Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a reality TV junkie. Before there was Survivor, Real Housewives and So You’re an Amish Little Person and You Think You Can Dance (it isn’t a show yet, but it will be) there were documentaries. I watched those too. Remember Jacques Cousteau? I loved that dude and I don’t even like to snorkel.
When I was in my twenties, Mark Burnett (the creator of Survivor in his pre-CBS days) began airing a program on cable called The Eco Challenge. It was an adventure race that aired for a few days, once a year. It was, quite possibly, the best thing I had ever seen on TV.
I looked forward to it airing each spring. It was raw and captivating and I knew from the first moment I watched it that I wanted to be a competitor on that show. Unfortunately, Mark Burnett had other plans and discontinued The Eco Challenge when he started Survivor. Dang the bad luck.
Thankfully, another opportunity arose. There was a second-best chance for me to show my endurance, strength and fortitude. It’s been a secret I have kept for a long time.
I was once a contestant on The Amazing Race. This is my story.
My teammate was Melisa from The Suburban Scrawl. We met in blogland, she brought me candy and a sash and we realized we both had the desire to race around the world. Go figure!
People, take my advice…don’t trust someone just because they bring you Lemon Heads.
|The night before we left NYC. Sigh. I was so excited.
We started in New York and were told our first stop was Paris, France. On the flight over, as I began to study maps (because some U.S. Americans do have maps) and research the places where we might be sent, Melisa grabbed my arm and said, “You can put those things away. I speak fluent French.”
I replied, “Really? That’s great!” I couldn’t have been more confident. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
About an hour before we landed, Melisa excused herself from her seat and said, “I’m going to grab my backpack and put on my French clothes.”
I eyed her with furrowed brows. “Your what?”
“I have some French clothes. We’ll fit in better this way. Trust me.”
Heck yes, I trusted her. Until she came out of the airplane bathroom wearing this…
I stared at her. “Uh, Melisa? Why are you wearing a tutu?”
She replied? “Well, it’s either this or my beret.”
I was willing to cut her some slack. Maybe it was crazy enough to get us noticed. Maybe we would be the first to get a cab.
Or, maybe not.
We were last.
We threw our backpacks in the trunk and jumped into the back seat. In the excitement of the moment, I forgot about Melisa’s tutu and ordered the driver to take us to the Louvre where we would find our first clue. The race was on….for almost two whole miles until traffic slowed to a crawl.
I turned to Melisa. “We need to tell him to get off this highway and find another route.” Then I looked at the driver’s face in the rear-view mirror as I fumbled with my French, “Sir, autre…um…”
Melisa spoke up and said, “I’ll handle this. Sir! Au jus!”
I stared at her in disbelief. “Melisa, au jus means with juice.”
She threw her head back and laughed. “Oh, silly Momo! It does not. It means faster!” She leaned forward in her seat and said, “Haute couture!”
I whipped my head to the side and looked at her to see if there was a hint of funny business going. That didn’t appear to be the case.
She interrupted, “You! Sir! Bonsoir! Hurry up! Filet mignon!”
At this point, I whipped my head in the other direction to see if there was a way for me to escape the car and this crazy woman in a tutu. There was nowhere to run.
I went for the common sense approach instead. “Melisa, you’re not speaking French. You’re just saying French words. They don’t mean what you think they mean.”
“Oh, bidet! For the record, that means nonsense.”
“No, it doesn’t. A bidet is for washing under your crazy tutu after you use the restroom.”
“My tutu is not crazy! It’s French! Duh. Driver! Come on! Yoplait!”
She scoffed, “Faux pas.”
“That means mistake…which this obviously is. Monsieur, vous arrêtez.” I looked at Melisa one last time and said, “That means stop. I’m getting out right here. Adieu, Melisa.”
“Bon appetit, Momo.”
All of this was (not) true…well, except for the candy and the sash part. Oh, and the part about how Melisa and I want to race around the world. Though I hate flying and we both hate heights and we would probably just end up in a dive bar drinking $3.00 margaritas. She’s fantastique like that. Now go read Melisa’s post about our imaginary Amazing Race.