2002.09.18 Look out, Hollywood (or downtown Morenci)

Written by David Green.

BY Rich Foley

I suppose I’m not the only one who gets tired of the same old spam showing up on my email. After all, how many credit cards can one person get? How many international drivers licenses does one person need? How many different naked pictures of Britney Spears could possibly exist?

That’s why I was curious when I recently got a message with the subject line of “Casting Call for Reality TV’s Fastest New Show!” At least curious enough to open the email, which I seldom do with spam.

It turns out some big Hollywood studio I never heard of is casting “the Hot new Reality TV show RALLY RACER with a diverse cast of characters. We are looking for you to possibly fill the role of a RACECAR DRIVER!”

OK, I wouldn’t really be a race car driver, I’d just play one on TV. But, I’d be playing one in “…thirteen action-packed episodes featuring sixteen everyday people as they are catapulted into the adrenaline-filled world of professional RallyGP racing where camaraderie, conflict and competition create the most dramatic experience of today’s reality television viewing.”

Wait a minute, I have to be catapulted?

I’m also told that while on location, I will experience “six weeks of pure adrenaline and excitement.” There’s the word “adrenaline” again. I’m starting to get excited just thinking about it.

Then there’s the three-week contestant “Boot Camp,” three weeks in which “every minute of your day is structured and designed to turn you into a well-oiled driving and racing machine.” Well-oiled? With what?

Of course, the best part is that I will “experience the life of a professional race car driver even down to the catered meals, massages, personal trainers and superstar treatment.” Yeah, I think I might be able to get used to that.

There are a few details here that concern me, however. For example, they’re not very clear on when the show will actually air, or on what network, if any.

They don’t want to tell where the series will be shot either, only that the location will be “hot and dusty.” That makes me think that downtown Morenci is a possibility for the location.

Then, there’s the task of filling out the online “casting application.” They want to know, among other information, my hair length, skin tone and favorite musician, book, food and drink.

I’m also supposed to describe my lifestyle, capability of running and jogging, hand/eye coordination and smoking and drinking habits.

A warning states that “anyone found to have misinformed the casting officials will be removed from the show.” Of course, if they are really looking for a “diverse cast of characters,” then telling the truth might give a person a better chance of being selected than everyone submitting answers they think the casting people are looking for.

Then there’s the matter of the casting application fee. That’s where this starts to look like all the other spam I receive. To “process” my e-casting application, I must pay a fee of $11.95, payable by credit card, or an online check for $14.95. The fee can only be paid online and is nonrefundable.

It’s explained that the fee “helps with the cost of creating, managing and processing the vast number of applicants.” Of course, the more applicants, the more fees they collect, but they word it so it sounds like a bad thing.

Only a cynic would think the show is just an excuse to collect a few million application fees from wannabe television stars. OK, so call me a cynic.

I decided for sure to forego this opportunity when I stumbled across a paragraph that, despite their secrecy, identified the show as taking place in the Sahara.

After all, if I were going to drive overseas, I’d need one of those international drivers licenses and that’s just one spam scam too many.

    – Sept. 18, 2002 
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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