A Little Competition Among Friends

IMG_9002It started last year on a lark: Matt would be celebrating his birthday, and we needed a theme. It so happened that at the time he was watching a season (possibly Canadian) of The Amazing Race, and since I don’t watch TV, he’d gamely recap and act out the previous night’s episode for me at work the next day. He was so enthusiastic and I was so captivated that we agreed that we’d like to run an Amazing Race, and so we did.

Well, Matt did. And so did a number of our friends. But the thing about an amazing race is that it takes a lot of hard work and organization. A regular race might run itself but an amazing one needs a ringmaster. Last year’s race was so intensely competitive that it literally produced retching, bloodshed, and even – if you can believe it – rampant, desperate cheating.

This weekend we’re heading back to the cottage for a new edition: The Amazing Race: After Dark. Ten people are racing but there’s only one cup. And I’ll be the one in the middle, not just mitigating the chaos, but orchestrating it. All in good fun of course, but if you have the opportunity to make your friends breathe fire (last year’s showstopper, a scotch bonnet pepper, is THIRTY times hotter than a jalapeno), why not take it?

I said before that I don’t watch TV, but for better or worse, I do watch movies, and that brings me to the embarrassing admission that I’ve watched Rat Race more than once.81Bbai6lTeL__SL1420_

The premise: a bunch of people are randomly selected to run an absurd from race from Vegas to New Mexico that wealthy people can watch and bet on. There aren’t a lot of rules to this race but there is a $2 million cash prize at stake, so you can bet these people race hard.

Starring: John Cleese, Whoopi Goldberg, Mr. Bean, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jon Lovitz, Kathy Najimy, Seth Green, Breckin Meyer, Dave Thomas, Amy Smart, Dean Cain, Wayne Knight, Kathy Bates. Pretty much the weirdest ensemble you can imagine; no less than 3 Oscar WINNERS in this cast, where the acting mostly consists of running from one sight gag to the other, only some of them actually landing.

It makes you wonder – with $2M on the line, what would you do to get your hands on it? Or, IMG_2313what wouldn’t you do? Because my friends will sell their souls to get their names engraved on a trophy.

Have you ever run an Amazingish Race? Would you eat the scotch bonnet pepper?

 

 

 

 

31 thoughts on “A Little Competition Among Friends

  1. In My Cluttered Attic

    I can’t say that I have. But, I love watching The Amazing Race (US version), and the great locations all around the globe that the contestants get to see. I found Gumball Rally a very funny and enjoyable movie. It was based on an actual—but illegal—cross country auto race, where the contestants raced for the Gumball trophy. Very funny movie though, and the late Raul Julia was hilarious as the Italian racer. A lot of familiar faces and it starred Canadian actor, Michael Sarrazin. I also love the The Great Race and Those Magnificent Men and their Flying Machines.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      For now we play over a large wooded property across two lakeside cottages. I definitely want to plan a Race that’s city-wide at least but my friends are not usually that sober 😉

      Like

      Reply
  2. Anna (Film Grimoire)

    I would totally eat the pepper! And I would totally take part in an Amazing Race/Rat Race type of situation but there’s no way in heckerson I would be able to organise something like that, so hats off to you! 😀

    Like

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Well I wish you could get your butt over here to heckerson, we love racers like you!
      There were no hot peppers this year but there were crickets and larvae! Does that change your mind?

      Like

      Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      This year we had a road block where you could choose between eating animals and hunting animals, and the teams split down the middle. Some just couldn’t and wouldn’t eat those damn bugs (though Matt thought the spam was worse).

      Like

      Reply
  3. Khalid

    I remember seeing Rat Race on TV quite some time ago but don’t think I found i all that enjoyable.

    I couldn’t dare eat the pepper. I set my mouth on fire with two drops of Tabasco Hot Sauce.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      I’m like you – very little tolerance for heat. But when you’re the organizer, you simply get to sit back and watch your friends do their worst (and to be fair, it was an OPTION – eat the hot pepper or build a LEgo set. It’s their own damn fault they chose the pepper)

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. movierob

    I dont watch that much TV, but i’m a HUGE fan of The Amazing Race and have seen most seasons twice (at least), plus Ive seen the Australian and Israeli versions, not to mention the Canadian version too (which is in the midst of their 3rd great run)

    I’m a fan of Rat Race, but the movie it was based on was even better. Have you seen It’s a Mad Mad Mad World (1965)? It is fully packed with lots of top stars and is hilarious.

    Another version was Million Dollar Mystery that I liked when I saw it in the theater, but havent seen it in close to 30 years.

    I would definitely love to take part in any form of Amazing race, but I don’t have friends like u willing to do it 🙂

    Have fun and good luck!

    Like

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Our race is annual – maybe next year we’ll have a Bloggers edition and invite everyone up!
      I do love MMMW but have never heard of MDM.

      Like

      Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      I’m glad I’m not the only one!
      It is bad, and occasionally fun. Sometimes funny just because it’s so bad.

      And our race was indeed a night to remember – 5 epic hours, my friends are real trooperse!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      This is really not much of a distance race, it’s more like a property-wide hunt for clues that nudge you into doing challenges of all different kinds. None of us are really runners either, and most “run” this race with a beer in hand, at least.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. Everyday Adventures at Home... Hurrah!

    I don’t watch Amazing Race, though one of my brothers watches it with his whole family and they love it. I am not that into races, but sounds like you guys will have fun. It must be a lot of work to organize it!!! Good luck! …and make sure someone in the group knows first aid! 😉

    Like

    Reply
  6. ruth

    I’m not a runner so I can’t imagine doing an Amazing Race type event, though my hubby is a triathlete so I like to cheer him from the sidelines. I think that’s cool that Matt is doing this, best of luck! Oh and Rat Race is pretty funny!

    Like

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Like the show, there’s no real distance running. It’s really abuot getting to your next task and completing a challenge. On the show they tend to take taxis or planes between challenges; ours is a little more humble.

      Like

      Reply
  7. reocochran

    I liked the Rat Race and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World and although a heist movie, The Italian Job. I watch Amazing Race during commercial breaks from other shows, Jay. It does display the world and cranky paired up people, sometimes couples or parent and child. The few bits I like are when they have to utilize an animal, donkey or stubborn goat to carry something. 🙂

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s