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Thread: Survivor 6: Paulie's Precaps - Episode 5: Mix-up Tricks

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    Survivor 6: Paulie's Precaps - Episode 5: Mix-up Tricks

    Ah, yes. Hello there! Pardon the abominable mess inside my shop, but as you can see, I’ve been burgled. Or, more accurately, vandalized, for it does not appear that anything of value was actually taken from the store. I know what they were after, though, and I think you, do, too. That’s right. My cracked crystal ball. I shudder even to think about what might happen if it were to fall into the wrong hands. Entire governments have toppled under less provocation. No, it is indeed fortunate that I keep this little beauty on my person at all times. All I can say is thank you, Gucci, for your functional yet stylish crystal ball carrying case! As for the rest of my shop, I’m going to have to just keep at it until everything’s back to normal. Doubtless, you’re thinking I’m a fraud at this point, that I should have seen this burglary coming. Truth of the matter is I did have a vision of this carnage, but you can no more change the inevitable flow of history than you can alter the tides with your bare hands. Pity. But let’s clear a space in the wreckage and discuss this week’s episode of Survivor. Make yourself as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. I’m already beginning to see the visions swirling to life inside my cracked crystal ball. I see an unusual title taking shape in there. It’s

    Mix-up Tricks

    It’s early morning on Day 13. At the base of a large tree with gnarled roots lies a natural underground grotto. Within this dark lair, Matthew sits cross-legged and speaks to the crocodile skull he liberated from Tribal Council. “I feel much better this week, Wilson,” he says. “I think the fellows are really buying into my act. I was as smooth as a snake-oil salesman when I showed off that bass last week, but it was impossible for them to detect the fact that I was purely marketing myself in that situation. Far as the other guys could tell, I was just an enthusiastic bumpkin waving his prize around. If I could establish myself as the provider of large fish by using that fish-stunning spell I learned in Budapest years ago, I’ll be indispensable.”

    A twig snaps outside. Matthew’s head jerks sharply to the side, and he quickly shimmers out of sight. Someone’s walking carelessly along outside the tree, humming as they go. It’s Jeanne from the Jaburu Camp! She’s got a small mountain of firewood in one arm and is leaning down into the grotto to secure another loose piece of wood when a hand shoots out from the roots and encircles her wrist. Jeanne screams and drops the firewood, skidding her heels in the loose dirt as she tries to backpedal away from the tree. Matthew emerges from beneath the tree and offers a display of his teeth by way of a smile. “Greetings, Jeanne,” he purrs, releasing her wrist and bowing slightly at the waist while awkwardly maintaining eye contact. “I must confess to being rather surprised to see you this far afield from your camp.”

    Jeanne has recovered her breath, but she’s still obviously rattled by the experience. She places a hand over her mouth and slumps into a sitting position on the ground. “I, uh,” she begins in a quavering voice. “Listen, you’re not going to eat me, are you?”

    Matthew throws his head back and laughs amiably, just like he practiced before he left home. “I assure you I am adequately nourished, at least for now.”

    Jeanne stares at him almost angrily for a while, then speaks. “The reason I’m here is that someone in that ridiculous group of slackers over there needs to be gathering firewood. Joanna and I used to take care of it, but we’ve picked the area around our camp clean over the last two weeks. And now that she’s gone...” Jeanne shrugs.

    Matthew drops to one knee and strokes his chin reflectively. “Indeed!” he murmurs. “And I sense that the departure of the fair Miss Joanna has left you, shall we say, in the lurch?” He smiles toothily, ignoring the fact that his comment was not humorous in any way.

    Jeanne laughs bitterly. “You might say that.”

    Like a mongoose, Matthew shoots across the small patch of ground separating him from Jeanne. He grips her knees and puts his face inches from hers as he whispers urgently, “Then we have much in common, you and I. Like you, I am seeking ways to remain in the game, even without the benefit of allies in my corner. I think I have found an avenue to do so, and I hope the same for you. Let’s not let this chance encounter go for naught. I offer you my solemn vow that should we both arrive at the merge, we will become secret partners in our quest to win the game. Whatever coalitions we have built between now and then will act in unwitting concert until it is time to eliminate the competition and thrust ourselves into the Winner’s Circle. Agreed?”

    Jeanne’s eyes gleam in excitement as she nods enthusiastically. “You have my word, strange skull-faced man,” she whispers. “And is that peacock bass I smell on your breath? Mmm!”

    Some time later, Matthew returns to camp with a modest armful of firewood. Rob is apparently the only one at camp. He’s throwing the Magic 8-Ball in the air and giggling as he catches it. When he sees Matthew, he hops over. “Hey, Mateo!” he burbles. “Wanna be in my alliance?”

    Matthew cocks an eyebrow. “You have an alliance?”

    “Yep! A really cool, big one! Everyone’s in it. And I’m the boss. You in?”

    Matthew smirks. “Sure, Rob. Put me in your alliance,” he says as he adds wood to the fire.

    “Excellent!” Rob cries. “Wanna learn the secret handshake?”

    Matthew turns away and heads off to the shelter to lay down. “Maybe later.”

    “Cool!” Rob says. He begins playing hacky-sack with the Magic 8-Ball.

    The other men emerge from the woods just as Matthew arrives at the shelter. Each man has either a load of firewood or a jug of water. “Ah, Matt!” Roger booms. “You’re awake. Go catch a fish. Now, I said!”

    “Just a minute,” Butch interrupts kindly. “It’s time once again for us to pull together as a team. We need to go to the Reward Challenge.”

    Roger glares at Butch, then Matthew. “All right then. Ya got lucky, Matt.” He reaches into the shelter and grabs a bottle of vinaigrette dressing from his bag. He splashes a hint of it on his pulse points. “For the ladies,” he growls. “Come on, let’s go.”

    Everyone else is already waiting at Challenge Beach when the Tambaqui tribe arrives. Jeff taps his wristwatch. “You’re late,” he barks. “Do not make me wait for you again, or I swear, we’ll turn this car around right now!” He scowls at each man in turn before turning to the Jaburu women. “That goes for you, too, ladies. I mean it. OK, today’s Challenge is most definitely not orange-passing, as one of you dingbats suggested last week.”

    “That was me!” Rob says, raising his hand and looking rapidly around to gauge everyone else’s reaction.

    “Shut up, Rob,” Jeff says. “She doesn’t like you. Anyway, today we’re going to do a series of relay races. See? Very different from the usual summer camp types of games we’ve been playing lately. Wanna know what you’re playing for?”

    “No,” Rob cracks, eagerly watching Heidi to see if she collapses to the ground in fits of tearful laughter.

    Jeff wheels rapidly on Rob and points a quivering finger at him. “All right, Mr. Smart Guy,” he hisses through compressed lips. “Drop and give me twenty!”

    “But I - ”

    Roger surprises everyone by interrupting. “Do it, you punk!” he yells. “I’ve had you doing pushups since Day One. Twenty should be a walk in the park. Begin!”

    Rob falls to the ground and fires off twenty textbook pushups. When he stands up, gasping, he steals a look at Heidi, who yawns. Jeff is still steamed. “Just for that outburst, I am canceling today’s Reward Challenge. You ingrates will get nothing this week and like it!” He turns as if to go, which reveals the fact that he’s wearing a backpack. Suddenly, he turns back and removes the pack. “And just so you know exactly what a horrible mistake your little joke was today, Rob, I’m going to show all of you what you missed.” He feels inside the bag and removes a small box. “Imagine how great your breakfast could have been with this box of delicious...blueberry waffles!” He holds the box up for all to see, and it actually turns out to be a videotape: Darrin’s Dance Grooves.

    Jeff’s eyes bug nearly out of his head as he whips the videotape behind his back. He glances inside the backpack just as a pair of Tweety Bird boxers falls out. “Good lord!” he cries. “I grabbed the wrong backpack. This is my carry-on!” He clears his throat. “I mean, this is, uh, Burnett’s backpack.” A rock sails out of the forest and clocks Jeff on the side of his head. “Ow! Uh, well, anyway, you would have won some great stuff. Believe me. Maybe next time.” He stuffs the video and boxers into the backpack and scampers off into the forest.

    The two tribes return to their respective camps. At Jaburu, Shawna collapses to the ground and gets right to work sniffling and complaining about her plight. It took a lot out of her just to be carried to the Challenge and propped up with a stick. It’s still possible, however, that she could topple the World Record for sustained sniveling since she wept quietly to herself the entire time. Heidi and Jenna pretend to console Shawna while they rest nearby. This leaves Deena, Christy, and Jeanne to head down to the river for some fishing. “You know,” Jeanne says after throwing her line in the water, “Shawna really is quite ill.”

    “Forget it,” Deena responds. “You’re next on the hit list. Deal with it.”

    To her credit, Jeanne doesn’t attack Deena with a machete. Instead, she calmly continues. “Our tribe is at risk for losing all of the remaining Challenges until the merge if we keep Shawna. It’s also very possible that Heidi and Jenna will recruit some of the men at that time and work to eliminate the three of us. If, instead, we convince them to remove Shawna next time we go to Tribal Council, we three will have the numeric advantage over Jenna and Heidi. The key is for you two to convince them that you’re still one big happy alliance. I know I’m in a desperate situation so I promise you can trust me. I have no other choice.”

    Deena and Christy are quiet for a while. They look at each other and nod. “All right,” Deena says. “You’ve got a point. Let’s do it.” As the sun slowly fades on the horizon, the three women pile fish on the river bank and daydream about stabbing the other two in the back when the time is right.

    Next day, Tree Mail arrives in the form of a single playing card. Scribbled on the back of the card in standard cheesy poetry format is a directive for each player to pack their bag and bring it to the Challenge. Tensions are high as the two tribes head out to battle for Immunity. When they arrive, they see Jeff seated at a large octagonal table. He’s wearing a white shirt with a black vest and bowtie. He also has a garter on his sleeve and a clear blue plastic visor on his head. “Come on in,” he says. “Pick any chair. You may have to squeeze in a bit.”

    Alex and Dave are thrown to the ground as Rob dashes by them and settles next to Heidi. She rolls her eyes and turns her chair so her back is facing him. “How did you know I like backs?” Rob breathes.

    “If it’s all right,” Shawna gasps, “I’ll play while laying on the ground.”

    Jeff purses his lips and shrugs. “Whatever,” he says, obviously unimpressed. “All right. Welcome to what will no doubt go down in Survivor history as the most unusual Immunity Challenge ever.” He removes a small stack of playing cards from his vest pocket and begins shuffling. “We’re going to...mix things up a bit,” he smiles. “I have here the heart suit from a normal deck of cards. Thirteen cards. Two’s low, and the ace is high card.” He deals one card face-down to each Survivor. “On my go, you’ll all turn over your card. Whoever has the highest card wins the trick. Low card receives two cards on the next deal. If you win, you have a choice.” Jeff points to two piles of six poker chips each stacked in front of him, one yellow, one blue. “If you win the trick, you may assign a free poker chip to someone who doesn’t already have one. Or you can give your own chip to someone else. Or you can exchange a blue chip for a yellow chip between any two players, including yourself. As soon as one of these stacks in front of me is depleted, the game ends. At that point, all six players who have chips of the depleted color are a new tribe...AND they lose Immunity.” There are gasps and murmurs all around the table. Jeff smiles evilly. “The remaining six are the other tribe. They’ll receive the Immunity Idol and are safe for another three days. The color of your chip determines which camp you’ll return to after this contest. Everyone understand?” Jeanne and Matthew lock eyes across the table, and some teeth poke out of Matthew’s mouth. “Survivors ready? Go!”

    The Survivors flip their cards and Butch wins the first trick. He puts a yellow chip in front of Shawna’s chair. Matthew has low card so he receives two on the next trick. Doesn’t matter, though, as Jeanne wins the trick. She retrieves a blue chip and gives it to Heidi, who glares at her. Rob wins the next trick and gives himself a blue chip, smiling dreamily at Heidi’s back as he does.

    “Rob, are you an idiot?!” Jeff exclaims. “Wait, don’t answer that. You do know that you’re trying to avoid having chips, right?”

    Rob shrugs. “I don’t have the Magic 8-Ball with me,” he states, “so I’m very likely to make mistakes. Oh, well.”

    After a few more tricks, there are yellow chips in front of Matthew, Roger, and Shawna’s limp hand, which is draped on the table. Heidi, Rob, and Jenna have blue chips. Dave wins the next trick. He pinches the bridge of his nose with his fingers and closes his eyes in concentration. He’s wearing a plain black T-shirt that reads, “All I really need to know I learned in Rocket Science School.” He’s quiet for a very long time. Jeff clears his throat, prompting Dave to raise his index finger into the air. “Shh!” Dave says. “I’m calculating.” Finally, Dave places a blue chip in front of Alex.

    The game continues – with chips being added, moved, and exchanged – until five of each color of chip are sitting in front of ten Survivors. “Remember to account for your alliances in these new tribes,” Jeff intones as he deals the cards again. “Don’t allow yourself to be the odd one out.” Jeanne has the ace this time. She scans the table and sees yellow chips in front of Matthew, Roger, Dave, Christy, and a puff of Shawna’s hair that seems to have blown onto the table.

    Matthew makes an almost imperceptible motion with his left hand and suddenly all is still. The other Survivors and Jeff are completely motionless. Even the dust in the air is suspended in place. Matthew stands and walks around the table and stands next to frozen Jeanne. He leans close and whispers in her ear, “I have stopped time itself. You are the only one that can hear me. When I return to my seat, the others will notice only that I appear to have shifted position blindingly fast. I wanted you to know, however, that Dave is a member of my alliance, and he is tight with Roger. If you give yourself the yellow chip now, we would have numbers. Think about it.” He returns to his seat and snaps his fingers.

    Immediately, the sounds of bugs return and the other players resume squirming around and scratching themselves. Nobody seems to have noticed anything out of the ordinary. Jeanne appears both startled and confused. She looks fiercely at Matthew, whose head moves slightly in an almost imperceptible nod. “I’ll take the yellow chip, Jeff,” she finally says.

    Jeff’s head snaps around in surprise as he slides the final yellow chip to Jeanne. “That’s it then. New Tambaqui wins Immunity!” Rob leaps up excitedly and hugs Heidi from behind while cheering. She delivers an elbow to his nose, causing him to crumple to the ground. “All right, tribes. You may now return to your new camps. Someone will probably want to carry the bloody-nosed kid. Jaburu, I’ll see you at Tribal Council tomorrow night.” As the Survivors depart, Jeff distributes new buffs appropriately.

    When the new Jaburu returns to camp, Roger is immediately incensed. “My god! What exactly has been going on around here?” he exclaims. “Matthew and Dave, go start cutting some Y-branches for our new shelter. Jeanne and Christy, let’s demolish this ridiculous quasi-hut you’ve got going on here. And Shawna, off your butt now! We’re going to need fresh water and dinner. Get on it. Let’s move, people! It’s going to be dark soon.”

    At Tribal Council the next evening, the new alliance pulls together and unanimously punches Shawna’s ticket. Two members of the Survivor medical staff carry her to the front so she can watch through heavy-lidded eyes as her torch is extinguished. They then drag her to the confessional and prop her in front of the camera, where she mumbles something about sandwiches and teddy bears before finally passing out.

    And now the visions are gone. I’d better get back to straightening up this place. Maybe I’ll just leave that scribbled-on curly mustache on the big picture of me. It actually makes me look kinda neat. See you next week.

    Your comments are welcome. E-mail paulie@fansofrealitytv.com.

    And now that you've read the precap, make your own prediction in the Survivor Boot Poll.
    Last edited by Paulie; 03-12-2003 at 03:46 PM.
    When you're ten years old and a car drives by and splashes a puddle of water all over you, it's hard to decide if you should go to school like that or try to go home and change and probably be late. So while he was trying to decide, I drove by and splashed him again. - Jack Handey

    Read Paulie's Precaps for Survivor:Vanuatu: 1-2-3-4-5

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