Thursday, May 5, 2011

You Mangled My Nets

The American Heritage Dictionary defines the term "elder statesman" as thus: a prominent, highly experienced older man, especially one acting as an unofficial advisor. As the American Heritage Dictionary was written by a bunch of dyslexics, you and I both know that the real definition is as follows: an especially unofficial older man acting highly experienced and prominent. In fact, instead of putting "former federal agent?" underneath Phillip's name each week, how about we use "especially unofficial"? I don't care that Toni Morrison is his older sister. I don't care that his dead relatives appear in avian talismans. I don't care that he's 1/5th Moroccan, 3/25th's Bovine, 45/10th's Dothraki and 215% Lactose Free. Phillip Sheppard is a mockery of manhood with popcorn for brains and cheese whiz for common sense. He can flout his fancy relatives and dance with ferns all he wants. My only concern is that on May 15th at 11pm EST Mr. Phillip Sheppard is escorted back to the men's ward at Bellevue where he'll resume his puppet therapy and bounce happily into a bevy of clinical trials. I guess I'm coming to the realization that I've spent the better part of 2011 writing about this lunatic's antics and it's not sitting well with me. Worse still, I do it all for free. Maybe someone should enroll me into one of those clinical trials. I need a "rest". I need to take one of those Catherine Zeta Jones holidays. Just for a mo'. Just for a snooze. Just until Big Brother 13 starts and I have to do this shit all over again. Let's recap, shall we?

Crickets, crickets. Moon. Dark. Night. It's the witching hour over on Rhode Island (Redemption Island) and new arrivals are pulling in every minute. Choo choo... here comes a hirsute fellow full of knee slaps and cock-a-doodle-doo's. Next up, a rickety ole bag of bones looking for someone to rub. It's getting crowded on Rhode Island, but the atmosphere is still one of merriment and joy. Rooster (Ralph) gave up crowing and trying weeks ago. He's not there to fight. He's not there to compete. He's happy with the simple things. He got to visit a new country and meet all sorts of wonderfully stange coherent people. Sure, he may not have won the money, but that's ok. There'n nayverr gonna bay 'nother sperrrence lahk this'un. The Cuddler (Steve) is over this whole Survivor thing too. Just show him where his bed and bowl are and he'll be fine. Also, make sure he takes his teeth out before he nods off or else he might choke. The Pretty Pony (Matt), the only Rhode Island constant, is giddy from all the new faces. He looks around himself with wide-eyes and joy, and smiles. He just smiles. A beautiful, sparkly, perfectly aligned, probably never needed braces all his life smile. That leaves only one burble of browns and grays to rain on this parade. Mike, the sourpuss funkiller. Mike. Boring, awful, why does he exist, Mike. Mike notes that Rhode Island and the Jury are simply chock full of Zappas (Zapateras) which means that if one of them were to reenter the game they could still win this whole thing. While I guess that could be true, how freaking awful would that be?! That's why I don't like Rhode Island anymore. The possibility of someone extremely undeserving winning is way too high. I'm including the Pretty Pony in that statement as well. While I might want to molest him (and call him Jax) with every fiber of my being, he doesn't deserve to win this game anymore than I do. None of those Rhode Island people deserve to win. They can play their silly duels and perform circus tricks for the real players, but the inhabitants of Rhode Island will always be of a lower caste and nothing will ever change that.

Back at Murlonio, it's party time! The Omarion (Ometepe) Six is still intact. Their plan to wipe out all the Zappas has worked. And even though things are about to get scary and they'll have to turn on each other in the morning, they want to enjoy tonight and congratulate themselves for how far they've come. Happy, happy, whoop, whoop... hold up! What's this? A crispy bran flake is crying to herself in the corner. Little sad unexplainable fart tears are coming out of her eyes and maybe someone somewhere cared. I didn't, did you? No? Good. We're in agreement then. So yeah, Tattalie (Natalie) is just so overcome with emotion - you know, all that doing nothing and thinking nothing and contributing nothing can really weigh a girl down - that she can't hold it in anymore. Grant gave her the side eye, Mascaroni (Andrea) halfheartedly rubbed her back and Rob was all like, "What the hell is this?". He chalks it up to "a moment" and gets cracking on trying to calm her down. Tattalie can't fall apart now. Rob needs her to get to the end and whether she's 19 or 90, that grape nut needs to get her act together and suck it up. Rob's been working his ass off out there and with only 8 days to go he can't have critical cogs in his machine rusting up because of a bunch of little girl tears. I mean, come on! This is a decade of hard work we're talking about heeah. No wispy wheat grain is going to screw up ten years - not if Rob has anything to say about it.

So after a fitful night of whimpering, a fresh new Nicaraguan morning arrives full of surprises and presents. Both Murlonio and Rhode Island receive tree mail containing the magical Sprint phone and we all know what that means - family time! Now, I may seem somewhat flinty and impervious to touchy-feely-love things, but, in reality, I adore the family episodes. I like seeing who created or married these worthless bags of nonsense I'm forced to write about. Remember last year how surprised we all were that Mafia Dan was such a loving dad? It was sweet. It brought a tear to my eye. Deep down I hoped for some surprises like that this year. Maybe Jessum Harring is still alive and Phillip's been lying to us all along. Other things I wondered were... Will Amber show up? Were Mike's parents pod people? Does Ralph's wife have teeth? And ohhh, I don't know, does the Pretty Pony have an equally hot brother (threesome!) who rides motorcycles and smells of sex? You know, just the normal everyday getting to know ya sort of stuff.

Murlonio checks their videos and we get our first glimpses into each one of these wretched people's lives. First up is Tattalie's mom who says a bunch of mom stuff and makes Tattalie cry. Next is Mascaraoni's dad who is the cutest dad ever. He looks like the kind of guy who is always happy and is extremely proud of his family. Just looking at him made me smile. Then we saw Phillip's staunchly serious sister, Pulitzer Prize winning author Toni Morrison. After that was Rob's sister. Wait, his sister? Where's Amber? Next up was Grant's sister's second cousin's roommate's best friend. Seriously, who was that guy? And lastly we see Assley's mom who has an accent even thicker than Rob. Everyone was happy and crying and whatnot, but I couldn't shake the "Where's Amber?" shock I was feeling. I wasn't even a big fan of hers. Actually, I think I might have hated her. I don't know. Who can remember that far back? I can't even remember yesterday. So yeah, where's Amber?

Now it's Rhode Island's turn to see their videos. First up is Ralph's friend, Harlon. Actually, I have no idea if his name is Harlon. I'm just going to name him that. He looks like a Harlon. So anyhow, Harlon has some news. The cows are great, but the chickens are dead. The 'shine is still selling, but the house blew away in a tornader. Way to be uplifting Harlon! Next we see Mike's mom, Lady Stepford, and things about him begin to make a little more sense. Perfectly coiffed and primped, she spoke in short concise sentences offering little to no emotion. As a matter of fact, I don't even think she blinked. Then we saw Ole Man River's brother who said stuff about stuff. Oh who cares? It's Pretty Pony time. *rolls the dice* And it's a boy! A bouncing strapping chiseled boy. Bowm chicka wow wow. *lights candles* Hello brother. Welcome.

This brings us to the big duel. The big love-filled, who wants some love, give me love, here's your love duel. Seriously, how many times did Dimples say "love" last night? While love is nice in a telephone, love is much nicer in person. Huh? The winner of today's duel will get the opportunity to spend time loving their loved one. Upon hearing this, Pretty Pony danced with excitement while the Omarions up in the stands wilted and frowned with jealousy and anger. For this week's duel, each person has four tiles. One by one players will toss an evil looking spiky ball and try to break a tile. The first three people to break all of their tiles stay in the game. The sad sack who sucks at life will go join the Jury. OK so lasting on Survivor in 2011 has pretty much amounted to "just don't come in last". Lame challenge, lame duel, lame, lame, lame. At this rate, it's only a matter of time until there are more people on Rhode Island than there are back at Murlonio. Survivors ready, go.

Sorry, but even I'm not stupid enough to recap this challenge toss by toss. Basically, Mike won, Pretty Pony came in second, Rooster came in third and that big ole pile of dust, The Cuddler, is out of the game. Actually, if I didn't know any better, I'd say that The Cuddler threw the duel. His tosses were tiny little hiccups of what a throw might be. Little fluffy ploops in the sand. His heart just wasn't into it anymore. You could almost see the roast turkey in a bubble looming over his head. All that guy ever has on his mind is food so let's let him go eat up all the provisions at Ponderosa. He offered nothing to the game and has the personality of a doorknob. The Cuddler is a perfect example of terrible casting. Looking back over his time on this season I can't think of one noteworthy or funny or interesting moment where he was the star. The guy is a backdrop. A sad beige curtain. A graying yawn full of spittle. Buh bye Steve. Never come back.

Mike has won the love and out comes Mike's mom, Lady Jane Stepford, with her cute little bob and her shiny white tennies. But hold on there sonny jim. Not all is as it seems. Mike can keep the love for himself OR he can let Pretty Pony and Rooster have the love. What's behind door number two Dimples? It's Pretty Pony's brother Burton and Rooster's friend Harlon! The pony can hardly contain himself while Rooster and Harlon nod politely at each other and shift uncomfortably from all the love talk. But wait, there's more! Mike can keep the love for himself, give it to Pretty Pony and Rooster OR he can give the love to all of the Omarions sitting in the stands. The VERY Omarions who voted out Mike and all of his friends. I've given this a lot of thought and since one probably wouldn't want to look like a dick on TV, I'd give the love to Pretty Pony and Rooster. Who gives a flying fuck about the Omarions in the stands? A visit with their loved one is not going to buy a vote and it's ridiculous to even entertain that thought process.

I figured a hardened Iraq war veteran would see my logic, but nooooo. Mike has suddenly found religion. He just happened to be lying around reading the Bible the other day and God told him point blank to give the love to the most people. Meaning, the Omarions. Then, in a flash, Lady Jane leapt over the duel apparatus and begin pummelling her son's head in with a giant rock. Blood spurted everywhere and it was anarchy. Burton and Matt took turns raping and pillaging the village. Harlon, with a brewsky in hand, killed Phillip with a giant cattle prod. Toni Morrison shoved a spiky ball up Rooster's nose and waved a copy of Song Of Solomon in his face. Mascaroni's dad dropkicked Assley's mom. Rob's sister began making out with Grant's fourth cousin's nieces stepbrother's roommate and it was an all around orgy of delights. The whole time Dimples just stood in a corner and shook his head. Yup. That's exactly what happened. Because if I told you that Lady Jane was delighted and proud of her stupid son, that would be a big stinky borefest.

Back at Rhode Island, Rooster is pissed off with Mike's decision. He would have been fine if Mike had kept the visit with Lady Jane, but to throw it all away and give it to their enemies was just a slap in the face. The Omarions treated Rooster like shit and even a simple mind knows that that sort of behavior shouldn't be rewarded. The Pretty Pony stared blankly and said he was glad he didn't have to make that decision, but you could tell that inside he was furious. Mike tried to appease him by saying he was only doing God's bidding, but come on now. God only talks to the Pretty Pony. He's the Christ figure here not this Mike character with his Cold War clothes and his bland personality. Mike's only been on Rhode Island for how long? 9, maybe 10 days? Pretty Pony has been there for 85 days so don't you come waltzing in and preaching to him about what it means to be a soldier of God. Nobody knows suffering like the Pretty Pony. To make matters worse, Mike confesses that he didn't even do it for the votes. He did it because "it was the right thing to do". No. No, no, no. Rewarding your enemies is never the right thing to do. Sun Tzu never said anything about showering your enemies with love. He said act like they're your friends and then, when they're not looking, cut their balls off. Verbatim.

So the Omarions take their loved ones back to Murlonio to give them the grand tour. "Here's the bush I piss in. Here's the clam shell I eat with. Here's the branch I sleep on. Just ignore the weird guy in his pink panties. He's the village idiot." By far my most favorite loved one has to be Mascaroni's dad. I love how he sweeped her up off her feet when they first embraced. I love how he noticed how fluffy her hair was. I have no idea what his name is but I'm going to call him Otto. Otto has a hint of a lisp, a friendly round belly and twinkling eyes. He's fantastically charming and I can imagine him and Mascaroni staying up late at night talking about America's Next Top Model together. He's beyond delighted with his fresh-faced fluffy daughter and it was very cute to watch. Conversely, Phillip is trying to explain to Toni Morrison how he's playing the best social game, how crazy works for him and how much his collection of feathers is growing. Toni simply sighs to herself. She was afraid this would happen. Alone in the jungle all this time without his meds, it's no surprise that these old familiar symptoms have resurfaced. She lets Phillip continue talking, but wonders if he's started seeing dead people again. That's the telltale sign that he needs to be in a maximum security facility with round the clock supervision.

We bid adieu to the loved ones and now we arrive at the big Immunity Challenge. Survivors will race to collect a series of puzzle steps. Then, place the steps in order from bottom to top creating a very tall staircase. The first person to finish their staircase and get to the top wins Immunity and is safe from elimination. Now this is a challenge! It's about bloody time. Survivors ready, go!

With the sun looming overhead and a thick sticky 110 degree heat enveloping them all, the Survivors race to collect their first bags. Rob, Grant and Mascaroni begin placing their steps first. Tiny Mascaroni, kicking everyone's ass, is flying up and down the stairs like she's got wings on her back. Rob and Grant are hot on her heels keeping it a close race. Assley tries to makes an effort but she's spindly and slow and Tattalie can't even figure out how to open her puzzle bag. Meanwhile, Phillip is over on his staircase with his feet up, his bag of puzzle pieces behind his head like a pillow and his giant limbs sprawled all over the place. The look on his face tells us he doesn't give a fig about what happens in this challenge. I don't know about you, but that pissed me off like you wouldn't believe.

Mascaroni, Rob and Grant proceed to their second bag of pieces and it's pretty obvious now that this is going to be a three way race to the very end. Mascaroni stays in the lead, Rob places a wrong board and Grant moves into a close second. Mascaroni seems unstoppable against the grunting brutes, but she picks up a wrong board leaving the door open for Rob to catch up.

Rob and Grant begin their third set of puzzle steps with Mascaroni still in it and fighting through the heat. Grant places an incorrect piece and it's anyone's game now. Rob and Mascaroni put down more steps and Grant fucks up again. Mascaroni shows zero signs of exhastion while Rob is huffing and puffing and using the boards to help him up the stairs. Grant uses his supermodel legs to take 3 steps at a time and somehow he catches up. Mascaroni begins to slowly slip behind and Rob only has one step left. The only thing that can save Mascaroni now is if Rob falls down dead and tumbles down the stairs. Crawling on all fours up the giant staircase, the unforgiving sun just laughs and laughs at Rob. His face is bright red, his laces are undone, he's wearing a black t-shirt and you just know his internal organs are screaming for moisture. With one last step to place and the absolute horror of throwing away ten years of hard work on all this one challenge... ROB WINS IMMUNITY!!!

With an exhale and a wipe of his brow, Rob collapses and I wondered for a second who would win if he went tumbling down the stairs. He moans in agony with his legs buckled beneath him causing Dimples to ask if he's alright. Sweat pouring down his face, he begs for water and Fembot Tattalie dutifully retrieves it. He requests help standing up and Dimples and Grant run to his side to obey (they were faster than Assley and Tattalie). They prop him up, take a step away and then down he goes. LOL It was a killer challenge and those three (Rob, Grant and Mascaroni) really wanted it. The others were pathetic excuses for competitors who were entirely way too comfortable with their lot in life as background players. They're the exact same way when it comes to strategy back at camp. It would be travesty if Phillip, Assley or Tattalie were to win this game.

Back at camp, it's the Rob Mariano Show. Grant leads the group in a round of applause for their fearless leader and eventually the talk turns to Rhode Island. Rob tells the group that someone has to go to Rhode Island. Mascaroni looks down at her hands, Tattalie pretends to fidget with her hair and Phillip leads his tiny nation of crab people into a flash mob. It appears as if this decision is Rob's and Rob's alone. Sadly, Rob wants to get rid of Mascaroni. I like Mascaroni a lot and I'm not ready for her to go yet. Sure, she talks like a valley girl and has fluffy hair, but she also kicks some major ass in challenges and holds the secret to Everlasting Mascara. To lose her now would be horrifying. Then again... Mascapony. *thinks for a second* No, I want her to stay. She can make the Mascapony later. Someone else should go home instead, but who?


The afternoon creeps on and Phillip has taken it upon himself to start burning the shelter. It's raining and the shelter is already cramped, but Phillip, in his infinite wisdom, has decided that tearing off hunks of the roof and turning it into giant clouds of smoke is the best option right now. Phillip's logic is that when someone comes back from Rhode Island he wants them to sleep under the open spot. Nevermind the fact the open spot is smack dab in the middle of the shelter and MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE! From Phillip's standpoint he's just being a brilliant trapezist and pouring sugar on the doughnut. It was his plan all along to be the villain. Every now and then he needs to pull out the crazy and then it's smooth sailing to the end. Nope. Uh huh. Look, I'd love to finally have a player who pretended to be insane win Survivor, but Phillip Sheppard is not that player. Phillip Sheppard is the mayor of Candyland and nothing more. He thinks he's armed with oral arguments, but really he's armed with aural arguments. I'm not exactly sure what aural arguments are, but I think it has something to do with crystals and wearing tie dye.

Now, watching all of this from a distance is Rob. Rob says he wants to get rid of Mascaroni, but now he's beginning to wonder if maybe Phillip should go home instead. After seeing Phillip wrestle with a wasp and get tangled in a bunch of blankets, he wonders if he really is that insane or if it's truly all an act. "Is Phillip that good?" he asks. He broaches the subject with Grant and verbalizes his suspicions that something about Phillip isn't trustworthy. Could he win over a jury? Could he actually convince people that's he's a worthy contestant? My gut tells me NO and NO. That jury is full of the most straight-laced Phillip haters out there. In my mind, it would be a miracle for Phillip to get even one vote.

This brings us to Tribal Council. Mascaroni talks candidly about how safe she feels and at home I cringed. I only had to look at Grant's face in that moment to know exactly how they were going to vote. Phillip burbled a little bit about how he's waiting for an upper body challenge to really prove his worth so I took a Twinkie and smashed it over his face on my flatscreen. I don't even eat Twinkie's, but I went out a bought a box for occasions such as this. Anytime Phillip says something I have no patience to listen to, I'll smash a prepackaged dessert on his face and say, "How you like me now?!" Then I'll bang on my chest and flash a gang sign or something. That's how I roll. Hardcore. Staples, dryer cloths and jelly beans.... I hate Phillip. Vote, vote, vote... Mascaroni is the 14th person voted out of Survivor: Redemption Island.

So, what did you guys think of last night's episode? I don't know. I think I'm losing my mojo. My heart wasn't in it this week and I apologize. I'm triggered by drama so when there is none I just sort of flail about and wonder what to do next. Sorry about that. Anyhow, are you sad Mascaroni is gone? Will she make the world's first ever Mascarpony? Who would you like to see win Survivor: Redemption Island? Do you think Phillip is putting on an act? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!

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