Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Springtime in the Rockies" or "Insanity at it's Best"

I think it has been well established that Mary and I are crazy,
but we confirmed it yesterday!

 Last week we had gone down to celebrate "The Boy's" birthday
and Mary mentioned that she had heard there was going to be an
Amazing Race casting call in Denver, but that she couldn't find anything 
on the official TAR (The Amazing Race) page.

We talked about what a blast it would be to do the race,
so I came home and did a search and forwarded the information to Mary.
The casting call would begin at noon on Friday.

By Wednesday we had decided to do it.
We printed out the thirteen page application, 
made copies of our passports and plotted and schemed.

Only the first 200 teams would get time with the film crew, so
we figured we should camp out the night before.  

Naturally I had an MDT scheduled for Thursday after school, 
so I knew I wouldn't be able to leave town until about 5:00.
Fortunately, we discovered that teams couldn't line up 
before 6 a.m. so that took the sense of urgency away.

I drove through a monsoon to get to Longmont.
That was an adventure in and of itself.

We spent the better part of the night comparing answers on our applications
and trying to figure out what to write on those we had left blank:

"What is your relationship?"

Hmmm .... that's a hard one to explain.
We finally went with step-mother/step-daughter.
I always wanted to be an evil step-monster.

"How has your team mate disappointed you?"
Hasn't  happened.

"What is the worst experience you have had with your team mate?"

Well, let's see.  There was the time that we all went to Mt. Rushmore.  We got up early, ate a hearty breakfast of oatmeal with raisins and set off.  Forty miles down the road "the boy" throws up all over me.  Did you know that raisins reconstitute when wet?

"How are you and your team mate different?"

She has a freakish sense of direction and can
 remember places after only being there once.
Me?  I can't find my way out of a parking lot!

"What famous person reminds you of yourself?"
Does Oscar the Grouch count?

We finally went to bed about 11:00 or 11:30 with the alarm set for 2:15.

We set off for Aurora in high spirits.
Ten minutes into the trip it began to sprinkle.

By the time we got there, it was coming down in sheets.

I know, it's hard to tell from the picture, but believe me 
when I tell you that in front of those lights was a horizontal sheet of rain.

We discovered we weren't the first to arrive.

We parked and decided to sleep for an hour.

Mall security was there to prevent early birds from lining up before the magical hour.

Oh wait, that's not the right security guard!

"Move along buddy, you can't be here yet."

At four-thirty we decided we should go to the Evil Empire
and buy another camp chair and pick up a tarp.

We went back and proceeded to wait.
Lots more vehicles had appeared while we were gone.

Dome lights were on everywhere as people completed their applications.

At a quarter till, men appeared and began erecting a canopy.
People surged to the door, only to be chased away.
An informal  line seemed to be forming in the parking lot, 
so we figured it was time we got out.

"Amy Green Coat", the CBS honcho running the show 
who just happened to be wearing a green coat,
was explaining where the line would begin and that one
 team member needed to be against the wall to be considered in line.
The she unexpectedly stepped back and yelled at everyone to line up.

Pandemonium broke out.
It was worse than Black Friday.
It reminded me of our days selling Beanie Babies.

The crowd surged forward and we raced to the sidewalk.
Mary pushed her way forward and secured a place
one out from the wall.

I stepped in beside her.

Have you ever heard baby calves separated from their calves?
That's what it sounded like.
"Mom!"  "Sue!"  "Alfred, where are you?"

Amy Green Coat explained that we needed to be in pairs
just like they were for Noah's Ark.  With all the rain, it made us wonder
about her choice of example!

Anyone three out from the building was removed to the end of the line.
We steadfastly stayed put even though we weren't officially next to the building.
There were probably 50 or 60 of us huddled together with an assortment of umbrellas.
Within minutes we were soaked to the bone and I was reminded of my
whaling experience.

Amy Green Coat went to the end of the line 
(which wrapped around two city blocks)
and directed teams to back up.

That gave Mary the space she needed to slip in.

Mannette, to the right of Mary, in this picture didn't object in the least.
Now that our place in line was secured, I was free to document the madness.

The line went from the front of the building, around 
the side and then wrapped around the back.

We were number 20 in line.
Mary and her elbows rock!

The wind got so bad and it began to snow, so Amy Green Coat 
moved our line to the side of the building because 
she was worried about hypothermia with some of us.  

It seemed much colder not being next
to the building, but it gave us room to set up our chairs and undo our tarp.

Yes, we are inside of this little cocoon.

Our view was somewhat limited of the outside world:

but we could hear all of the snippets of conversation going on around us.

A group sang Happy Birthday to Alfred.

The manager of the Chili's restaurant across the street
yelled at everyone to come over and warm up.

Somehow no one was willing to give up their place in line, 
but someone hollered back and asked if they delivered.

We had plenty of room, so we invited Mannette
to join us under the tarp.

She had broken down and gone into Sports Authority
and purchased boots, wind pants and a rain poncho.

We enjoyed visiting and determined that
we shared many interests.  She is a retired high school
teacher who is also a quilter.

We hadn't done a video and rumor had it that we needed one.
So we threw one together and Mary zoomed off to the Evil Empire
to make a DVD from my SD card.

She returned after a fashion with the news that it was
still the night crew on and we couldn't get one made.

In the meantime, Amy Green Coat had confirmed that
you didn't need one, because that was the purpose of the casting call.

From time to time we looked out and thanked our lucky stars for the tarp.

Check out the umbrella by the arrow.
There are two team members huddled together under that.

Time slowly crept by.  Mary went and found the bathroom again
and when she stood up, her ass was completely wet.

Turns out, mine was too.

My wallet and some of it's contents were soaked.

Funniest thing ... this is what umbrellas look like when they grow up!

Check out the camouflage tent!
Evidently somebody bit the big one and bought it.

About 9:00 we were rejoicing that we had made it half-way through.
We were soaked to the bone and couldn't quit shivering, 
so Mary started thinking about Starbucks and getting
something to eat and a hot drink.

Mannette produced Atkins bars 
and volunteered to go get drinks for us 
since she had waterproof clothing.

She even refused any money.
While she was gone, we decided she 
was too nice to be on the Amazing Race.

She came back with hot chocolate, hot chai, and 
banana nut muffins.

Let me tell you, the hot chocolate warmed the cockles of my heart!

We dozed and talked and dozed some more.

Our feet were absolutely frozen and we could barely move.

The upside of wet feet is that the rain/snow/hail/sleet 
washed the blood from my finger mishap off of my new boots.

Mary was sporting a fancy new hair-do.

Who needs a balloon to create static electricity?!

Finally it was announced that they were going
 to start filming early because of the extreme conditions.

We were number 17 at this time.

Mary went and got the car and pulled it around.  

We stuffed the chairs and tarp into the trunk and she 
raced back to line.

Once she got back, I left to go find the bathroom and saw these sad
little tulips.  I knew just how they felt!

Do you have any idea how hard it is to undo your pants when your 
hands are frozen and you have a bum thumb and bandaged finger?!!!

"Uh, excuse me, but would you mind undoing my pants?"

Fortunately it didn't come to that.
I got back outside just as we were moving inside.

They took us in and snaked the line around the store.

I tried to clean all the water spots off of my glasses so I
could be a bit more presentable on camera.

We finally worked our way to the registration desk
and got our chance in front of the camera.

Our filming went very well and we are guaranteed
that our application will be reviewed.

We left and the line was still snaked behind the building.

Now we wait.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!


Anonymous said...

You guys would be great. Hope you make it on the show!

Mary said...

I finally got warmed up by about noon on Saturday! 24 + hours of bone chillin' cold really is not my idea of a good time...but honestly I did have a good time...and if...WHEN..we get on the show it will be WELL worth it! Not all evil step-monsters are evil!

nicki said...

Ooooh!! I can't wait! That would be soooo exciting! I hope you guys get picked!

I feel sorry for mary though because I could only imagine what Trudy would be like if you started to lose. They'd have to string together a very long series of beeps and get a special blurring tool to hid all of the flip-offs.

Hmmm. We might have to buy a tv.

Anonymous said...

too funny nicki!

I don't believe Onstar is used either.