Thursday, April 11, 2013

Masculine Tomfoolery

Strapping, virile, dragging lazy mosies in and out of the saloon, he smells of leather and a hard day's work. Or perhaps he's valiant and chivalrous. On a noble steed with sword drawn, the wind in his hair and a damsel in his sights. Climbing trellises and serenading balconies. Clinking of armor and adventure. Then we have the shirtless ones. Wild and unkempt. Tousled and messy. Clutching turkey legs and belching heartily in between butt smacks and crotch grabs. Whatever his nature, wherever he lurks... he is man. Heady, musky, untamed and sthometimesth silly. Man - woman's greatest foe and most delicious pleasure. You can't live with him and you can't legally stab him in the heart with a fiery hot poker from your fireplace on a lazy Saturday night because he said some smart ass comment two weeks ago that is still eating you up inside. Men! Burly or foppish. Spindly or hunky. Pecs and abs and loins and all the rest of it. Beer guzzling lotharios all sweaty and robust. Primal. Carnal. *dabs brow* To understand their actions is to delve inside their nature. Throw caution to the wind and let common sense dribble down the wayside. Forget to shower and surreptitiously hide the porn links in a secret folder called "Fantasy Football". Or maybe, just maybe, man is cunning and golden. A Spartan. A Trojan. Perceptive and plucky. Or maybe just lucky. Let's recap, shall we?

We continue our tawdry Filipino tale at the break of dawn. With the sun creeping gently above the horizon, a gaggle of monkeys scours the deserted shores for sustenance. Lifting rocks and sucking briney goodness from mysterious crustaceans, the monkey people retreat with partially filled bellies to the bamboo shelter they have come to call home. The self-appointed monkey king, Phillip, breaks the silence, "Can you believe it's been 200 days? We are going to DO IT. We have the solid numbers. Oh wait, I'm getting word from Langley... Mayday, mayday. Olympus has fallen. I repeat, Olympus has fallen. Chichaw!" Mascaroni (Andrea) quietly rolls her eyes to herself before making a quick getaway to somewhere, anywhere, far away from Phillip.

Dame Reynold, however, is reflective on this lazy morning. Last night at the theatre, there were some hiccups in the performance and a supporting player was sent home, but, you know what? He's still here, dammit. As long as some fresh-faced understudy (or Eve Harrington) doesn't come sweeping in to steal his role, the Dame is still a valuable part of this cast. He will continue to show up for rehearsals, continue to learn his lines, and continue to, night after night, paint his beauty mark, just so, on his right cheek. His ensemble is strong with fellow heartthrobs, Golden Boy (Malcolm) and Theddie (Eddie) and as far as Dame Reynold is concerned, he is in a good place right now. The out-of-town previews are getting promising reviews and it is only a matter of time before he becomes a permanent fixture on the main stage production.

But on this island of tragedy and comedy there also exists a farce. A sideshow so steeped in absurdity and nonsense that it gets its own special segment every. single. week. It is called The Phillip Sheppard Show and I, personally, can't wait for its cancellation. In this week's episode, Phillip has decided to woo Freebush (Sherri). While sitting side by side under the shade of a Eucalyptus tree, Phillip Sheppard leans over to whisper gently into Freebush's ear, "When I first saw you, I thought 'Man, she's hot!'" *gags* Freebush hides the horror in her eyes choosing to nod a meek "thank you" instead. Before Phillip can regale her with tales of how he's wooed women from here to Cartagena, Freebush quickly steers the conversation to the game and Gay's (Michael's) future in it. Phillip's reply is quick and decisive on all matters Gay, "He's gone." And then he continues...

"As The Specialist it is very important when I sussign you a name... Ten-a-city. Are you prepared to the accept the name? There's only one requirement to belong to Strelf R Crust. You must be loyal and absolutely trustworthy." Um Phillip, I don't mean to interrupt, but that makes TWO requirements, not one. OK continue. "Are you prepared to do that? Shake my hand. Welcome to the organization. Mowgli (Brenda) there is Inaudibility. We also have Golden Boy, known as The Fornicator." Freebush listens to all of this with a strained smile on her face and dead eyes. Not only does she have to play the game of Survivor, but now she has to play Make-Believe Corporate Organization with Phillip Sheppard. A children's Victorian parlour game was the last thing Freebush expected when she signed up to live on an island for a month, but she accepts the challenge with a brave face and draws on her experiences from managing her Del Carl's Bell Burgerdonald's back in Idaho. Arrogant premenstrual narcissistic teens are par for the course when you run fast food franchises in middle America. They're always sneaking fish nuggets and nacho wraps to their friends through the Drive Thru. And she hasn't met a teen yet who didn't stuff packets of ketchup and hot sauce into his backpack before punching out at the end of his shift. Phillip, like Shalimar (Shamar), is just another one of those snot-nosed brats she'll have to fight with over smoke breaks and force to wear a hair net when defrosting the Dorito buns. You didn't think those came fresh, did you?

And this brings us to the big Reward Challenge. Come on in guys! For today's challenge you will be divided up into two teams of five. You will have four shooters and one defender. The shooters will leap off a platform trying to throw a ball past the defender and into the net. The first team to score four points wins. Wanna know what you're playing for? You'll be taken to a majestic waterfall where you will be forced to leap down a steep cliff in order to enjoy a picnic lunch.

The orange team is as follows: The shooters are Dame Reynold, Erik, Theddie and Cochran. Golden Boy will be your defender.
The purple team is as follows: The shooters are Mowgli, Calgon (Dawn), Mascaroni and Phillip. Gay will be your defender.
Since Freebush completely sucks at challenges and could very well pop a breast while hitting the water, she'll sit out and not be allowed to take part in the Reward.
Survivors ready, go!

First up is Theddie. With a ready, sthet, go, Theddie leaps off the dock and hurls his ball directly into Golden Boy's hands.

Gay takes his position on the platform next as Mowgli whizzes the ball over his head and into the net. The score is now 1-0

Rather than go through each and every toss - as much as I enjoy watching Golden Boy fly through the air, this was an extremely tedious challenge - let's fast forward to the end with the score tied 3-3. Mowgli is up again and, while she is a mute, she has also proven to be a stealthy ninja in the challenges. Unfortunately for her, her ball bounces off the goal post and back into the water.

With the score still tied, it is now up to Erik of the Orange team to try and whiz a ball past Golden Boy. Shaking his hair out of his eyes, he takes the ball to his chest and chooses a point in the net at which to aim. All of a sudden, he hears a taunting to his left. "Why'd you take off yo sneakers? You shouldn'a done that! You gonna miss! Chichaw!" Oh shut up Phillip. Erik ignores the large man making googly eyes and obscene finger gestures on the platform next to him and instead prepares his leap. One... two... three... he shoots, he scores! ORANGE TEAM WINS REWARD!!!

Whizzing through the clouds and careening over lush greenery, we arrive at the tippy top of a precarious looking waterfall. While the other men are busy getting fitted with rappelling equipment, Cochran, on all fours, grips a large rock and peers over the end of the falls. Looking down at the rapids and the jagged rocks taunting him from below, he sees his entire future flash before his eyes. He went to Harvard for this?! To get a degree and then DIE. This isn't a Reward. This is a death sentence! Our gangly spindly academic doesn't leave his apartment, let alone Twitter (You can follow the ginger fop at @ColetteLala. Ha! Just kidding. You can follow him at @JohnMCochran), and now he's expected to rappel down a slippery horror show of splattered guts and floating entrails? In what universe is this considered a Reward? Survivor universe, baby.

Conversely, Dame Reynold is always up for a challenge. He once performed in an off off off off Broadway (Hoboken VFW Hall) production of A Chorus Line and this rappelling thing looks like nothing more than a few fluttering jetes and chasses down the side of the cliff. With his tutu smooshed into his harness and ribbons billowing off his carabiner, the Dame shook out his jitters, centered himself, and took the leap. Literally. He literally leapt. And it was lovely! Brava! *throws roses*

Once all the manly men (and Cochran) make it down the waterfall, they all gather on a patchwork quilt adorned with embroidered throw pillows to enjoy a simple picnic of finger sandwiches, crisps, fruit and soda. Having attended Miss Caveman's Finishing School For Heathens, the rabid beasts dive face first into the watercress and lemon tea. Erik grabs a handful of sandwiches and smashes them into his mouth while Theddie bends over into the soda pitcher, takes a deep breath and blows. With cola dripping down their faces and dough stuck in their teeth, the men scratch themselves and guffaw onto the breeze. In between grunts and farts, Gay, delicate rose Gay, punches Cochran on the arm and says, "Hey, let's make a men's alliance. Wouldn't that be faaaabulous. Women are icky!" Cochran stares back at Gay with wide eyes while rubbing the bruise now forming on his upper arm. If anyone knows anything about Cochran, then they know that he's not the manly sort. Outdoorsy and brawny isn't what Cochran does. As a child he once faked a yeast infection to get out of gym class. And when that didn't work he rubbed poison oak all over his body and called it menopause. Innovative and clever, yes. Accurate, not quite. So you see, an alliance made up of rippling muscles and panty raids doesn't appeal to Cochran in the slightest. But an alliance with a middle-aged man playing Make Believe Corporate Organization and a middle-aged woman sticking her head into a well to stave of the hot flashes does. So there!

Back at Edamame (Enil Edam) the losers make their way ashore and prepare for another afternoon of avoiding Phillip. Golden Boy isn't too upset over the Reward Challenge loss because the people he's back at camp with now are the people he needs to start working his magic on. He already has Dame Reynold and Theddie on his side, but he needs to get Calgon and Freebush aboard if he wants to make his plan for tribal domination a reality. And so, with a loose tendril and a twinkle in his eye, Golden Boy stretches languidly next to Freebush and begins his seduction. He tells her the reality is that both of them are on the bottom and the best they can hope for is 7th or 8th place, but if they... *pause for Golden Boy to flip his hair and fondle the twine necklace around his neck*... join with Dame Reynold and Theddie then they have a chance to be 5th place. Freebush rests her head on one hand and I can't tell if she's undressing Golden Boy in her mind or actually listening to a word he's saying.

Golden Boy's next target is Calgon. *smacks self in head* Oh god, not Calgon. Black Widow Spider Calgon. She sits all season long inside of an empty boot and then the second you go to slip on your shoes *hiss, chomp... venom!!!*, you're dead. She's not an innovative player and she's not a leader, but she has one thing going for her - gingham! An older lady dressed like a picnic basket is nonthreatening. Period. When you look like you always have macaroni salad and lemonade ready for the kids, no one will ever think you're a two-faced tattletale. If the gingham was premeditated, mad props to Calgon. I'm telling you, those ruffles and plastic plates have made her an unwitting kiss of death. Naturally, I'm scared shitless when Golden Boy steals away into the woods with the Black Widow. Don't look her in the eyes Golden Boy! You never know, you might turn to stone.

After Golden Boy makes his pitch to Calgon about joining him and the rest of the Fans, Calgon does what Calgon does best. She runs to the first person she finds to share her information. With ruffles flapping in the breeze and the smell of homemade cookies wafting behind her, Calgon runs and trips into Freebush blabbing to Mascaroni about Golden Boy's seduction. (Maybe Gay was right. Women are icky!) If we listen in on the harpies yapping we discover that Freebush has not only blabbed about Golden Boy putting together a new alliance, but she's also telling them about how he wants the Favorites to split the votes between Dame Reynold and Theddie leaving the Serpentine Counter Alliance with a majority to vote off whomever they wanted. Naturally, the Favorites can no longer trust Golden Boy so they decide to pretend to go along with his plan to split the votes while, really, they'll be voting for Golden Boy. *clutches pearls and weeps*

Later, with nothing to do but loll about, Theddie and Mascaroni swim off to the Blue Lagoon to get their flirt on. Theddie looks at it as hanging out with a pretty girl while Mascaroni sees it as planning their wedding. With a binder full of fabric samples and cake pictures, she smiles and coos to Theddie about how a period wedding can be quite festive if you do it right. Theddie has no idea what the hell she's talking about when she mentions delphiniums, Edwardian script, lemon buttercream and tulle. All he knows is that he'll do whatever she wants gamewise - except vote for Dame Reynold. She replies to this revelation with a raised eyebrow, "Really? Will you vote the way I say?" Theddie replies, "Yeah." In Theddie's mind, he needs Mascaroni to drag him through the game for two or three more votes before he can get up on his feet and start punching people. Something tells me Theddie may have attended the Hantz School For Wayward Boys at some point in his past. The conversation between the two lovebirds ends with Mascaroni promising not to vote Theddie out if he brings her information about what Golden Boy is up to.

And this brings us to the big Immunity Challenge. Or what I like to call Dimples' Dungeon Of Torture. Once in a blue moon, Survivor gets medieval on our asses and delights us with challenges of torture. You might remember the infamous drowning ferris wheel of yesteryear - a personal favorite. Today, my friends, we're going to waterboard these bitches within an inch of their lives. *shoots glitter out of a t-shirt gun* For today's challenge, you will lie upside down in an underwater cage as the tide rolls in and tries to drown you. Last person left with a pulse, wins Immunity. Survivors ready, go.

One by one our brave Survivors plop into the water and prepare to take their places in their metal cages. We begin with entire heads safely above the water, but after several minutes a slow and steady tide begins to roll in. After a half an hour mouths are fully covered and heads are forced to tilt backwards in order to breathe. Then, at a steady pace the water begins to rise even more. In my mind there's a water skier (probably Mark Burnett) in the distance skiing back and forth, back and forth, making the waves cover Calgon's face and her ruffles jostle underwater.

After an hour everyone is still in it with some... *cough gargle choke*... whoopsie. There goes Phillip. He must have been absent that day when they covered water torture back at the federal agency. After Phillip bails, the Survivors begin to drop like flies. Next out is Freebush followed by Erik and then Calgon. With the water covering their mouths at this point, the Survivors begin to make little snorkels for themselves out of their hands. Sadly, a snorkel can't save Golden Boy as he is the next to bail. And did you see how loudly Calgon cheered for him from the dock when he was out of the competition? Shush Black Widow!

Eventually, we get down to Mascaroni and Mowgli in the final two. Both have chosen to link their legs around their cages which perhaps helped them stay steady. For all I know, Mowgli could already be dead. The girl hasn't moved an inch since she got in the water. And she still doesn't move when everyone leaves the competition and heads back to camp. Later on that evening, sitting under the wispy veils of his mosquito tents and discovering the wonders of opium with a local "massage therapist", Dimples gets a nagging feeling that he may have forgotten something back at the challenge. Mowgli! He forgot Mowgli! He left the poor girl there and forget to tell her she won. So yeah, MOWGLI WINS IMMUNITY!!!

Back at Edamame, the mood is celebratory with Phillip scatting something old school to Mowgli. He's calling her baby and doing his James Brown shuffle around camp. Like somehow he's responsible for her win. Whatever Phillip. Golden Boy, however, is deep in thought. Tonight is his last chance to make his move. If he waits any longer, Dame Reynold and Theddie will be gone and he'll have no more moves to make. It's now or never.

After a brief meeting with Mascaroni where Golden Boy firms up the faux plan to split the votes tonight between Dame Reynold and Theddie, he meets with Calgon to put the finishing touches on the real plan - to vote out Mascaroni. While Phillip may appear to be the leader to everyone else, Golden Boy knows that he's just the alliance mascot and nothing more. Mascaroni is the one who is really running the show behind the scenes. And everyone knows you don't kill the court jester until you've killed the Queen. Or something like that. Calgon then covers her face as she is often wont to do when life is too much for her. And since there isn't a well nearby she'll just have to settle for her tears hitting the sand. The sound is more of a plergh than a melodious plop, but it'll do. Golden Boy, sensing that Calgon might still be wavering, then tells her that Dame Reynold has the Idol. Calgon says she'll go along with the plan if Dame Reynold shows her his Idol. *sprays Raid on TV*

And so, after some hustling and bustling, Dame Reynold fetches the Idol out of his skinny jeans and shoves it into his purse. Seeing Calgon sitting alone on the edge of the shelter, he sidles up next to her and flashes her the Idol. She looks at it and nods, "OK." Dame Reynold then whispers to her from behind the hand-painted fan he brought for such occasions that if she doesn't follow through with her promise, then he'll go home tonight. He hopes he can trust her and that she won't screw him. At that moment, somewhere in Calgon's mind, a switch flipped and instead of hearing, "If you don't follow through, then I go home tonight" she heard, "Do what I say bitch or I'll f*ck your shit up! I'll pull your nose through your ass and make your life a living hell. Mwahahaha!!!! MEN!!!" When the hallucinations and dementia begins, I think euthanasia is a reasonable course of action. Just saying.

After getting a stern warning from Dame Reynold that Mascaroni is dangerous and can't be trusted, Theddie quickly seeks out Mascaroni for reassurance. He tells her that Golden Boy thinks the Favorites are splitting the votes tonight and he wants to hear from her whether or not it's true. Mascaroni, dummy, replies, "I don't know. Maybe." All she had to say was yes! Idiot. Anyhow, she flubs and wavers and chews her tongue which only increases Theddie's suspicions that Dame Reynold might be right about Mascaroni after all. Theddie continues to push Mascaroni for a straight answer as to whether or not her alliance is splitting votes between him and the Dame and Mascaroni continues to not give him a straight answer. Yo Theddie *smacks him on the head* that's your clue not to trust her! If you ask her a question and she can't/won't give you an answer, then she is someone you cannot trust. Duh.

While Mascaroni pleads with Theddie to just trust her, Theddie blurts out that Dame Reynold could play an Idol tonight. Well, this piques Mascaroni's interest and thus begins the exhausting conversation between these two dimwits:
"Dame Reynold might play histh Idol and then I'll go home."
"Does he have an Idol?"
"I don't know. Sthomeone doesth."
"Does he have the Idol?"
"I didn't sthay that."
"You said he had an Idol. Does he have it?"
"Sthe sthellsth stheasthellsth down the stheastchore."
"I like you."
"Does he have the Idol?"
"Sthomeone sthaid sthomething about voting you out tonight."
"Me? Why me?!?"
*Mascaroni runs away and cries*

Of course this sends Mascaroni into a tizzy of tears and snot. She runs hither and thither grabbing everyone she can and telling them that they should just vote out Gay tonight because she could go home if they take the risk of getting rid of Golden Boy. Phillip poo-poo's her idea and wants to stick with Golden Boy. Cochran scoffs at the ridiculous suggestion and now thinks less of the girl. And then there's Calgon. Calgon bursts into tears and screams, "All the work I've done today will be for nothing. Nothing! This is the only chance to get rid of Golden Boy. The three boys don't have Immunity and there's an Idol. If we don't do it now, then when? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHEN?!! HE SHOWED ME HIS IDOL AND EVERYTHING. ALL OF THAT WILL BE WASTED. WASTED!!! GAH!!!!! The voices, the voices... make them stop." *dials Dr. Whatever in Utah* Hello Doctor, my name is Colette Lala. Kindly up the dosage on the Calgon's Klonopin. And might I suggest Haldol? You know, a Thorazine drip now and again never hurt anyone either. If that doesn't work, we might have to resort to an exorcism. I've got a guy. His name is Pretty Pony and he is extremely devout.

And this brings us to Tribal Council. A little heads up... everyone go grab yourself some spirits, some batteries and whatever else you need to get your groove on (handcuffs, clamps, glitter, ice, wax). We're getting dir-tay tonight. Oh yeah!

With the darkness cloaking us in mystery and wantonness, Dimples begins by asking Gay how he felt about a Favorite going home last week instead of a Fan. Gay passes some dim sum around to everyone and crosses his legs, "Well, you know Dimples, I thought to myself, 'This is good. The Favorites are beginning to see each other as threats.' Soy? You must try the dumpling with soy. It's a taste explosion!" Quite frankly, I have no idea what Gay ever says. I'd rather he simply throw dinner parties and experiment with Asian cuisine than talk game. He's a bore. *yawn*

Then, out of nowhere, a long bony finger enters into frame and yanks a hair out of Mascaroni's head. "Bug," Erik whispers. And then he turned the hair into a dreamcatcher. I don't think there was a bug there at all! Erik is quite the craftsman. The dreamcatcher is not only lovely, but intricate.

Moving on, we get another episode of The Phillip Sheppard Show. *switches channel* I mean, we talk to Freebush to see what she thinks about the sugar content in soda and the rising prices of mayonnaise. Well, I'll tell you what she thinks. She doesn't think much of it and she also doesn't think much of those scrappy thieving kids that work for her. As far as those hooligans here at camp who wrote her name down once before, they will get their comeuppance one day... "Payback is a bitch."

Dimples asks Theddie if it bothers him that Freebush has switched sides. Theddie, in a most impressive manner if I do say so myself, shrugs his shoulders and says, "I'm not really worried about it. I'd rather play my own game than be sthomebody elsthes puppet." Bravo, Theddie. Good on you, my lad! More of that and less flirting with the girls and I could learn to like you.

Dimples continues the same line of questioning with Dame Reynold. Only, this time, he mentions the Idol and he mentions it in a way that gets Golden Boy's attention. Watching Tribal Council over the past 87 seasons at home I have learned that if you pay close attention to Dimples and the questions he asks, he's pretty much telling you everything you need to know about the ins and outs of the inner workings of the tribe. Sitting there in the thick of it with the fire and the cameras all around you, it is probably difficult to pick up on so I don't really hold it against any of the players... until now. Until I saw my Golden Boy with his eyes flitting back and forth between Dimples and anyone Dimples addressed. There was a laser like focus and intensity with which he was able to unravel Dimples' code. Or maybe the firelight was just making him look really cute. Who knows! *throws hands in the air*

Mascaroni then says that this is the time of the game when players low on the totem pole begin to considering flipping. Phillip interjects that anyone who flips right now will have made an error in judgment and they will be the next to leave the game. As expected, Golden Boy begins to look a little squeamish and you can tell his inner monologue goes something like... What do I do? What do I do? Do I play the Idol? Are they talking about me or the Dame? I wonder what Colette Lala looks like naked. If I play my Idol, then the Dame will never trust me again. Phillip is a psycho. How's my hair? All of these are extremely natural thoughts to have at this juncture of the game. This is a big moment right here so what are you gonna do, Golden Boy?

If anybody has the Hidden Immunity Idol and you want to play it, now would be the time to do so.
*Dame Reynold squirms and then rises out of his seat*
"Hold up, man."
*everyone's head snaps towards Golden Boy*
"They all voted for me. You can tell. Give it to me. We're in good shape."

At home, I ran to the fridge and got two bowls of glitter for the coffee table. I then leapt on the couch and begin to chew my nails. The anxiety... the waiting... the suspense. Oh god, it's delicious! The music began to thump as everyone everywhere, from Winslow to Omaha to our nation's capital, leaned a little closer to their television sets and held their breaths as they waited to see what Dame Reynold would do.


Did he... is he... did that... OH MY GOD. *dunk dunk*

And that, my friends, is the story of how Dame Reynold gave his Hidden Immunity Idol to a guy who already had an Immunity Idol in his pocket. And not only did he give Golden Boy his Immunity Idol, but it turns out that Smurfs R Crap didn't vote for Golden Boy after all. In fact, they voted for Gay which makes Gay the 10th person voted out of Survivor Caramoan. Golden Boy may have some explaining to do tomorrow, but tonight... tonight he is such a bad ass!

So, what did you guys think of last night's episode? Will the Dame trust Golden Boy in the morning? Does Mowgli have gills on the back of her neck? Was that the sexiest Survivor move to date? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!

And if you haven't already, please like the XI COCKTAILS Facebook page and tell them Colette Lala sent you. There's a bottle with Shakira and Golden Boy's names on it at stake and I NEED THAT BOTTLE. Thanks, bitches!