Thursday, November 8, 2012

Every Crack Is An Opportunity

The hallowed halls of Eastland are empty now. No more hustling and bustling of young ladies in maroon uniforms and neckties. Instead, the once lush green ivy that was so austere and inviting is now brown, brittle and sad. The glass of the french doors now hanging askew lies scattered in dangerous shards on the dusty ground. It is but a shell of what was, this Eastland. This quaint institution of higher learning now sits haunted by the past, by what never will be again. It is a little like the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary in that way. Sometimes, when the wind is still and the moon is full, you can hear the echoes crying in the night. Is it Cynthia, Blair's opponent for class president who won the race yet killed herself? Or is it Miko, the Japanese girl who stole Jo's motorcycle to go see a rock concert as an act of rebellion against her strict father? No. These echoes, these screams, these moans in the darkness are neither the ghosts of Cynthia or Miko. If you listen closely though, if you press your ear against the decaying paint chipped walls you can hear it... "some enchanted evening... when Blair is at Tribaaal..." It's Tootie! And she is still auditioning for South Pacific. Oh stick a cork in it Tootie. Let's recap, shall we?

The Filipino rains have departed and all that lies in its place is a snake. A slithery slimy snake caressing the leaves like a lover. Wriggling through the jungle thick with a hiss and a side eye, its presence is menacing... foreboding. With the full moon high and that snake, uninvited, making itself at home in the village of Migrayne (Dangrayne), I can't help but wonder to myself whose spirit animal it is. Surely it is here to give strength to one of its own, but who? Which one of these squalid hobo people has a snake for a counterpart? "Some enchanted evening..."

So the Migraynians have returned from Tribal Council and one in particular is a little shifty and uneasy. It is Scurvy (Jonathan) and he wants to know who voted for him. Approaching everyone in camp, he asks, "Did you vote for me?, Was it you?" And then one by one, like an attendance count at Eastland State Penitentiary, the hobos reply in order, "Yes!", "Yup", "Yessiree Bob", "You betcha!" Scurvy scratches his head in confusion and wonders to himself why everyone is being so backstabby and duplicitous. How strange for people not to trust each other on Survivor. Strange indeed!

Watching Scurvy accost the members of Migrayne one by one, Jeff Kent stands silently with one hand on his hip, one cowboyed boot on a pile of a hay and two nimble troublemaking fingers of his other hand twirling a piece of hay in his mouth. At home I shouted, "Sing 'Surrey With A Fringe On Top'!" You know how much how I love a spontaneous musical interlude. But it was not to be. Instead he spat, "Wishy washy. Everyone is wishy washy!" In the background though, just on the edge of the frame, we spy the village idiot, Melty (Michael). Usually he just combs the sand looking for things to stab into his eyes, but this time he was muttering something, muttering truths, "Cracks, cracks. There are cracks! There are cracks! Everywhere cracks!" Don't step on them, Melty. You might break your mother's back.

The night eventually passes and gives way to a gloriously beautiful Filipino morn. Dolphins are playing in the crystalline blue waters and Scurvy tries to harpoon one or both of them to no avail. He caught an old shoe and a plastic bag instead. Breakfast time! Blair (Lisa), however, is contemplative on this unusually sunny day. She knows that everyone is targeting the returning players - specifically, Scurvy first and then Melty - and for the moment she seems OK with it. Blair figures that once they get rid of Scurvy and Melty, she and her not-yet-formed alliance (Jeff Kent, Jell-O Pop (Carter), Denise and Golden Boy (Malcolm)) will then turn their bows and arrows on the three grumps that no one likes - Shakira (Abi-Maria), Prickly Pete, and Blackbeard (Artis).

Pleased with her new plan for total tribal domination, Blair heads over to Jeff Kent and announces, "I just had another one of my brilliant ideas!" She excitedly tells him her plan to target the Grumpy Grumps and it looks as if her Warner charm is working its magic. Jeff Kent nods slowly while running his cleat back and forth in the sand. Finally, he decides that Survivor is indeed a numbers game and, hey, it might be fun to take out those Grumpy Grumps who think they're running the game.

And this brings us to the big Reward Challenge. Come on in guys! For today's challenge you will divide into two teams. One person from each team will race out into the water carrying a rope to clip onto a fish trap. Once you clip your rope, you'll dive down and release a buoy. After you've released the buoy and collected your fish trap, your tribe will pull you in. Once you have collected all four of your fish traps, one person will dig a shallow grave and find a key. You will then use the key to unlock some sacred scrolls that will piece together to form a flag. First team to finish wins way too much food that none of you Survivors need or deserve because you are all spoiled brats who should be starving at this stage of the game.

For the Blue Team we have: Melty, Prickly Pete, Blackbeard, Shakira and Jell-O Pop.
For the Yellow Team we have: Golden Boy, Scurvy, Denise, Jeff Kent and Blair.
Survivors ready, go!

Jeff Kent and Shakira burst forth and head into the water. Jeff Kent swims with his arms, but Shakria swims with her hips which is much more effective if you ask me. *Pow pow, pow pow!* Both release their buoys and ride the fish trap train back onto shore. Next into the water is Scurvy and Prickly Pete. The Yellows have a slight lead, but they have yet to meet their match in Jell-O Pop. Onshore he sits in a leather recliner with a pipe in one hand and a copy of Byron in the other. Sensing his turn is approaching, he carefully removes his cashmere scarf and places it gently on the back of his chair before marking his page with a delicate sprig of jasmine he found earlier during his morning nature walk. And then, as if overcome by prose and beauty and allegory, he flies into the water quickly passing Blair who happens to be swimming at a snail's place.

Speaking of snails and things that are slow, we now find Melty in the water. After having swum out to the buoy, he just sort of hangs out and sits there until Shakira hurls Jell-O Pop's copy of Byron at Melty's head while shouting, "Rapido, rapido... ugh! Estupido!" Eventually, he manages to release his buoy, but those pesky Yellows have now pulled ahead.

Blackbeard puts forth a valiant effort trying to dig for gold, but it's all a bit too little too late. Plus, Golden Boy is on the Yellow Team so, naturally... YELLOW WINS REWARD!!!

Back at Migrayne the mood isn't as sad as one might expect. Shakira is cooking up her abuela's famous rice and beans while Melty is hiding behind a tree hoping no one remembers his poor performance in the challenge. No one is pouting or crying, but there is an eerie silence. Or there was an eerie silence. Shakira has started to stir her beans and her hip scarf is now jingling in the breeze. You see, Shakira is anatomically put together very differently than most people. In order for her hand to stir the wooden spoon in the beans she has to wind up her hips and swirl. Don't ask. Just accept. Accept and love. *gives the finger to all of you Shakira haters again*

While everyone settles in to eat their hearty meal, Jell-O Pop asks, out of nowhere, "Do you guys have a four with Blair?" Shakira, never one to mince words, replies, "It's me, Blackbeard, Prickly Pete and Blair. I guess you and Jeff Kent can come too since you don't like Scurvy. There's no placement or anything. But I do all the cooking. None of you putas know how to cook like I can. Now someone hand me the salt, rapido!"

Hearing all of this, Prickly Pete does that nose crinkle thing he does when something isn't going his way. A man of few words, and fewer facial expressions, Prickly Pete pulls Shakira aside and proposes that they get rid of the remaining KrabKlaws (Kalabaw) first. He says they should take out Scurvy, then Jeff Kent, then Denise, and then Golden Boy. Prickly Pete thinks that even though the others want to get rid of the returning players ASAP, they should hang onto Melty for a bit longer since he's a Fandango (Tandang). Shakira tightly grips the fork in her hand and contemplates shoving it up Pete's nose. You see, she can't stand that Melty! He was best good friend's with RC and RC was a betraying liar liar pants on fire. That is rule 27 in the Handbook For Latina Chicas: "Never ever forget who betrays you or is friends with someone who betrays you." Pete sighs to himself and silently wishes he could vote out Shakira instead (OH HELL NO!). But, and this is a big butt, keeping Shakira around to the final three might not be a bad idea. There's a good chance she could get into a fight with everyone before then and shave off their eyebrows when they sleep or something so... you know... more votes for Pete!

Meanwhile, over at the Reward, Dr. Denise is in seventh heaven. She likes the group that won the reward and feels like their positive energy meshes well together. Blair, however, feels bad for Melty. He is stuck at camp with Shakira, Prickly Pete and Blackbeard. Golden Boy nods his head in agreement. He says there is a distinct divide between good and evil here on Survivor Philippines. And those three, the ones who refuse to be phony, the ones who speak their minds, he calls the Evil Three. *thunder claps in the distance* Hey, not everyone can be a Golden Boy. You work with what the good Lord gave you. The good Lord just happened to give Pete a permanent scowl, Shakira a fiery awesomeness, and Blackbeard two giant hoop earrings that means his only calling in life is to be a cantankerous pirate.

Listening to all of this, Scurvy nods and announces, "Bullies! They're all bullies!" Bully to you, Scurvmeister. Bully this, bully that. Donate money to defeat the bullies. Make a YouTube video against bullies. Wear a bully ribbon and go see a bully documentary. Shut. Up. Bullies have existed since the beginning of time. As have wars, disease, and mean people. Get over it. Besides, the Evil Three never bullied anyone. They've never threatened anyone to do something against their will. Oh sure, they're angry and like to narrow their eyes at you while the embers in their souls burn brighter, but they've never bullied anyone.

A new day dawns and now the Migraynes are all back together in their good versus evil awkwardness. Once again though, we find Blair deep in thought doing calculations in the sand. She says that if Scurvy goes home, it'll be time to make a 5-4 alliance. And the more she thinks about it, the more she thinks it's another brilliant idea to go to the end with Melty, Shakira, Blackbeard, and Prickly Pete. Namely because they've made so many enemies and too many hotheaded emotional moves. Hey, one person's "hotheaded emotional" is another person's *points to self* Thursday morning. Nevertheless! Blair has a point and it's a good point. Might I say it's a brilliant point?

Armed with another brilliant idea, Blair pulls Melty aside and tells him that the plan is to get rid of Scurvy and then Melty. But... BUT! Did you know that Golden Boy has the Hidden Immunity Idol? One day when Blair was innocently doing the laundry, she reached inside Golden Boy's satchel and pulled out his Idol. It was totally innocent. I mean, doesn't everyone keep their soaking wet clean laundry bundled up in a ball inside of a filthy knapsack and wrapped around an Idol? Sure they do! Anyhow, Blair's plan is to blindside Golden Boy while they can, pull Melty in with the Fandangos, and Voila! They'll have a 5-4 advantage over the KrabKlaw's. Hearing all of this, Melty just sort of stands there and nods. Boy oh boy, is he glad that someone is playing the game on his behalf.

Melty does have one question though, "What happens if Scurvy wins Immunity today?" And then, just like that, surrounded by that Survivor magic, Scurvy enters the scene, "Hey guys, what are you talking about?" Blair replies, "We're talking about you." *smacks self in head* I realize she's a Christian and telling lies is frowned upon, but come on! Miraculously though, because Blair's truths are always wrapped in rainbows, Scurvy just assumes she's joking and off the three skip to the Immunity Challenge.

And - kerplunk! - here we are at the Immunity Challenge. Come on in guys! For today's challenge you will race over and under a series of obstacles collecting bags of puzzle pieces. The first three to cross the line will go to the final round where they will use the pieces to solve a snake puzzle. You experienced readers of this here little bloggy blog know how much I hate the part 1/part 2 challenges. Sometimes I get stuck with 3 people in the final round that I dislike and that makes me very angry. It makes me Shakira angry as a matter of fact. I start spitting things like "Puta!" and "Mierda!" Bleh. Whatever. Survivors ready, go!

Since I can't stand these challenges and my only real form of rebellion is to bastardize them in some way... I am going to use the magic of fast forward today. Prickly Pete, Jeff Kent, and Scurvy move on to the final round.

And, because that Survivor magic is everywhere these days... SCURVY WINS IMMUNITY!!! Naturally, the peanut gallery on the sidelines is incredibly upset. Scurvy starts to make out with his puzzle snake while Jeff Kent shakes his head and mumbles, "What a joke." I can't tell if he's talking about Scurvy or Melty though. Scurvy might be dancing like a lyrical fop, but Melty is playing with some blades of grass making whistles for everyone. *shrugs shoulders* Who knows.

Back at Migrayne, Scurvy is beaming from ear to ear. Winning that challenge earlier and finally nailing his pirouette were the best things he has ever done in his entire life. Golden Boy, however, isn't as pleased. The plan was to send Scurvy home, but now that it's all shot to hell, they need to come up with a new plan.

Golden Boy and the rest of the crew say the vote will basically be the same thing they had planned all along only in a different order. Melty will go home tonight instead of Scurvy. Blair hears everyone talking about Melty going home and she nods OK, but inside she has got... say it with me now... Another one of her brilliant ideas!

Seeing Prickly Pete sitting all alone, Blair eyes her mark. She smooths down her skort, puts her hair behind her ears, and lets those Warner browns do what they do best - twinkle!
"Oh, hey Prickly Pete. I didn't see you sitting there. How do you get your shorts so yellow?"
*Pete grumbles and scowls*
"Really? That's fascinating. So, yeah, Golden Boy has the Hidden Immunity Idol and only Denise and I know about it."
"For realsies?"
"For realsies."
"I innocently found it while I was fondling his underwear."
*Pete furrows his brow*
"Let's blindside him tonight before he gets a chance to use his panty Idol."
*Pete burbles*
"His real allegiance is with the others, not us. OK, laters!"
*Pete sits stone faced* 

Annnnnd scene!

It was like a drive by shooting. Have you seen Pete's face now? He's all crinkled and confused. He has his arms wrapped around his legs and he's rocking back and forth muttering something about bros before hos. Golden Boy was his friend. Pete trusted him. Blindsiding him like Blair wants to do is one thing, but what about Pete?!? He was just blindsided by Golden Boy's sneaky panty Idol!

Prickly Pete now has some investigating to do. Let's see how he fares.
"Do you have a Hidden Immunity Panty Idol?"
"Who, me?"
"Yeah you."
"Umm no."
"Are you sure?"
"Sure I'm sure! Who told you I had a panty Idol?"
"What people?"
"Blair Warner."
"Do I have to scramble now?"
"No, don't scramble. Let's just vote out Jeff Kent."
"Ok brah."
*high five*

See? That Blair Warner is such a liar. The second Pete saw the panic on Golden Boy's face Pete knew he was right all along - Golden Boy does not have an Idol. Pete saw into his soul. Bros before hos is a lifelong thing and not many people understand that. Pete understands it though. And thankfully, so does Golden Boy.

Ready with their brand spanking new plan, Prickly Pete and Golden Boy approach the other KrabKlaw's and Melty. They want to know if anyone else has heard about this cockamamie panty Idol rumor. Jell-O Pop looks up from the partridge feather he had been contemplating for the last three hours and mumbles, "Play it if you have it." Upon hearing this, Golden Boy blurts, "We're voting out Jeff Kent!"

Because Blair is smart and intuitive, she can sense that something is amiss at Migrayne. She needs to have another talk with Prickly Pete.
"Is Golden Boy going to ask me if I told you about the panty Idol?"
"Uh uh."
"Did you tell Golden Boy I told you about the Idol?"
"No. People just know."
"How do they know?"
"They just do."
"But how?"
"Someone told them."

So, yeah, that went well. Clearly, Prickly Pete is lying and is like the worst actor ever. Naturally, this annoys Blair who is, as we all know, an accomplished television actress from yesteryear. But, get this. While Blair is annoyed that Pete hasn't studied the Strasberg Method, Pete is bemoaning the fact that being the tribal mastermind is oh so hard. Mastermind? What mastermind? Prickly Pete, are you insinuating that you are a mastermind? *covers mouth and giggles* Oh hush.

But back in the thick of things, Golden Boy is flustered and worried. He knows the importance of bros before hos, but he thinks it still counts if his bro is a different bro from Pete bro. Long story short, Golden Boy tells Jeff Kent that both of their names are being thrown around camp and he doesn't like what he's been hearing. Obviously, Jeff Kent can't have this either so the two of them come up with yet another plan - Prickly Pete! They'll vote out Prickly Pete and cut off the head of the snake while they can. Golden Boy scurries off to share the news with Denise while Jeff Kent scampers off to let Jell-O Pop in on the new plan. When Jell-O Pop hears Jeff Kent tell him to vote out Prickly Pete, Jell-O Pop takes his feather between his fingertips, purses his lips just so, and blows his feather into the breeze. After watching it float away for a good five minutes, he turns to Jeff Kent and says, "I thought they were sending you home tonight."

While the color drains from Jeff Kent's face, Golden Boy is chin deep in mud frantically digging up his Idol. Where is that damn thing?! Finally, right before the Tribal bell dings, he finds his Idol and stuffs it into his purse. Better safe than sorry.

And this brings us to Tribal Council. After parading in RC as the first member of the Jury (and Shakira shooting a poison dart into the side of her neck) we get down to business. Dimples begins by asking Melty if he feels pressure since returning players are not always welcome. Melty replies, "I did feel pressure, but it went bye bye when I heard all the new plans."

Hearing this, Golden Boy laughs heartily and uncomfortably. It was one of those laughs that said, "Hey, ask me what I'm laughing about so I can tell you that it's no laughing matter at all." Dimples obliges and Golden Boy tells the tale of how he put his faith in a little Texas girl and she went and ground up his bones before snorting them and howling at the full moon. Blair nods her head slowly at first and then excitedly, "I sure did! I totally snorted that sh*t up. I cannot tell a lie."

Dimples points out that theoretically it should 5 on 5 right now - Fandango v. KrabKlaw. But leave it to that sexed up Denise to deliver not only the best line of the night, but give me my title. Denise replies, "Every crack is an opportunity." And suddenly, I am reminded of the opening scene of the show when the Village Idiot was mumbling something about cracks. Maybe he's not an idiot after all. Maybe he's one of those savant prophet people that seem to be mumbling nonsense, but is really mumbling truth. What say you now Melty? "Lala, Lala, famous, author, millionaire, Lala, nipples, nipples, I see nipples, private island nipples." He IS a prophet!

Enough of that silliness. Let's get to my most favorite person ever... Shakira. *jingle jangle* Dimples asks Shakira if she is annoyed that Blair went and screwed everything up. Look, asking Shakira if she is annoyed is like asking me if I'm sitting here slurping on a vicodin slushee wearing only a feather boa. Of course she's annoyed! In fact, she's so annoyed that all of this is "ludacrist" I'll have you know. *scratches 'ludicrous' out of the dictionary and writes 'ludicrist' in its place* It's all ludacrist, bitches. It's ludacrist because Golden Boy is strong and Melty is ridiculist.

Then, out of nowhere, Golden Boy whips his Idol out of his panties and holds it up for all to see. "I'm playing this bitch and I'm not going home. If anyone jumps on Blair's boat, they're gonna get a surprise." Is it a kiss? Is it a fondle? What kind of surprise are you talking about Golden Boy because I'll jump on that boat right now if it's a naked surprise.

Dimples then asks if anyone else has an Idol they want to share. At home I covered my eyes with my pasties because I knew. I just knew. You see, Shakira and I are cut from the same fabulous sequined cloth. If you dare us, we're gonna show off. We're gonna flaunt our wares. It's in our blood. And that's exactly what Shakira does. She whips out her Idol and says, "Oh this old thing? Yeah I have it. Maybe I'll use it to protect someone on my tribe. Lo ro lo le lo le." From the cheap seats, Scurvy giggles, "This is awesome."

Speaking of Scurvy, he wants to ask something. He wants to know why they don't march forward with six people and keep Melty. He is hinting that they should probably vote out Pete, Shakira or Blackbeard. Blair, however, has a different idea. "Plan B," she says. At home I scratched my head and wondered how the Morning After Pill got all messed up in this before I realized she's talking about another Plan B. Whoopsie. Her Plan B is the Jeff Kent Plan B, but Jeff Kent doesn't know that. Jeff Kent still thinks Prickly Pete is going home from what I can tell.

After some more deliberation where everyone confesses that they're now all scared to go home, it's time to vote. If anyone would like to play their Hidden Immunity Idol, please do so now. Both Shakira and Golden Boy smirk to themselves and sit on their own hands. No idols will be played tonight. Hot damn! And so, in a very close vote, Jeff Kent will not be rounding home plate after all. He is the 9th person voted out of Survivor Philippines and the 2nd person to join the Jury.

So, what did you guys think of last night's episode? Was keeping Melty a good idea? Are the Evil Three now the Evil Five? Is Blair in trouble without Jeff Kent around to target Scurvy? Should anyone anywhere in the history of the world take a political stand in their moronic exit speech? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!

Thanks to Rob Beasley for my lovely Survivor photos!