Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Warm Glass Of Shut The Hell Up

The egg. Delicate, sturdy, creamy. A giver of life. Beaten, whipped, scrambled. Folded, poached, fried... dropped. Plop! Smashed with wild abandon. Goopy and sticky in an unruly thicket. Terra cotta and periwinkle coagulating in the Filipino sun. What seemed so innocent like a childhood game - a Victorian pastime with giggles and curls and lace - is actually a heinous slime fest rotting and festering in the unforgiving noonday sun. Putrid stenches carried on the wind tell a Gothic tale. A tale of jumbles and labyrinths. A tale of nameless wraiths flitting hither and thither. Scratching at the window and begging to be let in. Catherine? Danica? Girl? Hey you! How did you come to be here? Was it a duck call on the breeze? Have you been hiding in the blind this whole time? Oh specter in the trees. Oh silent apparition. Would that he, the hirsute fellow, had your slight of hand and trickery. Your chicanery razzle-dazzle. Would we be where we are today? Let's recap, shall we?

Careening over the lush and zooming through the brush, we continue our terminal Filipino tale in the broad daylight. How new, how strange! No moon up above. No flesh biting insects chirping in  their nocturnal opera. Just that sun shining down and shedding light. Shedding light and giving light. With that fiery orb peeling back the cloaks and baring truths, we find ourselves at Baklava (Bikal) where a huffy troop of foot stompers have smashed the sand all the way home. Calgon (Dawn), always trying to look on the bright side of things, interrupts the hushed scoffs, "Well, it was our first unanimous vote. I think we all deserve a gold star and some orange slices, don't you?" Phillip Sheppard, on the other hand, drops his rucksack to the ground and shouts, "Traitor! From where I come from, St. Augustine's Institution For The Mentally Ill, we'd call Brandon a traitor. He damaged me." A wild eyed and toothy Corinne nods in agreement, "He screwed everyone by dumping out all of our rice. Mel Gibson!" Whether a traitor or a Mel, I still maintain that Lil Hantz was the only honest Baklava out there. Sure, he spoke in apostrophes and dropped consonants, but he spoke the truth dammit!

Phillip and Corinne aren't done yet. They continue their back and forth over which one of them Lil Hantz hated more.
"I never said a bad word to him!"
"I actually liked him!"
"I told him he could be The Exfoliator!"
"No one stood up for me. I hate you all!"

And then Calgon stepped in and offered everyone some celery sticks and peanut butter. "I'm sorry he slandered you both, but you need to keep your energy up so you can finish your chores and homework before bed. Chop chop! No video games until after you've cleaned your rooms." With nods and forced smiles, the Baklavas reluctantly gather in a circle and do the Baklava cheer, "Go team!" Calgon smiled to herself pleased with what a little tough love can do for unruly brats and then she spun her chore wheel as fast as she could. Her Chablis is getting warm and that Danielle Steele isn't going to read itself.

Over at Goiter (Gota), Dame Reynold, adjusts his cravat and tips the feather in his hat just so. Gather round ye lords and ladies! Tis time to read ye olde Tree Mail. With a pause to find his center and a quick clearing of his throat, Dame Reynold begins, "Beaten by exhaustion. Battered by the weather. Winners will have fun and... *dramatic sweep of one ruffled arm* celebrate together!" In the rafters, Michael claps and giggles. Some people might think that the matinee showings are second rate, but not Michael. Dame Reynold gives so much of himself in every performance. And Like Eve Harrington, Michael waits outside the stage door every night just to get a glimpse of the great Dame.

And this brings us to the big Reward Challenge. At least it looks like a Reward Challenge. There are wooden contraptions sprinkled about the arena, puzzle pieces piled up in the distance, floaty rings hanging haphazardly in trees. But something is amiss. That sassy Dimples has a twinkle in his eye and that twinkle spells trouble. Come on in guys!

Dimples begins by asking the Goiters how they felt about all that drama with Lil Hantz the other day. Michael replies that it was good. "It was good to feel something good." Why, thank you Michael for your insight. Next to reply is Duck Dynasty (Matt). "I actually feel sorry for Phillip." Say what now? Come again? Baking powder? Does Duck know what is about to happen? Is he wisely laying the framework for possible new alliances? Or is he soft and fluffy and smitten? Are there Precious Moments figurines living in his beard? Is chintz his favorite color? Something tells me he might not hunt squirrel after all. Something tells me he names all of his squirrel friends and builds them squirrel cabins in his backyard with handwoven wicker baskets to hold their nuts.

Enough dilly dallying. Drop your buffs, bitches! We are switching tribes. After smashing colored eggs placed conveniently in little bowls labelled "Pretty" and "Ugly", the new tribes are as follows:

The new Goiters are Theddie, Mascaroni (Andrea), Freebush (Sherri), Dame Reynold, Golden Boy (Malcolm), Erik and Mowgli (Brenda).

The new Baklavas are Corinne, Phillip, Michael, Cochran, Duck Dynasty, Calgon and Phantom (Julia).

Dimples stands across from the new tribes and looks very pleased with himself. With a smirk and some jazz hands, he asks the Baklavas what they think of their new tribe. Scruffy dandy Cochran grits his teeth and announces, "The game just started anew." In that wild ginger head of his, you know he's having an anxiety attack while recalculating theorems and logarithms.... Mormon times beard cubed with crazy divided by gay equals??? Meanwhile, Duck Dynasty is embroidering I LOVE PHILLIP with strands from his beard onto his periwinkle stained shorts, "I'm psyched! I love these players I'm with!" Now you listen to me Duck Dynasty. No one, and I mean no one, loves Phillip Sheppard. We tolerate him and then it ends there. And if you're not careful he'll start calling you The Coiffurist or some shit like that. You'll be sharpening his pencils and fetching him coffee before you know it. Tread lightly, Duck.

With the new Goiters linking arms and skipping into camp, everyone is beaming and radiant. Dame Reynold climbs up on the trellis he created for a moment such as this and announces, "We will win all the challenges now!" He then whipped off his top hat and bowed deeply at the waist. Staring at the ground, he waited. But there was no applause. Michael, his biggest fan, is a Baklava now - drat! An expert in improvisation, Dame Reynold doesn't let the silence impede his performance. Instead he leaps off his trellis and spreads his arms wide. "Come everyone, come. Group hug!" And they did. The Goiters hugged. Well, they hugged until Theddie tried to say "ecsthatic". Nothing breaks up a group like flying spittle.

With the group dispersed - manly men breaking twigs, ladies in the water - Dame Reynold wastes no time filling Golden Boy and Erik in on their past history with Freebush. "She's the worst," Dame Reynold declares. "She's been trying to get me and Theddie out since day one." Theddie contributes, "Yesth! Sthe wasth aligned with everyone but usth." Dame then kicks the sand and shifts his eyes downward, "And if, you know, you guys like, aww shucks, wanna vote her out, we're TOTALLY with you!" Shaggy hippy flower child Erik listens to all of this, but knows that something isn't right. Something about Dame Reynold isn't exactly genuine. It's almost as if he's acting. With his tousled hair, beautiful baby blue eyes and toothy grin, there is something disingenuous about the Dame, something very "used car salesman".

Meanwhile, the womenfolk are bathing in the sea and hearing a similar story from Freebush. She tells Mascaroni and Mowgli that Theddie actually isn't that bad of a guy - when he's not with Dame Reynold. But the second he gets around used car salesman Reynold, he's all over you trying to sell you a Buick. Mascaroni takes the hint as Freebush nods enthusiastically over voting out Dame Reynold were they to lose a challenge. Mascaroni then asks what's going on with the Hidden Immunity Idol. Freebush, happy to have lady friends to gossip with, tells her new tribemates all about how Dame Reynold played his Idol already and how he's definitely out there looking for another one. Clearly, there is no loyalty whatsoever when it comes to Freebush and her fellow Fans. She jumped ship before there was even a ship to jump off of.

Over at Baklava we find Corinne painting a rainbow on the side of the shelter and humming Kyle Minogue to herself. You see, Corinne loves herself a gay. So when Michael came skipping into camp with his scarves and martini glass collection, not only did he get a new nickname (Gay), but he got a new bestie. They're not game besties mind you. They're more everyday besties. Even though Corinne is fond of Gay, she's not silly enough to abandon her Favorites alliance and vote one of them out.

The tone then changes as a plucky awkward tune begins to play. Ugh. It's time for The Phillip Sheppard Show. Hunched in his pink panties, we find Phillip decimating a piece of flint as he tries to show off for Phantom and, I think, get her to switch loyalties and join his corporation...

"Back when I first played Smurvivor, Slurvivor, Sturvivor, I had to make a big move and I would be a double agent if I had to. Chichaw! You need to make a big move with me so we can get you at least to the Merge. I'm not inviting you into Smealth R Us, but you could be The Internist and be our company gopher. I'll need some filing done, data entry, copies made, the twigs on my antenna replaced and my bamboo missile launcher cleaned thrice weekly."
"What is it about me that makes you want to make such an offer?"
"That was the incorrect answer, young lady. You were supposed to say, 'Sir, yes sir!'"

Phantom is a smart girl, not college educated smart like one Mr. Phillip Sheppard who attended a fictional university on a marshmallow campus with gingerbread dorms, but she's smart. And so, being a smart lass, she seeks out Gay to see how he feels about the new tribe shuffle. Quietly planning a coming home dinner party for himself while humming the soundtrack to Pippin, Gay tells Phantom that he is positively tinkled pink by the tribe shake up. He couldn't be happier! They seem like a crackerjack bunch of people who are lovely and welcoming. Oh Gay. Tapas are not fitting for every single meal and this isn't The Pajama Game. Only one person can have a happy ending on Survivor, not the entire cast.

Elsewhere, Phillip is informing Corinne on how he told Phantom to put up or shut up. Either she submits her resume immediately or the internship will go to someone else. Corinne, however, thinks that getting a flipper is unnecessary. They have the numbers! They don't need anyone else. As long as the Favorites stick together, they're good to go. Phillip then hears an imaginary chopper whiz overhead so he ducks out and takes cover behind a spiderweb. Corinne watches him standing still behind the transparent web and wonders to herself how the hell this guy was a federal agent. What cases has he solved? The Clue Of The Whistling Bagpipes? The Secret Of The Old Lace? Scooby Doo And The Monster Of Mexico? What government agency would give this freak a badge? Is Phillip the reason why North Korea wants to blow us off the map? Did he call Kim Jong Un, The Kimchiest? So many questions. Not enough answers.

And this brings us to the big Immunity Challenge. Come on in guys! For today's challenge, two members from each tribe will race to roll back a big ass crate to the start. Then, the next two will go. Once your tribe has collected all six big ass crates, you will then build a set of stairs and solve a puzzle that says FANS VS. FAVORITES. Survivors ready, go!

We begin with Erik and Theddie for Goiter and Phillip and Phantom for Baklava. Both teams reach their crates at almost the same time, but Erik and Theddie come up with the genius idea of continuously rolling their crate while Phillip, on the other hand, sits and tries to negotiate with his. Is he trying to recruit his crate into Stealth R Us? Your guess is as good as mine. All you need to know is that the Goiters immediately gain a one crate lead and continue to send out team after team.

As the challenge nears its close, people are sent out twice, sometimes three times if you're Phillip Sheppard. And each time Phillip heads out, he turns on his speaker phone and has a conference call with the other crates back at the start line. "You can be The Lumbercator and you can be The Boxinator and you can be The Cubist. To start off, we'll use you as storage units for my many files on The Mystery Of The Fire Dragon, but if you complete your jobs to the best of your ability, I can move you up to front desk. Literally, you'll be my front desk. We'll remove one of your sides and slide a giant chair underneath." Oh shut the hell up, Phillip.

Let's just skip ahead to what we knew would happen. The young buff strapping team quickly sails to a victory while the old disfigured creepy team is still waiting for their crates to send some faxes. Long story short... GOITER WINS IMMUNITY!!!

Back at Baklava, the battered and creaky castaways shuffle their way into camp. As a mom, Calgon knows how important it is to keep a brave face and not let the others know how upset she truly is. With a gulp and a forced smile, Calgon declares, "I'm going to open up a coconut!" It's understandable. She's probably parched and a little peckish. A coconut would be immensely satisfying right about now. Not so fast, Calgon! Phillip has something to say so you just pipe down and tolerate the shakes as your blood sugar plummets.

"We did our best today. We actually did cu-gel together as a group here in camp.We've worked very effectively together. I think we all went in there thinking you know we can go in there and kick some ass. We didn't expect the network to crash and our I.T. guys to take so long. No one threw the challenge. I had to take that conference call from my handler or else the crates could have turned on us and pinned us down to the ground. And trust me, I've been pinned to the ground before. A decade ago on the Jersey Turnpike a box of pipe cleaners flew off a speeding Wide Load and pinned me down on the shoulder. Now, I won't tell you why I was walking on the shoulder of the Turnpike. Sometimes, you have to go undercover as a homeless indigent man who escaped from the nearby mental asylum. But I will tell you this. It's all about upper body strength and that's how I got those pipe cleaners off of me."

Meanwhile, Calgon has passed out and her limbs are twitching as drool seeps out of her mouth and onto the sand. Just let the lady have her damn coconut, Phillip!

After the meeting is over and Calgon has successfully been resuscitated, we find Duck Dynasty and Phillip nibbling on what looks like dried rice. Duck asks, "Who do you think should go home tonight?" Phillip replies, "The Girl." The Girl. Instead of having another Francablebox moment and stammering through the butchering of Juliennecarrots, Phillip simply calls Julia/Phantom, The Girl. Duck nods and tells Phillip he'll do whatever Phillip wants him to do. Gay, too, approaches and asks, "Is it time to plead our cases to Phillip?" Look, I get that the Fans are in the minority and that they have to cozy up to one of the vets, but why would you choose Phillip of all people?! Why not Cochran or Corinne? Calgon is busy making a stew and setting the table so you probably don't want to approach her, but Corinne seems like a viable option especially when Gay is her new best friend.

And then, AND THEN! Phillip, secret keeper extraordinaire, tells Duck and Gay that he still runs Stealth R Us. He won't tell them who the members are, but it is a force to be reckoned within this game. If Phillip chooses to bring the two wide-eyed Fans in as assets then, and only then, will they be given their official names. Others in the tribe might pretend to be the leader of Smelf R Fuss, Inc, but they're not. Unless you hear an order come directly from Phillip, don't do it. There are double agents everywhere. Nikita was one such agent and look at her now. She's gone rogue and is trying to topple the corporation. And by the way, this conversation will self destruct in 10 seconds. Then Phillip rolled himself up in the tarp and waited for his papaya bomb to go off.

With Phillip quietly napping in his tarp cocoon, Duck and Gay steal away to try to figure out what they'll tell Phantom when she asks them how they're voting. And oh look, here she comes now.
"So who do we put down?"
"Golly gee, I have no idea!"
"What do you think they're thinking?"
"Dude, I'm so confused. I just don't know what name that starts with a 'J' I'll be writing down on that parchment."
"Maybe they want to vote for one of their people."
"Maybe they do! Wowzers that would be peachy keen."
"I think we should vote for Calgon."
"Yes! Let's vote for Juli... I mean, Calgon. We'll all write down Calgon. Good idea!"

Not long after Phantom leaves the two traitors, they are approached by both Corinne and Cochran. Corinne is paranoid that one of them has the Idol and is hesitant to reveal any information to them. Duck Dynasty then stammers about how much he'd love to have the Idol. How much he wishes he had the Idol. Dude, it would be so cool to have the Idol! Cochran watches the fidgeting Duck and quickly surmises that the guy is way too desperate to have an Idol. And while he doesn't mind the idea of taking out Phantom tonight, Cochran thinks splitting up the power couple that is Gay and Duck is a much better idea.

Cochran takes his plan to the rest of Smurfs R Us and finds a loyal comrade in Calgon. Calgon is sure Duck doesn't have the Idol. While all Corinne cares about is saving her Gay, both she and Phillip are still adamant about getting rid of Phantom. Phillip thinks he can turn the Duck and Gay  into exemplary Girl Scouts while Corinne thinks Phantom is simply boring. Plus, her voice is too nasally. Off with her armpit hair!

And this brings us to Tribal Council. The camera swoops in from a long shot and I see what I'd hoped I'd never see again as long as I live... Dimples in sandals! There is something unseemly about seeing our Dimples in his best khakis and prison sandals. It's like I can't take him seriously anymore. He could ask me a question and all I'd do is giggle and stare at his little toes.

Anyhow, Dimples begins by asking Duck how he feels about his new tribe. "I'm super stoked! I was always a big fan of Cochran and Phillip. And even Calgon!" *snickers*

The discussion turns to exactly how much danger the Fans are in tonight. Phantom gives a roundabout answer about how the Favorites have the numbers, but Gay comes right out and says, "100% A Fan is going home tonight." Corinne then waves her rainbow flag and says how she'd happily replace anyone in her Favorites alliance with her new dandy, Gay. For someone being so careful not to turn on her own alliance, I thought it was an odd thing to say. And something that could possibly come back and bite her in the ass later.

Alright, enough of this jibber jabber. Honestly, I hated this episode. I think this season blows and I need to finish unpacking so let's get to the vote. In a weird and stunning (?) upset, Duck Dynasty is the 7th person voted out of Survivor Caramoan. It is not the outcome I expect or wanted. Duck seems to be a lovely man and once or twice he's even sent a "Quack!" my way on Twitter. So, godspeed DuckMan. That Cochran is much more dangerous than he looks. Cryptograms and logic puzzles fly around that moppet head of his and, believe me, he's not scared to use them and chop your beard off while you sleep. Best of luck to you.

So, what did you guys think of last night's episode? Was it wise to split up Duck and Gay? What if the Favorites dump Phillip and replace him with Gay? Will Mowgli ever speak? Will Dame Reynold ever not speak? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!