For a fiercely loyal clan, the guidos of Jersey Shore sure do engage in a lot of infidelity. In its wake comes conflict, destruction, and a scream heard 'round the world. What we can learn from such fickle creatures?
Plenty, actually, as we will see in a minute. But first we must discuss the logistics of the most important sociological experiment of our time. Yes, the weekly footage we have been getting of this tribe has been corrupt. Maybe it is due to the success of the first season or maybe it has something to do with the heat and humidity of the Miami winter, but the film from their escapades has become strange and warped. This phenomenon occurred last year, when some of the show would be broadcast with a faux-distressed filter, mostly immediately before and after commercial breaks. It gave the tapes a patina that was something of a cross between the grainy photos on TMZ and a well-worn fifth-grade film strip where a lab-coated scientist explains the beautiful miracle of menstruation. But now, nearly half the show is given this treatment.
We beg those responsible for filming these beasts in the wild to please knock it off. We don't want to see all the lines and blur around our subjects, we just want to see the action. If we have learned nothing from the guidos it is that over-styling is not good. In fact, watching all this jarring post-production work is making us seasick. Please stop, the reality television scientists of the world beg you.
Actually, this might have been done to keep scientists from watching, because there is nothing a guido finds more disgusting that someone who has poisoned their mind with "book learning." One of the guidos, the great grape ape known as Ronnie, even brags that, "I don't like tests. That's why I didn't go to college. If you give me a test, I'll most likely fail." But he says this laughing, as if it is some form of accomplishment. When Vinny and DJ P(aulie) hD discover some girls they are hitting on go to law school, they are immediately turned off by them. Vinny encourages them stop studying law and start "studying dick." While dick is a subject that most guidos are well-versed in, they can not accept that it is not a course most females want to enroll in. Still, we hear that Vinny's syllabus is quite—how shall we put this?—robust.
Now it's time for some book learning of our own. Let us brace ourselves for a bold discussion of the strange romances of the Guidous Americus by learning some necessary terms to discuss their elaborate entanglements.
- Fuckness: This is a new linguistic construction that we watched being created by Snooki, a master grammarian. It describes a continued behavioral pattern that is incredibly "fucked." That means both people engaged in such behavior are acting inappropriately. Because of this, they are both placed under the care and tutelage of the "I"m Fucked Foundation" or IFF. Like auditing plucks off the Thetans, only the IFF can assuage the "fuckness."
- The Kid: A derogatory term to discuss a man who has behaved badly. This has an acute sting because it eradicates the guido's unique nickname and relegates him to the ocean of generic and nameless individuals that surround the island of their culture.
- Cookie: A term for a woman that a man is engaging in sexual congress with. However, one man can only eat one cookie at any given time. If he wants another cookie, he must first either put down or fully digest the cookie he is currently eating to move on to the next cookie. The Situation's favorite kind of cookie is chocolate chip. The men like this term because it reminds them of the joy of baked goods they have to avoid to keep their abs a-poppin'. The term was formed by synecdoche to refer to the whole woman when it was once just used to describe the parts of the female anatomy below the navel but above the...well, you get the idea.
The first instance we saw of cheating might be real or imaginary but was perpetrated by Snooki's far away Prince Charming, Emilio. He is a noble creature with a strong jaw, a suit of armor (his shellacked hair), a noble steed (his father's Iroq Z), and a winning demeanor, especially when drunk. When Snooki calls him and he is in the club, he tells her to fuck off because he's partying with naked girls. We have a feeling that this heaven—akin to the one where martyrs are met by one hundred million virgins waiting to cater to their every whim—doesn't really exist.
Still it is enough to piss off Snooki. It pisses her off so much that she no longer sexually desires a penis. Instead, she is only interested in vaginas. Snooki, one of the most prominent queer theorists in academia, posits that the lesbian rate in the world's population is skyrocketing not due to the ouster of Proposition 8 or the popularity of that Ellen DeGeneres character, but because men treat women badly. A similar theory has been posited by the Real Housewives Institute branches in both New Jersey and Atlanta, so maybe this is actually true for women who are on reality television programs.
Regardless, Snooki is upset when she receives this phone call.
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That's right Emilio Charming tells his Princess of Poughkeepsie that he has slept with another woman, the Hag of Sagamore. Actually, no, it is she who fucked him. She forced him to eat a magic taco and he fell under her spell, limp of body but erect of penis. Then the stooped crone removed his beautiful robes that were Exchanged by Armani and gathered up her soiled robes and straddled his timid but anticipatory member. Yes, she fucked him. Emilio is now fucked. Actually, this is a state of fuckness, so members of the IFF delegation of the northeast arrived and removed the stale crone and escorted Emilio to the nearest phone so he could confess his fucked fuckness to the future monarch of Poughkeepsie.
She was naturally disgraced and she let out the cry of the vanquished. Her scream shook the building, nay, it shook the entire town. It echoed off the eateries and nightclubs. It reverberated the art deco hotels lined up in their sherbet-colored row. It beat back the waves on the nearby ocean, the tide borne back ceaselessly toward a green light somewhere on the vague shores of Long Island, the ancestral home of this fair princess. It even sounded in the dark cave somewhere in an undisclosed location where the guido's forsaken household god, the Duck Phone, was plotting his revenge. He quacked a hearty quack that night, and wondered what other mischief he could create using that phone line to the Metropole apartments in Miami.
Suddenly, it occurred to him. He would pose as Emilio and repeatedly call the house. But then JWOWW answered the phone. That was not his intended target, so he pretended like he had reached their voicemail. He hung up and called again, and again JWOWW, the He-Man to Snooki's Tela, answered. She told the Duck Phone (posing as Emilio) that if he called again she would call the cops so that they would be there when she arrived on the next flight to New York and beat his ass. She was not afraid to go to jail to defend her Snooki's righteousness. That is why everyone needs a loyal friend like JWOWW. Eventually, the Duck Phone gave up his evil ruse, and so ends the story of the Princess and the Peabrain.
Though it continues with Princess Sammi and Ronnie. What are we going to do with these two? While we have our little glossary of guido terms every week, it seems that we need to hit Sammi over the head with a dictionary (and every volume of the Encyclopedia Brittanica's Fifth Edition) so that she learns the meaning of "done." Being "done" with a boy means that you are over him, that you do not want to talk to him, you do not want to know where he is, you do not care who he hooks up with, and you do not help him not choke on his own vomit when he gets so drunk that he can barely function. But no, the ever vacillating Sammi does not know the meaning of "done."
Everyone in the house is sick of it too, and so is Ronnie. Though he doesn't know the meaning of "done" either. He says that, "If the horse is dead, you have to leave it alone." The horse, in this instance, is Sammi. But as much as Ronnie says that he's "done," he keeps crawling into Sammi's bed in the middle of the night for limp-dicked cuddle time. That is the behavior of someone who is "done."
Finally at the club, he laid down the law for what we thought was the final time.
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Sammi seems to accept this, and doesn't want to be around him. But then she asks where he is. Then she has to go find him. Then she has to say something, but Ronnie ducks into a cab and speeds off. Doesn't she get the message? No, Sammi does not get the message because we have found that when guidos mate, they mate for life, even if they eventually hate each other. They're just stuck in some sort of Revolutionary Road romance where they resent the stuffing out of each other, but just can't get away because of stifling social constraints.
The girls take Sammi out for a good time but of course Ronnie shows up to hector Sammi some more. "I hate you. I love you." "You're a bitch. You're the best." "Get away from me. Come here, I'm talking to you." "I don't need you. Please take me home." These are the kinds of contradictory things that Ronnie was saying. And Sammi took care of him, even though she hated him, she could not watch him make a fool of himself. But he still did, because he was this drunk.
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The night of Ronnie's drunkenness and their love
will tear them apart brought them back together again, and they snuggled on the couch once more. But we have a feeling that it is all coming to an end.
Why? Because the central conflict of the house isn't who is being faithful to whom romantically, it is who is watching whose back Platonicly. As Sammi's female friends, Snooki, JWOWW, and Trash Bags (who is now something akin to a friend, more like a female ally who is dying to get into everyone's good graces), must tell Sammi that Ronnie is hooking up with other girls while he is out at the club. At several points, people said things that made Sammi suspect that he is going around dogging on her behind her back. She knows this to be true. Deep down somewhere in her flinty little heart, she knows that Ronnie is humiliating her, but she can't bring herself to completely understand this revelation. Maybe because that would mean they would be done. Not "done" with those two little buffers on either side of it, but a stark, naked, eternal done.
Based on the ancient guido friendship code, members of the same gender are closer than members of the opposite gender, and they are contractually obligated to tell a same-sex friend the truth about one's mate. We also learned during that crazy game with the bowl of questions that Ronnie wants to do a little bit more with his same-sex friend Vinny, but then who in the house doesn't want to have sex with Vinny? Anyway, the girls have to tell Sammi that Ronnie is cheating, but they don't want to piss off Ronnie, who is also their friend and even more unstable than Sammi.
What to do? What to do? Oh, they're going to write an anonymous letter and leave it for Sammi so that she knows about Ronnie's bad behavior but no one knows that it's coming from them. This is actually not an original idea. It is one that the guidos saw on an episode of Charles in Charge, a revered television program in all guido households because they really identify with that Scott Baio. In fact, no guido quite understands why Scott Baio's career is flagging. They think he would be great in everything. Anyway, there was an episode where Buddy was dating this girl who was using him and the kids Charles babysits witnessed her bad behavior and wanted to tell Buddy about it, but didn't want to piss off Charles (they were up past their bedtime, of course), so they left a note in Buddy's notebook. Then Buddy knew what happened.
See, it all makes perfect sense, so they go off to type their note.
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Snooki and JWOWW even try to disguise it with a faux-heightened vocabulary and use "breasts" instead of "tits." Too bad Snooki's "Boing" sound effect had to be taken out for authenticity, because it really made the letter. After printing it out at the Cyber Cafe (which, up until that night, JWOWW thought was a cafe that actually served the Middle-Eastern delicacy cyber), they left it in Sammi's drawer. They told Trash Bags about it, and made her swear that no one could know who wrote the note. Poor Trash Bags, she knows she is the patsy in this situation. JWOWW and Snooki have been setting her up so that when Sammi finds out that all the girls knew about Ronnie cheating they can pin it on her. Oh, don't make us feel sympathy for Trash Bags. Please!
The saddest part about all this is that Snooki and JWOWW don't remember the second part of the Charles in Charge episode, where Buddy thinks that Charles is the one who wrote the note, and he chooses his new girlfriend over Charles. And then Charles gets all sad, because he lost his best friend. Then the kids have to go to Charles and confess that they were the ones who left the note, and Charles tells Buddy, but he doesn't believe him, and tells Charles he's just jealous. It's not until Buddy sees his no-good cheating girlfriend actually cheating that he realizes what is happening. Sure, in the end Buddy comes over and Charles and the kids all have a group hug and the live studio audience lets out a cleansing and cathartic "Awwwwww." But life is not an episode of Charles in Charge and this is not going to end well.
Until then, at least everyone is ostensibly getting along, and they can all sit down to a nice family dinner together.
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One of the few remaining mysteries of the guido clan is why they are so accident prone, especially when it comes to food preparation. We have seen the Situation and DJ Paulie Disaster light a grill on fire. We have seen Snooki throw dinner on the ground, but here is a spectacular triple play. The Situation spills the sauce (which really should properly be called "gravy") on the ground, Snooki nearly takes Ronnie's eye out with a champagne cork, and then The Situation knocks the milk and other things on the ground by opening the fridge.
What is this all about? Is it that the guido liver is slower to process alcohol than the normal human liver and they are constantly all shoulders and elbows (an idiom I just made up that means they're clumsy)? Is it that the UVA and UVB rays of the tanning bed cause the canals of their inner ear to dry up, causing balance problems? Is it more machinations of their irate forsaken Duck Phone god? Are they just stupid?
We will have to keep watching, watching and learning, learning and praying, praying and hoping that one day all of this will make sense.