AW Flash Fiction — TAR — 11/28/10

The Amazing Race route marker

Image via Wikipedia

Loretta printed out the notice and underlined key sections with a bright red pen. She marched into the living room where the love of her life sat watching yet another rerun of NCIS.

“Look.” She thrust the printout in front of his face.

“Mmph. What is it?” He pointed his tivo clicker at the oversized flat screen television and paused his show.

“Read it!”

George sighed and perched his reading glasses on his nose. “The Amazing Race is seeking contestants….” He whipped off the glasses and tossed them on the end table next to his beer. “Oh for cryin’ out loud, Loretta!”

Loretta slipped a coaster under his bottle and snatched the page back. “Did you read the part where they specifically said they’re looking for people like us to compete?” She tapped the paper.

“Mmph. I read it. No thanks.”

“Why not?”

“Well, for one. You’re afraid of heights.”

“So? You could do all the zip line, bungee jumping and rappelling challenges.”

He lifted a bushy brow and cocked his head. “I can’t swim.”

“I’ll do all the water challenges.” She snapped her fingers. “Piece of cake.”

“Neither one of us can run worth a damn.”

Loretta perched her hands on her hips, closed her eyes and shook her head. “It rarely comes down to a foot race. If you play smart, get good cab drivers and find locals to help you navigate, you have just as much chance as the next team.”

George clasped his hands together and rested them on his stomach. “What if we have to eat weird stuff? Hmm? Who’s gonna do that? What if we have to go to India and eat monkey brains…while the monkey is still alive? Hmm? You gonna do that? Cause I sure as hell ain’t.”

She flipped her hand at him. “Oh pshaw. That’d never happen. The PETA people would have a fit and the television executives can’t have that.”

“What if one of us breaks a hip? I don’t think Life Alert would fly all the way to Nepal to pick us up off the ground if that happened.”

“Oh, you’re just being silly.” Loretta grunted and stomped off, her printout flapping with each labored step. A few minutes later she returned and stood between George and his television.

“You’re just scared to travel. You always promised me a trip to Europe and you never, ever took me! This might be our last chance. It’d all be paid for too and yet you won’t even try. And that cute host, Phil Keoghan. You know I’ve always wanted to meet him so I could pinch his New Zealander cheeks.” Loretta’s hand fluttered to rest on her heart.

With a sigh dripping with aggravation, George slowly heaved himself from his chair and stepped to Loretta’s side. He pointed the remote at the television and once again paused his show.

“Sweetheart. Let’s say The Amazing Race covered all our medical costs and prescription drugs during the competition. Let’s say the producers even allowed reasonable accommodations to compensate for our…disadvantages. You’ve overlooked a couple of deal killers. For starters, we could lose our spot on the waiting list for Arthur and Talia’s penthouse apartment at the Brookshire Assisted Living home if one of ’em kicks the bucket while we’re gone.”

Loretta’s lower lip protruded and her shoulders slumped. “Arthur was popping his angina pills like candy the other day too…”

George nodded and continued, “But the main thing is that the restraining order Phil filed against you prohibits you from coming within fifty feet of him.”

“We’d never be able to jump on the mat at the pit stop for of each leg of the race,” she finished for him.


“Maybe next year then?”

“You betcha.”

TAR = The Amazing Race for those who aren’t fans and are therefore not familiar with its shortcut name.