Yes, my friend, come in! You have found the right place. Remember the little fire that wiped out my original parlor? Well, the settlement from the incense manufacturer came in. As luck would have it, I’m in good with the company CFO’s psychic. I happened to mention to her some visions I’d had about other fires caused by their incense. I think I even saw small children and kittens trapped in the fire. Well, somehow, the CFO got wind of my visions and suddenly I received this nice out-of-court settlement. I trust you like the new digs? Come, settle into the pillows and relax. I’ve got my cracked crystal ball right here. Let’s see if we can see the title of this upcoming episode. Hm, it’s very faint, but I do see the swirling sands of Fate taking the shape of a rather long series of words. This week’s episode is

Skipping To Your Bingos

It’s the morning of Day 37. Just three days to go. The tension in camp is overwhelming. Brian and Clay are having difficulty focusing on laying around. Helen and Jan are stoking the fire, whipping together a morning snack for the group, and tidying up the cave. In other words, they’re finally taking it easy for a change, too. Obviously, they’re feeling the stress.

Suddenly, Jeff steps out from behind a tree and claps his hands loudly to get everyone’s attention. “Come on, everyone! No time to rest! It’s Immunity Challenge time. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. Move it!”

Helen and Jan quickly wolf down the Sand and Leaf Soup they were brewing while Bryan and Clay lurch to their feet. “Hey, what about our soup?” Clay peeps angrily. Helen throws her head back and laughs heartily as she wipes her moist lips with the back of her hand. She grabs the now-empty pot and drops it on top of Clay, imprisoning him within. “Hey!” he squeaks desperately, clanging both tiny fists against the sturdy pot. “Lemme outta here! I need to compete! Jeff! Jeeeeeeff!” Panic is beginning to creep into his voice.

Brian leans down and picks up the pot. “Quit messing around, Clay. Let’s go.”

Jeff guides them to a large open area near Challenge Beach. Arranged around the perimeter of the clearing are four easels, each with a giant bingo card mounted on it. In the center of the square formed by the easels are four notebooks with pens and a closed crate. Jeff hops onto the crate and introduces the challenge. “Remember how we said this year we were going to have all-new challenges? Well, we are. Keep that in mind. This is the Fallen Comrades challenge with which many of you are familiar, but there are a few twists. First twist: you have to come out here to the middle, grab a notebook and pen, then skip to one of the four easels. One Survivor per easel. And your choice could turn out to be critical. I will ask you questions about the twelve departed Survivors. You’ll all write your answers in your notebooks and reveal them simultaneously. If you are right, you may cross out that name on your bingo card. Some names appear on the cards more than once. You’ll have to choose which one gives you the best chance at a bingo. Whoever registers their bingo first wins Immunity. Understood? Good. Everyone out here to the middle to grab a notebook and pen. All right. Immunity at stake, and a 1-in-3 chance at one million dollars! Survivors ready? Go!”

Instantly, the four Survivors head out in different directions, skipping gaily to their bingo cards. Jeff immediately begins laughing and eventually falls to the ground in his mirth, holding his stomach and wiping his eyes. “Oh, wow!” he says, finally, when he’s caught his breath. “I was kidding about the skipping thing. I just wanted to see if you’d do it. Oh, that’s choice. That’s going to make great television.” He finally stands up and dusts himself off. The Survivors are looking grumpy and betrayed. Just another day in Paradise. Jeff opens the sealed crate and rubs his hand together mischievously. “And now the other twist in the Fallen Comrades game.”

He reaches into the crate and removes a small handkerchief, then walks over to Jan at her easel. He unwraps the handkerchief and holds it up to her face. “Whose ear is this?” Jan’s eyes roll up into her head and she collapses into the sand. Jeff grins evilly and proceeds around the circle, letting everyone get a good look at the ear on the handkerchief. Brian nods knowingly and immediately scribbles his answer on the notepad. Jeff takes a knee and holds the handkerchief down so Clay can get a good look. Then he heads over to Helen, who looks only at Jeff, her eyes flashing angrily at him. Jeff returns to the center and asks everyone to reveal their answers. “No answer from Jan, who’s still out. Brian, you’re right. It’s Erin’s ear. Clay, you’re right. And sorry, Helen, ‘You sick bastards’ is the wrong answer. Brian and Clay, you may cross out Erin’s name on your bingo card. Next question. Whose pinky finger is this?”

After parading several other body parts past the Survivors (including Jan, who eventually woke up on her own), Brian finally yells out, “Bingo!” Jeff affixes the Immunity Necklace around his neck and reminds everyone he’ll see them at Tribal Council that evening.

Upon returning to camp, Brian assembles an impromptu tree stump throne and invites the other three to prostrate themselves before him and provide an argument why they should stay in the game. Jan kneels in front of Brian and weeps but says nothing. Helen stands with hands on hips and says, “Duh. We have an alliance. Final two, remember?” Clay rolls around on his back in the sand, looking like a little yellow-shirted beer can. “You gotta take me, Boss! You gotta! I’m the easiest one to beat. Take me! Take me!”

At Tribal Council that night, the jury is conspicuously bandaged. Jeff puts everyone’s minds at ease, though, by pointing out that every “borrowed” body part was successfully re-attached by the crack team of Survivor surgeons and that everyone would be good as new in time for the big reunion show...hopefully. Before voting is set to begin, Jan, Helen, and Clay look to Brian and ask, in unison, “Who will depart tonight, O, Great One?”

Brian breathes deeply, then extends his index finger at Jan while looking serenely into the heavens. Jan lowers her head and cries softly. When the votes are tallied, Jan is ousted in an unprecedented 4-0 vote. Jan’s vote for herself comes with an attached note from Mark Burnett, indicating that it’s OK for her to break the rule just this once if Brian said so.

Next morning, Brian takes up his customary position laying in the sand, but Clay is obliged to help Helen with breakfast and dishes and the fire because Jan is now gone. Unfortunately for camp harmony, Helen and Clay despise each other. She keeps tripping over him “accidentally,” driving his tiny face into the sand with her shins. “Watch it, ya big bully!” he squeals at her after the fifth head-dousing. “I’ll have Brian vote your ass offa this island, I swear I will!”

About midday, Jeff shows up with a giant cloth bag. “Come on, everyone. It’s time for the traditional Survivor finale communion with nature and the local culture segment. Oh, yeah, and the last Immunity Challenge.”

They wander to an area where a long line of Thai locals awaits. Jeff drops the bag on the ground and opens it up for all to see. “OK, everyone, time to pick out some silly clothes. You have to choose one of these bizarre outfits, then run the gauntlet behind me. Everyone in the line is going to try to punch you or kick you as you go by. Try to use the time to reflect on your experience here or something. Think about nature, maybe.”

Brian recognizes a little bungee-cord-and-half-racquetball contraption from one of his earlier movies and decides to wear it, along with a cowboy vest with a silver badge that says “Deputy” on it. Helen finds herself a shimmering disco top and a giant hoop skirt with go-go boots. She also selects a beret. Clay’s situation is more problematic. In the end, they wind up tearing two fingers off a silky ladies’ glove and ramming his legs through the opening, then tying the top of the glove around his neck with a piece of shoe lace.

The Gauntlet is brutal. Brian suffers a black eye and a bruised kidney. Helen fares relatively better, but her ribs ache when she’s done. Clay gets off easiest as the first kick launches him to the very end of the line. If there were goalposts at the end of the line, the kick would have set an NFL record.

Jeff’s waiting at the end of the line with a fire extinguisher. He coats everyone with foam from the extinguisher, then throws confetti in the air which settles onto the Survivors’ wet bodies. “All right, come on,” he says. They follow him wearily to the traditional keep-your-hand-on-the-stump-till-you-can’t-stand-it-anymore Immunity structure. He bends over and hauls the entire stump out of the ground in one smooth motion. “Your last task is to accept a bruising blast to the backside with this stump. If you don’t, I’ll be very cranky.” One by one, Jeff hauls and off and delivers a home run swing to each Survivor’s rump with the huge stump. Afterwards, he breathes a deep sigh. “Wow, I’ve wanted to do that for five seasons. I can’t believe I finally got my wish!” Another deep breath. “OK, ready for the Immunity Challenge? First person to say, ‘Not It!’ wins it. Go!”

“Not It!” Brian shouts.

“Wait,” says Helen. “I don’t understand.”

”Do-over!” Clay requests.

“No do-overs!” Brian counters.

“No do-overs.” Jeff confirms. “Brian wins!”

“What just happened?” Helen asks. “Is that some sort of children’s game?”

”Congratulations, Brian!” Jeff cheers, clapping Brian heartily on the back.

“Protest!” Helen screams.

“Denied!” Jeff shouts. “Tribal Council tonight! Good-bye!” He turns and sprints off into the jungle.

At Tribal Council, Helen and Clay each grab one of Brian’s hands and sob, pledging their unending fealty to him and begging for his permission to remain in the game. In the end, Brian jettisons Helen and scoops little Clay up to put him on his shoulder for the final walk back to camp.

The pair is surprised to find that the Survivor production crew has left a flame thrower at the camp with a little note that reads, “Because you idiots always burn your camps down, anyway.”

“Let’s save it for the morning, li’l guy!” Brian suggests. Clay nods enthusiastically, nearly putting his neck out. He really likes Brian’s suggestions, all of ‘em.

Next morning, the pair incinerate the camp with the flame thrower. They also shoot fire into the cave itself and whoop in amazement as the flames blast out the other end of the cave. It’s the best time they’ve ever had in their lives. “Come ‘ere, Magilla, you little bully!” Clay cries. “Daddy’s got a treat for you!” He laughs and high-fives Brian’s kneecap.

Later, the pair shuffle off to Tribal Council for the final vote. When they arrive, they are stunned to see that the set has been drastically remodeled overnight to look like an actual courtroom. The jury is sitting in their box, and Jeff is sitting at the high bench with a powdered wig on his head and a long black robe. Two furry creatures in business suits flank him. “Welcome to the Survivor:Thailand final questioning session,” Jeff begins. “We have decided this year to dispense with the usual questions from the jury since their questions are invariably so stupid. Instead, we have hired two lawyers to represent each of you and present your cases to the jury.” Jeff coughs uncomfortably. “Unfortunately, the lawyers we had picked out were lost at sea last night, so – at the last minute and at considerable cost to us – we have retained two amateurs. The gentlemen on either side of me are from the beloved children’s book, The Cat in the Hat. They’re here to have fun. Say hello to Thing Two and Thing One. Take it away, boys.”

Thing One and Thing Two bounce to the front and present their opening remarks. Thing One, who represents Brian, says, “Isn’t it true, Clay, that you are a bitter old lecher?”

“Objection!” cries Thing Two.

“Sustained!” Jeff yells, hammering his gavel loudly for no reason.

“Withdrawn,” says Thing One. “But aren’t you?” he persists.

“Yes,” Clay blurts before clapping a hand over his mouth.

“Objection!” Thing Two yells. “My client is an idiot.”

“Sustained!”

“No further questions, Your Honor.”

“Those were your opening remarks?”

“Indeed.”

“Overruled!”

Thing Two then makes his opening remarks. “My client, Mr. Clay, is a tedious, lazy horndog who says mean things about everyone behind their backs.”

Clay leaps out of his chair. “Objection!” he cries.

“Shut up, Dollman!” Jeff cries. “I’ll hold you in contempt.”

Thing Two goes on. “That’s why you should vote for him. For such an individual to even have a shot at the million dollars, he must have done something right.”

Thing One charges to the jury box. “But wait!” he splutters. “My client is also unpleasant. He’s an emotionless robot who displays misogynistic tendencies. How could such a beast have clawed his way to the finals without being an ingenious mastermind?”

Thing Two jumps on Thing One’s head. “My client couldn’t start a fire with a Bic lighter. He’s no Survivor. Vote for him!”

Thing One leaps to the railing of the jury box. “My client wears the most ridiculous tiny bathing suit. He cares nothing for the people around him. He’s filthy, stinking rich. Vote for him!”

Thing Two throws Thing One to the ground and dances the can-can on the railing. “My client was a desperate mooch who rode my colleague’s clients coattails to the finish solely on the basis of his undesirability. If you don’t award him the title of Sole Survivor, it will be an outrage!”

Thing One pokes his head over the railing. “If you don’t let my client win, I will kill myself.”

“And I, as well, will end my life if my client fails to win,” concurs Thing Two.

Together, the two link hands and say,

Our fate is in your hands.
One will not survive.
Vote for Mr. Brian
If you want Thing One Alive.

But if you like Thing Two,
Then your only choice is clear.
Make Clay the winner
And boot Brian on his ear!


In stunned silence, the Survivors walk to the voting booth. The votes are counted, and Brian ekes out a victory 4-3. The assembled members of the jury, as well as Clay and even Jeff fall to the ground in praise. Brian holds his hand out for kisses and accepts the well wishes of his vanquished foes.

“Just kidding!” chirps Thing Two. “I did my best! Good-bye, all! Good-bye!”

And the vision has faded. Wow, what a long, strange season it’s been. I wonder what Survivor:Amazon holds in store. Oh, wait. I do know. I can see it now. Come back and see me then. You won’t believe it.