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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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