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Friday, October 23, 2009
So Long, Soupy!

Soupy Sales is dead at 83.

For those who don't remember his wacky noontime show, it's impossible to explain. It was obviously the inspiration for the Pee Wee Herman show. About all I can remember is the couple inside the cast-iron stove; one of the signature lines was "Cool it, Reba," aimed at the wife. And of course, the Mouse:

Later that year he invented a dance called "The Mouse," a loony version of the Twist in which Sales bared his upper teeth, raised his hands to his ears and wiggled his fingers while chewing in time to the music. He performed it several times on "The Ed Sullivan Show," where he met dancer Trudy Carson. They were married in 1980.

They miss the real trick of the Mouse, which was that Soupy would skip left and right as he sang the song, and sometimes he would skip twice in one direction, which us kids tried hard to do and mostly failed.

You can see him doing it starting about 1:40 in.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009
The Amazing Race, Episode 4

I missed the beginning of last week's episode and while I found it interesting I couldn't get a handle on a post. I was certainly sorry to seem Team Asperger's get Philiminated for the loss of a passport; about the only gag I can come up with is that they say you're never alone with a schizophrenic, and you're never together with an Asperger's.

Teams are told to head to the Persian Gulf, to find the world's tallest building. Of course, that immediately said Dubai to me, but one team (hilariously) tries to find the country called the Persian Gulf. There's some bits about how some teams stop at the local internet cafe and others go straight to the airport, but for once there's no difference; all teams end up on the same flight.

That's the one there. Of course, everybody (including me), is thinking some dramatic hang-glide or rappel down the face of the building, but instead the teams just go back down the elevators. Cool scenery, but WTF? One team decides to go for the fast forward, on the idea that if all of them go for it, they'll fall behind the guys waiting below for the next elevator. And when they get to the bottom, they try to pretend that the challenge above is really intense. Obvious problem; all the teams went up and came down less than 15 minutes later.

The Blonde Beachers go to the Fast Forward, where the task is to drive a Formula One car on a 50 seconds or less lap. Beach Boy does it the first time, removing much of the drama from the episode especially when it is revealed they will be driven to the pit stop in a Maserati.

The other teams all race back to the garage, where cars are waiting. Except the Obnoxious Lawyer and his girlfriend can't find the right place, so they spend a lot of time running around the garage. They go out into the desert, where the roadblock requires one of them to search in the desert for vases filled with water, and fill up their water pouches.

The Interracial Couple decide that the guy should do it, because, as they point out, chocolate melts in the sun. Of course in my case I would say that I should do it as wandering around in ridiculously hot sun is nothing new to me. They all have some trouble finding vases that actually contain water. On the way to this challenge, the Obnoxious Lawyer ignores his girlfriend three times when she tells him not to get off at an exit; this means they're the last to arrive at this challenge.

There's a whole lot of talking about karma in this part of the episode and later. When the White Chocolate finds a vase filled with water, he fills his water pouch, then quietly clues in two of the other teams while heading back.

Next up: Ski Dubai, a four-story skiing center in the middle of the desert. Teams must choose between building a snowman or digging through a pile of snow to find a small (looks to be about 4 inches high) snowman. Initially all the teams choose to dig (and I probably would have too), but aside from the Interracial Couple and the Harlem Globetrotters nobody finds one. So they go for build and despite having to create their snowman in the heat of the sun, nobody has much trouble. So when the Obnoxious Lawyer and his wife get lost again (!) but eventually show up and choose to build, they're pretty much hosed; you can only pick up time in something more random. Sure enough they are the last team to the mat and Phil-liminated.

Team To Beat: Blonde Beachers look pretty good so far
Watch Out For: Harlem Globetrotters
Designated Villains: See next week's episode




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