It is now time for the eight subjects from Jersey Shore, the most important sociological experiment of our time, to be removed for their native habitat so they can go on a journey to their spiritual homeland: Italy. Our little pigeons have flown from the nest, and nothing will ever be the same again.
Yes, this newest phase of our experiment began, like usual, with the guidos divided along gender lines, with the boys and the girls congregating in different locations—the girls fending off Deena's father's offer to strip for them and the boys learning dirty words in Italian from Vinny's family. The separate groups would come together in Italy. Things never being fair between the guidos and guidettes, the girls landed in Milan and had to take a bus to their final destination. This put them far behind the boys, who landed in Florence and just strutted over to their new palatial palazzo with their leopard print luggage in tow.
Speaking of luggage, let's take a look at some of the Italian words and phrases we'll need to know to continue our examination of the guido's trip of a lifetime.
- Luggage: This isn't a noun but a verb. It is the act of hauling large and loudly printed bags full of clothing and spilled bottles of bronzer either across an airport or up the stairs. It is very perilous work and can end in injury and, quite possibly, death.
- Fumble: The act of falling down while walking. This can happen because of wearing stripper heels on cobblestone streets, trying to navigate a sidewalk while heavily intoxicated, or while luggaging luggage across the airport.
- King Kong's Asshole: While the guidette generally aspires to trap a man that is a gorilla, she does not want to smell like this gigantic primate's anus, which is a simile for a rather stinky place or person. Ironic, indeed.
- Kick Some Shit: This is what a guido does while in a nightclub. While it is a portmanteau of the expressions "kick some ass" and "start some shit," it is not necessarily violent and usually refers to the guido's rather combative style of dancing and hooking up. However, if a fight starts at the club, well, that would just be another evening of "kicking some shit."
- Taxi Sono Qui: This is "cabs are here," in Italian as translated by Vinny, the show's walking, talking English to Guido to Italian dictionary.
The translation of "taxi sono qui" is sort of like a small indicator of what this phase of our experiment is going to be like. Just like this familiar phrase has been transmogrified into something foreign and possibly more sophisticated, so have our characters. Vinny is now sporting a beard, or so he claims. The thing about the guido facial hair is that it is only perceptible by other members of their tribe. It is something that grows dark and busy, but it reflects the light in such a way that normal human eyes can not perceive it. However, the special mutated anatomy of the guido, which includes eyeballs that are much more sensitive to light can detect it. These eyes evolved because the guidos spend so much time in the dim confines of nightclubs and sleeping during the day. As a result, they are the only ones who can see a fellow guido's facial hair and must wear large, thick sunglasses on the rare occasions when they do venture into the sun.
We can't see Vinny's physical change, and we can't see Snooki's either, but she insists that she is thinner than ever. This may be true, but because we are often distracted by the height of her hair and the volume of her ensemble, we can't really see it. We can see that she is unusually devoted to exercise, even running up and down the stairs and doing all sorts of bizarre body manipulations in the living room when she can't get to a proper exercise facility. This new pursuit of the perfect physique may have something to do with keeping her boyfriend, Jionni, one of the studs she met last summer in Seaside Heights with whom she continues to have a relationship.
JWOWW has also been spending tons of time in the gym with her boyfriend Roger, the Mayor of Seaside Heights. Being a self-identified gorilla juicehead, Roger spends a ton of time working on his traps and lats and delts. Between that and managing the political structure of a rather large summer destination, Roger has very little time, so JWOWW accompanies him to the gym, where she engages in rigorous activity. As a result, JWOWW is looking a little gaunt in the face, a look that is not necessarily becoming on her. The guidos prefer a woman with some curves and padding, and they usually look best this way. Luckily for JWOWW, her artificial breasts will never decrease in size, as she lovingly tells her housemates.
Speaking of boobs, Sammi's and Deena's look bigger than ever. Deena says the increase in her bust comes from doing exercises described in one of the great tomes of guido literature, Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret, but Sammi's boobs have grown naturally as a reaction to being single. When a guidette is unattached to a man and having less sex than usual, her bosom actually swells up so that she can attract more men and therefore satiate her rather ravenous sexual appetite. Yes, Sammi and Ronnie are, ostensibly still done. However, when they're together in a strange land, we can already see Sammi dangling those quotation marks from her fingers like a pair of discarded false eyelashes. She might want to be "done" with Ronnie at any minute and he seems like he might be receptive to that arrangement. As long as they don't go back to their treacherous whirlpool of mutual abuse, we'll all be fine.
Now that we've looked at the guidos, let's take a tour of their living arrangements.
The guidos are being holed up in a rather luxurious apartment in what used to be one of the finer neighborhoods in Florence, Italy. Then, you know, the Renaissance ended and the whole place just fell into the shitter, as it were. Still, this beautiful apartment was then reconstructed in the finest manor of what tacky people from America think that a beautiful Italian villa should look like: lots of tile, sponge painting on the walls, topiary, and of course white plastic statues made to look like marble.
However, no expense was spared when reconstructing the bathroom. As we all know, the bathroom is the most important room in any guido house. To recap for those who haven't been following this sociological experiment as closely as we have, we learned in the first dispatch of this endeavor that when a guido pukes, he comes down with a condition known as "puke breath." This condition is extremely contagious and actually deadly to other members of the species. Therefore it must be eradicated. This happens by brushing ones teeth, in the bathroom. The bathroom is the only place that a guido can go to be alone, so they often sought cover in their sanctum sanctorum. Still, the guidos tend to abuse their toilets and they are often disastrously and disgustingly clogged by anything from chunks of weave and T-shirts to, you know, actual poo.
This bathroom is a sacred space and has been designed as a sort of chapel. First of all the shower and other washing facilities are in a separate antechamber which, finally, can fit an entire camera crew so that we can experience the religious cleansing rituals that occur there. Thankfully the toilets are in a separate room, so that the stench can be contained and so that the irreligious act of regurgitation can occur in a separate structure without infect the rest of the room with its vile presence.
However there is one strange new addition to the bathroom: a bidet. While the guido knows that its intended purpose is for cleaning, it has taken on a whole new meaning in the culture. The bidet, as Vinny describes it, is a sexual device. This is probably because of the taboo the guido culture has against "sucking a butt." No rim jobs are allowed, but the feeling of something warm and wet on ones undercarriage is still desirable, so something that gives that sensation while also promoting hygiene is sort of an ideal appliance when a guido needs some self love. Does that mean that this is less of a bathroom and more of a masturbatorium? The preliminary answer is yes.
Another reason why the bathroom was the most important room in the guido household was because the bathroom mirror was the altar to which they made the painful sacrifices for their beauty. This is not the case in Italy. Due to the problems with voltage conversion for electronic appliances—namely hairdryers, curling irons, and straightening irons—and a lack of outlets in the bathroom, the guidettes (and DJ Paulie Disheveled) need to find somewhere else to enact their elaborate beauty preparations.
Naturally the only room in the house that is not being used and has enough electrical outlets is the kitchen. The women all retire there to prepare on propped up mirrors by the sink and stove, amidst the food and Limoncello. Ironically enough, this is all the women will do in the kitchen for their entire stay in Italy. While the gender norms are inverted in the guido culture, so the finicky male makes the food for the more voluminous woman, the women are not spared the gender norm of spending hours in beauty preparation. To cap irony with irony, what takes these ladies so long to get ready is that they all have weaves. Because of this augmentation, it not only takes longer, but makes all the devices they use to make themselves beautiful even more dangerous and prone to damaging their store-bought hair. If you smell burning coming from a guido kitchen, it's probably due to singed polymers from one of the girl's head, not a pizza left in the oven too long.
Just as the guidos struggle with their curling irons, they have a problem with nearly all simple and complex machinery (Ronnie can't even sit on a table without it breaking). However, there is one device that that have more trouble with than most: the car. First of all, the only people in the house who know how to drive a manual transmission are DJ Paulie Driver and Snooki. Well, actually Snooki doesn't, but when someone asked her if she knew how to "drive stick" she thought they were asking her about a particular sex act and she replied in the affirmative. Now she's stuck carting the girls around for the duration of their stay.
Not only can the guidos not drive, but they are unfamiliar with the street signs and other demarcations in this strange land. The GPS only speaks in Italian, and none of them have figured out how to read a map. That sort of makes sense in the guido culture, since normally none of them ever leave the confines of the tri-State area of New York, New Jersey, and Long Island, so they don't really need to read maps on a grand scale. Anyway, the girls not only are having problems working the car, but can't figure out how to get to the gym, and end up driving around in circles, necessitating Snooki's at home workout (sure to be a VHS fitness craze in no time).
The boys, however, have a sort of instinctual sense of direction when it comes to finding places that are full of heavy weights, sweat, and excess testosterone (of the injectable variety). When they arrive at the gym, they find an original Italian guido named Guido standing out front smoking a cigarette. Unfortunately, he does not speak English, but the men find a common language, and Guido teaches the guidos whole new ways of working out, most of them involving a large white rope that is attached to the wall. This is an ancient Italian martial art, and only the denizens of the motherland can use it to capture their native power. Our guidos will grow strong and mighty with this exercise.
Now we must discuss the troubling proposition of Snooki and The Situation hooking up. For those of you with a long memory, you will recall that they once made out in the hot tub in Seaside Heights, but The SItuation, thinking he could do better than Snooki, left her to stew alone in their collective love juices. Now, it seems the tables have turned, not only because Snooki has shed some weight, but also because she has a boyfriend.
The Situation is normally only attracted to women that are someone otherwise occupied by one of his friends or another guido. Why is this? Because The Situation doesn't hook up with women to get laid, he hooks up with women to show his dominance. Not only does he have to prove he is the most virile by hooking up with the most women, he has to prove he's stronger than all the other men by taking their women away from them. He doesn't really want to sleep with Snooki, he wants to show Jionni that he is better than him.
Anyway, Sitch tells Ronnie that he and Snooki have been hooking up, including once when Snooki was serious with her boyfriend. Ronnie says he doesn't quite believe this tall tale and, I have to admit, as a scientist and expert on these matters, I don't really either. Still, we'll take his word for what it's worth.
That night, at the club (which is called Otel and burns brightly with the fires of a million inhibitions), Sitch tries all his normal tricks to get Snooki to hug and kiss him, but she makes it clear that she is not interested. She only has eyes for Jionni. While this is a victory for Snooki and her fidelity, it is also her doom. This means that The Situation is somehow less than Jionni which means he'll have to resort to some sort of dirty behavior—probably trying to break them up—to assert his dominance. Watch out, Snooki, because you are about to be faced with a Situation.
The other hook up that's going on in the house is Deena's crush on DJ Paulie Debonair. She's decided that since she's in Italy she's not going to find any "gorillas" so she'd rather hook up with a leaner more European looking man. You know, a man who looks like DJ Paulie DaContinental. Wait, why does she need to hook up with a guy who looks like him, when she could hook up with the real thing. When she's in Rome she doesn't want to do the men the Roman girls do, she wants one of them men that came with her. That's like going on vacation and only eating at TGIFridays, just like you would back home.
Deena comes onto DJ Paulie Doomed hard and he falls for it, making out with her in the club. However, DJ Paulie D is under the impression that just like French Kissing, there is also Italian Kissing. This is a style of embrace that involves no lips touching at all. It is all protruding tongues, biting lips, and pained facial expressions. It sort of looks exactly like Divine eating dog shit off the sidewalk at the end of Pink Flamingos, someone trying to pretend they're enjoying something they really find repulsive. Just because love is the international language doesn't mean that there are individual permutations of how different people love.
Of all the splendors of the guido's new accommodations, there is one drawback: there is a vicious pigeon infestation. While there is a wonder terrace on their apartment, it is practically unusable, because every time the guidos go out there, they are dive bombed by kamikaze birds that seem to want to eat their ears. We all know why this is happening. It's because of the Duck Phone.
When going abroad the guidos have once again forgotten to bring along and pay respects to their household god: the Duck Phone. He is an angry and vengeful god, and this slight will not be taken lightly. In his absence, the Duck Phone has called about his Italian breathren, the deadly Pigeon Clan of Florence, to torment and torture the guidos until they return home to the Duck Phone's cruel embrace. Of course the biting of the ears is a highly symbolic act, because those are the ears that they press against their god to communicate with him, and pigeons are symbolically telling the guidos that if they do not return soon to the Duck Phone, they will be thrown out of heaven's kingdom forever.
But this is just the start of the trickery. As things are bound to unravel for our little crew—as their trouble with machines and each other, while they hook up and break up all over again, while they try to cross the ever expanding cultural divide—the Duck Phone will be waiting and watching, plotting their demise, his cackling bleat soaring over the Atlantic like a foul breeze.