Monday, March 2, 2009

Could have been a contender

I've always felt grateful to be a Canadian. I've never understood the inferiority complex some people seem to have regarding our neighbours to the south. I mean, come on, we've got a lot to celebrate here: Access to healthcare, education, and all the snow you can eat.

However, there is one thing that makes me wish, just a little, that I was proud to be an American instead.

Sure we've got Timbits galore, but they've got the opportunity to compete in the worldwide travelling adventure that is The Amazing Race.

For the uninitiated, the Amazing Race is a TV game show where teams race around the world, competing various tasks related to the region they're in, kind of like a giant scavenger hunt. It is also the best thing ever.

Despite the fact that I can't really, you know, run, I am wholeheartedly convinced that given the chance and the right partner, I would totally dominate the race. I'm a good traveler, for one thing, and I'm decent at problem solving. I'm competitive but I'd like to think I'm also quite patient.

Family and friends disagree.

"See! Don't you think we could totally win that?" I once questioned my boyfriend after a particularly exhilarating episode, which I may or may not have narrated by saying "I could do that! I could totally do that!" every three minutes.
"Are you kidding? You'd power-walk everywhere and volunteer to do EVERY task." was his doubting Thomas reply. (For the record, he walks extremely slowly, despite having legs twice as long as mine -and really, why wouldn't you walk quickly during a RACE?).

He then went on to paint a picture of what that might look like if we were asked which one of us wanted to complete a sword-fighting task, for example. According to him, I'd have grabbed a sword (possibly by the wrong end) and scampered madly off before he could say, "but, but I'm trained in stage combat!"

Admittedly, that sounds about right.

To be clear, for the most part I try to avoid "reality" television, but something about the televised race around the world inspires me to set up the rabbit ears once a week and watch the grainy picture that comes up, commercials and all.

It's partly because I love to travel and learn about different cultures, but it's also because unlike the plethora of shows that exist solely to showcase the worst of human behaviour as entertainment, the race doesn't make me feel like I probably became a slightly worse human being just by watching.

It's fascinating to see how people adapt to new situations and handle the stresses of travelling, It's certainly entertaining, But to me, the best part is watching people's eyes open to both the wonder and the tragedy that the world is host to when they wander outside the comforts of home.

So, if anyone has a brilliant plan to open the race up to Canadians, let me know. The position of my Amazing Race partner is also clearly still open.


Anonymous said...

You have no idea how many times I've thought about this! I had to stop watching it. I speak a few languages, so I'm always yelling at the tv in the language they SHOULD be speaking.. idiots.. Can I apply to be your partner? I don't run either. ;-)

Sarah said...

Yes! Like when they're saying "Gracias" to cab drivers in Finland!
You can certainly apply to be my partner. I'm sure we would walk swiftly into first place in no time!

sarahbelledotcom said...

Ah! I'm soo with you.
There NEEDS to be a Canadian version. Like, asap.
I'd totally be your partner - power walking right alongside you, haha ;)

Mari said...

Sarah, I would totally be your partner on Amazing Race if I weren't almost twice your age and currently crippled. I love that show! I had no idea you had to be an american to compete. Are you sure? If so, I apologize for my country once again, and would like to blame it on George Bush.
I had to look up "Timbits", and they were unappetizingly described as "doughnut balls". I think I like "Timbits" better!

just me said...

I am really interested in the amazing race for the first 7 minutes...then things tend to go downhill in the attention department.

Apparently I like my reality TV full of drunk skanks and assholes.

Anonymous said...

My brother and I applied. We even had an "angle". We were going to be the Mormon siblings from Utah. We made it to LA to audition and that was it. So lame. I would have dominated.

Anonymous said...

Also, I have an award awaiting you at my blog because I think your fun!

Sarah said...

Sarahbelle: Agreed. I mean, come on, half the time the contestants end up in Canada as part of the race!

Mari: I'm on board with blaming it on G.W. and "doughnut balls"? I laughed out loud and spat tea at my computer screen.

Just me: Maybe you just need picture in picture so you can play Rock of Love or something at the same time.

JPP: That would have been, dare I say, amazing! My brother and I were also convinced we could take home the million, given the chance, until our mom pointed out that neither one of us would be motivated enough to actually get out of bed on time. Thanks for the award!

bard said...

I've never understood the inferiority complex that some Canadians seem to have about the U.S. either. Well, except for that Amazing Race thing. In your face, Bacon-Eater!

Canada is a fantastic country. My family spent a lot of time traveling there when I was younger, and I loved it. My dad's side of the family was Canadian (originally from Ireland), and I even looked into getting a dual citizenship at one point. Sadly, my connection was one generation too far removed to qualify.

You could always start an online petition to get Canada into the fray. And if nothing else, I bet there is an Amazing Race video game out there somewhere.

Of course, you probably won't be able to select the Canadian flag for your 'toon.


Sarah said...

Bard: Ha! I don't think I've ever been referred to as a "bacon-eater" before, but maybe that's just because I'm a vegetarian.
Not going to lie, I did buy the Amazing Race DVD game.

bard said...

You know, I just had a feeling I was going to commit some kind of dietary faux pas with that one. The first thing that came to mind was Canadian Bacon, so I just freestyled with it.

Next time I'll stick with Canuck.

So is the game any good?