The Accidental TAR-ist, Part Six
Welcome to the Accidental TARist, a weekly article from the mods and writers of the FORT staff. Each week, teams will be dissected and analyzed for the good, the bad, and the ugly for each leg of the race. Join us in laughing at each team's triumphs, misadventures, and what just might keep them in the race another leg or send them home sooner.
The Gaghan Family - AKA Team Not-So-Mighty Munchkins
Bill was hoping their bad luck was behind them, and he and Tammy made a conscious effort to keep their spirits up (for themselves as much as for the kids), but this team continued to struggle in the race. Even with several teams helping them find the Tica bus ticket counter, they still had trouble locating it, and missed the first bus, which was just the beginning of their decline.
Come On, Mom, Is That All You’ve Got?
Arriving at the coffee plantation in second place, the family lost their lead when Tammy couldn’t find the elusive red bean. They watched every other team come and go, and by the time Tammy finally found it, they were hopelessly in last place. Perhaps some caffeine would have helped her search faster?
We Are Fam-i-ly
Many times throughout the race, Billy and Carissa kept up with the other adults, and quite often had better attitudes, and whined less than some of the teens and adults on the other teams. At the very least, they’ll have the best What I Did Over My Summer Vacation essay than the other kids in school, and the rest of us can look forward to a ‘normal’ TAR returning next season.
The Linz Family a.k.a Team 3 Men and a Little Lady
Let’s Take It Up A Notch
The children Linz finally noticed that yes, this is a race, and they might want to actually start to compete with the other teams. Even though they left the pit stop 4th, they were aggressive in hailing a cab and were the 2nd team to arrive at the bus terminal, getting them a spot on bus numero uno. They used their main assets—youth and athleticism—to maintain that lead most of this leg.
She’s A Ball!
The Linz brothers are finally embracing their sister as one of them. Not like she isn’t family, but honestly…one of these things is not like the others. Not only did she finish the needle in a haystack “red coffee bean” roadblock quickly and with a keen eye, but she earned her “balls” in her brothers’ eyes in the process. During the “Relic” detour, she stayed with her brothers’ pace, and even led the charge a few times.
While the Linz Family has at least realized they are competing in a race, they are still relying on other teams to show them the way. The Paolo’s helped them find the correct ticket counter in the bus depot, and they followed the Bransens (again) to the “Relic” detour and even to the pit stop. If they don’t start leading instead of following, it could be a premature end.
The Bransen Family a.k.a Team Middle of the Pack
Just Monkeying Around: Another solid performance. Third to start, third to finish. They were wise to select Relic as their Detour. Had they gone bananas, their third place finish might have been fifth place instead.
Don’t Scratch Too Hard: Looks like Wally is beginning to crack. He was right, however, that it would’ve been easier for one of the girls to get out and ask for directions. With the race getting tighter in regards to closer finishing times, another mistake with directions could spell doom.
From Green to Ripe: Wally better pull it together. The strength of this team has been staying cool and mellow. On the other hand, the girls would be wise to listen to pops every now and then.
The Paolos aka Team D-I-S-R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Smooth As Banana Cream Pie
The new and improved Paolo family continued to reign supreme. They were wise enough to catch a taxi at the hotel at the beginning of the leg and as a result were the first team at the bus station where they secured themselves a spot on the first bus to depart for San Jose. The Paolos were also willing to help the other teams with the exception of the Weavers but DJ acknowledged that everyone will be on their own when there are only three teams left. Despite falling back into fourth place at the volcano, the Paolos quickly regained their position towards the front of the pack when Marion was the second to find the red bean at the roadblock. The Paolos were the only family to choose the demanding banana detour. Tony’s raw strength put his sons to shame and also impressed them. As a result of their choice, the Paolos finished first for the second week in a row and walked away with some nice prizes.
We Have No Bananas Today
The Paolos still displayed their familiar flaws including occasionally arguing instead of focusing on the task at hand. DJ continued to demonstrate his need to take control by hoarding the clues and his impatience when Brian went to ask for directions to the surf shop. For the first time, we saw Tony express some frustration with his wife when she said she couldn’t lift the bananas and couldn’t run any faster to the pit stop. Marion also displayed some physical frailty complaining of leg pain and barely managing to jog fast enough to beat the Linz and Bransen families to the mat. In fact, she said at the end that she couldn’t do the race anymore.
Rotten or Ripe?
The Paolos have managed to work together very well the past three legs. DJ and Brian seem to have gained a new found respect for their parents and in particular their mother. So long as they continue to take advantage of their individual strengths and make smart decisions, they could make it to the final leg of the race. As Tony acknowledged though, if things start to go wrong, any little thing can set them off. At this point, even a small blow up may be enough to eliminate the Paolos. Marion will also have to rally if the Paolos are going to continue on.
The Weaver Family – AKA Team WWJD
Onward Christian Soldiers
The Weavers continue to rely on God and family to get them through the rough spots. As alike as peas in a pod, they’re single-minded in their efforts to get ahead, and no task is too small to ask for God’s help. When Linda got their SUV stuck in the mud the kids jumped out to push it, urging her to keep trying even when she said she couldn’t do it. Their encouragement for each other is their most endearing trait. Linda got points for her gift of five dollars to the Godlewski family, but she negated the deed by calling them the Desperate Housewives a little later in the episode.
Somebody in the family should’ve taken Manners 101 before embarking on a trip that was bound to include foreign countries - you know, those places where they don’t speak English? Righto or lefto is not the appropriate response when asking for directions, and saying muchas gracias, even though you were no help is a poor response to someone who went out if their way to assist you , even when they didn’t speak your language. This week’s geographically challenged remark: “That’s the dumbest volcano I’ve ever seen.” (Rolly)
Rachel says they’ve been raised not to trust other people, only God. They hear the other families talking about them, but they’re Christians – above that. So why do the other TAR families avoid them and call them rude? The entire family showed an ugly side when they laughed at the Paolo's family portrait, taken in front of a garbage truck. The Weavers are already on shaky ground. If they don’t unbend and make a few allies they’ll be back in Florida before they can request divine intervention. Again. Besides, whatever happened to Love thy Neighbor?
The Godlewski Family, AKA Team Desperate Housewives
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
The cackling coven made an impressive come-back this week, thanks largely to bunching -- i.e. through no fault of their own. Forced to beg for cash, they used their
asses assets to get money, although they were unwilling to barter for "love," as one mark put it. Apparently they got enough; there was little whining about low fundage later in the leg, and while they trailed near the back of the pack, they're still in the race.
Sister, Can You Shut Your Mouth?
The bickering is getting worse. These women even stopped the car -- losing valuable seconds, for all they knew -- to switch drivers because the one who WAS driving got pissed. Yeah, way to run smart, girls. The in-fighting means they're focusing on each other, not on beating other teams. It nearly cost them the race last week.
Family, The Ties That Gag
Now that this is pretty much an all-adult race, these ladies must step up their game or they're gone. Most likely, it'll be the latter, with them bickering and bitching all the slow way to the elimination mat.
Special thanks to the contributors, in alphabetical order: Dinahann, Lucy, Mariner, Miss Filangi, mrdobolina, roseskid, speedbump, suncat7 and totoro.
What, no bravos?? I will add mine here. Thanks to all for your fine effort!
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