Jenn and Tracey's TAR Journal #3 Just Row the Boat, You Dumb Punt.
Here we are at the pit stop again, checking in with our folks at the FORT while putting our feet up in Scotland for a couple hours of relaxation. You may not be able to tell it from the editing as this leg will be a one-hour show just like the prior two, but this leg of the race took much more time, due largely to the extensive flight time in crossing the Atlantic. We're all just exhausted at the pit stop now. We found out at the last pit stop in Mexico that Aaron and Arianne are really spearheading a group to try to eliminate the Twins, Derek and Drew. For the life of us, Jenn and I can't figure out why, as the Twins are really quite nice guys. As Jenn mentioned last week, they are totally cute, but not really our "type" and we don't have any reason to dislike them. Besides, they're not constantly whining like some unmentionables. Heather and Eve are the traveling equivalent of Doug and Wendy Whiner from the old Saturday Night Live skits: "But Phil, we had reservaaaaaaations." Whatever, save the drama for Celebrity Boot Camp. We hung out mostly with the Twins and Gerard and Ken as they were the only groups close in time with us who weren't conspiring against the Twins at the last pitstop. Jill and John Vito are a younger team who are noticeably not with the "Gang of Eight" lead by A&A, but they were a little behind "the pack" this leg and haven't had to make a choice between groups. Oh my heck, this is SO junior high. Gag me with a spoon. Hopefully Jill and John Vito will be cool when they catch up, as I know they will, it's just a matter or time. John Vito and Jill totally kicked ass when the arrived with the "late" group but managed to be the only team to catch the intermediate bus to Scotland by running the streets of Cambridge looking for the bus. Michael and Kathy seem cool too, and I think they are realizing that their alliance is doomed to failure. Michael told us tonight at the pit stop that he was so relieved to catch a different transatlantic flight than some of his "alliance" just to get away from "the barking chicken heads," and though he didn't say who specifically he was referring to, we had a pretty good idea.
We left in second place and made our way to Mexico City with most of the groups, and then thanks to Gerard's slick maneuvering at the airport got booked through to London via Paris with Gerry and Ken. I can call Gerard "Gerry" because he and Ken call me "The Amazing Trace" or "Faux Lawyer" as I'm apparently not enough of an ass to really be a lawyer in their books, and Jennifer they call "Jenny from the Block" or "Jenny-jenny-cocoa-pop" or something like that, it makes them laugh anyway. They have names for the other teams too, but some aren't quite so nice. Derek and Drew had left first so we were sure what flight they had taken, but knew they were ahead of us. We heard later that other teams had to negotiate some alternate routes, some going through Miami. We laughed heartily at the thought of Heather and Eve flying through Miami, wondering if the Dade County Sheriff was going to arrest them for panhandling given their public begging antics the last time they were in Miami. I can picture it now, Heather trying to use her very expensive legal education to keep Eve out of lockup, but having little practical legal experience she'd probably use a ludicrous United States Constitutional argument that dissolves into dribble: "But officers, this is a Writ of Attainder based on an Ex Post Facto Law and I'm requesting a Writ of Habeas Corpus because your incarceration of my teammate is cruel and unusual punishment because she's just a silly bimbo and not a dangerous criminal." Hey, it worked for the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, but then he was more charming then these two. These "Legal Beagles" as Ken calls them should really stay in the US as people in other countries may not always be so accepting of their "act". What is an unaltered female beagle called again? That's right, a bitch. Really, it's a dog breeding team, no need to flood the website with emails, I'm just discussing canine terminology. Ok, that's probably enough nastiness for Heather and Summer's Eve this week, but they make it so hard to resist.
We got to the roadblock and opted to take the "punt" boats for the shorter distance rather than riding the tandem bikes. You can't get too lost on a short stretch of a river canal, but from what Ian and Teri were saying tonight it's much more difficult to navigate those boats in the dark. We started at the same time as Ken and Gerard, but ended almost 30 minutes before they did, as they were TERRIBLE at the punt boats. They kept their sense of humor about them, despite drawing a crowd of onlookers who cheered every time one of them fell in the canal, which was surprisingly often. I doubt it will be aired, but they were practically doing a stand up comedy routine for the crowd, with Ken yelling to Gerry to "Just row the damn boat, you dumb punt" joking of course on the boat's name. Jenn manned the pole and I paddled the oar and we proved ourselves to be better punt boaters than supposed river guide Kelly Wigglesworth, who botched a canoeing challenge in the original Survivor. We got the clue and saw that we had time to wait for Ken and Gerry before heading for the bus, so we got the "pleasure" of hearing Flo who had ended up tandem biking after a failed attempt at punting, whine to Zack "You always just forget about me, waaaaaa" which was just the invitation Jenn and I needed to start singing "Don't you forget about me . . ." with Michael, another child of the 80's who can also remember when The Breakfast Club and Simple Minds ruled the charts. I think he is definitely on his way out of that clique because he doesn't have the patience for the whining.
We got to the first tour bus and found Derek and Drew waiting, sunning themselves like a couple of geckos (dont get that confused with the insurance company, GEICO). We joked that the "lizards" role on Big Brother 3 has already been cast and they gave us their perspective on the "alliance" of teams on a "Twin Hunt" which they actually saw as a challenge rather than a threat, which was good I guess. They had arrived a couple hours earlier and had gone for lunch at a cool pub. We didn't want to stray too far away from the bus as we weren't that far in advance of the departure time, but Derek and Drew directed us to a cool place where we got some take-out and ate in on the lawn waiting for the bus to leave. Jenn also insisted that we scope out her all-time favorite cookies , milk chocolate McVities. Yum! You can get them in the U.S., but they are very pricey! Also on the first bus to Scotland were Gerry and Ken and the "Gang of Eight," who declined our invitation to play cards on the bus. Jenn is a real card shark and won all of Ken's Tic Tacs. Yep, with our concerns about having enough money to finish the leg, no-one was betting money, so we had high stakes poker on the bus for breath mints. Jenn discretely gave the mints back to Ken though, as they needed really minty breath to try to cover up the rather nasty odor coming from their damp clothes from their many swims in the canal, which isn't intended to be a swimming hole. Ewww, we were very relieved that there was a washing machine and dryer at this pit stop as we wouldn't want to spend another month with Ken and Gerry in musty clothes.
After the tour bus stopped there was a footrace to waiting cabs and then a Hollywood movie type cab chase to the next destination. It was just ridiculous how crazy some of the teams were, especially because we all knew that there were a number of teams behind us and we weren't racing against each other to avoid elimination, just to establish start times for the next leg. Our Scottish cab driver was awesome. We told him that, yes, we were racing, but to drive safely and to not worry about they other groups. He then started on a hilarious rant about "Ugly American Tourists" who come to Scotland, wear stupid hats, complain about the weather, and clog the golf courses with their untraditional play. He liked us though and said we weren't like that, we were like Scots. Jenn then asked if he was familiar with the Saturday Night Live skit about the All Things Scottish Store and per Jenn's request he said "If it isn't Scot it's CRAAAAAAP" and that really made our day.
The Highland Games rocked. I think we actually got to do "Highland Games Lite" as the instructors indicated that the traditional poles and shot puts are much heavier than the ones we used. All the great highland cultural taste, half the burly manly heavy weights to toss about. Jenn had shouldered the "laboring oar" on the punt earlier, so I chipped in and tossed around the highland gear and we made good time through the course.
When we finished we realized we had a bit of a march to the next pit stop, so we've adopted the practice of singing silly songs on these marches, which endears us to Gerry and Ken, who come up with their own nonsense verses. Soccer Moms Gina and Sylvia had taught us a couple cool geographic songs from kids tv shows, including the "Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego" theme and the "Where are we going?" song from Dora the Explorer. Jenn and I are probably massacring the songs though, as we haven't watched kids tv shows since Snuffelophagus was invisible to everyone but Big Bird on Sesame Street. Yup, Sylvia broke it to us that now everyone sees Snuffy, and Kermit the Frog, former reporter for Muppet News, isn't even on Sesame Street anymore. The things we've learned on this trip could fill a book, or at least a nifty journal that gets published on the internet. So, trailing Derek and Drew towards the castle, Ken, Jenn, Gerry and I made up about a dozen verses to our marching mantra:
Where are we going? Castle!
How far is it? Near!
How is the going? Hassle!
I sure hope they have Beer!
Ok, it was a little on the lame side, but we were tired, as this was a long leg and the Highland Games were pretty exhausting. We finished in Third Place this week, right after Ken and Gerard and right before the "Gang of Eight" so we're in a good position for starting the next leg, especially because we're the only team in the top three that hasnt already used the fast forward. It was such a shame to hear about Dennis and Andrew being eliminated even after using the Fast Forward, but they just got so far behind on the transatlantic flight it wasn't possible for them to catch up. We'll miss them.
Until next week!
Jenn and Tracey
Read the next journal entry (Episode 4): Days of Whine(rs) and Roses
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