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The Skinny By Elaine Langlois

The Survivor Makeup Bag:

What One Makeup Item Would You Wrestle a Rat For? PART ONE

Day 1: I can hardly believe I am here. Me, Mindy Lovegrove, administrative assistant to a busy neurologist. Halfway across the world from my hometown of Wannabee Falls, Minnesota. On Uneeda Island, competing with 15 other normal Americans for a million dollars. I am on Survivor!

I am writing this on some really big palm leaves with my Precious Rose Luscious Lipliner. It will serve as a chronicle of my 39 days on this island. My journey to wealth and fame.

Just getting here was an adventure. After being flown to the port of Burgoo, we were divided into two tribes and taken by boat to the island. We had to swim ashore through shark-infested waters, towing our gear with a rope between our teeth. A few people were stung by jellyfish and twitched uncontrollably for a while, but that didn't stop them from being obnoxious.

Day 2: My tribe is called Chi Hua Hua. We are the young, fun tribe, except for this guy Malburn who looks about 40. The other tribe is called Hai Karate.

They are the old fogeys. As soon as they got ashore they started building a shelter, if you can imagine. We, on the other hand, ate most of our rations and danced and slept on the beach.

Day 3: I got off to a good start with my tribe by using the high-gloss polish on my fingernails to reflect sunlight so we could start a fire. Fire is our friend in the wilderness.

Today we won the first immunity challenge. That is where the tribes compete and the losing tribe has to vote one of its members off the island. The winning tribe gets immunity from having to vote somebody off.

It was a grueling battle in which we shot rubber bands and blew straw wrappers at each other. We heard later that Hai Karates voted off a Bobblehead marketer named Cherrie from Guttersnipe, Texas. One down and 14 to go.

Day 4: People say you need a strategy to win on Survivor. Mine is my makeup. Each of us could bring one luxury item. My makeup bag is mine. It speaks of innumerable afternoons at makeup counters in upscale department stores, trying, discarding, and trying again. Of questions burned into my soul:

The look I chose is sexy but competent. Minimalist but ravishing. But I will be adaptable. That is a key to winning on Survivor.

Day 5: Let me describe my tribe members to you. Malburn raises hogs in Tussleruff, West Virginia. Vendetta is a big woman from Washington, D.C., who works in a life insurance office. Chaz is a lifeguard from Los Angeles, a real hottie. Serendipity has taken a semester off from channeling and radio psychic school in Zenobia, Wisconsin. Lafe is a rodeo clown from Twin Peaks.

Sylvia is a tall, slim woman with gorgeous dark hair from Boca Raton. She sells designer wrapping paper and napkins. Fabian is a failed e-commerce guru who sells fondue from a street cart in New York City. He is attempting to make himself indispensable by cooking all our meals. Coconut fondue, taro root fondue, seaweed fondue.

Day 6: Today's immunity challenge was a scavenger hunt through a toxic waste dump left by retreating American soldiers. It was another easy win for Chi Hua Hua. The Hai Karates got all het up and some of them even refused to enter the dump.

We learned later that the HKs booted a designer of toys for children's fast-food meals. I thought it would be the Author. His luxury item is a tattered copy of some book called The Sun Also Rises by Vernon (?) Hemingway. He says he got it from his father on his deathbed and has treasured it all his life and that it was his inspiration for becoming a writer. He is always spouting off quotes from this guy Hemingway. I can tell he is alienating his tribe, even though he's very good at killing stuff.

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