Tracey here, checking in from the pit stop at Borj Nord fortress outside of Fez. Tee hee, I love the name of the city, Fez, as it reminds me of a silly hat or the international student from That 70s Show. As you can imagine, the pit stop right before the most recent leg was a little tense because all the teams were within 30 minutes of each other for departures and it took a little while for us to find out for sure that Heather and Eve were eliminated due to the penalties points from the prior leg. Aaron and Arianne were less cocky and obnoxious than usual as they were nearly eliminated, in fact, I don't think I heard them tout their "twin hunt" the whole time we were at Lisbon. Having the legal beagles Heather and Eve out of the race left a huge gap in the amount of pissing and whining, which Flo did her best to fill. Zach, this coffee is too strong, this bed is too lumpy, waa waa. You get the picture.
Jenn and I are now the only "all female" team left in the race. We're a little concerned about it because all female teams haven't done too well in prior seasons of TAR, but Gerard and Ken tried to help keep our spirits up at the last pit stop by proclaiming, we can win because "Jenn and Trace got GIRL POWER" and then proceeded to give us Spice Girl names. We didn't care for the real Spice Girl names, as Jenn and I both wanted to be Sporty Spice, neither of us liked Scary, Posh or Baby Spice (yuck) and we couldn't remember if there were any others, so Ken assigned us real spice nicknames, and called us Cinnamon and Cayenne, saying we were sweet and spicy. Then we tried to come up with spice names for the other teams, but expanded to spices, herbs and condiments to better fit our group. Here's what we came up with:
Jill & John Vito Catsup and Mustard, complimentary and everyone likes them.
Kathy & Michael Paprika and Mint, two really interesting flavors, but they don't always work great together in a dish.
Andre & Damon Salt and Curry, the 911 guys are really "salt of the earth" people, and as we've gotten to know them, they add lots of flavor from coming from a different background.
Gerard and Ken Ken wanted to be Red Hot Chili Pepper and said Gerry was Thyme or "Old Spice" then Ken did his Flea impersonation.
Teri & Ian Oil and Vinegar, they don't blend well, but do make a dish more interesting.
Zach & Flo Nutmeg and Dill Weed, these two are a little on the wacky side, and I just love the term "dill weed".
Aaron & Arianne Jamaican Jerk Seasoning and Brewers Yeast, jerky and yucky.
Derek & Drew Vanilla and Mrs. Dash, sure vanilla is rather plain, but it's the world's most popular flavor, makes a great topping and is really tasty. Plus these two can really move (dash).
About Derek & Drew, which is Vanilla and which is Mrs. Dash, not always 100% sure as ****shhhhhhh, don't tell anyone****** Jenn and I can't really tell them apart very easily. Jenn thinks she has it figured out, and it is clearly a top mission for her as she is back on the "Drew hunt" -- the single Wonder Twin. In fact, last night when we went to bed, we giggled like high school girls as Jenn tried to figure out how it was possible that the twins were getting hotter each day. She has secretly renamed them the "hottie twins", by the way. And then we had a pillow fight in our cute little Victoria's Secret pajamas - kidding! (but we thought that would give our male fans a nice little visual) We think Drew usually wears blue, or is it the other way, but every time these guys change clothes we have to wait for them to
say each other's names. It's terrible as we're actually pretty close friend now, but if they were real friends they'd tell us their secret twin identifier. Instead they tease us, as they have a great bit they do called "Twin with Amnesia" in which Derek pretends to wake up and not know who he is. There are a couple variations, including a Bugs Bunny bit about seeing the other twin and thinking he's looking in the mirror. Damon and Andre were watching them do their bit and Damon laughed "you brothers all look alike" and then Andre (who is a cop) jumped in and said "no racial profiling jokes here, buddy." We got to know Damon and Andre a little more this leg and I think they seem like really cool guys - but Jenn is still skeptical about them.
Hanging with them and the Band of Brothers alliance is really making the race enjoyable for us this leg. Yup, we're with the guys, but like they say about men in Alaska, the odds are good, but the goods are odd, as most of these guys are married (or gay). Not that there is anything wrong with that. Ken teases us after our long lunch with the boat rowing guys in the last leg, asking us every time we see a guy, "so do you think he's hot? Should we grab him for you?" Jenn and I joked that we should go to a tattoo parlor at every pit stop and get the name of the town tattooed on our bodies, to commemorate the race, but then Jenn said it would hurt our chances of getting into Playboy later. Gerard's mouth dropped wide open, and then we told him "we're kidding!" as we're certainly not the tattoo types. Derek laughed and said, you're right about Playboy, though, but you could still do Hustler. Glad to know that if we want to go into modeling we've got friends in the business.
We had fun this leg. We went on the train with the Band of Brothers, as all the teams were so close we didn't want to risk getting way behind the pack. Ken and Gerard were a little miffed that Andre and Damon were following us rather than getting a map, but it is a way of racing I guess. It worked well for Alex and Chris last season, and Wil even attempted to lead them astray in the final leg, knowing Chex would follow, but they didn't take the bait and run. Rather than just be pissed about it, though, Ken relieved them of 30 Euros which we spent on a round of drinks later and we all had a good time and teased Damon and Andre saying, next time I have a dream that someone is following me, I won't worry because I know it will be you guys. If Heather and Eve had done a little more following and a little less reading last week, they might still be in the race now. What is that definition of "walk" again Jenn?
When we showed up at he rappelling cliff we could hear Ian "hooyah-ing" his way down the cliff and then Teri shutting him up when it was her turn to go. You tell him Teri! Jenn wanted to yell "Give a hoot, don't pollute" over the side, but we didn't think they would get it, so we saved our breath.
There were only a couple rigs and assistants at this challenge and we had to wait as there were several teams standing in front of us, so Jenn and I considered walking the slopes, thinking that it might actually go faster than waiting a turn to rappel. We were really kicking ourselves when Flo threw such a fit and held up the whole works, as no-one else could go and the teams out front, namely Aaron and Arianne, were getting quite a lead on us. Kudos to Mike for braving the scarier challenge and for trying to calm down Flo, but that was too big of a job for a mere mortal. We were half expecting to see Marlin Perkins from Mutual of America's Wild Kingdom show up with a tranquilizer gun to calm her down enough so we could get on with the race. Marlin, you better bring a couple of those darts, as Flo might not lie down as calmly as a stunned elephant. I wish they would have shown Jenn and I rappelling - we rocked! Who knew all those hours we've banked watching EcoChallenge would pay off.
Next we got into our car and Jenn drove as I navigated. Jenn said we needed to stop for gas, and then immediately corrected herself and said "No, this takes DIESEL, the car's dashboard near the fuel gage says that this takes diesel." Just to check, I grabbed the car's manual, but it was drafted for a couple different models of car and so we couldn't verify for sure from the manual. When we got to the filling station I sprinted inside and asked the cute mechanic inside in a messy combination of languages that sounded like Spanish mixed with English with a Yiddish accent if he could tell me whether our vehicle took diesel or unleaded. He smiled and replied in perfect English, "It takes diesel, can I get it for you." I felt pretty silly with my mangled Spanish, because I actually speak some, but I've come to discover I know "Mexican Spanish" not the variety that they speak in Spain. For me, "Vosotros" was something that was only written in books, certainly not something requiring a whole new set of verb conjugations.
Our mechanic, Raul, had seen another team with the same flag on their car fill it with unleaded, so we knew that somebody was going to have trouble. Raul said that they were older, and that the man was yelling at the woman while she was still in the car so she turned up the radio louder. Must be Teri and Ian. We thanked Raul for his help and unfortunately had to leave to stick with the pace, and he told us "Vaya con Dios" which fortunately was some of the Spanish we do understand. Raul was so cute I would have talked in Pig Latin if I thought he might understand. Jenn and I laughed about that for the rest of the drive. "Ou'reyay osay amnday andsomehay. Ouldway ouyay ikelay ootay isskay eemay?" So now we've perfected our Pig Latin skills, just in case that comes in handy.
When we got to the next challenge it was my turn to go. There was good news and bad news: Good News I lucked out and found a clue in the very first vat that I tried. Bad News I'm so short I had to reach all the way into the vat to find it, went in way over the gloves, and now have ugly purple dye all over my right arm up to my armpit. I wonder how Penthouse feels about dye? Kidding, not interested. The producers told me it will wear off in a day or two, but now I look like Clark Griswald walking into the casino in Vegas Vacation after having a mishap in an airline toilet while trying to join the "mile high club" and getting icky blue toilet water all over Clark's arm. We made pretty decent time and checked into the Pit Stop in 4th place. Ken and Gerard told us that they both won cameras for finishing in first place, so hopefully after we're done with the race they can email us pictures of themselves. The twins told us they passed team A&A on the side of the road and Arianne was patting a crying Aaron on the head like a kid who had all his Halloween candy stolen. We all got a great little laugh about that one and high-fived each other that our secret alliance of six was still intact and had all recognized that a vehicle driven by a diesel engine requires diesel fuel.
It's too bad to see Mike and Kathy get eliminated. We were hoping it would be Aaron and Arianne this week. Mike and Kathy are nice folks, we hope they got a good chance to be together during this race, which I think was their main goal anyway. They fell victim to the "Curse of Momily" though, which is giving up on the race too early. In the first season, the team of "Mom and Emily" thought that they were in dead last so they gave up and cheated on a challenge, and when they arrived at the pit stop they realized that they were not last, but eliminated on penalty time. Kathy and Mike thought they were the only team who put diesel in their car, but really 3 other teams had made the same mistake, so they certainly could have made their way back into contention.
Read the next journal entry (The BYE week): Divide and Conquer
Join us next week for the continuing story of Jenn and Tracey's Amazing Race Journal. To contact the author please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org m