Amazing Race

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Nice Rack

Brad and Victoria are arriving back at the Locarno train station, debating between a route that goes through Luzern and another that goes through Italy. Swiss geography is tricky, dude. I suspect that when you look at maps you have to think in three dimensions. Off they go to a window marked "Agencia," which is where they still are when the arriving Flight Attendants spot them. Brad and Victoria, I think because they're still making up their minds, let Jodi and Christi cut ahead at the window, where they secure seats on a train leaving in only a minute. The Flight Attendants dash off to board. But Brad and Victoria hang back and opt for one that leaves in an hour, yet arrives in Interlaken sooner. "Let's just act like we're gonna miss it," Victoria whispers. They let the Flight Attendants take off without them on their earlier, but longer, train ride.

In Interlaken, the leading four teams have already arrived, and Kleine Rugen Wiese turns out to be pretty easy to find on foot. Might have something to do with the guys in traditional Swiss garb banging on large iron kettles. Mel|Mike are the first to reach the clue box, which tells them, "Join the local work force." Phil narrates, "Teams must now choose a pair of these traditional antique cheese racks and climb to the top of this hill. Once at the top, teams will transport two hundred pounds of cheese from this aging-shed to the bottom of the hill." Then they'll need to stack them on a long shelf attached to the shed near the clue box, and they'll get their next clue. Funny, it sounds so easy when Phil says it.

But it's trickier than it sounds. The first sign of trouble is when the teams walk over to where these alleged "cheese racks" are scattered in front of the cheese house. I'm not sure how exactly to describe these cheese racks, but I'll give it a try. Imagine if you will two kinds of chairs: deck, and electric. Imagine further that kits from IKEA containing the pieces for each were dropped into a darkened cave filled with feral children who are ginked out on crystal meth. What you will fish out of that cave after two weeks is what the Swiss apparently refer to as a cheese rack. Now all you need to do is strap it onto your back, with the padded board resting on top of your head and the rickety shelf protruding straight out behind you, and you're good to go. To hell. Mel, Mike, Margie, and Luke each grab one, and then get a load of the climb ahead of them. "This is insane," Mike says. He doesn't know the half of it yet.

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Amazing Race

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