Amazing Race
TARcon 5: Twenty Things

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Open Bars and Big TVs

Fourteen

I am actually working my way across an extremely crowded bar to talk to somebody else when I discover that I am about four feet away from Colin and Christie. I stop and think about whether to say anything.

Here's the internal conflict that goes on in a situation like this, and why I'm so bad at introducing myself to racers: I sit there and I think, "There's no particular reason why these people should know who I am. Many if not most of them do not read the recaps, so what the hell do they know? It's kind of presumptuous to go up and expect my name to mean something to them. On the other hand, if I talk to them in a situation like this, especially where I was a non-fan, and I don't acknowledge it and it turns out that they do know who I am, I risk looking and feeling like a complete dolt when they're like, 'Bitch.' Furthermore, if they don't know and I try to explain it, do I include the part about the 22 stages of the ox-related breakdown? Hmm." You can see why I sometimes drink too much at this party.

Anyway, I'm about halfway through this calculus problem when, blessedly, I run into designed. He's like, "Oooh, did you meet them?" I explain that I didn't, and I sort of go through a micro-version of the conflict that sounds like this: "I don't know, because...whatever, it's weird." He comes to my rescue thusly: He taps them on the shoulder and tells them he wants to take their picture with me. Ah, that works. So they turn around, and she definitely knows who I am, and he sort of does, maybe. As she explains it to me, he doesn't read stuff online (heh), but she reads a lot of it and tells him the funny parts. In fact, she specifically thanks me for giving them credit when it seems appropriate, even when I'm mostly being pissed at them. They're very friendly.

We plunge in. I don't even remember how it opens, but we get talking about editing and how you look and that sort of thing. "I would probably never do it," I say about going on such a show, using a standard line of mine, "because it's a very specific bargain that you make when you go on a show like this." "It's a gamble," Colin says. I go on to say that it's certainly true that if you were to tape me for a week and just use all the most unflattering --

Here, he stops me. "No, no -- it's not that. It's fabricated." That's the word he uses -- "fabricated." They offer me a couple of examples. She swears that she was not only goaded by the interviewer into giving her "the other teams suuuck" quote, but that she was basically kidding. Which, having seen it, I can completely believe. And which doesn't change my impression of it very much. ["Yeah, mine either. The Real World kids use that excuse all the time, all 'they just wouldn't stop asking until they got the answer they wanted,' but at this point in the evolution of the genre, you know that that's part of going on a show like this, and if you don't want to stay obnoxious shit, you should prepare yourself to resist doing so. In other words: whatev." -- Sars] He says that when he threw the money at the end of the police station thing in Tanzania, he went back and apologized and picked it up and gave it to the guy. Which, frankly, strikes me as more of a "trying not to get in even more trouble" gesture than an "I was legitimately regretful" gesture, but certainly, if I were Colin, I would feel like a more complete picture of me would be created if they included the apology. But does that make it "fabricated"? Considering how long that tirade went on and some of the things that he said, would going back and picking up the money and shaking the guy's hand undo very much of the impression people walked away with? Isn't it likely that the apology would have been blown off as self-serving? I'm just saying...not so much "fabricated."

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Amazing Race

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