F*ck this for a game of soldiers

—This is Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA, the starting point in a race around the country.

"The Unnecessary Race"

[rips open clue]

Jon: Fly to Chicago, IL. You may only travel on one of these two flights departing from LAX: Southwest Airlines flight 82 or America West Airlines flight 793.

Los Angeles International Airport :: Los Angeles, CA

Rory: [to airline agent] We need to find out which one of these is going to get to Chicago faster.
Jon: Fuck that. Which one's cheaper?

Five minutes later…

Rory: The Southwest flight doesn't have a layover.
Jon: Yeah, well I'm not paying $249 for a one-way ticket.

—Jon and Rory are now on their way to Chicago via Phoenix, AZ. Once they arrive in Chicago, they'll have to travel 15 miles to the "L" Train Red Line Belmont station to find their next clue.

Sky Harbor International Airport :: Phoenix, AZ

For some reason, every time I fly somewhere east of the Grand Canyon on America West, I have a layover in Phoenix. I've been to Phoenix twelve times now and have only stepped outside the airport thrice.

Red Line Belmont Station :: Chicago, IL

I like nippy weather. It makes air feel fresh.

[rips open clue]

Rory: Detour.

—A detour is a choice between two attractions, each with their own pros and cons. In this detour, Jon and Rory have to choose between "Fingers" or "Figures." In "Fingers," they must travel 12 miles to the exhibit Game On: The History, Culture and Future of Video Games at the Museum of Science and Industry. Playing video games is fun, but the commute could be frustrating and take a long time. In "Figures," they must travel four miles to the Funny Club Show 2005 exhibit at Rotofugi Designer Toy Store and Gallery. Customized toy figures are not as entertaining as video games, but the two could sightsee quickly.

Jon: Dude, the "L" doesn't stop within reasonable walking distance of the University of Chicago.

Rotofugi :: Chicago, IL

Designer toys may be expensive and useless, but they look so fuckin' cool. To me, stores like Rotofugi and Kidrobot are society's real museums of modern art. An action figure of a graffiti artist with a gas mask on interests me much more than, say, a painting.

Of all the variations on B.B. Birdy's "hyper-articulated bear/monkey/rabbit/cat figure" on display at Rotofugi, I particularly creamed my pants over MiQ and Thuy3 Wilmott's Chicago-exclusive Funny Club version of Alex and his droogs from A Clockwork Orange.

[rips open clue]

Jon: Make your way to the pit stop.

—Jon and Rory must now travel five miles to Chinatown and find Joy Yee's Noodles. This eatery, popular for its bubble teas and fruit freezes, is the pit stop for this leg of the race.

Joy Yee's Noodles :: Chicago, IL

Rory: Hurry! Let's go, let's go![first-person running camera shot]

Mikey: Welcome to Chicago.

—Jon and Rory…you are team number one…out of one.


—As the winners of this leg of the race, you have each won a bag of WankerCounty hair.

to be continued…