'The Amazing Race' recap: Episode 2, cattle auction in Argentina

"The Amazing Race" stays in Argentina this week. If you’re helping your kid with his geography homework, then let me give you some facts: Argentina is big enough for an 18-hour bus ride within its borders, big enough for the world’s highest vineyards and big enough to hold a lot of cows. This show is better than an encyclopedia. Do kids still use encyclopedias these days?
Hey Border Patrol Agents, quit your whining

Art and JJ don’t believe in solar energy. The Detour was a choice between assembling a solar oven and using it to boil a pot of water, or wrangling a donkey to carry sticks and clay for a mile. The Agents were the only team to choose the donkey, basing their decision on the assumption that it was too early in the morning for the sun to boil water. Based upon the fact that every other team got water to boil, they were wrong.
While walking the donkey through the desert scrub brush, these guys would not stop whining about how long it was taking. I caught a “We’re too smart for this!” I can’t wait for a challenge that they feel measures up to their standards.
They also seized any random opportunity to slam Brendon and Rachel, the Big Brother team. The Agents pointed out that Brendon will never make a navigation decision, instead he’ll wait to follow someone. They claim that Team BB ripped a clue out of their hands (Clue Handoutgate!). They refused to team up at a Roadblock because Team BB are “tagalongs,” but instead they teamed up with Army Dave. I think the Agents just really hate sequins.
Let’s “help” each other

So, last week I referred to Joey “Fitness” and Danny as the Jersey Boys because I didn’t want to call them "Guidos" and I didn’t want to ever address Joey as "Fitness." But they mentioned repeatedly this week that they are from New York. Oops, sorry. I was going to go off on a whole tangent about when I was 16 and met a boy at a hotel swimming pool named Josh and he was ever after known as Josh From New Jersey. Nevermind.
The Not Jersey Boys had trouble assembling their solar oven, so they approached the attractive Mississippi cousins with an offer of working together. The cousins didn’t need any help, but they showed those poor Northern boys what to do. I hope they pre-emptively placated the vengeful Race God of Bad Luck and Random Spite.
The Weekly Team Bopper Adoration Paragraph

Mark, the non-Bopper of the team, is awesome. He saw the solar oven challenge, opened the box and put it together, giving credit to his son who likes Legos and knows that every piece has a place. Bopper: “Your skills surprise me!” Mark: “Man, I can’t believe you’re talkin’ ‘bout my skills!”
You know when you thought you’d never have a use for long division when you grew up? What if you grew up to be on "The Amazing Race"? What then!?

The Roadblock is all about math skills. Dare I say, math skillz, even. First, you take a crowded, sweaty, stinky, loud cattle auction. Then, the auctioneer gives you the total weight of cattle in one pen. You add up all the cattle in the pen and then divide it into the total weight to calculate the average weight per cow. Got it? Oh, and take your answer downstairs to the Gaucho in charge before the auction ends, or you have to start over.
You know who rocks at this? Non-Bopper Mark. He’s worked in cattle yards and he’s good with numbers. He did forget to round the last number so they took third place instead of first, but I’ll forgive him this time.
You know who doesn’t rock at this? Almost everyone else. Mississippi Cousin Stacy helps her 11-year-old with his homework, so she finishes quickly, but all the other teams start joining up. Border Patrol Agent shuns BB Rachel to work with Army Wife Rachel (helping her and Dave take first place again). Twin 1 works with Not Jersey Boy so they can pass up the Clown.
The “Tears of a Clown” line would have gotten old, anyway

Dave and Cherie, the clowns, were doing fine in the middle of the pack. They caught the mid-pack bus to Buenos Aires. But then a mysterious bump in the night shattered one of the bus’s windows and that mid-pack bus turned into the last bus. Of doom.
Poor Dave ended up doing the Roadblock, and he just didn’t have the math skillz. He stayed at that cattle auction until most of the cows went home, and Cherie cheered him on the whole time. They wore their red clown noses to the mat, but they couldn’t distract Phil from his official Philimination duties. Now the sound editors can’t play wacky circus music during the episodes anymore. Let’s all make a sad clown face together, shall we?
Hey, join me next week because something awesome will happen. It involves stacking watermelons into a pyramid. Do you remember the last time this show had a melon challenge? One woman got smacked in the face with a watermelon! Melons are gold for this show, I’m telling you.

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