On TV, former Miss Kentucky Mallory Ervin and her dad, Gary, are trying to traverse the globe as part of The Amazing Race but back home there's one place they can't go: Wal-Mart.
"If I want to go, I've got to block out three hours" to deal with all the well-wishers, Mallory said.
Such is reality TV fame when you hail from Morganfield in Western Kentucky.
The duo made their race debut Sunday, when Season 17 of the race-around-the-world reality competition premiered. They came in sixth on the first leg after contending with a flat tire and driving much of the route through England on the spare "doughnut."
How they came to be part of the race is one of those "somebody said something" offhanded comments that grew into an unexpected adventure.
After competing in the 2010 Miss America pageant, where she was fourth runner-up, Mallory was looking for a new challenge.
One of four children, including a sister who also competes in pageants, Mallory, 24, said it was a no-brainer to team up with her father.
Gary, 53, a businessman, said, "I probably watched more of the show than she did. I was always a big fan. I didn't think I would ever have the opportunity to do it."
Gary said his daughter's Miss America fame probably helped get a little extra attention for their three-minute audition video, which focused on their love of adventure. But in the end it is probably the father-daughter dynamic that helped them land a spot out of thousands of auditioners.
During the lengthy interview process, Mallory said, "they ask you a lot about your relationship."
"They spend a lot of time so that they get the right mix," Gary said. After several rounds of interviews, the calls finally came.
Mallory got the news while she was in a store fitting room. Gary was in court on a business matter. Neither could tell anyone that they'd made it on the show. "I felt kind of bad because I couldn't act excited," he said.
Once the news sank in, they did what they could to prepare.
"There was a lot of running carrying 20 pounds on our backs," Mallory said. They also studied up on their world geography.
"Just refreshing ourselves both mentally and physically," Gary said.
Both agreed that there is no way to totally prepare for the show, although Gary mentioned Jet and Cord McCoy, the cowboy brothers who were runners-up last season, as competitors he admires.
"It's just mentally, physically and emotionally challenging," Mallory said. "There is no sleep, no food. ... You are just running, running, running."
"It's just a rat race. It's hard but it's fun."
Particulars of the televised adventure are totally hush-hush. During their telephone interview with the Herald-Leader, their public relations minders would steer the conversation away from any topic that might give away anything remotely resembling a show secret.
The official line is that before it is all over, the winning team, which gets $1 million and will have traveled 32,000 miles over four continents, including visits to Bangladesh, Ghana and the Arctic Circle. Sunday's episode has the team visiting Ghana.
As for a strategy moving forward, the Ervins had a plan: Keep in the good graces of their fellow contestants.
Gary said, "If you are pain in the neck, you can get thrown off."