'The Amazing Race' recap: Horrible Clowns

It's easy to make fun of Nick, since his typical response to adversity is to insult everything, complain like a fifth-grader, and swear like a fifth-grader. He exemplifies the "scream English loudly" method of inter-cultural communication. If Nick says that he's good at something – music, biking, healthy communication with his significant other – he's invariably awful at it. Finally, only two men in human history have ever successfully rocked the bandana, and Nick, we know Bret Michaels and (sniff!) David Foster Wallace, and you're not either one of 'em (although you could be a character in a Poison song/DFW short story.)

Still, the guy's been slowly winning me over – I like how he lies to other teams for no reason, just to be a douchecatazz – and last night, we learned that Nick's negative personality can all be traced back to a terrifying childhood trauma. "Gramma had a clown room," he explained. "When you woke up at nighttime, you'd see a clown face, and it'd just scare the crap out of you." (First of all, do grandmothers have clown rooms?) Yeeesh, just watching It when I was a kid drove me into years of therapy. No wonder Nick is in such a perpetua-bad mood. You would be, too, if you went to sleep every night terrified that a giant clown face would appear in your nightmares.

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