Friday, November 16, 2012

The Proverbial Poop

The great female philosopher, Elaine Benes, once said, "Alright, alright, look - I don't have grace, I don't want grace... I don't even say grace, OK?" And I couldn't agree more. Grace is one of those made up things that you hear about once in a while in passing. You know someone somewhere must have used it in a sentence, but you can't remember when. Surely you've read the word before. Perhaps in an unsolicited leaflet rolled up and tucked under your doorknob. Or maybe you encountered it at an awkward meal when the host forced everyone to bow their heads and pray just as the waiter was bringing out the food. Look, all grace does is make people uncomfortable. It sounds lovely and peaceful and all that crap, but you can't touch it, you can't drink it and you certainly can't go to bed and get freaky with it. So why, in a cutthroat game for a million dollars ($18.32 after taxes if you ask Jeff Kent), are we looking for grace on a deserted island? Let's recap, shall we?

Once again we find ourselves underneath that infernal moon. Globular, cheesy, forewarning. That moon, that orb, it knows too much. Oblivious to the omnipotent moon is our Tribal Court Jester, Melty (Michael), running hither and thither getting his ribbons entangled in the bells on his slippers. Carefree and careless, this running joke is beside himself. He's safe! He's still here! Now watch him juggle fire. Paging Ramona... Paging Doogie... bring the burn kit.

What Melty doesn't realize, as he continues running up and down the beach giggling in time to the jingling of his shoes, is that Shakira (Abi-Maria) is staring at him with her chin lowered and her hips on mute.
"Oye, Melty! SiƩntate! Gracias for voting for me. Puta!"
"Oooh puta... is that what you put in the rice and beans last night? Me doth thinks milady should prepare more of that yummy sustenance tonight." *bows at Shakira's feet while unfurling his feathered cap*
"He didn't vote for you Shakira. I, Scurvy (Penner), did."

The scene suddenly goes silent as Shakira says nothing. Nunca. Nada. Instead, she leans over into the mud and begins to smear scary little warpaint lines on her face. Now, I can't be 100% sure, but I don't think Melty is getting his Puta Rice & Beans tonight. I'm thinking something more along the lines of Blackened Fedora con Salsa.

With Shakira busy extracting mescaline from the peyote cactus for Melty's dinner, Blair (Lisa) stands visibly shaken from the last Tribal Council. Our gilded hunky Golden Boy (Malcolm) walks by and asks, "You ok?" Blair replies, "Oh thank you Golden Boy! Thank you!" She wraps him in a bear hug and apologizes for playing the game. Her grip on him tightens as she tells him that she made a big move and it backfired on her. Golden Boy replies, "It's cool. It's fine." This wasn't just any "cool" or any "fine" though. This was a graceful cool and a merciful fine. Scratch that. An amazingly graceful cool and a bounteously merciful fine. Golden Boy, and myself, were a tad confused by the outpouring of unbridled passion from Blair, but then it hit me. It's dark, there's a moon, a beach, waves uncurling on the shore, a jester off in the distance somewhere playing a harp... not to mention the strapping lad just standing there. Grace! I have finally witnessed this fabled grace I have always heard so much about. It is Golden Boy in the moonlight stroking his facial hair and it is beautiful.

As light breaks, so does a new day at Migrayne (Dangrayne). The village residents sit wiping the sleep from their eyes while Scurvy does a roll call in his head. He counts 2 Christians, 3 bullys, 1 Doctor, 1 forlorn chapeaued poet, and 1 hot piece of ass. If you add those all up, it means that Scurvy is in trouble at the next Tribal Council unless he starts searching for cracks. And since Blair's fragile outer shell is cracking more and more everyday, he decides to hone in on her. Better yet, he massages that one very sensitive part of her. Oh get your heads out of the gutter you pervs. He's massaging her insecurity. That part of her that tries to please everyone while at the same time makes her question herself. I'll hand it to him for delivering a masterful speech about how her life must have been so difficult having to provide, please, feed, clothe, shelter everyone, and be in episodes with that scene stealing Mackenzie Astin in season 8. It couldn't have been easy for her.

To a professional tabloid reader and avid TV watcher such as myself, I was not as easily swept off my feet as Blair was. Scurvy's speech sounded to me like he was quoting a Corey Feldman interview from 1992. I also think he peppered it with some excerpts from Little Girl Lost by Drew Barrymore. What can I say? He was prepared. He came locked and loaded with the annals of the Macaulay Culkin, Alyssa Milano, Tina Yothers and Jodi Sweetin episodes of E! True Hollywood Stories. All of those things combined spoke to Blair in a way that no other Migraynian could.

And this brings us to the big Reward Challenge. Come on in guys! For today's challenge, you will compete as two teams. One person from each team will crawl through muddy water looking for a bag of balls. Once you've dropped your bag of balls on the table, the next person goes. After collecting all four bags, you will shoot the balls into the basket. First team to twelve balls wins. Wanna know what you're playing for? You're going to take pencils and crayons to a native village and in exchange they'll cook you more food than they see in a year. Sounds fun!

Now, I don't know a lot about The Philippines, but I do know they have a kick ass prison that likes to dance. Survivor totally missed an opportunity here. They should have sent the winning team to the prison for a dinner and a show. Heyyyyy sexy lady...

Speaking of sexy ladies, my little crumpet Shakira was not picked by either team to compete and I can't for the life of me figure out why.

For the Yellow team, we have: Melty, Blackbeard (Artis), Blair and Prickly Pete.
For the Red team, we have: Golden Boy, Jell-O Pop (Carter), Dr. Denise and Scurvy.

Survivors ready, go! If you don't mind, I'm going to kind of cruise through this. Without my Shakira competing and hiding razor blades in the opposing team's mud pit, I've lost all interest. Basically, Scurvy went first and stockpiled all the balls for the rest of his team. One by one, they collected the balls while the other team sunk like elephants in quicksand. And wouldn't you know it, Golden Boy is the Michael Jordan of the intramural Southern California bartender scene and voila! RED TEAM WINS REWARD!!!

And off to the Reward we go skipping. As we arrive, a gaggle of children burst forth to embrace the weirdo white people strolling in like gods carrying hula hoops as their parents stand off in the corner mumbling to one another, "Why the hell do we have to cook for these fatsos? Couldn't they have brought Sprint phones instead?"

And Scurvy, being Scurvy and never passing up a moment to mucky muck with the camera or narrate something, wandered off to confuse some children while tap dancing to his own Scurvy Show.
"My name is Jonathan."
"In America, my name is Normal."
"Hi Normal, nice to meet you."
"No, my name isn't Normal. It's just normal."
"Yeah, that's what we said. Hi Normal."
"Hey, let's play pinata! But first, let me pretend like I'm going to beat you with this baseball bat."
"Mommy, why couldn't we have gotten 7-Up instead?"

Meanwhile, the giggling and merriment of the children is infecting our Golden Boy and has quite possibly ruined him for the rest of time. The gaiety and romping and cavorting and whatever the hell else kids do has seeped into Golden Boy's blood and made him question his life's work of serving girls like me bottomless goblets of liquor. This is like the worst Reward ever!

Back at Migrayne, Melty is running up and down the beach trying to catch a moving cloud while Prickly Pete sits on a log sulking and feeling demoralized and impotent. Listening to the squeals of the tribe clown on the wind, Pete grimaces and bemoans the irony of actually having to work with Melty now. With a sad slump in his shoulders, he reluctantly accepts that the man now playing hide-and-seek with a clam is the one who brings Fandango (Tandang) back to a majority. From this point forward, the order of the day is to make all the Fandangos feel comfortable and loved. To bring them in one by one for a cuddle. To whisper and coo and tickle and tease. To fluff their pillows and play with their hair...

"Hopefully you're not going to be a double agent again, Blair. You're not supposed to bring information from our side to them!" *giggles and claps* (Yes! Shakira time!) Look, Shakira has a point. If I was on a tribe with Blair and she pulled those sneaky shenanigans in an effort to save a returning player who regularly attaches crabs to his nipples, I'd be pretty pissed off too. One could sit and look at Shakira as someone who has no filter and could quite possibly set the camp shelter aflame in a fleeting moment of anger. OR you can see her for the jingly miracle she is and admire her unequivocal and refreshing honesty. To me, she's like an effervescent spritzer with a twist of lime on a hot summer day. She's a velvet blanket when someone "accidentally" slips you Ecstasy. Whenever Shakira enters the scene, my cupeth overfloweth with delight. Blair may not like to lie, but Shakira physically can't lie and it's glorious. Go ahead. Test her.

"Shakira, do these pants make my ass look big?"
"You have pants on? I thought your giant ass ate them."

"Shakira, did you drink my last bottle of wine?"
"Yes, and it was crap. Don't ever buy that brand again!"

Plus, she occasionally likes to hump inanimate objects. Whether she's knocking out girls in leopard bikinis with her hips or telling you to your face how naive and gullible you are, Shakira is a Survivor gift to be treasured and appreciated. When you have the Scurvys of the world blowing smoke up someone's ass with saccharine lies and ooey gooey phony whispers, be thankful that there is at least one person out there not afraid to tell you how much you suck.

Now, not everyone out there is as in awe of the fork-tongued Shaki as I am. Blair, for instance, thinks she is terrible and would love to leap into the arms of the KrabKlaws (Kalabaw) the first chance she gets. The problem is that last Tribal Council. You remember the one. The one where Blair went to the ends of the earth to keep that somersaulting sand eating Melty in the game. If she flip-flops again this week, no one will ever trust her and she'll always be last on the totem pole. And, let's face it, even though Golden Boy forgave her on the surface for tattling about his Idol, you know he still has some resentment deep down inside. It is unfortunate that Blair has gotten herself into quite a pickle this week. And all for Melty! Who does that?!

And this brings us to the big Immunity Challenge. Come on in guys! For today's challenge you will each balance an oversized paddle on a stand. You will then roll balls down your paddle and try to balance six at once. It's ballerific. It's balltastic. Balls, balls, balls. Survivors ready, go!

All of the Survivors stand with their paddles and the balls, they go a' plopping. Plop, plop, plop. Drop, drop, drop. Yes, balls are dropping. Typically, Dimples has some cheeky ball-sy comments whenever we have a ball challenge, but today he is surprisingly free of ballisms. Perhaps it is the black shirt he is wearing. I find when Dimples wears shirts in the lapis family does he have more ball-centric jokes rolling off his tongue. Nevertheless! This is a serious challenge for Immunity and we must make sure that pesky Scurvy doesn't win.

Tiny whippet Shakira is trying her best, but I think the paddle weighs more than she does. Blair seems to be hurling the balls in anger down her paddle while Blackbeard keeps flitting his eyes to everyone else's paddle but his own. Weirdly enough, it is Melty that excels at balancing his balls. Melty and Prickly Pete. Pete's success can be attributed to his desperate need to save face while Melty's can be attributed to the other day when he was standing on one leg on a log balancing sea urchins on the end of his nose. Who knew his Court Jester training would actually pay off? And pay off it does because... MELTY WINS IMMUNITY!!!

Back at Migrayne the mood is mixed. Shakira is annoyed she can't start the whole game over without Melty while Melty won't shut up about how great it feels to win something rather than melt something. Meanwhile, Scurvy is busy doing number calculations under his fedora trying to figure out a way he can stay in the game. This should be a no brainer. This should be a lazy day at camp while Scurvy prepares for the inevitable. This should be easy breezy Cover Girl. It is Yellow v. Red. Fandango v. KrabKlaw. Capulet v. Montague. Giudice v. Gorga. Whichever side with the most numbers wins, but noooooo. Nothing is ever that simple.

Plus, someone gave Shakira something heavy to bang against a tree and that probably wasn't the brightest of ideas. I love Shakira to the ends of the earth, but don't let her near sharp objects, bottles of poison, loaded guns, or unopened coconuts. A seemingly innocent siesta in the sand could turn into your head getting bludgeoned with a giant fruit.

Allow me to recap the best scene ever in the history of Survivor. So, Melty is all heady with his Immunity victory. He is full of smiles and an uplifting tickling in his tummy that he hasn't felt since he swallowed those butterflies for fun the other day. And then we have Shakira, who hates Melty. Her bones ache with a deep loathing whenever she sets eyes on him. To make matters worse, she can't vote him out and she actually has to work with him. Of all the vile conundrums to be trapped in! But maybe, just maybe, she can maim him for shits and giggles since she can't vote him out just yet. Yes, that's it! Under the guise of trying to open a giant coconut with a machete and a tree trunk, she'll aim the coconut just so, calculate the trajectory, and with all the power she can muster... PLONK! She'll shoot that coconut right into Melty's head! Score! While at home I cracked up and snorted gin out of my nose, I also wondered if maybe the head trauma jostled something loose in Melty's noggin. I mean, something else loose. We already know his cogs and wheels and pulleys are all a little rusty already.

So with Melty soaking his head in the camp outhouse, Dr. Denise meets with Jell-O Pop and Golden Boy to go over scenarios for Tribal Council. She wonders if Shakira would ever be unselfish enough to use her Idol in order to protect someone else on her own tribe. Someone like Prickly Pete maybe. Or wait, here's a thought. What about voting out Blackbeard? No way would Shakira share her Idol with him since he is kind of always on the fringe and never in the thick of anything. The three decide it's a crackerjack plan, but it ultimately depends on Melty and Blair. If they can't nail down one of them, then Scurvy is going home.

Speaking of Scurvy, Scurvy is speaking again. Always, forever, eternally speaking. He is a storyteller you know. And in case you didn't know that, he declares, "I'm a storyteller. That's what I do!" Where? Where do you tell these stories Scurvy? At the public library on Friday afternoons for a group of snot nosed little brats? Or is it just for our benefit, for the CBS cameras. Unfortunately for Blair, she now sits in a tepid pool of Scurvy's pee water forced to listen to another one of Scurvy's "stories". What is interesting about this current story is that it is about us. Us! The audience. You see, Scurvy thinks that we want to see good triumph over evil. We want the fair maidens to slide into victory with their Christian values and loyalty. And we especially want redemption from our past favorites. We want to see bags of money thrown in their faces for being cast and recast on our favorite reality show. Yes, this is what we, sitting at home - Survivor connoisseurs that we are - pine for.

*pause for extensive eye rolling*

No, no and no! We want backstabbing and scheming and girls hurling coconuts at people. We want lies and yelling and hair pulling. Mischief and chaos. Unfamiliar faces. Anarchy and pestilence. We want your Rewards taken away, don't you get it?! Bony starving people with concave tummies and yellowing eyes, that's what we want! Hell, if we had it our way, it would rain everyday and your rice would mold along with your skins. Green putrid skins. So while your little story sounds simply charming, Scurvy, it couldn't be further from the truth. It is nothing more than a silly fairy tale. Even Blair, who is as sweet as can be and tries to see the goodness in everything around her, isn't falling for it. She knows Scurvy is going to say and do whatever he needs to to stay safe.

And then there's the matter of Melty. That gumball Melty. If he had it his way, he'd play to the end with Blair. Facts Of Life was his favorite show as a young lad and it would super keen neato for him to sit in the finale with the Blair Warner. Basically, the fate of everyone, not just Scurvy, hinges on how these two will vote. Blair wants to be loyal to something, anything, while Melty wonders which side he can go further with. The issue of who he can go further with is inconsequential since he would be on the bottom of both totem poles. The question he should ask and the one he's not asking is: Who can I win against? Does he have a better chance winning against Golden Boy, Denise and Scurvy or Shakira, Prickly Pete and Blackbeard? The answer is crystal clear to me, but is anything ever crystal clear to Melty?

And this brings us to Tribal Council. Immediately, Dimples brings up the last Tribal Council, the one where everyone showed off their Immunity Idols and called each another out. Blair replies that the fallout for her was internal more than external. She wrestled with all sorts of feelings and emotions only to be showered in all that shining hottie grace that leaks out of Golden Boy.

Dimples then asks Shakira if she leaked out some grace too. Shakira whips her neck over to Blair and asks, "Did I show grace to you?" Blair replies that she received more grace from the people she was working against than the people she was working for. Shakira snaps her head foreward and thins her lips. Inside her head she screamed, "I'll show you grace when we get back to camp, puta! I have a coconut named Grace waiting for you!" But on the outside she was silent. Still. Unnervingly still.

With stillness running through all of our veins, burning us from within, Blair continues. She says there is a level of maturity lacking in her own alliance. *ducks under the table* Dimples shields his face with one of his smart looking wind breakers and very cautiously points out to Shakira that she is looking a little tense. He tells her she looks like she is about to spew venom. *grabs a crucifix and makes the sign of the cross* And then Shakira does something I've never seen before. She silences the voices in her head and calmly tells Dimples that what Blair is saying is very interesting. And that's it! She doesn't bludgeon anyone with a boulder and she didn't stab Dimples in the face with the shiv she's been fashioning out of dried leaves for the past 3 days.

I suppose Dimples decides not to push things further with Shakira so he turns to Blackbeard and asks him if he is surprised that at this point in the game it is still Fandango v. KrabKlaw. And Blackbeard, a man of few words and giant hoop earrings, gives what I genuinely think was a great answer. He says he's not surprised at all. Fandango is the most kick ass tribe out there so it makes perfect sense for all of them to slide to the end together. Good on you, Blackbeard! I loved that answer because if you think back, Fandango was always the winningest tribe. And to Blackbeard it is as simple as that. Sure, they've got their interpersonal issues and Shakira might accidentally kill one of them while throwing a clam on the fire, but they've got team spirit. Yes they do!

And with that, let's just get to it. Let's get to the awful decision made by a man who wears bells on his toes and talks to fauna. It is with gritted teeth, thin lips, and an angry shaking of my head that we say goodbye to Blackbeard, the 10th person voted out of Survivor Philippines. Yes, I'm angry! Of course I'm angry! What happens to my Shakira now? And, oh Christ, another week of listening to Scurvy yap about anything and everything. Ugh!

So, what did you guys think of the episode? Did the right person go home? Did Melty make a mistake switching alliances? Will Blair jump ship next or will Shakira smother her with the carcass of a sea lion? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving so there will be no blog as I will be climbing back on the wagon and drinking myself silly to the point where I tip over face first into a bowl of stuffing. I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and I'll see you back here on Thursday, November 29th.

Thanks to Rob Beasley for my lovely Survivor photos!