Jersey Shore: Making Up and Breaking UpS

The relationships, both romantic and social, of the subjects on Jersey Shore, the most important sociological experiment of our time, are very volatile. Sometimes they are soothed with the balm of alcohol. Sometimes it makes them explode. Sometimes both!

Yes, last night was a series of emotional ups and downs, make ups and break ups, romances both rekindled and extinguished, and some rekindling took place even as the dousing waters of failure washed over them. It's a scientific impossibility, but such is the miracle of true love. But before we get to their fights and squabbles, let us first learn some terms that will be necessary for our cultural exploration:

  • I.F.F.: The latest catchphrase that our subjects are trying to make happen based entirely on repetition is this acronym which stands for the "I'm Fucked Foundation." Someone is a member of this foundation (usually referred to as both client and president) if he is in a situation where there is no resolution. Such circumstances include being stuck in a house with a bunch of people who hate you, or waiting for the girl who you spent the night with to inevitably discover that you were "motorboating Jell-O shot girls" the night before.
  • Work: The act of going out, getting drunk, starting a fight, and making out with ugly girls (sometimes two at a time) is considered "work." Most people would consider this a leisure activity, but for the guido, this is actually a career. What they do during the day is actually of no consequence. They must go out at night to make their money and engage in behavior that they will talk about the next afternoon. We all talk about work with our friends and coworkers, but in the case of the guido, their career involves petty squabbles and sloppy sex.
  • Snooki Night: A night where one gets so drunk that they don't remember anything the next day. Also, if one gets punched in the face by a stranger. Either one.
  • Mindgaming: A crime of the highest order that someone is accused of if a member of the clan is experiencing conflicted feelings about someone. For instance if you like a boy and find out he's done something unsavory, he is "mindgaming" you. Now, this occurs through no agency of the "mindgamer." Instead it explains the state of the person making the accusation, whose mind is the one doing the playing all on its own.
  • Downgrade: To stoop to a level that is lower than ones perceived level of classiness. Unlike flying on an airline or renting a car, one can not be downgraded by someone else.
  • AKA: Like the common usage, this still means "also known as" but it is used in an entirely different way. A guido would never say "Nicole Polizzi AKA Snooki," because in their world people can have more than one name simultaneously. No. Rather it means someone who has two different identities. When another guido knows of their duplicitous intentions, they must inform the other guidos of the conflicting roles. For instance, one would say, "That girl you were hooking up with is AKA a married woman," or, "your new roommate is AKA a coke fiend." Something like that.

Now, let us look at the roommates' strange relationship with the creature known as Trash Bags.

Again, Trash Bags has been accused of the most heinous guido crime: talking shit. Even worse, she has broken Snooki's rather complicated code of honor. Snooki believes that one can talk shit about her behind her back with impunity, though based on evidence of last episode, we originally believed the opposite. However, if one talks shit about her girls, her man, or her family, then she is going to approach you while holding a cocktail in a two-foot plastic container and expect you to have a serious conversation with her. In this instance, Trash Bags supposedly told JWOWW's friends that Snooki's boyfriend ex Emilio is a "F***** C*****." At first we couldn't figure out what the second word was. It was not "The C Word." It was not "crone." It was not "caterpillar," though his eyebrows do resemble them. We have decided she said "fucking cocksucker" or possibly "faggot cocksucker." Our lip reading experts are still examining the tape.

Snooki and her fighting stick/cup go out to yell at Angelina who says that she doesn't talk shit and wants to get along with everyone, even though all her behavior to this point has suggested quite the opposite. When Trash Bags wants to know the source of the rumor, JWOWW informs them that she heard the information from three sources: Jay 420, Johnny Yanks, and Bill. If you are familiar with the guido culture of Long Island, you will know that these are, in fact, unimpeachable sources. Jay 420, as his name would suggest, is the pot dealer for the greater Hicksville area, including parts of Bethpage and nearby Muttontown. Everyone talks and no one lies to their pot dealer, because stoners are without motivation or guile. Therefore he is an exceptionally good source of secondhand information. Johnny Yanks is a former minor league baseball player (for the Yankees, duh) who was thrown out of the league for doing too many steroids (and considering the state of America's past time these days, you can just imagine how much that is). During his unemployment, he started a gossip blog called the Guido Gazette because all the ladies want his juiced body so bad they tell him all sorts of nasty secrets to get at his shrunken bat and balls. Again, another excellent source of secondhand information. Bill is actually not a guido. He's just some guy that JWOWW made up so that her case seemed more airtight. Trash Bags has no fucking clue who Bill is because he is AKA an imaginary person, so when she says, "Who the fuck is Bill? I don't know Bill!" she isn't lying.

Angelina's biggest mistake is that she draws JWOWW into the fight by questioning the veracity of her statements. Tussling with Snooki is one thing because she is uncoordinated and doesn't know how to fight. However, messing with a girl who is AKA a trained assassin, well, that is going to get you killed right quick, as The Situation testifies. The only person who has ever fought with JWOWW and survived is Danielle the Agent of the Mossad who stalked DJ Paulie Dangerous last season, and that is only because of her own hand-to-hand prowess. JWOWW informs Trash Bags that if she stays in the house she will "get her fucking ass beat. Stay and you'll get your fucking ass beat. Stay and you'll get your fucking ass beat." Yes, every day will be a little death if Trash Bags stays in the house.

While this is going on, the men in the house know better than to get involved. First they don't want to incur JWOWW's wrath. Secondly, it is not respectable for a man to fight with a woman unless they are currently romantically involved or have been in the past. Therefore, everyone stays out of it. However, they partake in the guido ritual of eating pretzels while a fight occurs. This is because pretzels are perhaps the saltiest of all snack foods and they fill their mouths up with the carbohydrate so that when the loser of the fight is lying on the ground, bleeding out of several gushing gashes, they can spit in their wounds and it will sting with the salt from a million Rold Golds.

Trash Bags knows that JWOWW will kick her ass, so she doesn't even get up off her chaise, but doesn't flinch when threatened. This is a respectable stance for a guidette, not engaging, but not showing fear. Because she won't initialize battle, they are honor-bound not to hit her. Instead, Snooki does something even worse. When Trash Bags gets one of her endless string of phone calls (at least one was Johnny Yanks trying to fact check a blog post), Snooki answers the phone and says, "She's not here. She's dead." This seems like a harmless prank, but it's not. See, our subjects have left behind their household god, the Duck Phone, and sold their souls for this new phone. It looks bland and nondescript, but it has all the powers of Satan. If you speak things into this new Devil Phone, then they actually come true. So, when Snooki says that Trash Bags is dead, the phone starts conjuring up its mojo to actually kill her. It almost works, but when Trash Bags picks up the phone herself and says, "I'm not dead," it reverses the evil sorcery and restores her to life. Good save, Trash Bags.

Because Trash Bags is still on the outs with the girls, she has been hanging out with the boys. This causes trouble for several reasons. The first is that the male guido does not trust the female guido with any information about his "work." See, women have vaginas, and vaginas are scientifically proven to cause people to lie. Well, at least this is what the guidos believe. As a young race, they are susceptible to believing in all sorts of weird magic and folklore. Anyway, the men keep each other's secrets about what happens at the club and who hooks up with whom. Just like the men protect each other, so do the women, and if a woman finds out a secret about a man, her social obligation is to share it with the other women to protect them. That is why men and women don't share information.

The other problem is that Trash Bags is hanging out with the boys is because she wants to marry DJ Paulie Debonair. Yes, they hooked up and Trash Bags never got over it. Such is the problem with a penis piercing—once a woman has felt its cold heat on her insides, she feels empty without it. So, when Trash Bags goes out with the crew, she decides that she's going to lure her man in. First, she dances skankily with a drag queen Donatella Versace impersonator (drag queens and guidettes get along famously because they shop at the same stores). When that doesn't work, she tries to cock block him from hooking up with a girl who, one day in the vague vague future, might actually get married.

That gambit fails her as well, so the only recourse left is to start a drunken fight with him. She confesses her love and he rebuffs her. This pisses her off and she slaps him. Now she has pissed off all the girls by talking shit and the boys by being a crazy Prince Albert fiend who gets aggressive when she drinks. As DJ Paulie Disgusted says, she has no one in the house now. If she stays she'll get her fucking ass beat. If she stays she'll get her fucking ass beat. If she stays she'll get her fucking ass beat. If she stays she'll get her fucking ass beat to infinity.

DJ Paulie Destruction and Trash Bags aren't the only two old flames who had several altercations last night. Good old Ron-Ron and Sammi were up to their same old fighting tricks. When Ronnie returned from the club after a three-way make out session with the only two Hooters waitresses who were too ugly for Tiger Woods to sleep with, he decided that he was going to climb into bed with Sammi to show just how badass he is. When he gets into bed, she asks if he "did anything," and he lies and says no. She then allows him into her bed, because she still loves him. The next morning, with little memory of the night before and a hangover that could make Snooki quit pickles, Ronnie treats Sammi like crap again.

OK, let us get the pair's first two days in the house straight. Ronnie and Sammi go to a club, they fight, Ronnie calls Sammi "The C Word," she goes home and bitches about him while he goes to the club and makes out with sluts, then he returns home, she forgives him, they share a bed, and then in the morning, he treats her like crap again. What the hell is going on with these two? They're like George and Martha from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe, but with slightly more booze.

What we have learned from our continued observation of this species is that once a male and a female mate (or "smoosh" in the popular parlance) they are mated for life. Even when they hate each other, they must still be there for each other. Usually this is a bond that is solidified by bearing children out of wedlock, but even without the physical offspring, there is a spiritual child that binds them for eternity.

Because they are stuck together forever, Sammi does the obvious thing and snoops through Ronnie's shit and finds the phone number of an ex-girlfriend in his phone book. They fight about it. There are so many nonsensical things about this fight that we haven't been able to properly parse its context yet, but Sammi is clearly in the wrong here. After this squabble, though, she shows her devotion by sitting with Ronnie while he gets a tattoo.

Many male and female roles in the guido culture are reversed, and this is one of them. See, that tattoo is the invisible spirit baby of Sammi and Ronnie's relationship. Just like a birth, he experiences prolonged intense physical pain for something ugly and senseless that he will be stuck with for the rest of his life. Like a good "father" Sammi holds his hand and makes the pain easier to bear. But even as this is happening, they are still fighting. They can't even have a reconciliation without it being contentious. Damn you, Helen of Troy.

The latest piece of simple machinery that the guido fails to understand how to operate is the refrigerator. Here The Situation puts a whole chicken slathered in barbecue sauce in the fridge to marinate, but he does it in such a way that when someone opens the door to the cooler, it is bound to fall on top of them. An unsuspecting Snooki, wearing a pair of glasses that have so much blinding bling on them that they have been outlawed in 37 states, opens the door and the chicken falls out onto the floor. When they ask The Situation what to do with the meat now that it has been sullied by the floor, he responds, "Pick it the fuck up, dawg." It would seem that he is the voice of reason, until we remember that he is the one who precariously placed the meal in the fridge in the first place.

Other than the actual falling of the chicken, the other remarkable thing about this incident is that we learned that Snooki does not know how to clean. It is the duty of each guidette's mother to teach her how to "be a woman"—to cook, clean, do the laundry, tease her poof, find discount packages for tanning, treat a freshly minted black eye with a bag of frozen peas, and all the other things required of a good wife. Here we learn that Snooki's mother has been negligent in her duties and Snooki has no idea how to clean. If a woman does not know how to "be a woman," it is a man's duty to teach her. See, a guido male only wants to marry a replication of his mother, so if she does not know how to clean the same way his mother did, then she does not know how to clean at all. That is the reason why Vinny has to school Snooki on the ways of barbecue sauce mopping. Valuable lessons all.

Not only did we learn last night that DJ Paulie (in)destructible's hair has been scientifically proven to withstand 150-mile-per-hour winds, we also learned this other very important subset of the guido grooming process. See, it is not enough just to go to the gym, maintain tanning, and do the laundry. No, the laundry must be fresh, so fresh that it is "fresh to death." When the male guidos decide it is time to go to "work" they signal to the females that it is time to leave the house by putting on their uniform, which is a brightly colored, overly graphic, often gemstone encrusted or metallic T-shirt. Once "T-shirt time" has been observed, everyone in the clan must leave the house.

This seems like common sense: the men don't want to have their shirts sullied before presenting them in public, so their wear an undershirt around the house until it is time to put their proper outfit on. The mysterious thing is that they wear a "wife-beater" tank top under their T-shirt, which is basically just an evolved form of the undershirt. Now they have two undershirts on, one on top of the other. Why bother with the wife beater?

But when we get a glimpse into the guido bathing process, it all becomes clear. Though they are obsessed with their appearance, the members of this genus do not like to bathe with water, because it will deflate or otherwise ruin the painstaking work they have done to perfect their hair. If done properly, the hair can last several days between showers. What about body odor? This is easily averted by slathering the body with Axe or one of the other fine body sprays that used to sponsor this little experiment before the sponsors that once shunned it rushed to be a part of it. By putting the undershirt on over the body spray, it ensures that it soaks into the skin appropriately to keep the male from getting an overly musky and unappealing aroma (though some might argue that an overpowering scent of Axe Hypnotic isn't very appealing either).

Speaking of grooming rituals, the strangest thing about the new apartment at the Metropole is that the bathroom door is made of opaque glass that is more transparent than it should be. If you will remember, the bathroom is the most important room in the guido household because it is there that the scent of deadly "puke breath" can be extinguished. It is also the only room where pictures can not be taken and no ill can befall a member of the species. Presenting a bathroom with a glass door—particularly one which JWOWW's naked form can clearly be seen through—is an invasion into the guido's inner sanctum. This is like smuggling a camera into Mecca or filming inside Scientology's Celebrity Centre International. But isn't that really just a metaphor for this whole endeavor—peeking in from the outside, trying to get a glimpse of this mysterious breed, and, at the same time, defiling them for our entertainment? Isn't there one place that can remain holy? No, and thank Jesus for that!