Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'll Frontside Him

In Japanese the word Bushido means "the way of the warrior" and it refers to a very strict code of conduct practiced by an elite group of men known as the Samurai. The Bushido is a philosophy that embraces such virtues as loyalty, honor, obedience, duty, sacrifice, piety and, if you're so inclined, neurosis. Back in the olden timey days to be a Samurai meant that you were part of the military nobility. Today, it means that at 3pm you get a thorazine drip and afterwards you can have a cookie and a nap. In 13th century Japan, a Samurai might find himself in a time of war exhibiting reckless bravery and fierce family pride. In 21st century America, a Samurai gets tangled up in some pesky branches and tumbles out of a coconut tree. The way of the warrior may have evolved over the centuries, but one tenet remains the same: to die a good death. In fact, the entire life of a Samurai is a constant preparation for death. So, whether you're impaled with a sword while in a vicious battle or you're fighting a 19 year old girl over some crispy rice, to die with honor is all that matters. Let's recap, shall we?

We continue our Nicaraguan nightmare in the thick of night back at Zappa (Zapatera). The moon hangs high while a salt and pepper haired cupcake of a man sits in the corner clutching his teddy bear and begs for team unity. "We need to come together. We need to settle our differences.", The Cuddler (Steve) laments. Lawyer Dave, however, doesn't give a fig about coming together. All he wants is to win and with that feeble-minded hippy sparrow Sarita on the tribe he fears that winning is merely but a wistful dream. You see, Sarita is one of those hot air people. They do a lot of talking but when it comes time to put those words into action, all that hot air leaks out and all you're left with is a shriveled up clump of cheap rubber with little strands of spit seeping out of it. Sarita is angry that Dave voted for her at Tribal Council. The only explanation she can come up with for his heinous act of dissension is that he's been lured over to the dark side. Really Sarita? A horned goat's head came out of the night and with a long bony finger beckoned Dave to join him in his underground lair where virgins are sacrificed and baby's blood is on the breakfast menu? Look, if that really happened that would be my Survivor fantasy come to life, but it didn't happen. Sarita sucks, Dave knows it, he's not afraid to say it and that's that. Meanwhile, The Cuddler is freaking out because his tribal unity is tainted and his lace bloomers haven't been ironed in days. Again I ask, wasn't he in the NFL for like many many years? My friend's 18 month old baby has more anger and gumption than Steve ever will. And what the hell is going on with Mike? Didn't he fight in a war for us? How is it that these paradigms of "manliness" are nothing but delicate little robin's eggs wrapped in pretty pink satin bows? Your honor, I move that Lawyer Dave is the only man on Zappa worthy of holding onto his balls. Off with the others!

Over on Rhode Island (Redemption Island) a different sort of torture is taking place. Stephanie has been talking for the past 6 hours about food and the usually gentle and serene Pretty Pony (Matt) is about to cut her tongue out and feed it to the sharks. Do you remember Vanessa Huxtable's friend on The Cosby Show? The one who talked a mile a minute and made Dr. Huxtable's eyes bug out of his head? Well, that's Stephanie. "ImeantheressomanythingsIloveVietnamesefoodThaifoodChinesefoodlikeItalianfood *inhale* Idon'tevenlikesweetsbutbringitonI'mgonnahaveasliceofredvelvetfromthisbakerythatIusedtoworkat *inhale* TheweirdestthingI'vebeencravingtohavelikebananashakeswithpeanutbutterinit *inhale* Theflavorofpeanutbutterlikesnickerdoodleswithpeanutbutterontop" Poor Pretty Pony was sitting there fashioning a noose out of his buff and praying that death comes quick and painless. Suicide is a sin and I don't think it comes with a "Get Into Heaven Free" card, but Pretty Pony is willing to take that risk if it'll just make Stephanie shut the hell up.

Back at Omarion (Ometepe), it's time to pick people to witness the Duel. Federal Agent Phillip announces that it's his turn to go again and upon hearing this Rob insists on attending the Duel with him. You see, Phillip is an unpredictable loose cannon. He could fire off all sorts of missiles of tribal information to the Zappa's and it's in Rob's best interest to make sure Phillip keeps his mouth shut and stays in line. Similarly, Phillip doesn't trust Rob either so he turns to his Samurai spirit guide, Miyamoto Musashi for inspiration. It turns out that Musashi was not only a psychotically unpredicatable sword wielder, but he wrote a book about 5 rings or something. I don't know about you, but when I hear "5 rings" I think of Christmas... "Fiiiive goooolden riiiings". Unfortunately, nothing about Musashi is Christmas-y. In fact, he was kind of a scary unkempt miscreant. He wandered the wilderness refusing to bathe or change his clothes because he feared being attacked while unprepared. With scars all over his face from congenital syphillis he'd challenge random people to duels for no reason at all. Once he whittled a wooden sword out of an oar and then bashed someone's head in with it. Now, I'm not a Buddhist or anything, but if it pleases the court, I move that Phillip is Miyamoto Musashi reincarnated. Both men could clearly benefit from a good scrubdown in addition to, oh I don't know, maybe a drug trial for some newfangled schizophrenia meds.

Over at Rhode Island it's Duel time. Phillip and Rob are there representing Omarion with David and Rooster (Ralph) representing Zappa. In trots the Pretty Pony and I'm instantly shocked by his appearance. My normally resplendent equine loverboy is haggard and exhausted with sad little dark circles under his eyes. Frightened whiggedy whack strands of hair stick out of his usually pristine ponytail and I instantly gave Stephanie my devil death stare. Clearly, her words are poisonous little daggers of evil. She's sullied my pony! His purity is gone. The light in his eyes has dimmed. He's nothing but a damaged tattered representation of what he used to be. God cried that day my friends. God and me. We both cried. When beauty is lost all you can do is cry... or go nuts like Norma Desmond. It's up to you. *shrugs shoulders* Whatevs. Ok so this week the duel is going to test the Survivors memory. Grrrreat. Pretty Pony hasn't slept all night and his brain is filled with words and phrases like "cake" and "chocolate dipped in peanut butter". This is the worst possible time for this challenge. I hate you Dimples. Scattered in the arena are pairs of matching symbols. Each round you flip over two symbols and if they match you score a point. The first person to match five stays alive. Stephanie won the Rochambeau and has chosen for Pretty Pony to go first. You bitch! Survivors ready, go.

Pretty Pony does what any good Christian does. He gives up candy for Lent, makes the sign of the cross and hopes for the best. First, he flips over a skull and I thought to myself, "It's a sign! It's a sign! This can't be good" and then he flipped over another skull. I whipped off my shirt, dipped my breasts into two conveniently placed bowls of glitter and shouted at the screen, "Suck on that Stephanie!" Those etiquette classes I've been taking are really paying off. Stephanie takes her turn and flips a crocodile. Then, she flips another fucking crocodile. Oh, come on! Here I am thinking Pretty Pony is the second coming and devil girl Stephanie pulls a magical move out of her ass as well. Pretty Pony goes again and fails to make a match. The air is tinged with evil now. Any goodness that was lingering was killed when Stephanie matched those stupid crocodiles.

Flip, flip, flip Pretty Pony makes two more matches and I knew that Jesus had finally awoken from his nap. Then Stephanie makes a match, claps for herself and I threw my gin glass at the screen. I learned that in Elocution Class. Flip, flip, flip the score is now 4-3 with Pretty Pony in the lead. He flips a calendar and knows he's seen the other one before, but all that's swirling in his head, thanks to Stephanie, are visions of macaroons and hot fudge sundaes. He gets the match wrong and it's Stephanie's turn again. She, too, flips the calendar. I covered my face with my hands and said, "No match no match no match no match". Someone somewhere was listening cuz girfriend screwed up and flipped war clubs. For his next turn, Pretty Pony looks up to heaven and let's the Holy Spirit fill his soul. He flips over the war clubs and then... he flips over ANOTHER war clubs. PRETTY PONY STAYS ALIVE!!!! I cantered around the room while Boston Rob reluctantly clapped.

Stephanie starts to cry and then she does what has become my favorite part of Rhode Island. She blabs all sorts of secrets and throws a tantrum like a sore loser. First, she says that there are people there that don't deserve to be there. Then, she turns to Rooster and tells him that he has to get rid of Sarita. She says that David is the only one that can do puzzles and I'm now convinced that he must have smuggled in a pocket game of Connect Four or something. Dimples pushes Stephanie to continue as he loves the spilling of secrets as much I do. She turns to Rob and tells him to watch his back and not to trust anyone on Zappa. She advises Rob to try to win Pretty Pony back and that made Matt laugh. In that moment, I knew, I just knew, that if Pretty Pony reenters the game, all hell is going to break loose. Everyone and no one is going to want him on their side. He's a number, but he's also a HUGE threat. With Jesus as his partner, I wouldn't put it past him to win Individual Immunity week after week. Does that make him the best player in the game? I don't know. Rob's been playing his game with a finesse I've never seen before. It's subtle yet skilled, psychological yet physical. Right now I'd be torn in a Pretty Pony/Boston Rob final two.

There's one more little thing we have to address before we leave Rhode Island. It turns out that Phillip is a fan of the Pretty Pony as well. He starts to quote the Bushido code I mentioned in my opening paragraph only he pronounces it "Bee-shoe-doh". Dry mouth syndrome. Anyhow, he tells Pretty Pony that he is indeed a Samurai warrior. Matt laughs and thanks him, but I shouted, "No, he's not! Does he look like he has syphillis to you?! He couldn't hurt a butterfly let alone smash in some guy's brains in with a rotten old oar. You shut your face Phillip Sheppard!" I was furious Phillip dared to compare himself to that precious angel, but Rob was pissed off for another reason. He was pissed that Phillip dared to open his mouth at all. It's clear to Rob now that Phillip is ready to make a big move. He's planting seeds and gathering up an alliance. I don't know. I think Rob is giving Phillip a little bit too much credit. I think all Phillip has up his sleeves is a clam shell walkie talkie and maybe a pinecone grenade.

On the way back to camp, Phillip asks Rob what they should tell the others about Rhode Island. He wonders if they should hold back intel and plan a covert operation. Apparently, Langley is waiting for word from Phillip on how to proceed. There are agents that need to be activated, fake passports to be made, interpol has to be notified. It's a whole big production and Phillip is anxious to get started. Rob quickly poo-poo's Phillip's idea to withhold info and tells him that it's best to keep their tribe strong and unified, but inside Rob was secretly celebrating. This was exactly the type of shady move he was praying Phillip would make. You see, now Rob can go back to camp and tell the others how Phillip wanted to get all Jason Bourne on everybody's ass. Mistrust is laid, Rob looks like the hero and, if Omarion loses again, Phillip is headed to Guantanamo where he'll have the best medical care the country has to offer.

When they finally do arrive at camp, Rob immediately tells everyone how Pretty Pony won and Stephanie let it all hang out. Mascaroni (Andrea) stabbed her Pretty Pony voodoo doll in the face and then Rob told everyone how Stephanie said Rob is the number one target. Phillip nodded, acknowledged the tiny seashell earpiece in his ear and then went off into the woods to write a letter in invisible ink (i.e. urine). As soon as Phillip was out of earshot, Rob tells everyone about the Jason Bourne plan and assures them that as soon as they merge, Phillip's flipping. They decide then and there that if they lose the next challenge, Phillip is going home. And then Phillip fell out of a tree and tried to cover it up with a somersault. Ahem, Navy Seal training. Nothing to be alarmed at. Go about your business.

Over at Zappa, The Cuddler wants to know if Stephanie said anything mean and nasty about him at Rhode Island. Did she pass any notes saying, "Steve's stinky!" or anything like that? These are things that The Cuddler is concerned with. Rooster mumbles "Yeayaw, she'n wawntin' 'em ta beet us". Lawyer Dave, on the other hand, said it really wasn't all that egregious and then Rooster wondered what 'egregious' meant. Sarita asks about the Pretty Pony and Rooster tells them that there's no way he'd flip sides at a Merge. I can see how Rooster would think that after Phillip rained down his Samurai speech on Pretty Pony, but I think Lawyer Dave may have been a tad more intuitive for he put his head down and walked away. After all, Stephanie did say to Rob that he should try to win Matt back. Rooster should have seen that as an opening to bring Pretty Pony into the fold. Instead he tells his tribe that Loy-yerr Dave will flip at the Merge which promptly sent Sarita into mom-mode and The Cuddler into a panic attack.

So while Zappa was lounging around content with being uninteresting and boring, Dave suggests they go out fishing. That storm the other night must have brought in some good pickings and they should take advantage of it. Leathery ole Julie rolled over and said, "Uhhh nooooo, I think the storm brought in mud. It's nappy time." Dave then tried to explain how the currents close to the equator tend to run, what fish are migrating at that time of year in the Carribean Sea and how the high and low pressure weather systems will affect camp. In response The Cuddler grabbed his fluffy pillow and said, "But it's mucky out there." Apparently, Rooster (from Virginia not Nicaragua) said the fishing is no good and the tribe would rather believe him than Loy-yerr Dave. Then, that battered ole piece of shoe leather, Julie, said Dave was driving her crazy and she went back to stretching her skin out to dry. What the hell is wrong with this tribe?! We know that Julie and The Cuddler are useless, but what's going on with Mike? I have a feeling that he's not exactly thrilled with the direction his tribe is headed in. I'm getting this vibe that he doesn't want to play ball with the geritol crowd. I'd like to see him speak up and do something, anything. Someone wave a mirror in front of his mouth so I know he's still breathing. Mike is like Bernie in Weekend At Bernie's. Does he have a pulse or not?

Over at Omarion, it's lunchtime. The rice has been cooked and Phillip is chewing with a ferocity that I can only interpret as being morse code. I'm pretty sure he can chew and send messages at the same time. *chew chew... chew... chew chew chew chew STOP chew... chew chew... chew* Translated, I think it means: "Water the marigolds. Viper is in transit. Need new panties." So everyone is happily eating their rice and Natalie has appointed herself as the Rice Hall Monitor. She's guarding the crispy rice for Rob because that's the only rice he eats. Phillip catches the name "Rob" on the wind, gets up and demands that he gets his share of crispy rice too. He's a 52 year old man not a red-headed stepchild. He should be entitled to exactly the same things Rob is entitled to. Then, Peter played ball in the house, Jan wore a wig and Phillip bellowed, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" Why does Marcia (Rob) get to do everything?! All Phillip ever hears about in school is how good Marcia is at this or how great Marcia is at that. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! Phillip is sick of being a redhead, sick of being ignored and sick of being treated like he doesn't matter. He's a senior member of this tribe goddammit. He's put in years of service and he wants his crispy rice pension now. When he signed the Constitution to be a part of Survivor it said very clearly in Article 1, Section 8: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes and Phillip Sheppard shall have power to collect his crispy rice. It's right there in black and white. You can go down to the National Archives and see it for yourself.

Now we arrive at the big Immunity Challenge. It's a challenge we've seen before and it's one I've enjoyed very much before. Any time Survivors emerge like mud people and have to hurl their bodies against walls, an angel gets her wings. Ok so both tribes have to race through a series of obstacles collecting bags of balls. Once they've cleared all the obstacles, they have to shoot their balls into a basket. First tribe to get all 6 balls in the basket wins. Since the tribes are equal now, Sarita can't be a pussy and sit out. Also, they're playing for a helicpoter ride to a picnic complete with alcoholic beverages. Survivors ready, go!

Both tribes fly into a pile of hay and come tumbling out the other side. Sarita and Rob are then lifted into the air to unravel a bag of balls. Rob flings his bag around so it spins and spins and spins. Sarita limply raises her arm and wonders when this nightmare will end. Omarion gets their bag and begin crawling in the mud. Zappa finally gets their bag of balls and enters the mud. Since Julie is the same color as the mud I can only surmise that she sunk and hopefully we'll never see her again. Omarion is now at the wall of ropes where Phillip gets tangled up and kills Omarion's lead. Rob literally has to race back and carry Phillip through the last part of the obstacle. Since Sarita sucks at life, David goes up instead of her to work on the second bag of balls. Rob is also working on his balls but this time he flips them the wrong way and David pulls ahead. Zappa pulls ahead and approaches the maze of rope platforms. Sarita gets stuck and cries, "Help me! Help me!" while over at Omarion Rob is pretty much carrying on his Phillip on his back up and down all the rope ramps.

Zappa gets to their third bag of balls first while Phillip is still back asking a rope where his crispy rice is. David gets the third and final bag first and Zappa races to the brick wall. The Cuddler smashes into it, falls over and dies. Over on Omarion, Grant is the designated Smasher and breaks both walls for his team to climb through. At the end, it's a race to see who'll get their balls in the basket first. Toss, toss, toss, Grant probably played for the NBA, toss, toss, toss, balls are tied, toss, toss, toss OMARION WINS IMMUNITY!!! Sarita wanders around aimlessly wondering where she is, Dave drags The Cuddler's body through the mud and off somewhere in a private corner Phillip is making out with the Immunity statue. Hot.

Without further ado, Omarion is immediately whisked off in a helicopter to enjoy their Reward. The music is grand and sweeping, everyone is psyched to be in the chopper and Rob says that out of his 85 seasons of playing Survivor, landing on a volcano is the coolest Reward ever. Even Phillip is happy. Sure, he got tangled up in the ropes and sure Rob had to drag him by his panties through that entire last challenge, but the warrior inside Phillip is strong. A Samurai is nothing if not determined. Miyamoto Musashi once said, "In fighting and in everyday life you should be determined through calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased. Lucky numbers: 1,14, 22, 73, 96" So while Phillip is busy musing about how much his tribe loves and cherishes him, Rob is digging yet another Immunity scroll out of a jar of spiral cookies. Since he already has the Idol and since it's pretty cool to throw stuff down into a large cavernous bubbling cauldron of scalding hot lava, he chucks the scroll without even opening it. A rock star move if ever I saw one.

Back at Zappa, it's a rock star free zone. Sarita, of all people, addresses the tribe and says that Lawyer Dave isn't really all that great in challenges. Sarita, the spindly hiccup of a boil on the butt of competitiveness, thinks she's better in the challenges than Dave. I want to know where Sarita comes from because I think it would be a fun place to visit. Any place where there is LSD in the water supply has to be a good time, right? Her fingers probably make really cool trails and the trees outside probably talk to her. Book me a ticket. I like to escape reality every now and then. I usually do it with gin and a cornucopia of pharmaceuticals, but, hey, I'm up for anything. As long as I don't have to listen to the Grateful Dead and dance in Birkenstock's I'll hang with Sarita.

So, Sarita is making the rounds at camp slipping blotter into everyone's canteens and trying to convince everyone that David is a buzzkill to the tribal harmony. Rooster tells her David did awesome in the challenge today and Sarita shoves a handful of magic mushrooms in his mouth and says "No, he didn't." Rooster replies, "Yeauh'n yerrn probly raght." and off she scampers to drug another unsuspecting victim. Meanwhile, Dave is lugging an entire tree and preparing to whittle a court bench and a gavel or something. I have no idea. Did you see the size of that thing? It was huge! The only conclusion I can come to is that he wants a fair trial and is prepared to carve his own jury box. Either that or he's going to burn Sarita at the stake. Personally, I'm hoping for the latter.

Meanwhile Mike is all twisted up inside worrying how to vote. On the one hand, SARITA SUCKS. On the other hand, David is crafty and might be planning a Sarita barbecue. He consults Rooster and Julie which is kind of like consulting a hairball and a belt and I began to wonder if Mike is capable of making any decisions on his own. He's a strong strapping guy. He's been to war for crying out loud. Why is he being such a follower? Shouldn't he have PTSD and grumble about all the carnage he's seen? My god, he's soooooo boring. What a waste of a casting spot.

And this brings us to Tribal Council. Dimples asks Rooster how he thinks the challenge went and Rooster replies, "Jayff, twas prettay close t'day. We was ahayd 'til we got ta them balls." Dimples interrupts him and says to Lawyer Dave, "Finish this sentence. Excuses are for...?" and Dave, without missing a beat, replies, "Losers." Dimples sits back very pleased with himself while Rooster says, "I'm a loser then." In that moment Julie grimaced, took her face off and made a purse out of it while Dimples took yet another opportunity to bring up Russell's name. Dave thinks the tribe lacks unity. They were all united when they got rid of Russell, but for some reason it's gone now. At one point they were all friends and shared a goal, but now there's only tension and chaos.

Dimples turns to Rooster and asks him how important it is for a tribe to be cohesive. Rooster replies, "Way'll furss Jayff, I dun know what coyheesive means." *sighs* The tribe snickers to themselves and, in an attempt to simplify things, Dimples asks if he'd rather manage a group of guys who hated each other but got the job done or a group of guys who loved each other but did shit work. Rooster replies, "I disagree." *smacks self in head* It was here that it dawned on me that Rooster doesn't understand anything anyone is saying... ever. He's a local guy with local ears and the only language he understands is Virginie. Mind you, I live in Virginia, but Rooster lives in Virginie.

The quorum continues and The Cuddler whined a little, Julie turned her arm skin into a leather headband and Sarita babbled some nonsense about the Oceanic Six. David continued to be a bit of an arrogant smartass, but I kind of dug it. On a tribe full of pussies you need a smartass. I wonder if I could get that handstitched on a pillow somewhere. In the end, Zappa did the right thing and Sarita is the seventh person voted out of Survivor: Redemption Island. Dumb bitch didn't even pack a bag.

So, what did you guys think of last night's episode? Are you glad Sarita went home? Do you think she has any chance against the Pretty Pony? If Pretty Pony comes back, will Mascaroni stab him in his sleep? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!