Amazing Race Gives Life Lessons

The Amazing Race isn’t just about beautiful locales, crazy competitions and catty encounters, although that certainly adds to the fun each week.

It’s also about life lessons. Over the past few seasons we’ve learned that karma can come back and bite you in the backside. We’ve learned good guys often finish first, and that bad things can happen to good people, and worse things can happen to annoying people.

We’ve watched as a dad patched up a tattered relationship with his daughter, couples who should never be together realize they need to cut the ties and other couples making those ties even stronger. The season is still young, yet we’ve already learned some very valuable life lessons.

10. When I wanted a driver’s license, my father insisted that I first needed to know how to check the oil and the water and how to fix a flat. Too bad Ty’s dad didn’t give him those same requirements. After hitting the wheel on a curb, the tire had to be changed and he didn’t know how to do it. Lesson learned. Never get behind the wheel before knowing how to change a tire.

9. Pay attention. As recently eliminated team Marisa and Brooke realized, you can’t just go running around aimlessly while missing things like a big old rope knot sitting out in the open. Or, as frat nerds Andrew and Dan learned when they climbed all those steps on their hands and knees – and forgot to count the steps.

8. Sometimes people are just mean. Kelly and Christy, the divorcees, could be the cover girls for Mean Magazine. We don’t even know their ex-spouses and we feel sorry for them. And Starr has been too conniving early on. While Sarah of Sarah and Terence may have acted like a shelter puppy trying to make friends in the beginning, it was still a little sad when she complained about Starr and said that she didn’t even say “Hi” to her. OK, more pathetic than sad.

7. And speaking of Starr, she’s certainly on a roll with teaching us all what not to do. Like never say something behind someone’s back that you don’t want them to hear later. Starr told Aja and Ty to U-turn the divorcees. Not only did the team refuse to do so, Aja told the vengeful Kelly and Christy about Starr’s request. As Scooby would say, “Rut-row.”

6. Think twice before shaving off your eyebrows. We hope Ken and Tina work it out during the race, we really do. But we’ve got to wonder if those scary painted-on eyebrows might have turned Ken off. All we know is that every time we see her, she looks surprised. And all we are saying is that a little less arch could make all the difference in the world.

5. Telling someone to go faster, especially if you try to do it in a condescending accent, just makes them want to put on the brakes. Unless, of course, you promise a big tip. Or you are cute and giggly.

4. Most people learn early on that trying to pick the fastest line in the grocery store is a true art. And that you have to make sure that you always get in the correct line at the airport. How many times have we watched these poor misguided fools get into the wrong line and lose valuable time?

3. When the challenge instructors tell you not to do something, don’t do it. We don’t think Starr has ever listened to another human being in her lifetime, so we weren’t surprised when the wind racers told her not to put her hands down if she fell – and then she put her hands down every time when she fell. Even severe road rash didn’t seem to make her comply.

2. The show’s a race. It’s even in the title. So why do people like the almost Grateful Dead Anita and Arthur meander around like they had just been puffing the magic dragon? Or Mark and Bill the sci fi guys arrive so out of shape that they need oxygen just to get through a challenge? And before you go crying high altitude, remember than no other team needed the oxy-boost.

1. Always read the directions. This always happens in every season of The Amazing Race. Someone decides to skim over the instructions and it costs them big time. This season several teams have done it, but only one failed to correct their mistake: Mark and Bill ignored the clue’s directions about not taking a taxi to their next destination. The Comic Con pals admitted early on that they couldn’t physically match most of the other teams. So they had to rely on their wits. Oops.

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