What If My Parachute Doesn't Open?
The Amazing Race 3: Episode 1

It's a plane! Freaking hell, what happened to the editor of this show? Scenes cut in and out like the ballet of the coked-up, and I have a big headache trying to follow the things that happen in this episode. Memo to Jerry Bonghammer - stop hiring chimpanzees to edit your episodes, even if they come cheap, thank you.

Anyway, The Amazing Race is always a cracker of a show, as it is more of a race than an actual reality show. Last season dwindled into a painful end, because the last two teams, the Tarable-Wail and the Box-ton Bulldogs, are two of the dullest and most irritating teams to ever grace the admittedly short history of this TV series, and I can't be arsed as to who won, unless Satan cracked open the ground and swallowed the two loser teams up.

Anyway, this new season kicks off with a badly-edited but still adrenaline-pumpin' eppie, and Philo Koughie seems to have gotten buffed up, if those body-hugging khaki shirts he's sporting is anything to go by. Maybe next season he'll unveil his facial tucks and nips, because Philo, your face is looking tad too weather-beaten to be pretty. Yeah, you're still hot though, though not as hot as Anderson Cooper.

The race begins in the Everglades near Miami. Twelve teams come in on some big jet-ski thingies, and my, they all look like they are determined to suck all life from the TV screen. Some look promising, some look as if they couldn't be more toolish if they were born screwdrivers.

Team Twincest - two pretty male model twins. I've seen them naked before, in a Herb Ritts photoshoot where they are hugging so tightly and gazing into each other's eyes longingly. Oh, naughty, naughty. Their butts could use a bit more definition though - maybe you guys can put that in your work-out program. I'll be happy to help. Still, they look like Sebastian Spence when you put my hunky dream guy's chin on a giant monkeywrench and pull until you have the face longer by a few inches or so. In this episode, they don't show their butts, take off their shirts, or indulge in brotherly sex though. I don't know whether to be relieved or disappointed.

Team Crack Whores. Am I too cruel? Because these two gruesome Harvard law graduates are just that - with their too-thick gold eyeliners and cheap, sleazy attitudes to match, it doesn't help that both look like what happens when Alicia Silverstone and Uma Thurman got on a heroin diet after being passed around the entire US military guys. Girls, you look so shopworn, it breaks my heart.

Team MIA. A cop and a fireman. You don't want them covering your back, as their actions will soon show.

Team Dad and Nelly - conservative daddy and your everyday nelly boy. Because on TV, you ain't gay unless you speak in high soprano.

Team Pug Nose - two soccer moms with the most... impressive... noses ever.

Team Rhino - the snotty, annoying brother and the sister who is just waiting to snap.

Team Tool - Fooz and Fonzy, the tough babe and the tool, irritating duh dude, a Kevin Smith caricature made life. Hate them.

Twin Tubby Sibs - two tubby funny brothers, one a lib, one a conservative, both hilarious and currently my favorites. Kevin and Drew Part II.

Team Token Oldies - married for 22 years. Yawn.

Three nondescript dating couples (Teams Long Distance, Friends, and Why Must I Keep Saying That 911 Brought Us Together - Don't I Know How Irritating I Come Off As?). The last one consists of John Vito and his dumb girlfriend. John Vito. Good grief.

As usual, Phil announces "The world is waiting for ye! Go!" and I cheer as the guys and gals run for their bags some distance away. Inside those bags are their first clue. Twincest #1 reaches his bag first, rips open the clues with his Gym-Honed Oiled Biceps of Power, and together with his sweetheart, Twincest #2, they read out the clue: go to the airport, grab a plane to Mexico City, where the next clue awaits near the statue of the Angel of Independence. Twincest is leading - "Go!" my hubby shrieks, not caring who is leading but he just wants to cheer for the heck of cheering. "Go!" I cheer.

Twin Rhino. The brother is already being very condescending towards the sister, who is driving them to the airport, and I can see how her face resembles a vengeful kraken's when he's not looking. I can't wait for the fraticide to begin.

John Vito's girl brings up 911 again. Please shut up. You're not the widow Beamer, and no one's gonna trademark "My brother died in Sept 11 and now I'm dating his best friend" for you. Can we just move on with the game? Thank you.

Team MIA ignores the red traffic light. And one of them's a cop! They're from LA. Color me unsurprised.

Team Tool and Team Crack Whore pretend to be racing each other. They don't crash into each other and create a glorious bonfire. I will never live down the disappointment.

Team Token tells me how they just want to win, they're not weak just because they're actually tough and strong and smart too. Or rather, it's Pa Token who is talking, and Ma Token chimes in wonderfully, reminding him that it's been a while since he actually did some heavy duty action stuff like TAR. At least, I hope she's talking about TAR, because if not, then it will be TMI, and I don't want more TMI. Twincest has already covered the TMI territory, thanks.

(Can you imagine a TAR show with the Brewer twins, this Twincest team, and the Hall twins? We can call it The Amazing Twin Brothers Who Pose Naked And Too Close And Too-Touchy Feely Race. Anyone wants to watch that one? We can make them all race naked. Or at least in some skimpies - I understand naked guys running and all those bouncing dangly bits aren't really nice to look at.)

Where am I again?

At the airport, there are two planes going to New Mexico. American Airlines leaves earlier, but there are only enough seats for seven teams. Five teams will have to take the Aeromexico line, which leaves 50 minutes later. TAR3 is sponsored by the American Airlines, and remember people, we at American Airlines get you there faster than some cheap third world Mexicano shitey airlines. Team MIA cuts lines to get a seat at the AA plane. A cop and a fireman, running the traffic lights and cutting queues and justifying their actions as "quick thinking". TAR is also sponsored by the American Are Scums Propaganda Department, and remember, never trust a fireman and a cop from America. Or least from LA, America. They cut one Dating Team, who mutters behind MIA's back, "What goes around comes around."

Everyone is keeping to themselves and not hesitating to stab everybody else. I love this game!

The Tubby Sibs, Token, Rhino, Dad and Nelly, and two dating couples have to settle for third world cheap-cheap plane. Sad.

The Crack Whores ask men for money, and yes, it looks just like what you are thinking. They are so proud about it, I feel my female bits shrivel in shame just looking at those two dumb hussies.

Nelly from team Dad and Nelly looks awful, by the way. Anyone notices that he and the Dollanganger Twins from Team Twincest speak exactly in that same pitch and all? Alright, who said "menage"? You are so paying for my heart attack.

Mexico City. Philo makes an appearance again, and the camera gives a close look at the warfield ditches on his face. It looks like the entire earthworm population of the Northern hemisphere has moved to Philo's face. You're still cool though, Philo, though Anderson Cooper will always be cooler.

Everybody dashes for cabs. Team Pugnose looks lost. It's the foreshadowing of how they will play this game. The guy from Team Tool is like a walking Kevin Smith caricature, and gawd, will he shut up already in his I-got-holes-all-over-my-brain slur-speech talk? His girlie drops one or two bleeped expletives, and I really hate those two.

All teams are speaking in various degrees of bad Spanglish to their cab drivers. Dad and Nelly are acting like fools, and their cab driver looks as if he wish he can drive them up to some godforsaken desert, beat the crap out of them, and run them over with his cab several times. I can't blame him. What's with all that jibbering and giggling?

Dating Couple Team Long Distance is first. They find the second clue: go look for Pablo, the guy in the photo they pull from the envelope. Teams scatter, Pablo is a guy sitting in some open plaza downtown, and smart teams find him by identifying the building behind Pablo in the photo. Since all the teams do that, including Tool and Crack Whores, I'd rather believe that the cameramen tipped them off instead.

"Winning is fun!" Ma Token squeals.

No comment.

Pablo tells them to go to the Mexi-Mini Charter at the Hotel de Cortes. There, there are three buses leaving in two hour intervals apart, and one bus can only take four teams. The first bus will leave tomorrow.

"We're staying in a hotel! Let's have wild hot monkey sex in the five star bed, brother!" Twincest #1 shouts.

No, I made that up. Really.

Morning. The first bus carries Tool, Friends, John Vito, and Long Distance. It's the bus from hell. Bus two leaves two hours later carrying Dad and Nelly, Crack Whores, and Token. If the Tokens are really the rightwing types that they seem to be, they really must think they are on the bus to hell. Twincest, who lost their cab driver earlier and came in last - not because they were so involved in exploring the glory holes in the men's room like some malicious rumor mongers are whispering - and have to share a bus with Pug Nose, Tubby Sibs, and Rhino.

The buses take them to a road block. A road block is where you choose a task out of two, each task creatively given a descriptive one word title. In this case, it's "Wings" versus "Wheels". I tell you, it inspires me, such creative eloquence. If you choose "wings", you go skydiving from 10,000 feet up in the sky, right down to your next clue. If you choose "wheels", you have to take a donkey and travel slowly to the clue. What will it be?

The stupid donkeys, naturally, choose the donkeys. The smart ones choose to fly, and in this case, Tool, Friends, and John Vito choose to fly. The cameramen must have told them again. All the teams in the last bus chose to fly, since they are in danger of being last and hence eliminated from the race. All the teams in the second bus chose Donkeys, until the Crack Whore's cart breaks and they fall face down in what will surely be one of TV's Finest Hours Ever. Then they run back to take the skydiving, upon which Uma Thurman On Crack bursts into tears as if the narcs have busted her heroin stash. Seriously, she is weeping as if she is contemplating which kidney she is going to have to sell to the black markets. Then when she's done, she's laughing and wailing about how she has overcome her greatest fear. Kids, don't do drugs.

Meanwhile, Tubby Sibs and Twincest decide to go for the fast forward. The fast forward is a shortcut that will allow the team to head straight for the finishing line for this leg of the race (the "pit stop"), but each team can only use a fast forward once in a race. So who will win? The handsome, muscular, permanently and artfully stubbled Twincests or the funny, bumbling Tubbies? "Tubbies!" we Giggles say.

And Tubbies win, more by luck actually, as they and Twincest have to dash around the plaza looking for one particular typist among the many setting up stalls there. But the Tubbies gloating about Twincest is a bit off-putting, since the Twincest are pretty cordial and even gracious about their defeat. Maybe we'll see a hook-up soon. If Twincest and Crack Whores hook up, I'll gouge both my eyes out first. It'll be worst than that Bilbo Boston and Tara-Caliban coupling in the last season.

The final pit stop is a grand mansion, some Hacienda. All teams dash like crazy, except for Tubby Sibs, since they have the Fast Forward. They are the first.

Tool is second. Eeuw.

Friends third. I'm okay with that.

Long Distance fourth. I'm still indifferent to them.

John Vito fifth. They look like trailer trash commandos in their outfits.

Crack Whores next. Nooooooo!

Team MIA is seven. They'll probably take hostages in the next episode.

Dad and Nelly eighth. Dad is too aloof to give his son a big hug.

Team Token is next. A memorable scene sees them struggling with the donkey, the wife pulling the cart like the subservient wifey she is while the husband sits on the cart like an overlord. "Come on donkey," Ma Token pleads with the donkey (the real donkey), and Pa Token says wryly, "I think he's a jackass". He should know.

Twincest, Pug Nose, and Rhino struggle not to be the last. Rhino tries to do an Ugly American On The Road, but a valiant Mexican civil servant thwarts him. Yay! This allows Twincest to breeze by, but they too are soon hopeless lost. Pug Nose tries to follow one of them, and end up lost as well. Crafty Bonghammer has his men toy with these teams' vehicles, no doubt, because both Pug Nose and Rhino see their vehicles stall and break down. In the end, all three teams beg some local to show the way. Pug Nose's local is the most directionally challenged, and they came in last.

Rhino was tenth. They never hug, but damn, they are so happy, I have to smile along. I think they're alright, you know.

Twincest is the last, not counting Pug Nose. "Oh yeah!" they cry in relief after learning that they are still in the race, before tossing off all their clothes and proceeding to reenact Deep Hot Plumbing in front of a shocked Philo. Yes, I made the plumbing thing up. How come these guys claim to have packed all sorts of toiletries in their CBS bio, but they still can't shave? Someone's being pretentious twats, no? Still, they do look pretty good in a yuppified incestuous twin gym rat fratboy brothers kinda good. I hope Bonghammer has a swimsuit road block scheduled soon.

Pug Nose deliver a weepy speech about how they being soccer moms have done something in this race that they never did before. Yeah, yeah, sour grapes, cynical old me say, but I am touched despite myself. The Pug Nose Team isn't too bad, even if they tend to be lost or dazed most of the time. Good luck, Pug Nose, and see ya.

Now, let's see what next week will bring. It's just the first episode, and while I'm not so warmed up as to this season's rather uninteresting cast, I'm looking forward to more. Twincest, Crack Whores, Dad and Nelly - whoa, lots of snark potential here. It may just be an amazing race after all.

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