Years ago, when I saw a casting call for the Amazing Race, I thought about it. Travel the world? Win expensive travel packages? Race around the world for one million dollars?
Then I did something I’ve never done before:
After the tax man has cometh, one-million dollars turns into $500,000. That $500,000 has to be sliced evenly between you and your partner. Even if you carried your partner in your arms like a baby the whole time and still miraculously ended up in the winners’ circle; you’d have to split it. Otherwise, you’d be the jerk who said, “I should get 70% because I won 70% of the challenges.”
The most you can bring home is $250,000. IF you win. And then, you’d have save for your kids’ college, buy a house, retire mom, give to all the third world countries you traipsed through during your ’round the world jaunt.
That’s if you win.
Winning seems much less exciting to me. But there’s still the glorious-magnificent-earth-shattering travel right? Here’s the thing about that…
5 Reasons I’d never try out for the Amazing Race
1. I like to SEE things when I travel
I fully plan on seeing the world and writing as I go, but at my own pace. I get that the show is spliced and edited into episodes, but it moves so fast, there’s no seeing anything. If I go to Bali, I want to swim and surf without this nagging voice that says, oh yeah, it’s time to get out of this bath-like water now or I’LL BE ELIMINATED IN FRONT OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE.
2. I’m bad at sports
If the challenges involved eating 100-plus Cheetos in a sitting, or sniffing out the most infested food cart, it would be game on. But they don’t. No, the race comprises terrifying challenges only those who endorse sports drinks should do, like base jumping and freefalling.
This would happen to me. Twice.
3. I have no Interesting Backstory
Amazing Race teams fall into two categories:
Couples with gleaming teeth and tight calves or partners with an interesting backstory that can be broken down into a one-word nickname: Doctors. Pirates. Debutantes. Divorcees.
I don’t have much of a backstory. I transpose lettesr a lot but can’t say I’m dyslexic. I grew out of my scoliosis. I compulsively stockpile Cadbury mini-eggs, but that’s not a backstory.
Here are several personas* I worked out, in case I change my mind and try out:
Siamese Twins. Next time a stranger regales you with juicy tales of their gluten allergy, tell them you’re a post-op Siamese twin and watch their jaw hit the m-f-fing floor. It’s the ultimate trump card. And the show is all about teamwork and partnership so there’s guaranteed to be a lot of tears.
Hoarders. I would love to see a hoarder/Amazing Race crossover episode. Starring Andre and his frustrated partner.
Pack light. What about my 1,000 dusty hats?
They said, ‘pack light.’
Viewers will watch as the hoarder attends a mandatory counseling session at the airport and tosses his hats, one by one, while whimpering and mumbling to himself. Will he make the flight?
Shark Attack Survivor. Afraid of heights? Heights don’t have rows and rows of teeth made to tear apart your thigh. Imagine what a shark attack survivor would feel like on this show. Going to the beach, snorkeling, surfing, eating shark fin soup, swimming with sharks. Flashbacks will come in waves after every water-involved challenge. And his partner will have to coax him into the ocean. Oh the drama.
4. You don’t want to see me in travel mode. I look like hell after a drizzly day in Seattle. I don’t know how the obligatory hot-blonde teams (who we’re all sick of) get off a 12-hour flight so fresh and gorgeous. I hope one day we get to see how the pretty holds up in the wake of Montezuma’s revenge.
5. I would kill my partner. Either by accident or in a blind competitive rage.
*If you find these offensive, I feel bad for you son.