Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Enjoy Being On The Bottom

Kool-Aid. French braids. Prairie dresses. Freshly scrubbed skin. Sparkling vacant eyes. These are a few of Rob's favorite things. Hypnotic, robotic, technotronic - pump up the jam. Pure clean minds lie in wait, ripe for the invading. Like a criminal in the night, he slips in unnoticed, steals your flat screen and then makes you his unwitting bitch for the next 39 days. Cross him and you'll find yourself sleeping with the fishies. Do as he says and Stepford becomes your new home. Wear a feather in your cap and you're as nutty as a pecan pie. Murlonio isn't for the faint of heart. Surrounded by bubbling volcanoes, fish committing suicide and Nicaraguan children smashing a pinata full of feathers downwind, either you do as you're told or it's prayer hour over on Rhode Island. The choice is up to you. Let's recap, shall we?

We continue our grim and tumultuous Nicaraguan tale on that deserted wasteland known as Rhode Island (Redemption Island) where a sad and glitterless award ceremony is taking place. There is no bejeweled audience, no fanfare, not even a stoned and uninterested host. The Pretty Pony (Matt) is putting on a tragic and lonely show for one. He's just received the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Most Naive Person To Ever Play Survivor and now he's going to curl up in his shelter and wonder why the lord insists upon playing such a twisted practical joke on him. He's sure there's a reason for it. He's sure that somehow it will bring him wisdom and peace. He's just not exactly sure when the moronic will inherit the earth or when the naive will see God. Matthew wasn't very clear on those two particular beatitudes you know. So, with hair cascading down his back and little humid tendrils forming out of frustration, the pony gives himself to God and waits for his next mission. With a grateful heart and an exhausted sigh, Pretty Pony mumbles a thank you to the bearded man in the sky and dreams of gumdrops and lollipops, petit fours and church doors, tinkling bells and puppy dog tails. Dream on little pony, dream on.

The next day on Murlonio Mike and Lawyer Dave are fussing with the fire and musing over just how genius Rob was to get rid of Pretty Pony when he did. Lawyer Dave wonders if Boston Rob whacked Joe Pesci in Goodfellas too. He's surely capable of it. He bought Pretty Pony a new suit, a nice meal and then BAM! Bullet through through the brain. And since Mike and Lawyer Dave are hardcore mobster movie fans, they high five each other, then they high five Rob and declare, "That was so cool dude!". That battered ole pair of riding boots Julie, on the other hand, isn't quite as enthusiastic. She rubs oil into her cracking face and creaks her neck back and forth over how cold-blooded the Omarions (Ometepes) were last night. Oh sure, she threw a challenge to backstab/blindside Lucifer (Russell) way back when, but somehow that was ok. What happened last night to Pretty Pony was not. Look you hypocritical piece of shoe leather, shut up! Shut up, shut up, shut up. No one wants to hear your sepia-toned speeches or your burnt siena thoughts. Just roll yourself up and wait for someone to stitch your mouth closed please.

Over in a different part of the camp, another strange move by a Zappa (Zapatera) is taking place. Rooster (Ralph) wants Assley (Ashley) to tell him if he's on the "chop block". Yes Rooster, you're up next to have your hubcaps removed, your sound system stripped and the leather of your interior reworked and reassembled into a life mate for Julie. Assley looks into the distance, waves away at some imaginary bugs and replies, "Oh I can't talk about anything like that." She looks to Natalie for help, but all Natalie is doing is taking notes and keeping a very detailed ledger of how much air everyone has breathed that day and how much of their word allowance they've used up. Rooster then scratches his head and says, "Ay, iffin your'n tha top 3 a'll vote fer y'all an' not fer Bawston Rahb." In response, I scratched my head and tried to make sense of it all. No move was made, no promises were given. A girl simply deflected his question and somehow that has now gotten her a jury vote. It was all very strange and unfortunate because I knew in that instant that the Rooster of yesteryear was no more. That man who wore overalls, crowed and flustered Lucifer once upon a time was only here on this earth for a few hours. I liked him when he was here. He was great fun, but now he's off floating into the abyss crowing at asteroids and meteors and building shelters and white picket fences for the alien people now. *waves* Goodbye gentle hairy ginger clown. Goodbye.

Rob gets a whiff of desperation from the Zappas so he calls a troop meeting and instructs the scouts to employ the "Buddy System." From here on out, no one gets caught alone and no one talks to any Zappas. Phillip listens to Rob intently then echoes each and every one of his sentiments. Did you ever see that episode of The Office where Michael Scott takes his staff on a booze cruise? The Captain of the cruise is welcoming his guests and laying down some rules when all of a sudden Michael echoes everything he says and makes it sound like it's his own. That's exactly what Phillip was doing last night! It went something like this:

Rob: From here on out we don't decide who's going next until the very last minute.

Phillip: That's, yes, last minute.

Rob: We're going to do the buddy system. No one talks to anybody on their own.

Phillip: No one... no conversations about... We have to weather... we'll deploy.

Rob: We'll be the final six.

Phillip: Final six, here we go! My F-4 was hit and I was wounded but I could have made it back...

And then Phil wandered off and with his arms spread like a fighter jet and started shooting at the leaves in the trees. So while Phillip was off thwarting the enemy, Rob hung back and told us about his plan for full tribal domination. Part one of the full tribal domination plan is to keep a very strong us v. them mentality in play. He wants his Omarions to hate the Zappas. The more they hate, the safer he is. Secondly, he wants the Omarions to be arrogant and have a certain sense of "We're better than you" when it comes to the Zappas. He won't act like this, but his tribe will and that'll boost confidence as well as make everyone but himself come off as completely fucking annoying. Lastly, he's drawn up a map to Sharon Tate's house. His tribe will know what to do with it. Don't you worry your pretty little heads about it.

Now, Phillip may think he's Rob's #1 soldier, but, in fact, it's Natalie. I'm struggling a little bit with Natalie because she's such a bump on a log who only intermittently pops up here and there Absolutely nothing about her is remarkable. I should have more nicknames for people at this point in the season, but Natalie is like a bran flake. She's a grape nut, a cheerio. She has no flavor, no oomph. So, for the time being I guess she'll just continue being "Natalie". If you have any nickname suggestions, do your thang in the comments. So anyhow, Natalie pulls Rob into the trees and tells him about how Rooster was talking to Assley about the final three. She paints Assley to be some sort of secretive conniving bitch and I almost liked Natalie in that moment. My deeply rooted desire to bounce that loathsome Assley out into the remotest part of the Indian Ocean is well known so anything to make her a liability sounds good to me. Rob is grateful for the intel, crosses Assley's name off his list entitled "Final Three" and laughs about how silly she is to think that she can pull a fast one on him. He's in charge, not her. He's running this game, not that underarm tweezer. Had anyone else boasted like this I would have been annoyed, but, if we're being honest here, Rob is running the game. If he were in the Bad Girls Club house, he'd be the HBIC. What he says does go. His flawless execution this season has earned him the right to boast. So, boast away Rob. You've earned it.

And now we arrive at the first Immunity Challenge of the night. Phillip marched in with his shirt buttoned up, his pants neatly pressed and a gigantic turkey vulture feather sticking out of his Karate Kid headband. Dimples asks if the bird is ok and Phillip responds that no, the bird is not ok. It turns out Phillip had a meditation where he asked for a sign. Out of thin air his great great grandfather who's 100% Cherokee, 18% Navahoe and 36% Lakota manifested as a Forrest Gump feather and now the former Ontempo, Omyummo, Omoreo tribe is all set to win the challenge. (Translation: he found some peyote while out hunting the Predator and ended up wrestling a turkey vulture to death and stealing his tail feather.) For today's challenge, Survivors will dig to retrieve a club. First person to smash Phillip to death, wins! Just kidding. The first six to find their clubs and smash a tile move onto round 2. In round 2, players must submerge their heads into a trough, get a mouthful of water, crawl under the trough and spit the water into a bowl filling up a tube. First three to fill their tubes with spit move onto the final round where they must solve a block puzzle. First person to solve the puzzle wins. Survivors ready, go!

Dig, dig, dig. Grant and Rob smash through their tiles and Dimples loses an eye from a wayward shard. Dig, dig, dig. Rooster and Mike smash through while Phillip's feather keeps falling into his eyes. Dig, dig, dig. Lawyer Dave and Leatherface smash through and we've got our six - Grant, Rob, Rooster, Mike, Lawyer Dave and that Topsider Julie.

Slurp, slurp, slurp. Tapeworms, cholera, dyssentary. Slurp, slurp, spit. Grant and Mike take an early lead. Slurp, slurp, spit. Leatherface shrivels up and will never be wearable again. Slurp, slurp, spit. Phillip dances on the sidelines waving his feather and going "Woo woo woo woo woo!" while slapping his own face with his hands. Slurp, slurp, spit. Grant and Mike fill their tubes, grab their sides and cough up some intestinal parasites. Slurp, slurp, spit. With only one spot left, Lawyer Dave spits like he's never spit before, fills his tube and moves onto the final round.

In the final round, Grant, Mike and Lawyer Dave are confronted with some building blocks. Naturally, as Lawyer Dave is the puzzle master from the land of Jenga. I expected him to merely flick his pinky finger and have his block castle constructed light years before anyone else. But that's not what happened folks. Turns out that Grant with his impossibly long legs and mayonnaise hair has played a couple rounds of Freecell in his time . As a matter fact, that hiccup of a man Mike has also spent some years on the Scrabble circuit. Both men work on their puzzles to near completion while Lawyer Dave sat amongst all his pieces wondering where to begin. Lawyer Dave! Get it together, my man! I'm looking at your resume right now and it says that in addition to your many years at the Tetris Academy For The Arts you also spent some time getting your Masters at the Sor-Boggle. What is this confused slouch of a man I see before me? *sigh* Oh well, it turns out that GRANT WINS IMMUNITY!!!

Everyone returns to camp and the Omarions immediately head out into the sea for some frolicking and fun. Mike wants to crash their party because he has no friends and wasted his entire time on the island listening to that coffee table Julie talk about loyalty and shit like that. He's desperate for a hail mary and thinks stalking Rob is the best way to go about staying in the game. Lawyer Dave poo-poo's that idea and I get the impression that he might be too cool to kiss Rob's ass. Mike's not that cool. Mike'll pucker up and smooch in a heartbeat, but Dave is a little more realistic. He knows his number could be up next and he also knows that there's not much he can do about it.

Then, out of the corner of Mike's eye, he notices that the flagpole at camp has been moved. He grabs Lawyer Dave by his suit jacket and they proceed to dig for what they think might be another Hidden Immunity Idol. Rooster follows them and watches because he's like that now. He's peripheral. He's a circumference. If he knew what pi meant he'd be solving equations and shit like that. But he doesn't know what pi means. I'm not even sure he knows what pie means. It's that round thing your momma made with Fritos, ketchup and Spam, Rooster. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees and you're all set. So anyhow, Mike and Lawyer Dave are digging up the flagpoles when Rob spots them from the beach. He reaches into his pocket, hits the "Alert" button on his remote control and all of his Fembots dutifully ran back to camp to see what was up. Phillip ran like a five year old to an ice cream truck and then splayed his body across the sand at the foot of the flagpole and declared, "Mine!" He starts to dig while Mike and Dave looked on and giggled.

Rob approaches and decides it's better to be safe than sorry so he grabs some shovels and starts digging with Phillip. You see, Rob has a little "Idol Paranoia". Those Idols have given him a hell of a time in the past and, even though he has one now, he doesn't need any surprises from anyone else in the future. He's had treatment over the years for it. He's taken his meds religiously, but sometimes, once in a while, that nagging feeling creeps into his bones and he just can't shake it. Besides, Rooster played his Idol last night so there's a very good chance that another Idol is in play right now. But before Rob can really worry about who may or may not have an Idol, he has to figure out tonight's vote. He gathers his tribe and asks them one by one who they want to vote out. Phillip says Viper, Mascaroni (Andrea) says Mike, Grant says Mike or Dave and Rob says whoever has the best chance to beat Pretty Pony at Rhode Island. With no decision made, everyone links arms and heads back to camp. Of course, because she's a royal pain in the ass, Assley whines that she has to go to the bathroom and ruins a perfectly good handholding shot of the entire tribe wandering into the distance.

This brings us to the first Tribal Council of the night. Immediately, Phillip begins to tell the tale of Jessum Harring. Jessum was a Native American soothsayer who told Phillip in a "meditation" (i.e. acid trip) that an Omarion member will live looooooong in Survivor lore. This is the end... Jessup also helped Jim Morrison write 'Riders On The Storm' and Wayne Campbell put on Waynestock. He was a renaissance man who not only peddled feathers to the mentally handicapped, but liked to show up naked in random films of the 90's. My only friend, the end. Mike then said something yawn worthy and I kind of hoped for more Jessup Harring stories. Of everything that stands, the end. Julie coughed up a belt buckle and then Lawyer Dave said that Phillip was on the bottom. I'll never look into your eyes... again. Phillip stood and proudly declared, "I enjoy being on the bottom!" And all the children are insane. At home I giggled, you giggled, we all giggled.

Dimples asked Rooster how he felt about being on the wrong side of the numbers and Rooster just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Imma gonna faght lahk tha dickens. Ah may getta faytha t'morrow. Ya nevur know." To which Phillip replied, "It takes courage, determination and knowing when to hold your tongue to get a feather."Ouchie. Rooster snickered at the thought of Phillip ever holding his tongue and then wondered if maybe tomorrow Phillip would head out to the beach and a whole bird full of feathers would fall down. Dimples leaned in with his hand under his chin and just smiled. He was smitten. You could tell.

Mike addressed the feather situation by saying that Phillip was actually insecure and trying to find himself. Naturally, Phillip whipped his resume out, ran down his long list of (imaginary) accomplishments and pulled out his girl scout sash plum full of patches. You can't argue with a girl scout sash. You just can't. That Phillip Sheppard can sell more Do-Si-Do's than you ever dreamed of selling so don't get it twisted. Laywer Dave doubts Phillip's cookie selling abilities and calls him out for being a lunatic. Phillip mumbled something about a cesspool and The Cuddler (Steve) cried for his mommy. Alright, enough of this. Vote, vote, vote. Later Mike. You won't be missed. You were a big suckfest of boring.

Back at Murlonio, Rob is knighting one Mr. Phillip Sheppard for being such a loyal and devout soldier. He assures his comrade that he is not at the bottom of tribal importance and, in private, tells us that, as a matter of fact, Phillip is in his final three. To have the patience to deal with Phillip day in and day out and be a willing participant in his crazy time games takes a certain level of patience that I just do not have. That's probably why I'd never win Survivor. The first people to go home would be the assholes who snore, next would be the chicks who bug me and then the freaks who stick feathers in their hair and run around storming the beaches of Normandy. It would never occur to me to bring someone like that to the end. I mean, I get why it makes sense, but I just wouldn't have the will power to see it through. What surprises me the most is that Phillip, who is now probably highly sought after for every clinical trial in the book, knows he's going to the end because he's looney tunes. How the hell did he figure that out? I'm thinking a cameraman said something in an interview with him at some point. I refuse to believe that Phillip figured that out on his own. Maybe HQ back at Langley told him. I have no idea, but I have to get to the bottom of it.

So while Phillip was busy planning how he'll spend his million dollar winnings (cotton balls and M-80's!), Rooster was fixing to infiltrate Omarion and become a part of their world. He doesn't really have a concrete plan per se. He just wants to move his blankets over next to Rob's and see if anyone puts up a fuss. Lawyer Dave provides some free counsel and advises his client against consorting with the enemy, but Rooster's mind is made up. He's going to become a member of Omarion and he's going to do it right now daggumit. So while Phillip and Mascaroni are talking about nail polish and whatnot, Rooster slinks in, unpacks his bags and etches "RUE-STER" on the bed next to Rob's. Phillip tells him he can hang out and talk about his pigs and steers if he wants, but there's no way in hell they're talking game. Then Phillip took Ralph's things and threw it back over the line he drew in the sand delineating which side of camp was Zappa and which side of camp was Omarion. Zappas can cross the line to come and visit, but at the end of the day they have to go back from whence they came. They don't have to go home. They just can't stay in Omarionland. Besides, Phillip arms the pylons at night and the last thing you want is to get shocked by one of those bitches.

Whoosh! Sploosh! Kerplop! We now arrive at the second Immunity Challenge of the night. As soon as the Survivors arrive, they lay their eyes on a giant mountain of cheeseurgers. Dimples assures them that each one will get a chance to enjoy the succulent meat fest, but first he must explain the challenge. Survivors will hang from a bar for 20 minutes. After that 20 minutes is up, they must hang only using their legs. Last Survivor hanging, wins. Easy. Now, each Survivor must pick a white rock and a black rock. The black rock means you want to play. The white rock means you want to be a lazy fat ass and eat a plate of cheeseburgers instead of fighting for immunity. Everyone flips their rocks and, to no one's surprise, The Cuddler and Phillip opt to eat some burgers. The Cuddler is scared of everything from lightning bugs to an unfluffy pillow while Phillip is just a douche. Survivors ready, go!

Everyone hangs while Phillip removes the bun from the burgers and shoves the whole thing in his mouth in one fell swoop. Rob, probably out of anger, loses his hat and then falls into the pool. Now he has to sit on the sidelines and watch those two losers stuff their faces. Phillip shouts nonsensical cheers to his tribemates in between bites ("Nom nom, go Andromeda! Nom nom, you're doing good Natalesca! Nom nom, keep it up Ashfreshly!") while Lawyer Dave's eyeballs get stuck in his head from rolling them so hard. Everyone, save Rob, makes it to the 20 minute mark and it's now time to hang like lemurs.

For some reason, Rooster and Lawyer Dave decide to hang one-legged. The Cuddler belches from his cheeseburger hut while Leatherface falls like a pile of suitcases into the water. Rooster begins to complain about his leg going numb while the sheer volume of Grant's head is no match for gravity and he goes tumbling into the water. Rooster falls next and now we're left with the Fembots and Lawyer Dave. Lawyer Dave scratches his ass causing Phillip to shout, "He's making minor adjustments guys!" The girls giggle and Phillip keeps on keeping on, "Nom nom, Jessup Harring... nom nom nom... life is like a box of chocolates... keep going Anderoda! Way to hang Ashford and Simpson! Good job Nogerelli!" In the end, Lawyer Dave's one-legged lemur hang might not have been the best of ideas and MASCARONI WINS IMMUNITY!!!

Back at Murlonio, Phillip is inexplicably congratulating everyone INCLUDING HIMSELF for doing such a great job in the challenge. Phillip, the guy who sat there eating cheeseburgers while shouting everyone's name wrong, feels he deserves some sort of credit. Rob wasn't thrilled with performing so poorly, but he was pleased at least someone in his alliance won Immunity. The Zappas, however, were forlorn and teary-eyed. They're out of Idols, they lost the challenge and Julie is beginning to look like a raisin. Then, suddenly, a glorious beckoning call from a hillbilly god arrives on the wind like a message of hope, "We got all kinds of fish!" I swear it was the first time I ever heard Rooster speak English. He was leaping and dancing because somehow a whole mess of fish ended up in his net that was spread out onto a bunch of rocks. Now, I don't want to be a cynic or anything, but I think those fish leapt to their deaths. Was it the parasitic sea? An underground dance from an angry devil man? I do not know, but something wasn't right about the way those fish were caught. It looked occultish to me. Then again, I was Wiccan for a few years so at some point everything looks a little witchy to me.

Rob hears all the hubbub on the beach and emerges from his resting spot to see what's going on. Rooster and Julie were skipping around the beach gathering fish while Rob takes one, knocks it's rock hard head against the ground and declares, "You can't eat those. Rigor mortis has already set in." Rooster replies, "It won't hurt 'em!" LOL Of course it won't hurt them. They're dead! Rob refuses to eat the dead fish as I guess he prefers live ones??? I'm not a fisherwoman, but don't fish die all the time when you catch them? I can see if the fish were maybe sitting there for a week or something, but I think those fish died that day. I don't know. It was all very... fishy. Basketball faced Julie thinks Rob is just jealous he didn't catch the fish himself. Meanwhile, Rob gathers up his Fembots, locks them in their Fembot cage and tells them to ignore the hunger pains that are currently eating away at their insides. Grant tries to ignore the fact that his pancreas and liver are nothing but little piles of dust, but he just can't do it. He breaks free from his cage and tries the dead fish. I wasn't so much shocked that Grant disobeyed Rob. I was more shocked with the fact that The Cuddler was eating AGAIN. He had just shoved at least 5 cheeseburgers down his throat while his tribe sweat, toiled and ended up with bow legs from hanging like fucking monkeys and there he is, Greedy McGlutterson, shoving his face full of fish. That pissed me off and it should have pissed off the Zappas too. To make matters worse, The Cuddler begins to bitch in front of everyone about not being able to sleep . Going into this next Tribal Council was a no brainer for me - get rid of The Cuddler!

Finally, we arrive at the second tribal council of the night. We start off with Phillip discussing the most glorious and beautious creation to come out of 22 seasons of Survivor. That creation is Stealf. Stealth. Stealths. No wait, Stealth-R-Us! That's it. Dry mouth syndrome. Phillip is known as The Specialist (Sharon Stone, I presume) and his job is to infiltrate and plant inceptions into the former Zippadeedooda, Zaparera, Zappadingdong, Zappa tribe. Boston Rob is The Mentalist (Simon Baker) and he solves crimes by pretending to be a psychic. Then there's Grant, the destroyer of aspirations. AKA, The Assasin. Grant apparently sucks your dreams from you as you sleep. Let's hope he doesn't get anywhere near Pretty Pony. Last, and certainly least, are the Three Degrees. I think they're like the Pointer Sisters, but I'm not sure. They sing back up in this menagerie of crazy and they're so excited, they just can't hide it.

Well, Dimples is certainly enamored with Stealth-R-Us, but Rooster is not. Rooster wonders if Jessum whateverhisnameis told Phillip to sit out the challenge and eat cheeseburgers all day long. Phillip refuses to apologize while The Cuddler shrugs his shoulders and says the challenge just wasn't "his thing". Oh really? What is your thing, precious? A hot buttered scone and a piping hot cup of tea? A blueberry muffin? Some chocolate chip pancakes? Oh shut up and go take a bubble bath.

The talk turns to how the Zappas can really do nothing other than sit and wait to be picked off one by one. Lawyer Dave argues that maybe it's not so bad to go now. Maybe the odds of surviving on Rhode Island are a little better than surviving back at Murlonio. Good point. And that's why I like Lawyer Dave. He's always thinking. What I like doesn't matter though. I also liked Kristina and look where she is - home sharpening her fangs and studying hard so she can sue someone (hopefully not me for that last sentence). What I like never matters as Lawyer Dave is the tenth Survivor: Redemption Island. I know I definitely want Dave to kick Mike's ass at Rhode Island, but I'm iffy as to whether or not I want him to beat Pretty Pony. I think I do. Let me pray on it some more. Where did I put my cauldron?

So, what did you think about last night's episode? Do you like the double eliminations? Is the only drama we're going to get this season from Phillip's nutball soliloquies? Would you have eaten the fish? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!