippo tells Top Gun, who's at the backseat, when Top Gun asks that he has already defrosted the car back at the car park. Ooh, Chippo, you're such a smart dude. Want to go visit the caves in Sarawak with me? Chuckles asks for Millie's shirt, but it's for him to wipe the windscreen, as he explains to Millie in an urgent tone. Relax, Chuckles. It's just condensation. Roll down the windows. As the Bohunks and the MillieChuck pull up by the road to defrost their vehicles, the DADT merrily passes them by. The Sideshow Bobs try to tag behind, as Top Gun points out to Chippo, and the driver Sideshow Bob even boast that he can't lose them because he's from New York. Then his windscreen gets too fogged up and he laughs as he slows the vehicle down, "Famous last words; now I'm gonna lose them!" See, now they're funny, because this humor is spontaneous and not affected for the cameras. Why can't you guys be like this more often? Anyway, the remaining three Teams watch as the DADT zoom off, triumphant, into the bright glare of the rising sun over the horizon.
Of course, knowing the DADT, this may be their literal ride into the sunset, never to be seen again.
Still in the Hot Springs, the Barrs are wandering around, lost. Roseanne is telling Dan in her Harpy In The Morning voice that they should stop and think where they are going. Dan insists that they should keep moving or be left behind even more. Roseanne mumbles under her breath and trudges up the slope after Dan.
Meanwhile, in a valiant attempt to inject some personality into those two Bohunks, the show see Shifty-Eyed Shorty at the back telling Hirsute Cable Pornstar in the front to take the car a little slower. Hirsute responds by using a few choice bleeped words, and his limp delivery has all the effect of a huge tranquilizer booster jab. Shorty tells Hirsute to "lose that attitude". Hirsute tells Shorty that Shorty needs to "f**k off". No, both of you need to f**k off. Hirsute says in a voiceover that sometimes he loses it (and no, he's not talking about his personality) when the going gets stressful. Or as he says, "the bad comes out". What's with all these sad alpha male teams on this show that use really uninspiring dudespeak like "dude" and "rock and roll"? First the stupid Esquire "Bland And Blander" Lawyers, then the Boston "Dumb and Dumber" Bulldogs, and now, the Oily "Sad And Saddest" Bohunks. I tell you, if this Team wins this season, I am really going to write to Less Moomoo and ask him to cancel this show.
After the tragic attempt at Bohunks Being Hip, the show then focuses on the MillieChuck. Millie the Mole at the back seat looks like she's about to keel over any minute. She leans her head against the glass window and tries to keep her eyes open. Weakly, she asks Chuckles whether he's getting sleepy. Chuckles understands at once that she's telling him she's sleepy in a roundabout way, and asks her to talk to him. Millie the Mole asks him back to talk to her about anything so that they can both stay awake. I could have pointed out that they are talking right now, even if it's in a silly roundabout way. I would also suggest they stop the car at the roadside and sleep for maybe half an hour or so, because right now, both of them with their unkempt and weary appearances are looking like an accident waiting to happen. As if she's corroborating my thoughts, she explains in a voiceover that last night before last she spent the whole night at the Changi Airport in Singapore trying to get an earlier flight to Kota Kinabalu. And since she also didn't sleep at the Pit Stop, that means these two are really walking on empty. I predict that either these two will drop down in exhaustion or something snaps and they turn into Terminator Mode. If the latter happens, I hope everybody else gets off the road as soon as possible.
Back to Barrs. They are doing a good job climbing up and down the bushy slopes of the Hot Springs. Dan comments that they are doing a "nice Stairmasters workout" while Roseanne says that they are "dead last" while casting really evil glances at Dan. Actually, I don't blame them. A few years back, hubby, me, and few old coots that really should know better decided to visit the orchid greenhouse in the Bukit Cerakah Nature Reserve in Malaysia. One of us (not me, I swear) decided that there is a shortcut through the woods, and all of us stupidly followed like sheep. We walked away from the clearly marked path down the slopes and through the bushes into what will soon be two hours of pure agony. Finally we managed to make our way out of the Nature Reserves, but that involved us poor old coots and our really aching legs climbing over the highway railing straight onto the highway and flagging a cab to take us back to the car park. The cab driver had a great laugh at our expense. I'm saying that like Bukit Cerakah, Poring may be a nice and safe tourist attraction, but once the foolhardy stray away from the well-marked paths into the wilderness, well, have fun.
Finally, Dan reaches the top of a high slope and he manages to spot the familiar red and yellow flag a distant away. It's quite funny when he tells Roseanne to hurry up because he sees the route marker and she insists that he can't, all the while huffing and panting at the foot of the slope. He gets fed up and pretty much growls at her to "move your ass NOW". Finally, the both of them walk wobbily to the clue stand, upon which Dan is about to rip open the Clue when Roseanne tells her not to bother and just read the Fast Forward instructions instead. The Fast Foward will allow them to go straight to the Pit Stop if they succeed in completing it, and since the Barrs are behind, they can sure use the Fast Forward this time. Dan Barr reads aloud the clue, and it tells them to go to the famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Dan has problems pronouncing orangutan, so Roseanne just rolls her eyes impatiently and says it for him: "Oh-rang-oo-tan". Philo comes on to explain - and gets everything wrong. Philo, the town is not Sepilok, trust me, it's Sandakan. There's no town called Sepilok in Sabah, sheesh. Anyway, the team must go to the Centre and feed fruits to the orangutans before they receive the direction to the Pit Stop. Dan Barr says in self-depreciating deadpan as they run to the carpark, "The idiots are back!" As they get into their vehicle, Roseanne is heard telling him that it's now do or die for them. Things look bright though. Which other Team will want the Fast Forward anyway, right?
Well, they're in for a lovely surprise. The DADT is the first to leave Poring and they are now lost. Top Gun, looking at the map, says in a voiceover that they are driving in the direction of Sepilok. He tells Chippo this and wonders aloud whether they should just turn back to where it was that they first took a wrong turn. Chippo tells him that he will keep driving for the Fast Forward. After all, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonades, no? DADT is very lucky in this case, and the Barrs are so royally screwed inadvertently by DADT in this case. Unless, of course, the DADT takes another wrong turn and can't find Sepilok until 2004.
The Sideshow Bobs are now pulling up at the Trushidup Oil Palm Plantation. They run the dirt road to a green wheelbarrow where the clue envelopes are carelessly thrown inside and realize that they have to do a detour. "Chop" will require them to use a long pole with a sharp sickle at one end (which Philo helpfully describes as "local tools") to cut down a marked bunch of oil palm nuts. There are a few marked nut bunches, but only one will contain the correct envelope containing the clue. I've tried doing this once, and I can say that it's no biggie if you are really strong and you know the correct way to cut the nut bunches. Brute force may work, but it won't be as fast as one would like. "Haul" will require the Teams to pick up twenty-five nut bunches with the aid of a wheelbarrow and transport them onto a designated truck already loaded with nut bunches. After twenty-five nut bunches are loaded onto the back of the truck, the truck will drive away, revealing the plastic-wrapped clue envelope one of its wheels has been standing on. I think we should thank this show for introducing the Racers to the most popular minimum wage job in Malaysia, now that rubber tapping is pretty much extinct.
The Sideshow Bobs decide to "haul". As they load the nut bunches onto the wheelbarrow, a few at a time, and then try to toss them onto the back of the truck, they complain that the nut bunches are heavy and spiky. Then they say that there is "heavy, sticky juices" dripping from those bunches. Well, duh. Oh, stop complaining, you two. You're lucky it's oil palm nuts and not durians. Then they grumble and curse ("Bastards!") when their tossing of the nut bunches more often than not result in the bunches falling off the truck back to the ground. My hubby points out that there's actually a small ladder thing at one side of the truck and wonders whether the Teams can climb up and load the nuts this way. Hmm. Either way, it's either the Team can't do this or they never notice the ladder.
Millie says that it is not easy trying to locate a single plantation among the hundreds and thousands of oil palm trees. She leans against the window and sure enough, their vehicle is passing through the oil palm plantation zone. Many, many trees. Wow. Then she whines that she can't read the map and insists that Chuckles do it. The trouble is, Chuckles is driving and he tells her so. Millie begins whining in a grating high-pitched voice that he really needs to help her because she really cannot read the map eek-eek-eek electric drill on my brain eek eek eek. Finally, Millie insists that they will have to stop and ask for directions. Chuckles looks like he just wants to wait until she gets out and then keep driving and not even stopping when he sees the ocean. Instead, he tells her wearily to quickly go and ask for directions fast, inserting the most drained "please" I have ever heard at the end of his sentence. Millie climbs out of the car and tells him that she has to pause and figure out how she ended up here. Now that is a loaded statement, Millie. They walk into a coffee shop and ask some locals, even showing them the map. Finally, they get back to their vehicle. Then they realize that despite getting directions from the locals, they still don't really know where to go. Chuckles tells Millie that his instincts tell him to go back to "the main road". Millie just sighs and rests her head wearily against the back of the seat.
The Bohunks fare better than the MillieChuck. They reach the plantation, see the Sideshow Bobs, and the Sideshow Bobs watch in amazement as the Bohunks drive past the wheelbarrow. Then Shorty wonders aloud where the red and yellow flag is. The camera pans to the wheelbarrow. The Bohunks are now looking around. I bet they are thinking, "Dude, where's my clue?" Then they are reversing their vehicle to stop before the Sideshow Bobs. "Hey, dudes, where's the clue?" Hirsute calls out. Dudes, you're so stoopid, dudes. The Sideshow Bobs point to the wheelbarrow. The Bohunks drive back some more, and then Hirsute yells back, "The first wheelbarrow?" I guess he must be referring to the wheelbarrows for the "haul" detour, because one of the Sideshow Bobs shake his head and answers, "The green one." The Sideshow Bobs laugh in their cozy interview session and say that the Bohunks are driving so fast, they can't even see the wheelbarrow that is under their noses. No kidding, you two. Meanwhile, as the Bohunks get their clue, they say that the Sideshow Bobs are "really helpful". Another reason to dislike the Sideshow Bobs - they help Ugly and Ugly here advance on the Race. As Ugly Hairy and Ugly Shorty begin hauling their nuts to the truck, the Sideshow Bobs have unloaded their nuts and are now told by their clue to drive 35 miles down to the Gomantong Caves. It's a popular place for people to harvest swallow's nests to be sold as main ingredients for a nutritional broth, and most importantly, it's the only cave in the area.
Meanwhile, the Bohunks are throwing valuable nut bunches all over the place, and these nut bunches are falling onto the ground and breaking apart. These nut bunches are valuable commodity! Don't abuse them like that! As the Sideshow Bobs run to leave, Shorty extend his hand for the Sideshow Bobs to do some high-five ritual. As the Bohunks curse when their nuts keep falling off, Ugly Hairy in a cozy interview session says, "I'm actually pretty proud of us because normally, we do something like: get them all in the wheelbarrow, wheel them all up to one of the trucks, and then throw all twenty-five into the wrong numbered truck." He and Ugly Shorty laugh. Okay, so they know they are stupid. Good for them. Ugly Shorty sums it up that they did good this Detour. Yeah right, if the Sideshow Bobs haven't directed them to the wheelbarrow, they would still be hunting for it in the plantation today. Then they are done and as the truck drives away with their nuts, they drive away in their car to the Gomantong Caves, hot on the heels of the Sideshow Bobs.
Back to the Barrs, who are now driving to Sepilok. Roseanne tells Dan that if some other team takes the Fast Forward, they will have to drive all the way back to Trushidup and they will never be able to catch up. Dan shrugs it off - who, he repeats, will want the Fast Forward if not the Barrs?
Which is just the perfect cue for the show to switch to the DADT driving into Sepilok right now. They are directed by the female officer to pick up a basket each to strap to their backs. The baskets contain some durians which Top Gun and Chippo will have to feed to the orangutans, provided these two can find the orangutans first, that is. But it's a clearly labelled path to the orangutans, so despite Top Gun bringing up his Boy Scout expertise, it's a nice and easy stroll through the flora. The DADT admire the plantlife accordingly. People always do that the first time they come across these places. Then when they are stuck in the middle of a mangrove swamp, knee-deep in mud and wailing that they cannot move right before they fall facedown into the mud, then they realize that nature is overrated and urban living is the way to go.
Meanwhile, the MillieChucks stumble into Trushidup, looking like virginal reanimated zombies at this moment. Chuckles wants to do "chop", believing that it will be faster, but Millie suggests that she can help him in "haul", and I guess Millie is really eager to lend a helping hand. Then Chuckles tries to throw one nutbunch up the truck, watches it fall back out, and tells Millie that there's no way he can throw twenty-five of these. Then they're running back to do the "chop". Chuckles tries to dislodge the clue from a nutbunch and Millie tells him that he's supposed to dislodge the entire bunch, not just the clue. That's when Chuckles throws down the sickle, so to speak. In a voiceover, he says that he knows now that there is "no way" that he can do "chop". So it's back to "haul" they go. Hubby, watching them, mutters something about requiring anesthesia to survive this episode.
Meanwhile, Top Gun and Chippo have found the platform where the orangutans are waiting for them. The orangutans are so cute! There are the obligatory mommy and kiddies as well as a few mischievous teenaged orangutans loitering around. Top Gun says that at first, the orangutans are shy, but when Chippo goes down on one knee and offers a durian, they recognize him as a long lost evolutionary sibling and it's "Come get snackies!" time. Okay, he says that the orangutans lose their shyness because Chippo is offering food. But I still say it's the family resemblance that does the trick. Top Gun is enchanted by the monkeys. The show then does that special misty-border-screen-so-romantic effect as wailing new age monkey love music comes on as Top Gun shakes hand with an orangutan and comments that its hand feels like his hands. Er, okay. Why else do you think "orangutan" means "the man of the jungles" in Malay, Top Gun? He even thanks the orangutans when they leave. He adds that he is so sad to leave because he would have stayed here and played with them for a week. Oh, just go adopt one for the house. You can name it Chimp after Chippo. As they leave, the camera pans on one of the more mischievous orangutans standing on its feet and stretching its arms behind its head as it opens it mouth wide. I understand why Top Gun's in love. Then again, when we Giggles were living in Malaysia when hubby was affiliated with the zoo, we adopted a bobcat, an eagle, and a tapir in our house (though not at the same time), and I was on talking basis with several species of monkeys at the zoo. Good times, really. DADT's camaraderie for the orangutans has gained them a reluctant fan in hubby.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, the Clue is handed by an officer to DADT. The orangutans are smart - they don't do stupid things like waiting for hours for people to show up just to give them envelopes. They can now go straight to the Pit Stop for this leg of the race, the Sepilok Nature Resort. It's not that far away from the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, obviously. Hurrah for DADT!
Meanwhile, back at the Plantation Of Misery And Pain, the MillieChucks are arguing about the methodology of throwing nuts onto the truck. Millie has piled nut bunches on the wheelbarrow in a mountainous pile like the wedding cake she always wanted but never gotten to having, and Chuckles is telling her to take a few of them off because the wheelbarrow is obviously going to tip over like a sorry metaphor for their relationship. Millie doesn't get it, and I don't blame her, as Chuckles seems to be slurring rather than speaking. Then she is tossing the nut bunches at him and keeps doing it even when he tells her to pass them to him one by one. Around their nineteenth nut bunch, the wheelbarrow tips over, spilling Millie's dreams of an oil palm wedding onto the floor like split, er, oil. She tells him to keep throwing as she will reload the wheelbarrow. Although to me, she looks as if she's really not up to the task. As Chuckles, now in full-blown thirteenth-stage lycanthrophy judging from the tight-jawgrip and the way his hair is trying to take on the biggest afro look it can make itself into given the constraints of the length of Chuckles' hair, valiantly resumes tossing his nuts over the truck, Millie says miserably, "He is very resentful of any kind of order or instruction, and I drive him nuts doing that. And I've driven him nuts doing that for years." These two have known each other for twelve years and they obviously know what makes the other tick. So I really don't understand why these two just keeping pushing each other's hot buttons. Or maybe I do. These two are prime examples of why adequate rest is important when one wants to run the Amazing Race. Finally, as they complete their Detour, Chuckles grits his teeth as he starts the engine of his vehicle and asks Millie to check the map as to where they should go next. Millie, not really looking at the map, rests her cheek on her hand and tells him in a very tired voice to just go back to the main road. "Out of the plantation?" he asks. No, straight to the ground. And how sad, truly.
Meanwhile, the Barrs are driving up to Sepilok. Dan is saying this to the camera and to Roseanne as he drives, and again he stumbles over "orangutan". Roseanne tells him it's "oh-rang-oo-tang", and I could have told her it's actually "oh-rung-oo-tonne". They are so happy, probably seeing a leisurely stroll into the Pit Stop and all, that they are all smiles when Dan stops the vehicle and Roseanne gambols out and down the grassy ground towards the awaiting fruit baskets. The smile evaporates when she reads the red sign left on the basket: "Sorry. Fast Forward taken". She calls to Dan, asking him to come over and read it himself because he will never believe this. Then, she adds helpfully as Dan is walking towards her that the Fast Forward has been taken. She then walks wearily back to the vehicle. Dan reads the sign himself. He grips his scalp with his hands briefly, saying aloud "Mothertrucker." "That's it, babe," Roseanne says, deflated where she is once jubilant, "we're out." She's still at it as Dan drives. "You're always right, I'm always wrong," she says, referring to her asking him to take the Fast Forward. "We're done," she adds gloomily. At this point, Dan snaps. He tells her to go f**k herself. Roseanne also snaps. "What did you just say to me?" she demands. Finally, when Dan wisely doesn't answer, she tells him before tossing the map down and getting out of the vehicle, "I'll tell you what, Jon, you're walking a thin line. This was a chance we decided to take, but you will not talk to me like that!" Chuckles can learn a thing or two from Roseanne, I think. I think they may not appreciate hearing this, but I sincerely believe the Barrs and the MillieChuck have a lot to teach each other. If we can somehow amalgamate Dan and Chuckles into one person and same with Roseanne and Millie, we may get the most perfect couple since the Brady Bunch.
A brief commercial break and then we're back with the Barrs. Roseanne has gotten back in the car and Roseanne says in a voiceover that they are "so stressed out" that they said "some hateful things" to each other. Dan is in complete meltdown as he vocally expresses his suspicions that the Sideshow Bobs must have taken the Fast Forward. He imitates Millie in a falsetto, mockingly saying that the Sideshow Bobs must steal the Fast Forward from the mean and nasty Barrs so that the Barrs will be eliminated. Gee, I am quite surprised to learn that Dan feels entitled to the Fast Forward and that somehow there's a Big Conspiracy out to get the Barrs. Oh, please, Danny Boy. Roseanne also has had enough. She asks him to " please, please, please quit being a big jerk", pointing out that he's been a jerk to her and he's also been a jerk to everybody. Which brings us to Dan saying in a voiceover today's episode title: he would love to be a gentleman, but, as he says, "We are not at charm school learning to be a gentleman. We're racing." Meanwhile, Roseanne is nagging him, saying that she wishes that they will go out like normal people and have fun while they're at it. To this, Dan replies in a most condescending manner that he is not having fun. Alright, bitchslaps at three. I'll get the popcorns ready. How much should I charge for the grandstand seats?
Meanwhile, the MillieChuck are in the vehicle, Chuckles driving and driving and driving. Millie looks at her map disconsolately. It's obvious she's too fatigued to make sense of what she's looking at. Because of this, they pass the road sign pointing the direction of the Gomantong Caves. Actually, the sign is facing the wrong way. Still, if Millie has been paying attention to her map, she can't have missed the cave. It's Sandakan's most popular cave. Any halfway decent tourist map will have the names of the cave highlighted more prominently than other locales.
The Sideshow Bobs have reached the cave in question. They now must perform a roadblock, which, as Philo explains, means only one team member can perform successfully before they get their next clue. This person must climb one of the few ladder contraptions located in the middle of the cave, and this ladder is fifty feet high. At the top, the person must then crawl horizontally on a laddery platform to get the clue hanging in a bag halfway along the platform. Philo says that this experience is supposed to mirror the experiences of the locals climbing ladders to collect swallow's nests. Incidentally, these nests are actually the swallow's saliva. And "pure" bird nest usually contains the fecal matters of the swallows as well. Yummy. Don't eat these things, because little sparrows die to sate our gluttony. Put bird nest soup up there in the list of gourment no-nos, up there with shark fin soup. And here ends my PSA for today. Anyway, back to the show: one of the Sideshow Bobs is in a sleeveless undershirt that shows off his lovely and huge muscular arms and erect nipples perfectly. I'm such a pervert that way. I will have to see a shrink after this, because I absolutely refuse to carry a fetish for sexy clowns. The Sideshow Bob gets suitted up and then he starts climbing. In the cozy interview, he says that the ladder rungs are too far apart for his legs and the rungs are coated with "bird poop". Don't bluff. You circus clowns should be used to doing this... oh wait, that's the trapeze artists, not the clowns. Whatever. They manage to complete this Roadblock with minimal hassle, and then make appropriate babboon noises as they learn that they can now go to the Pit Stop for this leg of the Race.
The Bohunks are running into the cave as the Sideshow Bobs are running out. The Bohunks ask the Sideshow Bobs to make sure that the clue is not in a wheelbarrow or anything inside. Amateurs.
"Let's make every second count," Top Gun tells Chippo as they reach the Pit Stop. They drop their bags and start running down the wooden pier structure, around the corner where Philo and a Captain Hookish VIP in full traditional regalia await. "Welcome to Sandakan!" the VIP says - see, Philo? The town is Sandakan, not Sepilok - and Philo grins as he tells DADT that they have won a cruise, appropriately enough, to "festive Latin America". Go to Sao Paulo and give them hell, boys. And I bet that is why these two guys are so happy.
Ugly Hairy does the Roadblock, delivering one of the rare nice unintentional pun-filled lines from this team: "Holy crap! This is awesome!" Then, in what best described as The Voiceover From Planet Somnambulent, Ugly Hairy puts boring history lecturers everywhere to shame as he pretty much repeats everything the Sideshow Bobs have said in their cozy interview. The ladder is shaky. It's not a typical ladder, because typical ladders aren't fifty feet high. Now you know. And that's today's Practical Trivia from the Bohunks, Kings of Pointing Out The Obvious. Ugly Hairy pauses at the top of the ladder and yells to Ugly Shorty what he should do now. I bury my face in my hands and make a pained sound. Ugly Shorty yells back at Ugly Hairy to climb horizontally forth and grab the clue from the bag. And oh, Shorty calls Hairy "bro". It's as good a variety as it gets from "dude", I guess. Ugly Hairy begins making his way towards the bag.
Chuckles is driving him and Millie over a bridge now. He asks Millie if she knows where they are and where they should go. Millie, who looks as if she's been staring at the map all this while and not really seeing it, tells him to stop and ask for directions.
The Barrs are now at Trushidup Oil Palm Plantation. They will be very happy to know that they think just like the MillieChuck - Dan thinks "chop" is faster, but Roseanne prefers to do "haul", although her reason is that she feels it's faster to just toss nuts over the truck. How hard can it be anyway, right?
The Bohunks get their clue and drive to the Pit Stop. Damn, I have just wasted eleven words on the Bohunks just like that.
The Barrs are now experiencing some confusion. There are a few trucks lined along the dirt road, and having loaded some nut bunches on the wheelbarrow, they are now wondering which truck they should unload the nuts onto. Dan notices that the wheelbarrow as a "5" on it. Logically, they should look for a truck marked "5", right? They look at the truck they are standing right in front of, and Roseanne points out that "C" is marked on the side of the truck, but no "5". The camera zooms in at where she is pointing, and sure enough, a huge and clearly legible "5" is just beside the spot she is pointing at. Dan decides to run down the road and look at all the trucks until he's at the end of the road and out of trucks to examine, a fact which he loudly yells back at Roseanne at the other end of the road. Roseanne yells out her amazement at how they can be so stupid. In their cozy interview, Roseanne says that they are so "wound up" that they actually can't think straight and they even have to read the instructions five times before anything sinks in. Panicking because they can't find the correct mothertrucking truck, they decide to do the "chop" detour. Which, if you can't remember, involves chopping down nut bunches with a long pole with a scythe attached at the end. They watch as a worker demonstrates the art of chopping nuts, and Dan catches on soon. Alas, the bunch he brings down contains an envelope and a message that says "try again". Ouch.
MillieChuck stop and peek into a shanty house, Millie calling out, "Anybody speak English?" They approach a bewildered looking woman standing outside a plantation. I have a feeling that not only is Millie not intending to come back here to help the children of Sandakan, she probably does not want to see another palm tree ever again.
Dan's subsequent attempt at chopping down his nuts bear fruit, excuse the horrific pun, as they get the correct clue. Gomantong Cave, baby! Here they come!
Meanwhile, there's a werewolf in a car and a pathetic-looking moley witch at the back. Wait, it's that Team. Chuckles, after receiving some helpful directions, I guess, realizes that they are driving back to the same place where they started. Millie finally sees the road sign and breaks apart. She starts sobbing and whispering tearfully that she sucks (please, she is hurting, let's lay off the jokes for now) and she just can't read maps and she is so sorry that she has taken them the wrong way. Chuckles says in a voiceover that they have wasted an hour driving in the wrong direction. Back at the car, Millie sniffs and stares out the window, blaming herself and whipping herself into abject misery. I must confess though, Chuckles really warm my heart when he tells her, "Come on now, you did good. We've both done good and we've both done bad. It's fine." However, Millie is unconsolable.
The Barrs announce that the cave is near.
Millie is still whipping herself as she and Chuckles get out of their vehicle when they both hear another vehicle pulling up behind them. Excitedly, she calls to Chuckles, wondering who the other Team may be. Meanwhile, the Barrs are also shocked to see someone just getting off their vehicle ahead. Roseanne shrieks when she sees who they are: "You can catch up. That's Millie and Chuck!" At the same time, Millie realizes that it's the Barrs that's pulling up. Sensing blood, we Giggles immediately straighten up on our couches like audience in a gladiator ring. Because the MillieChuck versus the Barrs is like a mud wrestling fight between Michael Moore and Ann Coulter. Dan literally hops out of the vehicle, commenting in his voiceover that "that's when the adrenaline meter went from, like, a negative four to, like, a plus twenty!" and "it's on!" It's amazing how knowing that they have a chance to escape elimination and even better, squash their nemesis while they're at it, the Barrs undergo a miraculous rejuvenation. Same with the MillieChuck - I don't think I have ever seen Chuckles move that fast as all four dash to the cave, Millie the Mole and Dan grabbing their respective clues at the same time, and Chuckles running into the cave to do the Roadblock with Dan only seconds behind on his tail.
How lucky that they have enough ladder contraptions for both to go up at the same time. I won't put it above Dan and Chuckles to start pummeling each other to go up first... wait, is it too late to hide the second contraption? The camera shows the two men jumping up and climbing the fifty-foot ladder like a scene out of a horrible The American Gladiators episode, where instead this scene is fuelled by greed and enmity instead of steroids.
"Go fast!" Millie yells.
"Hurry, hurry, hurry," Roseanne calls out. "You're good at this," Millie tells Chuckles, "this is your time to shine." Yes, Millie, put pressure on Chuckles. We've seen how well Chuckles perform under fire.
"You go, babe! You're right there with him!" Roseanne screeches.
"No he's not," Millie yells to Chuckles.
They're behaving well so far, these ladies. I am hoping that they will come to blows while their men are fighting it out on the ladders. I always wanted to see Millie shove her inhaler up Roseanne's nostril.
The men are actually now neck to neck. Seeing that Chuckles, as usual, may not catch up with the others, Millie takes out her inhaler.
The Sideshow Bobs at the Pit Stop. Stupid babboon noises. Whatever. MillieChuck-Barr, please. NOW.
"You've got him, babe!" Roseanne shrieks as both men begin climbing down the ladder, clue in hand, or in Chuckles' case, between lips. Chuckles try to make a leap down from a short distance above the ground, and that's when he falters. He loses his balance and is left dangling for too many precious seconds as the men supervising this Roadblock rush to help unfasten him. Dan gains ground and he and Roseanne are soon dashing for the Pit Stop. Millie turns away, maybe she can't look, but she turns back with a look of surprise when Chuckles runs up to her only seconds after Dan and Roseanne dash out of the caves. Indeed, Roseanne tells Dan that she can hear the MillieChuck's footsteps behind her, and being the bloodthirsty barracuda that she is, her face is glowing at the thought of squashing her enemies. "We can beat them!" she repeats again and again very loudly as she and Dan bounce into their vehicle. They pull away even as the MillieChuck climb into their vehicle. Inside, Roseanne rubs Dan's shoulders and proudly tells him, "You did awesome, you did so...babe, I'm not even exaggerating! You were like a chimpanzee climbing that ladder! He went at least thirty seconds in front of you and you beat him down! We are redeemed!" That thirty seconds thing is an exaggeration, but under the circumstances, I think it is understandable. Looking at Roseanne, I can easily see her as a viking bride and Dan the viking. She will be cheering for Dan to stab the victim and gut that bastard and bring the intestines out so that she can make a necklace out of it. These two are a bloodthirsty lot, definitely!
The two Teams are practically bumper to bumper as they race down the highway to the Pit Stop. Millie cries that she can't read the map (and she can't drive either, I guess) and begs Chuckles to read the map because he is better at reading maps. Or so she says. He says he can't - he's driving after all. Meanwhile, Roseanne looks behind and tells Dan that those two ar following them. The Barrs, having been to Sepilok, know where the Pit Stop approximately is. This gives them an advantage over the MillieChuck. Right now, Millie is pretty much in tears as she begs Chuckles to look at the map. And since he's driving, of course he can't. He tells her that he'll just follow the Barrs and hopefully they can overtake the Barrs to the Pit Stop when they park their vehicles and race to the bitter end.
The Bohunks at the Pit Stop - SHUT UP AND GET LOST NOW. Bloody bastards. Just when I'm at the edge of my seat, they come in and ruin the mood.
Dan overtakes a truck. Chuckles tries to follow suit, only to loudly exclaim that he can't find the correct gear. Dan and Roseanne watch at the rear-view mirror as the MillieChuck falls behind, Dan correctly guessing that Chuckles is having problems with shifting gears. I'm too excited to make a crude joke like I would in any other circumstances. Then Chuckles get back in gear, and the gap between them closes. Chuckles tells Millie to keep an eye on the Barrs because he is sure that they will do "something tricky". Millie nods in determination, saying that she can so see them doing "something tricky" like, I guess, making the vehicle turn invisible or something. Why don't you do something sneaky, Chuckles, like ramming the Barrs off the road like those chase scenes in the movies? Oh, right, you don't know where the Pit Stop is, Millie can't read the map, and you can't either because you're the only one that can drive. Aw, that's so sad, isn't it, Chuckles?
Roseanne excitedly points out - unnecessarily, really - that they've reached Sepilok. She tells Dan to keep an eye out for yellow and red flags, mindful of their earlier screw-up at the Poring Hot Springs. The MillieChuck is close behind. Millie is at it with her inhaler again. Chuckles tells her to "get ready to sprint. Just think about one sprint. No matter what, we've got to fly. Just beat her. Don't think about him, just smash her." Meanwhile, Roseanne is having reservations about beating Millie. She tells Dan, "You're faster than Chuck but Millie is a little jackrabbit. I got these long, gangly legs: they don't move like her little short stubs." After this, I suggest Roseanne go cuddle up with a basic high school physics book at the Pit Stop. Dan tells her to leave everything in the vehicle and just run. Chuckles and Millie are praying that it's a sprint to the finish and that they can beat the Barrs. Then Roseanne exclaims that Dan have probably missed a crucial turn. Oh dear.
Footsteps. Someone's running to the Pit Stop. Philo is leaning towards the VIP and pointing at someone who is coming. The leaves obstruct my view. Hubby and I really can't take this. Who is it? Which Team is coming? Show us, damn it, show us now or we will get a heart attack on the spot and sure Bonghammer and CBS for a lot of money. And then... oh, it's the Barrs. Hurrah for the Barrs! Dan jumps from the pier structure onto the grass and sprint towards the Finishing Mat, Roseanne, triumphant and aglow, close behind. Philo tells them they are team number four, the Barrs exchange an high-five, and then it's time for the MillieChuck's mercy elimination.
And there they are. Looking just like refugees from a wartorn country that have single-handedly drag their way through the entire strife-laden Afghanistan from one end to the other, they jog towards the Finishing Mat. I suspect that Millie's asthma may have contributed to their loss as much as their inability to read the map and cut ahead of the Barrs on the road. Philo quickly tells them they are the last team to arrive and that they are eliminated. Chuckles actually looks relieved, while Millie, well, Philo asks her, "You wanted this really bad, didn't you, Millie?" and she nods. Okay, maybe one snigger. He then asks her where she thinks she and Chuckles will head towards in their relationship. She shakes her head - I believe she genuinely doesn't know. She says that they have learned a lot about each other and while they are there for each other at some instances, they also aren't at other instances. Millie in a voice-over says that they doubt that they can make each other happy in the end, and if this is the case, she'd rather see them go separate ways. Chuckles just comments about them having a hard time keeping pace because they're both "stubborn". They hug awkwardly, Chuckles having an incongrously relieved expression that I'm sure is reflected on my face, and Chuckles says in his voice-over that no matter what happens, Millie will always have a special place in his heart. Awww. And with that, the messy, filthy, and totally miserable duo leave, Chuckles looking back at Millie with a lost "What should I do?" face while Millie just hugs herself, looks back at the camera one last time, before leaving the Race for good.
I'm glad to see them leave, but I wish they haven't left like this, at their lowest, confused, filthy, and most pitiful. Post-race interviews indicate that these two are still together, still humorless, and still beating themselves up over their mistakes at this leg of the Race. Both of them want so badly to win - Chuckles want it as bad as Millie, make no mistake: his parting words at the official CBS website sees him apologizing to Millie because he cannot, at that moment, get over her costing them their victory - and they are carrying themselves as better people than everyone else when they are some of the most dysfunctional people I've come across. And yes, they're still not getting married anytime soon, twelve years and counting. It's like watching them go through a baptism of fire only to emerge and go back to square one all over again.
Oh well. There's no denying that this team is still one of the most interesting teams to grace the show.
Next week: swallowing live octopus, swimming in skivvies, useless cab drivers, and President Kim Jong Il almost getting a diplomatic visit from TAR's very own Bohunks and Sideshow Bobs.
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