Here’s a race we can still comment on

Orlando Sentinel , FL
July 9 2004

Here’s a race we can still comment on

We’ll do Big Brother-Amazing Race updates every week (except for the
weeks we don’t do them), and we’ll try to keep them short because we
know all of you don’t watch the TV.

The reality shows, beacons in the vast wasteland of summer, both
began Tuesday night on CBS, introducing the players, two of whom
we’ve already bid bye-bye to on The Amazing Race (David Duchovny
lookalike Dennis and Erika).

I’m in an office pool for TAR, and I have Charla and Mirna, two wild
and crazy cousins (though not identical cousins). They came in fifth
out of 11 teams Tuesday. Charla is famous for being the first
little-person contestant on TAR. Each woman is 27 and of Armenian
descent. Charla manages/co-owns sportswear stores in the Phoenix
area; Mirna is a lawyer in Maryland.

So already I can’t stand Marsha, who shunned Charla and Mirna when
they pitched a cooperation suggestion. Marsha, a law student at UF,
is in the game with her military man dad Jim. They came in 10th out
of 11. Let’s hope they stay in 10th.

Charla and Mirna talked one other time about how no one was helping
them, and it reminded me of a tour group I was part of in Italy years
ago and how others in the group were very rude to this one couple. It
was like being back in freakin’ high school. I reckon you just got to
accept that some people are creeps and there’s no changing them.
Anyhow, a couple of weeks after I got home from Italy, I received the
loveliest note from Nancy, the wife of the couple: “It’s someone like
you and [names of a few others on the trip] who helped make our trip
memorable. We enjoyed the laughs and good conversations.” I kept the
note because it was so unexpected and so sweet. You never know when
simple kindness will reap rewards, you know.

Also creepy on Amazing Race: brothers Lance and Marshall, pizza shop
owners from Dallas, and the Christian pair wearing their religion on
their sleeves (we’re sure God has favorites in this race and is
looking out for them only).

On Big Brother, I already picked a favorite, Jennifer, because she’s
not your generic bimbo (although she does prefer to be called
Nokomis!). On the show site, she says she is “artistic, stubborn and
odd,” which is good enough for me. There are already guys I can’t
stand, the so-called Alpha males, Scott with his stupid soul patch
and dumb-jock mentality and Jase (gag on that name alone!). They both
wear fancy headbands. There’s also a goober with really, really bad

TAR is the best show on TV, at least this summer: travelogue (most of
Tuesday’s show in Uruguay, of all places), competition, lessons in
human nature.