SPOILER ALERT: In The Amazing Race this week, the only team in which the players are always kind to each other -- Harlem Globetrotters "Flight Time" and "Big Easy" -- got eliminated because Big Easy didn't know math. Here's why you should pay attention in math class, kids!
Technically he did not need to know math--he needed to figure out how to unscramble the letters N, A, R, F, Z in a "Kafkaesque" challenge involving a bureaucratic nightmare in Prague (dozens of ringing phones, repeated filling out of forms, etc.) (So, absent math, you could have figured it out if you'd recognized that "Franz" is a word, but I could see not noticing that because of the whole it-might-be-in-a-different-language thing.) The more annoying brother in the Evil Gay Brothers team told Big Easy they'd work together, but when Annoying One figured it out, he would only tell Big that the word started with an F.
What a douchebag! But, OK, a word that starts with an F, and has four other unique letters. Combinatorics, my favorite branch of math from my olden days as a math major, teaches us if there are 4 options for the second letter, then there are 3 for the third letter, 2 for the fourth letter, and only 1 for the last letter, the number of possible words is 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 24. Twenty-four words! Even if it took 2 minutes to fill out the rest of the Kafkaesque bureaucratic form, it would only take 48 minutes to go through all the possibilities. Instead, Big Easy got totally flustered and the Globe Trotters took the 4-hour penalty rather than complete the challenge. The HUMANITY! The LACK OF MATH SKILLS!
Now The Amazing Race is left with the aforementioned Evil Gay Brothers, the Whiny Miss America and her Excessively Patient Husband (accompanied by their unofficial sidekick, Their Interracial Relationship), and the Two Boring Blond Ones. I guess I am rooting for the boring blondes out of a lack of options. So sad! Globe Trotters, I hated to see you go.