EPISODE 366. Broadcast on December 25, 2011.
javabeans: Photo trip, Part 2! Last week everyone got started on their “flash journeys” (? – such a weird way to term a trip) minus Seung-gi, who was busy helping Ji-won get his rainbow. I’m presuming it’s because his duck swarm happens later in the day, so now he meets with his guide and introduces the mission. They take a look from a distance and see a mass of ducks on a lake, and take the bus ride over to get their shot. On the way, the bird doctor (Dr. Han) explains that the common epithet “you bird brain” to refer to a dumb person is a misnomer, since birds can be quite smart. Apparently there are types that learn the faces of the villagers living nearby, and sound alarms when seeing a strange face. Okay, I’m not sure if that’s smart or downright creepy.
girlfriday: They get up close to the swarm of ducks and get their cameras ready before the sun sets (apparently they dance only at sunset), but then the ducks keep moving around on them. Seung-gi sees the swarm pick up some speed in one mass, and shouts excitedly, “It looks like Harry Potter’s gonna come out of there!”
javabeans: The swarm picks up speed and flies away, so Seung-gi picks up his camera and runs to get a shot.
girlfriday: Whoa, those ducks are crazy fast. It’s seriously like watching sped-up film.
javabeans: He loses sight of the swarm, leading to some panicky running and scanning around the area. Uh-oh. Well, at least he got a few early shots of them fluttering around the lkae. Does this mean the success of this mission depends on Seung-gi’s ability to talk his way out of it?
girlfriday: Yeah, looks like. Semantics of “flight.” Is there gonna be another union strike?
javabeans: His PD starts to say that the ducks have all gone so it looks like a failed mission since he didn’t get the specific bird dance on film, but Seung-gi pipes up that if we’re talking about getting photos of birds, he succeeded in that. He shows the photo to the bird doc and gets him to say, “You did definitely get a photo of them.”
girlfriday: They trudge away in disappointment, and even the bird professor changes his mind about the ducks: “Those bird-brains!”
javabeans: He clarifies that the smart birds were another breed: “Water fowl aren’t very smart.”
girlfriday: One by one the boys gather at basecamp. Su-geun’s already been sleeping there for a while after his all-night mountain hike, and after Tae-woong, Jong-min arrives and greets Su-geun with a hug. Are they… spooning? Hahaha. They make a perfect Big Spoon Little Spoon.
javabeans: While they’re waiting for Seung-gi, they divide into two teams, and it’s a revival of the OBs and the YBs: Jong-min and Ji-won, versus Tae-woong and Su-geun. The first game is a Christmas Quiz, the meaning of which Na PD somehow twists around to result in an English Quiz. Jong-min and Su-geun can only give clues in English, at which Tae-woong sighs in audible relief to be relieved of clue-giving duty. Ji-won cracks up at the mere thought, cackling, “This’ll be great for the viewers.”
girlfriday: Ha. I love Na PD’s reasoning: “Christmas is English.” Tae-woong: “Then say it [in Korean]!” So the rules of this quiz are a little different, since if they gave them a minute, no one would get anything right. They have to get through ten clues, and the team with the shortest overall time wins. We could be here all night.
javabeans: This is so…frustrating to watch, in a really entertaining way. Jong-min’s word is the rather difficult term for “digestive medicine” (so-hwa-jae) so he decides he’ll break it down into syllables. He gives the clue “cow” (so), then “flower” (hwa), and can’t think of anything for jae since it’s usually just a suffix. So Ji-won’s guessing all sorts of words that start with so-hwa, just missing.
girlfriday: Hee. This is hilarious! He’s separating Every. Single. Syllable.
javabeans: Every time he gets close Jong-min freaks out, only able to grunt affirmative, and finally Ji-won guesses right.
girlfriday: Jong-min’s other tactic? Pronounce Korean words with a foreign accent. Pffft.
javabeans: Oh good lord, how is he going to get chong-gak kim-chi? Penis cabbage? Haha, he breaks it up by syllable again, getting chong right away, stumbling on gak, and then just blurting, “Kimchi, kimchi!” HAHA. Apparently they’re gonna argue that “kimchi” works as an English word.
girlfriday: Pwahahaha. Jong-min has to explain Cinderella, and so he starts retelling the entire backstory, but only using words like “father” *frowny face* (to mean he died?) “new mother” *evil look* “sister” *death glare.* Ji-won finally catches on and shouts, “Kongji Patji?!” Well that’s the Korean version. The problem is, Ji-won isn’t exactly up on his fairytale princesses, so he stumbles over a few before finally landing on Cinderella.
javabeans: How the heck is Ji-won so good at guessing? (Especially since these are not good clues he’s being given.) Then Jong-min has to clue him on Sejong the Great, which he gets by saying, “Korean!” “Language!” “King!” He’s actually clever in getting Ji-won to guess beef jerky (yook-po) — after failing at an attempt to do the whole “sun, dry, cow” line of thought, he goes for brute force. “Five, next, Korean language!” “Six? Yook!” “Three, next, English language!” “Sa? Four!” Put ‘em together and you get…. yook-four. Or yook-po.
girlfriday: Omg, I’m rolling on the floor. How is it that he’s going about this in the most roundabout possible way?
javabeans: Is it me, or is this exhausting? Jong-min and Ji-won must be vibing on some telepathy, ‘cause I don’t know how they’re guessing correctly. Next is hwa-tu, which are the flower cards you use to play Go Stop. Jong-min gets Ji-won to guess “tu” by prompting “One, __” and then says “flower,” adding “China” to indicate that he means the pronunciation of the Chinese character for flower, or hwa. And yet, Ji-won gets it right away. I mean, that’s just nutty.
girlfriday: I guess as long as they’re on the same nutty wavelength, it works out.
javabeans: Dude, is it me or are Su-geun’s phrases way harder? Obstetrician, really? I love that his clue for samgyupsal (pork belly) is, “Korea best food!” I agree, man.
girlfriday: Me three! Damn, now I’m hungry. Su-geun’s phrases are harder, but he’s way better at explaining them in a way that Tae-woong will catch on quickly.
javabeans: It’s like how he plays Charades, constructing stories or images. LIke, instead of describing the clue itself (hot cake), he’ll say, “Cold day. Hot food.” Or for lunchbox, he says, “School, fourth period, after” to indicate what you’d do at that time.
girlfriday: LOL. He gets “ah-dam,” meaning small, and shouts, “Eve’s boyfriend!”
javabeans: Oh man, the second quiz is a Charades quiz… of TV program titles.
girlfriday: Tae-woong is so self-conscious that he shows one action, then caves and says no, that’s not it, then over and over, never fully giving one clue.
javabeans: Omg, I love that for “Our Child Has Changed,” he points to Ji-won and includes him in the clue.
girlfriday: Ji-won’s better than Tae-woong at giving the clues, but Jong-min frustratingly dances around the answers for much longer. The OBs end up winning the indoor sleeping rights, in case they don’t win the hotel room.
javabeans: Seung-gi joins them and they begin the photo unveiling. Tae-woong goes first, and when he tells them he failed because of all the clouds, the boys start to pick at the rules — if you’re supposed to take a photo of a fleeting circumstance, yet that circumstance failed to present itself, then it’s not really a fair (or failed) mission, is it?
girlfriday: Tae-woong and Su-geun show their really cool pictures, but they both failed the mission, which they can’t really argue. Next up is Ji-won, who says that he couldn’t find a rainbow in Seoul, so he went to the Netherlands to find one. “I got on a boat and traveled around the world!” Haha.
javabeans: Jong-min shows his crane photo, faking them out by saying he failed because it was only a family of three. He follows that with a foursome, earning them their first unqualified success. (The rainbow is awaiting further debate.)
girlfriday: Aw, I love how proud Ji-won is when he sees Jong-min’s photos.
javabeans: Seung-gi’s last to go, and he says he got three photos — the ducks, the rainbow, AND the sea of clouds.
girlfriday: Na PD says he meant rainbows occurring naturally, but agrees to give Ji-won’s rainbow half a point and Seung-gi’s SNSD rainbow another half a point.
javabeans: Hilariously, he shows his sea of clouds photo… which is the fog-machined stage at Music Bank. HA!
girlfriday: HAHAHAHA. He calls it Sicba Mountain, because in the photo you can see the middle letters of the Music Bank stage: (mu)SICBA(nk). Omg, this is way better than the Netherlands rainbow.
javabeans: But seriously, I’m impressed that he had the thought, to get that shot just in case. Ji-won argues vehemently for the Sicba cloud to be acknowledged. Su-geun argues that if they count the Sicba as half, and Tae-woong’s unavailable omega as half, then they’ve got one more success. Na PD’s all, “Wait… this is spiraling out of my control…” but he gives the Sicba cloud a half point.
girlfriday: The idea in and of itself is worth the point, I think. It’s both ingenious and ridiculous. And then it’s time for the final photo, the duck dance.
javabeans: Seung-gi should be a lawyer. Ha. He’s all set to argue for his photo, and the boys back him up enthusiastically, but Na PD doesn’t even fight him on it and gives them the victory, which adds up to 3.5. Na PD adds that Seung-gi probably felt disappointed at not getting the full shot, though, and asks if he’d go back sometime later to get the real thing. Seung-gi gives this pretty speech about how he feels it’s his responsibility, so he’ll be happy to go back, alongside Na PD, of course, to get his shot. Hee. Way to rope in the director with you.
girlfriday: I love that Na PD does the same in roping Seung-gi in: “If I know your personality, I know you have to see things through to the end.” There’s just no way to back out of that gracefully.
javabeans: And then Seung-gi goes in for the final attack: “I’ll go back, no problem, and I don’t need anything like extra salary — no, I won’t ask for that. All I ask is for an extra half-point.” Na PD actually gives in readily and agrees to the four points… and then belatedly remembers what that entails. “Na PD’s own money,” how could you forget?
girlfriday: You can actually see it dawn on his face, the waitaminute… oh shit.
javabeans: They ask him to recite the prize, and he rattles them off, until he gets to the last one: “…the spa privileges, and my… Uh, that’s all.” He actually gets on his knees to address them, and I love how he is terrible at hiding his feelings. He’s all fidgety and awkward in this meek pose.
girlfriday: You know it’s bad when Na PD is on his knees. He says there is a hotel, he swears… but they never dreamed the boys would get more than two points, so they didn’t check to see if there were any rooms available. He stammers, “The hotel… You know, this place is like a hotel.” HA.
javabeans: LOL. I love that this is a night of substitutes now — no hotel, but they can sleep indoors at basecamp. And it’s no hotel buffet, but they do get a large spread for dinner. Okay, now I want to see Na PD giving out back massages as part of his spa promise.
girlfriday: They agree to his terms (after he points out that he’s kneeling, heh) of staying here but receiving five-star treatment from the PDs. They get a big dinner and even a little Christmas tree, and exchange holiday stories. The winner: Su-geun says when he was little he put up socks for Santa to leave presents in, and his dad woke up, put them on, and left for work. Haha.
javabeans: And in the morning, they wish each other Merry Christmas on their way to town and look forward to a present from Santa Na. Except… there’s always a catch, isn’t there? They get to go to a restaurant for breakfast and eat jjamppong…only until they’re recognized and somebody’s name is called, and then they have to leave. Oh, that’s mean. The boys put their heads together to strategize: How can they evade notice longest? Act angry? Then the genius pipes up: If they say each other’s names to each other, then it’ll prevent others from saying it! That’s pretty clever. Or the moment someone’s about to speak up, you interrupt them with questions, ha.
girlfriday: But as soon as they walk in, an ajumma comes running up behind them. Oh no! Are they even going to have a chance to order?
javabeans: I love that they go in linked together, like this huge huddle, under the theory of, “Let’s make it hard for them to decide whose name to call.” But then you have this big five-headed mass sidling in a door and down a long aisle, all awkward.
girlfriday: They manage to at least sit down and order without getting their names called, and adorably mehrong at Na PD.
javabeans: Do you love how they’re just shouting words, to not give them time to say anything? “Over here, jjampong, ma’am, over here, jajang, yes, over here, jjampong!” They’re somewhat safe since the restaurant is empty — it’s just employees — until they hear a bell sound. Ji-won’s eyes widen — are they in danger? (Turns out Jong-min just rang the waitress, freaking them out.)
girlfriday: But then, an ajumma comes bounding up to the table, pen and paper in hand. Oh NOES! They’re doomed if she asks for an autograph.
javabeans: Ha, and Na PD perks right up. This is such a mean way to give someone breakfast — make them tense all the way through it. You tryin’ to give everyone indigestion? Hee, they basically tell everyone, “Later, on our way out” — after they’ve eaten, ha. Na PD tries to sabotage, asking the ajumma why she approached the group, but they manage to get her away with promises of autographs.
girlfriday: Thankfully it works, and they get to at least start eating the biggest bowls of jjampong I’ve ever seen. There are a few tense moments when the servers come by with things for the table, but they eat so fast that they get at least halfway through without a name being called.
javabeans: Na PD is such a punk. He deliberately baits the waitress, “Is there one more? Whose is it? Who is it for?”
girlfriday: He can’t get a name out of anyone, so he finally caves and orders for the PD/crew table. The boys continue to chow down, and then suddenly as Na PD’s food arrives, Su-geun calls out for the owner. Is he doing what I think he’s doing? She comes over, and he asks her point-blank, “Who’s your favorite member?” She answers “Lee Seung-gi,” and the boys call Game Over and stand up, juuuuuust as Na PD is getting ready to take his first bite. HAHAHAHA.
javabeans: Omg, that is the BEST REVENGE EVER. It’s almost enough to make me feel sorry for him. But all the sabotage attempts remind me not to feel too bad.
girlfriday: It’s So. Awesome. That is a taste of your own medicine if I’ve ever seen it.
javabeans: Then it’s time to buy each member an article of clothing, and they pick out stuff in the $70-$90 range. I just love Na PD’s dismal poker face.
girlfriday: It’s just like a grumpy dad with five boys. He makes sure to have each item pass the price check before adding it to the pile, and meanwhile the boys run around trying stuff on and wanting this and that. The total goes higher and higher, and as his face grows gloomier, they add the caption to his wife: “I love you, dear.”
javabeans: And then we resume ten days later, with Seung-gi’s Duck Dance, Take 2.
girlfriday: Na PD meets him there, as promised, and says that if the ducks are a no-show again today, they’re clearly messing with Seung-gi. He sighs, “These ducks are playing hard to get.”
javabeans: Wow, the duck dance is pretty amazing. It’s not just flying in formation, but whirling in circles in a sort of organized chaos. Somehow they all follow the same pattern, although there are hundreds of them.
girlfriday: It’s like abstract art.
javabeans: It looks like a living Mobius strip. And then a stingray. You can totally hear Seung-gi going crazy with the camera, *click*click*click*click*click*clck*.
girlfriday: It’s unbelievable how many there are. When they rise up in a swarm, it’s like a wall of ducks coming at the camera. I love how excited Seung-gi and Na PD are. Na PD is one happy kid today.
javabeans: Bird doctor’s happy too, and revises his earlier opinion: “Like I said, there are smart birds out there!”
girlfriday: Next week: the Best Friend Special. Eeee!