Diary of a Greeter

Leg 2 - Venice

Dear Diary,

This is just getting better.

After Steve and Debra got Philiminated in Cortina (and I could hear them whooping it up all the way to the Sequesterville Trolley), I had to spend two hours getting that Lonely Goatherd make-up off. Then it was eat, sleep, and mingle time.
I ended up telling her that I was actually one of the racers – that guy Dave, from the California team. It turned out she had no idea they even existed, so she bought it.
I was in a bit of a rough spot, because JB doesn’t want the racers to know that the greeters aren’t, you know, real. I was chatting to Millie by the buffet table, and I thought she was really getting into me, but then she asked what I was doing with the race. I ended up telling her that I was actually one of the racers – that guy Dave, from the California team. It turned out she had no idea they even existed, so she bought it. Then she started asking all kinds of questions (how the hell do I know how you get of Dodger Stadium?) so I had to bail. I told her that I saw Chuck talking to Reichen over by the keg, and that it looked like he needed bailing out - Reichen had his arm around him and everything. Millie didn’t seem that concerned, but she went over anyway and I made my escape. Memo to myself: think up a real job. Fast.

Soon after, Phil grabbed me and we hopped a van to Venice. That is some city, let me tell you. Beautiful buildings, but their public works department really needs to get a handle on those storm drains.

I caught a few winks at the Pit Stop boat, but then it was back to work. Turns out they had this Commedia dell’Arte troupe for the Fast Forward, and their Pantaloon was sick (probably typhoid from those damn flooded streets) so I had to fill in. I was not surprised to see Steve and Dave hobbling up, although I was taken aback when The Doctor started operating on Steve’s belly. I mean, sure, he had a lot to work with there, but I wanted to say “No, no, the other guy. And it’s his knee!”

We were just finishing up when Harlequin came over and asked to see my union card. I told him I’d show it to him just as soon as he gave Dave back his wallet. That shut him up long enough for me to get my scab ass back to the Pit Stop. I got into make-up just in time, because I think Harlequin had spread the word; there were a lot of suspiciously burly gondolieri gathering around the boat.
This was Venice, for the love of Pete. Why did they dress me like a extra from Les Liaisons Poncyeuses?
Oy. Make-up. Now, I know they have to make me look all different, but that get up? The wig? The powder? The freaking beauty mark? This was Venice, for the love of Pete. Why did they dress me like a extra from Les Liaisons Poncyeuses?

I thought I’d really have to hustle to be at the mat before Team ACL, I mean ATC, but I guess with all the stairs and bridges, it took a while for Steve to push that wheelbarrow full of Dave to the boat. They seemed pretty cheerful to be first. Steve headed off for a Miller Light and Dave went to score more Percocets from the race doctor.

We had a long break after that, so I hit the Piazza San Marco. I dropped my hat on the ground and did some “I’m-trapped-in-an-invisible-box-in-the-court-of-Louis-XIV” mime for the tourists. That got me $79 for this leg of the race, which at least puts me ahead of the racers.

It was raining when the rest of the teams started to show up. Phil, gentleman that he is, held the umbrella for me. I guess there are advantages to looking like a big girl’s blouse. First up from the Roadblock were Reichen and Chip. Sure, the hug looked nice, but I bet you didn’t notice the Chipster checking me out over Reichen’s shoulder. Maybe they have an ‘understanding’.

Then there was Kelly and Jon. I swear, he stood off the end of the gangplank for five minutes, looking at his compass and saying “I’m pretty sure it’s the other way.” She finally grabbed it from him, dropped it in the canal, and hauled him by the ear all the way to the mat. Man, those redheads. Temperamental.

I tried to be as studly as possible when Tian and Jaree hit the mat, but what with the hat and all, it just wasn’t working for me. Maybe next time. Tian seemed pretty distracted anyway, and they hugged for a long time. Long time. Hmmm.
Doug and Joe, or whoever they are, did a whole surfer-dude high-ten thing. Then they both checked me out. What’s up with that?
Then came yet another blur of generic arriving teams. Doug and Joe, or whoever they are, did a whole surfer-dude high-ten thing. Then they both checked me out. What’s up with that? The clowns were next, and Jon gave me a long hard stare. Crap. Those guys know their way around make-up. I hope they don’t rat me out. We heard Cindy and Russell coming from halfway across Venice – it was all “dumbass” this and “dumbass” that. Sure, they made nice for Phil, but that team? Trainwreck. That’s all I’m saying.

The way the last teams came racing in, I knew that things had been tense at the Roadblock. Millie and Chuck were up next, and I thought she was going to die. As it was, as soon as Phil told them they were team number eight she keeled over and puked on my shoes. That took the finish right off the buckles, and would you believe the costume guy docked my pay? Steve and Josh were not long behind, so we barely had time to mop the deck. That expression on Steve’s face is not “Oh crap, we’re ninth.” It’s “What is that godawful smell?”

Then we were down to the last two. Phil can be a great guy, but he is one cruel SOB when he wants to be. I went and had a coffee between “Monica and Sheree…” and “you’re team number ten.” A large coffee. And a donut. He sure knows how to draw them out.

It was pretty sad when Amanda and Chris got the boot. And I have to say, it was so sweet how much they still care about each other. “That’s okay,” said Amanda, “I still fucking love this fucking fucker, and I’m goddamn sure I always fucking will.”

Ain’t love grand?

That’s all for now, diary. See you around.