Thursday, April 05, 2007

Amazing Race for Parents

So...I admit it. There is a reality show that I like. I never got into the whole Survivor thing, and I hate all of the others. But on Sunday evenings I faithfully sit down and watch The Amazing Race. There are people on that show who are like me. There are teams that I like. There are teams that I can't stand.

Unfortunately, this season has been, well, disappointing. The roadblocks and tasks are way, way too easy. Take Sunday's of the roadblocks was to:
a) make 3" links of Polish kielbassa, then
b) eat 24" of kielbassa.

C'mon. I could do that in a heartbeat. With a bun. And sauerkraut. And onions. Maybe some mustard, too. And they drank water. Feh. Water is for wimps. Beer is the beverage of choice with kielbassa. Clearly the racers weren't from Western Pennsylvania.

So in the face of this lameness, Dave and I have come up with our own Amazing Race tasks that will challenge even the most competitive racer. We've compiled the required mix of driving tasks and roadblocks and detours for a really exciting day of racing.

1. By 6:40 AM you must get two teenagers out of bed and out the door to the school bus stop, with lunches in hand. (Unhealthy and/or unappetizing lunches will incur a penalty at the end of the race because you'll have to stop competing to listen your children complain...loudly). If you are late or if the bus is early, your children will miss it and you must drive them to school, but you must wait at least 30 minutes in the car because if you leave right away they will arrive at school faster than the bus and it's not cool to arrive at school too early.

2. Your team's next task is to work a 9 hour day. Except that one of you will work from 9AM until 3PM. Oops. That's not nine hours. So that team member must work twice as hard and if he/she had to make the missed-school-bus-trip, he/she must skip lunch.

3. For your afternoon Roadblock, one member of your team must get into your car and try to locate your children. (and if she had to skip lunch she'll be extra cranky) The best method here is just to start driving. Never assume that they will be where they told you they would be. If you thought they'd be in one place together...think again. Nor should you assume that they will be ready when they told you they would be ready. If you are early, they are going to be late. And if you are late, they will most assuredly be early. Be sure you keep your cell phone charged and ready. But don't call them because they will not pick up their phones. Instead, wait for their call, which will begin with "MOM! Where aaarrre you???"

4. Once of your children are loaded in the car, you will find that a few more children have plunked their hineys down in the car, too. The best racers will take off quickly before too many children who are not related to you squeeze their way in with a quick and oh-so-innocent smile. (Don't they realize that this is a RACE??) Drive everyone to their respective homes to complete the Roadblock.

5. By this time of the day, you and your racing partner team up again to complete a Detour. First you must place a series of phone calls where you ascertain who stopping at the store to pick up any of the following items in any combination: Milk, bread, pop, lunchmeat, dog food, and occasionally tampons. Oh...and don't forget to pick up dinner.

6. Now you and your partner must decide on the evening activity plan: Who is taking whom where and who will bring them home. Score a Fast Forward if you actually convince someone else to give your child or children a ride home. Lose minutes if you have to wait at the activity, and lose even more minutes if you get roped into some kind of volunteer work while you are there. (Hint: Slump down in your car so noone can see you. If you see someone approach, open your mouth and snore loudly.)

7. Once you have returned to your home destination, you will find the evening Detour. Before settling into an easy chair for an evening of entertainment, your team must completely program one Universal remote to work all of the electronic equipment in the family room. This includes televisions, DVD players, stereo receivers, VCR players, and various game systems. One team member will repeatedly consult the manual, while the other will just begin pushing buttons at random. And all the while children will be whining that "It's not working!"

8. After you have finished the Detour, make you way to your bedroom. If you are the first team to arrive, maybe Phil will give you a nice bottle of wine. Or valium. If you are last to arrive, you will be eliminated. Hmm. That may not always be a bad thing. But anyway...that's Day 1.


  1. Lee, You've had me laughing out loud! Very, very funny. On your race, I suspect there are no 12 hour mandatory rest periods, either.

    I too love the Amazing Race. The whining about the kielbasa was too much. What, would they have rather eaten bugs?

  2. VERY creative Lee! Thanks for my morning wake up laugh!

  3. The kielbasa is big in eastern PA too. Hubby is Polish American from the Philly area. Try to find him real kielbasa in the midwest - most have never heard of it.


    PS I'm glad my kids are just beyond that teen-age stage.