Amazing Race

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M. Giant: C+ | Grade It Now!
Oh, Snapple!
better, he don't screw us royal [sic]." Shut up and drink your tea, Ron.

Back in the hall, Big Easy is hollering out encouragement, and Justin tells Zev, "Think of it like tea pong!" before explaining to us and the other waiting re-racers, he's good at beer pong. Zev admits that he had no clue what it tasted like. Luke also has no idea, which doesn't say much about the theory that people who are missing one sense compensate with the others, unless Luke has an amazing sense of touch. Kent is, at least, trying different cups. Jet, after six or seven attempts, decides to try smelling them, even though this requires him to remove his hat to bend over the table. He brings a cup up front, and the auctioneer tries to tease him with a little smile before saying he got it. That's the Cowboys in second place. "Ah, Snapple," Jet says as he receives his unlabeled but still completely identifiable bottle. On the way out, Cord tells him good job and asks, "Got any good ideas on that tea bottle there?" Jet, now wearing sunglasses that look like he got them at the eye doctor after having his pupils dilated, figures they can open it. The inside of the cap reads, in its entirety, "Take a taxi to the Jorashanko area and find the Thakur Bari then find the Tiwari Tea Stall." I think if I ever get a Snapple bottle that tells me to do that I'll probably just ignore it.

Back in the hall, Luke tells a drippy-chinned Mallory, "I'm full." Just like most Indians, as Mallory predicted. The auctioneer, checking the bottom of Flight Time's bowl against his ledger, shakes his head no. But Kisha gets a yes, so they're leaving in third place, even though they have no idea what to do with their bottle. "Maybe it's where they make the Snapple. Is the Snapple factory here?" Kisha wonders. "I don't know," Jen says, turning the unopened bottle around and around in her hands.

The Cowboys are out in the street looking for a cab and having little luck. But Jen and Kisha find a taxi stand, and although the driver doesn't know where Snapple comes from (we can now see the "S" logo on the cap, plain as day, in case there were still any doubt), they soon flag down a local who authoritatively says, "This place is Jorashanko Thakur Bari." So they're going to the right place even without opening their clue, let alone reading it, which is kind of impressive. Don't ask me how the local knew where to send them, unless he either overheard Ron and Christina earlier or is some kind of stealth fakir who can read through metal bottle caps. The Cowboys also flag down a cab, whose driver motions them inside without saying he knows where they're going. You probably don't get many fares in Kolkata by only taking people to places you already know how to find, is my guess.

Back at Town Hall, the five remaining re-racers are dribbling tea down their chins with growing frustration. Kent is the next to finish, and after being handed his tea bottle, he says, "Please give me clue." "It's there," the auctioneer says, pointing to the bottle in Kent's hand. Kent, thinking the guy is indicating something behind him, goes wandering off in that direction. Mallory is getting more upset as she dips her nose into tea bowls. I'd be upset about having to drink Mallory's boogers. Kent and Vyxsin (probably Vyxsin) have figured out that the clue's in the cap by the time they reach the lobby, and Kent snaps at her, "Give me my bag, right now!" as they hurry downstairs. Luke has fallen into his usual pattern of frustrated whining, and Zev says he's tried one seven times. "They all look the same now."

Mallory thinks she's found the right one, and on the way to the front of the room, only raises one hand to her dad rather than wasting valuable drinking time talking to him. Sure enough, that's the right one, and she does the predictable freak-out as they leave the hall. "That was really, really hard," she says almost tearfully in the lobby. That leaves three teams still in there, with rising levels of frustration and caffeination and probably bladder fullness. Flight Time gets a no, so does Luke, and so does Zev, who then drops his cup to break on the stone floor. "It's not gonna be much fun after this, I'll tell you that much," Justin says. Then we go to commercials, which include a Snapple travel fact and a Snapple commercial, by what I'm sure is pure coincidence.

The task continues after the ads, with the re-racers' partners being empathetic to their plight. Zev gets his right next, and fake-brightly says, "Thank you, sir," as he takes his tea bottle. Justin spares the other partners a high-five before heading out to meet Zev with both their backpacks, and gives his partner a hug before they leave. "Let's get in a cab, and you can wet yourself in the cab," Justin promises. Maybe Zev should have gone with gold pajamas instead of silver if that was the plan. Now it's just down to Flight Time and Luke. In the cab, Justin says they don't know how much longer it'll take them. "Just gotta keep chugging," he says. "Don't say chugging," Zev says.

Ron and Christina's driver doesn't seem to be getting them anywhere, and is doing it badly to boot. They agree to change cabs on the spot. Kisha and Jen get out of their cab, even though their driver can't confirm that "they make this... here." Because as far as I can tell, they don't. The sisters start flagging down random people to ask them, "Do you know here they make this?" and getting nowhere. "I'm about to drink this Snapple," Jen threatens in frustration. Like that would be the worst thing she could do.

Jet and Cord are also on foot, making their way through the busy traffic of vehicles, pedestrians, donkeys, and rolling truck tires. "This place is amazing," Jet mutters, not entirely warmly. The Goths are in the cab, Kent grossing me out by talking about how Vyxsin's carrying the bottle in her "boozum." They're actually somehow the first to find the tea stall, and they duck into a nearby alley to read the clue. Detour!

Phil lectures, "As one of the oldest civilizations on earth, the people of India have promoted religion and education down through the millennia." So now the teams have to decide "which aspect of Indian life they'd like to explore." Exploring being a little generous, as the verbs in the Detour intros tend to be. For the "Hindu Art" option, they'll go to a statuary shop and paint, dress, and decorate a statue of the Hindu god Ganesha. Even I recognized that one. I also know Shiva and... I could maybe pick Kali out of a lineup and... okay, I'm out. Sorry. Ignorant American again. Back to Phil: "When their work matches the intricate designs of the finished example, the shop owner will give them the next clue." For "Bengali Literature," they'll go to a bookstore and collect eight stacks of children's books which they will carry into a "rickshaw school-bus," which is basically just what it sounds like: a bicycle rickshaw whose trailer is shaped like a miniature yellow school bus. From inside it, they'll direct their driver through the streets to a school, and deliver the books to the headmistress for their next clue. And that's it.

Obviously Kent and Vyxsin are going for Hindu Art, "'Cause I'm good at crafty stuff," Vyxsin says. Gary and Mallory show up at the tea stall (after nearly getting sideswiped by a truck in their cab en route) and decide to deliver the books. Jen and Kisha, meanwhile, have gone inside a building to ask a guy, "Do you know where they make the Snapple?" Rather than just telling them, "New York, derr," he wants to take the cap off, but they snatch it away from him. "Why would he want to open it?" Jen bitches, like that's the stupidest thing she's ever heard. But Kisha says he might have a point, and after removing the cap and looking under it, Jen explodes, "Shut the fuck up!" Or something like that. The sound might have cut out there for some reason. Well, at least they're already in the right neighborhood. Although I still don't understand how.

Ron and Christina (actually just Christina) find the tea stall and get their clue in third place, Christina thanking the shop owner in one of the local languages. Ron suggests the decorating task rather than risking getting lost. He's on a roll today. Jen and Kisha find the tea stall next and make the same call. Jet and Cord, who left Town Hall in second place, haven't even found the tea stall yet.

Back at Town Hall, it's still Flight Time and Luke, forcing themselves to continue. The two bottles of Snapple waiting in the cooler for someone to claim them look almost as sad as Margie and Big Easy do while they're waiting at the railing.

Out in the city, Gary and Mallory find the crowded bookstore on the crowded streets and get their eight bundles of Introduction to the Bengali Alphabet. Which, going by the size of the books, must not be as long as some other alphabets. They grab four bundles each (seriously, these are not large books) and load them into one of the multiple "buses" waiting out back for the re-racers' use. Then Mallory turns to the crowd -- because in India there's always a crowd -- and tells the first English speaker who steps forward where they need to go. He gives them directions that don't seem all that complicated (especially for India), and as they get towed off, Gary says, "I feel like a monkey in a circus parade." Except in a miniature school bus.

The Cowboys finally find the tea stall in fifth place, and decide to do t

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Amazing Race




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