THE AMAZING RACE
It’s gotten to the point that I cannot stop fantasizing about getting on The Amazing Race. I’ve been recapping it this season for EW.com, and, as it turns out, immersing myself in this show has been life changing. Even though I’m highly competitive in games and contests I’m also a lazehole (the worst combo ever) and this show helps me be just a little bit less of a lazehole. When I’m going through my day and things get sluggy I just tell myself But you’re on ‘The Amazing Race’ and you could win it all! and this actually helps me to look alive and step it up a bit. Sometimes when I’m getting into my car, I imagine it’s not a Jetta covered in smashed cereal bits at all, but a rickshaw — in Indonesia! — and competitors are nipping at my heels and I need to hustle. Likewise if I’m walking to CVS to pick up some paper towels or shampoo, I might pretend there is a clue box waiting for me there and I need to beat all the other teams there. This show even helps me exercise. I loathe the gym but can sometimes trick myself into working out, figuring it will get me in shape for carrying my heavy backpack when I’m possibly on The Amazing Race.
Nick is not interested in getting on the show with me, his reasoning being that I’d have to pee too often and it would just be ridiculous. I see where he’s coming from but F that. My dear, lifelong friend Carolyn does want to race with me and not only do I think she’d be a brilliant teammate because she’s so tough and competent and athletic, I’m just flattered that she thinks I’d be an asset. She visited me the other weekend in L.A. and we spent a good part of the trip discussing what we’d each bring to the table on The Amazing Race. She’s not bothered that I can’t drive stick, eat gross foods, do math, or tell what direction I’m facing. What I can do is sprint, learn choreography, say basic phrases in many languages, befriend other teams (when appropriate), mindfuck other teams (when appropriate) and be not afraid of heights. She herself can do a ton of things.
I like to study other teams’ race-wear and gear and dream about what I’d pack. That in and of itself is a fun little puzzle. It goes without saying I’d bring loads of hand sanitizer. Also a bandana that could triple as a headband/sweat-rag/glove, à la Vanessa from season 20. Obviously I’d include a headlamp that I’d wear at EVERY POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY.
My favorite team this year happens to be the one that’s the least competitive: The Beekman Boys. Every week they make my heart swell. Josh has a gentle voice and a kind face with perpetually worried eyes. And despite the fact that it’s a race around the world, he uses a rolling bag on wheels as if he’s senior citizen about to snap in half from brittle bones. His partner Brent is a gentlemanly, lovable maniac with a perfectionist streak and the face of a boy atop the body of an elf. Of course I love the Beekmans’ quippy bon mots and the way they approach the race in a leisurely manner as if they’re really just on a splendid vacation tour. But the main thing about these two is they are just so in love it slays me dead. More than any romantic comedy characters I’ve ever seen. In their mat and post-show interviews Brent doesn’t even talk to camera or the interviewer – he looks only at Josh while he speaks as if his lover’s eyes are the location of all answers and insights. Which they just may be. I’ve just finished Josh’s memoir about his time as Aquadisiac, a super-sexy, constantly wasted, quasi-celebrity drag queen, and his writing tickled and moved me so much that now that I’m done I’m completely lonely for his sweet company.