Ohhh tittery tee! Wittery wee! Blittery bee! Love is in the air in old Cancun, that ancient Spanish settlement of creeping moss and nightclubs the size of airplane hangars. Straights found love, gays found love, everyone found love. Except me.
No, I didn't find any love last night (and by last night I mean I just watched it while lying on the couch) but that's OK, I wasn't looking for it anyway. My wines and my Facebooks are alls that I need. But anyway! This isn't about me. This is about the eight Fulbright scholars who were sent to Mexico to do their research on that most elusive of topics: What happens to private parts after you feed them alcohol? Last night they found out.
See what you do in Cancrunk is drink. All you ever do is drink. When you are sitting on the toilet in the morning, you drink. When you are walking to the ATM, you drink. When you are staring absentmindedly at a bird as it flutters up in the sky this way and that, so free up there, you drink. When you are being told by your employer not to drink, you drink. The last one is important to remember. See, the kids are in Cancandy to drink, yes, but they are also there to roll up their sleeves, apply some elbow grease, and go about the proletariat work of giving back. Through labor—through sweat and blood and camaraderie—they will till the earth of this nation and collectively make it Good. The president of Mexico, Dr. Speedy Gonzalez Esq., has assigned these eight sons and daughters of the revolution to do what is perhaps the most important task: Shepherd drunken gringos around and try to make sure they don't kill themselves or others. And, actually, I'm hardly being jokey here. That actually is a really big part of Cancun's economy, this thing called Spring Break. So it sort of is a meaningful job. So you'd assume that the Real World kids, individuals chosen for their integrity and wit and grit, would treat such a heady task with the utmost of responsibility, right?
Well, hold onto your butts and fasten your knickers, because I'm about to blow your head beans. They don't. They don't take it seriously. See, there are only a few rules one has to follow when working for Student City, the Peabody, MA-based company the children have been conscripted into. Mainly they are: Do not get publicly falling down drunk, whether you're on shift or not. This seems strict, given that it's Cancun, but also fair. The other one is even fairer: Don't fuck any of the clients please. That's a rule they had to create some years back because I'm sure it was happening over and over and over again, and probably like on the first night so the rest of the week was really tense and awkward. These are not crazy rules right? I mean, they're not saying "You cannot step on the sidewalk cracks when it is raining or the first or third Thursday of the month." Or, "Please try not to breathe." They are saying don't be a drunken asshole who plows the customer. Other companies should consider instituting these policies right quick. (Staples, I'm looking in your direction.) Anyway. The kids... they've gone wild. And they just couldn't help themselves.
What had happened: Mostly Derek broke the rules. Derek broke the rules and nobody cared. Derek is a person from Arizona who is sweet but dumb, I think maybe. Anyway, his brother and his ex-boyfriend both came to visit at the same time, which was weird. Weird because it seemed like maybe his brother was gay too and that doesn't happen all that often? And also weird because Derek's boyfriend was skinny and small and maybe like 17 years old? Everyone went down to the pool to stand around and do shots and shriek and holler at each other like spider monkeys, because that is what you do in Cancun, whether or not you have family in town. While they were all screeching and throwing poop at everyone, Derek's ex, name of Kyle, started being a bit unruly. And by unruly I mean "He invited himself on a trip to a Mexican TV show that his ex-boyfriend was on and then he walked away to sleep with a 50-year-old midget." That's actually kind of not an exaggeration of what happened! Kyle disappeared into the hot, queef-filled Mexico air with an aged jockey or something and this hurt poor Derek's pound cake feelings.
So, sad. After banishing Kyle from the house forever (he called to apologize, weeping, and it was just about the most pathetic thing ever: "I'm...sob...so sorry I came down...sob...to be on your TV show...sob... and then....sob... slept with an elderly little person... sob."), Derek decided it was time to break those stupid Student City rules and get crunk nasty for his birthday. Yes it was Derek's 12th birthday and everyone went out dancing and drinking. Though, if that's what you do every damn night, how is it then a special occasion for a birthday? Did they change it up and go to Professor Fuckbags' instead of Mister Knobgobblers' that night? Did they do SoCo and lime shots instead of kamikazes? Did they wear underwear? Whatever their reasoning was, Derek got really really drunk and decided to lay down on a Mexican sidewalk and loll back and forth. Lying down on a Mexican sidewalk outside of a bar called Major Stinkfingers' doesn't seem like a good idea to me at all, but hey what the hell it was his birthday.
Derek's birthday present was that nobody from Student City walked by while he was making out with the floor, forcing them to fire him which would have meant adios Mexico, hello again Arizona. But Derek didn't take this is as any sort of celestial reprieve, a chance to mend his ways. No, he just barreled on with the business of saying hoof to those rules and the next night went out and started chatting up a Student City client. Derek! Remember Rule Number Two? If They're Payin', Stop Slayin'. It's there for a reason. To his credit, Derek did weakly slur "Ican'tmakeoutyouareStudentandthisisCity". But the boy, name of Meats, was clever and tore off his bracelet and then Derek was like "Oh, OK" and they started sucking face.
They sucked face everywhere! They sucked face under a palm tree. They sucked face on a rollercoaster. They sucked mug in the ladies room at the Baron Lickdicklets' nightclub and restaurant. They sucked face in Derek's bed... Yeah a total love connection was made and it was sort of cute, sort of cloying in that way that anyone who's in puppyish love seems sorta cute and sorta cloying when you're wheezing and shivering alone on your couch. But of course this love was star-crossed from the get go. Because Cancun is a fleeting and ephemeral place, unless you live there, like Derek does. Meats, though, doesn't live there.* So Meats had to go home and the two lovers tangled up in a goodbye embrace and Des'ree walked out from behind a bookshelf and sang "Kissing You," while all of the other roommates slow danced and wept in another room. When they parted, Derek ran along as the train sped up and away, north, back across the border. He waved his kerchief and wept openly, he didn't care who saw, and as his beloved Meats steamed out of his life, likely for forever, he missed Kyle all of a sudden. Just then, just a little quick moment. Kyle. Flashing in his head like heat lightning. And then it was gone.
Other things happened too! To people other than Derek!
Joey the Cute One bedded a girl named Whistles who was kind of cute in an unassuming way, was into music or some bullshit, but had moved to Cancun for some reason. What sort of normal-ish person moves to Cancun? She must not be normal, I guess. Too bad. Anyway, they boffed and Joey said really dumb things about girls and then his gramma died. Yeah, his gramma died and his Boston-drawl mother called him and he cried and it was sad. He went to Florida for the funeral.
C.J. fell in love with an employee at his hotel, an almond-eyed beauty named Barbara or something. Anyway, he and Babs went on an awkward double date with Joey and Not Normal Whistles, and Barbara said she was a vegetarian. They were at a steak restaurant. Why would a boy take a girl to a steak restaurant on a first date? Way too meaty. Anyway, it was funny to watch because CJ has exactly zero game despite all of his watermelony good looks. He's a doofus. A walking disaster. Fittingly, Barbara broke up with him the next day by the pool. Then she called Bronne fat. Hah. Poor Bronne.
The girls were all dumb, except for Jasmine who is funny because she has a crush on a skinny white Canadian DJ. Surprises! Funny.
Anyway. This is going on way too long. This show is so silly.
At the end of the episode, a great giant wave came rushing up the shore, a hundred stories tall, and everyone screamed. Just before it crashed and they were washed away forever, the roommates all swore they saw Joey's gramma and Meats, bestride dolphins, riding the crest of the wave, shining and glorious.
*Meats probably lives in Florida or Virginia Beach. Meats lives in the second floor of a condo with two other guys, and Meats drives a two-door 1998 Honda Accord that he's had since high school. He used to have jokey names for it with his high school girl friends, but he doesn't use them anymore unless they come to visit, which they do less and less. Meats goes to the local college and studies something like communications. Meats feels lonely and pretend a lot of the time, because Florida or Virginia Beach are sort of lonely, pretend places. Especially when you're gay, especially when you're the kind of guy who sometimes likes to listen to "Defying Gravity" from Wicked when you're driving home from a shift at Joe's American Bar & Grill (it's a good job, better than Chili's, Meats was lucky to get it, he knows that.) Sometimes Meats will smoke a few cigarettes, light ones, when he's out drinking, but mostly Meats lives pretty healthy. Meats has a feeling like maybe he'd like to move to a city, maybe Miami, maybe LA, maybe Boston he thinks sometimes because he used to love that Augustana song (another great driving song). Meats bought a plane ticket on Orbitz with some friends of his and he didn't have class until 3 so he lay down on his bed and stared up at the softly whirring ceiling fan and thought about Mexico. Something about it, something about the word of it, the sound of it, the feeling of it. He felt like something was going to happen. That the dull, opaque membrane of his life would maybe crack open when he was down there. That something strange and exciting was brewing and burbling in him. He liked this feeling. Liked feeling special and different and possessing of a secret. He liked his room, he decided. Liked the quiet view from the window. Liked his car, even if it stalled out sometimes and the back window wouldn't roll up all the way. He liked his job, liked his coworkers. Especially Andrea the new hostess. They were going to be friends, he could already tell. He liked life. Liked it well enough. But still something exciting and different was nice, too. "Mexico..." he thought to himself again. It was like a song, that word. Like driving in a car and never turning around.