I’ve just made reservations to fly to Tampa to see the old ladies, my mother and grandmother, for Thanksgiving again. I’ve done this every year since my father died and it’s sort of become a tradition. A tradition I never planned to get into but my mother always starts to pressure me about going to visit her around October. This year was no different even though I had just spent a week there last month.
Something else that has also somehow turned into a tradition will be the scorn that my mother will show me when after watching Jeopardy on television, that’s what we do every weekday evening; she will ask me why I never audition to go on the show. She thinks that because I know the difference between Beethoven and Bismarck and the occupations they chose in life, I must be a genius who is just wasting his time by not enriching himself on syndicated TV.
Try as much as I can to convince her that 9 times out of 10, the questions that would be asked on the show would not be the ones I would be able to answer under the lights, cameras and pressure of facing the host and other competitors. Plus I don’t have the type of life story that I would want whittled down to one pithy statement that will be thrown out by Alex Trebek to a TV audience while they gobble up their frozen meals and down their canned beers. But if there was a show that I would like to go on, now that I have gotten over the fact that lame ass reality shows are now a fact of TV life and won’t soon disappear, it would be The Amazing Race.
Now some people won’t get excited by travelling around the world, experiencing different cultures sights and locations in the space of one or two days. I mean how can they? There is too much to go through before moving on to the next place and task of outsmarting, out running and if necessary, out back stabbing the competition? In fact I’m not sure I would like it either except for the excitement lots of contestants must feel of feeling their hearts tighten, their lungs burst and the hopes diminish or rise as they run towards each pit stop.
If offered it would be something I could not turn away from. After all what better bliss would there be of going through the stress and tension of fighting with your loved one or partner? Strengthening or breaking your relationship as you blame each other for slowing the other one down. I know for a fact that not matter whomever I chose for a running mate, there would be such an inevitable clash of wills and bickering when I found myself not getting my way, the ratings would probably increase for the show.
There is no better TV show where you can test your own fortitude and your own core beliefs than The Amazing Race; a show that gives you the opportunity to be placed far from home and away from your comfort zones and still come out on top.
So I think this Thanksgiving in between the eating, the arguing and wondering how much more it will cost me to leave early, I shall probably secretly be telling myself, “I’ll take The Amazing Race for a thousand Alex.”