The purpose of sending the eight subjects of the most important sociological experiment of our time overseas was to see how they would interact with a culture that is completely foreign to their own. So far, all anyone wants to do is interact with each other.
Yes, the eight guidos that we know and love are finally starting to pair up into drama-fraught couples and it seems like that is what is finally going to spell destruction for the men and women of the
Jersey Italian Shore. But before we can get to their various and assorted comminglings, let us look at some of their language so we can know what they hell they're talking about.
- Pussy Pop: I believe this is the newest sexual maneuver that The Situation has added to his love arsenal (is that a Prince song?), but due to the top secret nature of this transmission, some of the title and description have been bleated out to keep the public safe. I believe it is when a woman puts her vagina on a man's penis and then somehow pops it back out, but I could be mistaken. After all, where I come from "pussy pop" is Fresca.
- White Boy Wasted: This is an extreme state of sloppy drunkenness that the guidos believe only white people can fall into. That's because everyone they know is white and none of them can handle their liquor.
- She's Too Young For You, Bro: This is a verbal sparring game where the guidos invent different scenarios that would mean that a woman is too young for them to hit on. This was invented in Italy because the drinking age is 18 so the girls in the club are a lot less mature than the guidos are used to in their native habitat. Entries into this game could include: "If she's never heard of Vanilla Ice, she's too young for you, bro." "If you slept with her aunt, she's too young for you, bro." "If she's at your door selling Girl Scout cookies, she's too young for you, bro." This is kind of fun.
- Come Si Dice: An Italian expression that means "How do you say?" but DJ Paulie Dialect has appropriated it for a different purpose. On certain occasions he will say, "Come si dice [fill in a word appropriate to the scenario]." For him it is sort of like a # on Twitter, classifying the event or conversation with an overarching theme, usually to humorous results.
Now that we know just what these Pagliaccis are talking about, let us discuss one of their more formal rituals: Sunday night dinner. Like many large Italian-American families, the guidos have taken to having a large, home-cooked Sunday dinner for the whole tribe, usually one that is prepared by the men. First, they encounter distinct trouble at the supermarket, when they realize that all of the products in the store are labeled in Italian. How do you say "chicken cutlet" in Italian? What about lasagna? Chicken Parmesian? Pasta Fagioli? No one knows, so shopping is very difficult.
When they get home, Deena and Sammi volunteer to cook, which is odd because in the guido household, the woman's role in the kitchen is to make herself beautiful by doing her hair while the men prepare the food. This is always the way it has been for time immemorial. So when Sammi and Deena volunteer to cook the men are happy to have some time off, but a bit befuddled because, while it sounds appetizing, they don't want to come home to a big dinner of hair pie. Sure, they love eating it, but it is not at all filling.
They soon come across another language barrier, when they discover that the dish washer's buttons are in Italian too. How do you say "wash" in Italian? They can't figure it out, and the scene ends with suds all over the floor. In any language the guidos have trouble with simple machinery. Naturally Sammi and Deena quickly abandon their project and go to a restaurant to eat food. This, actually, makes a lot of sense because, not only are the women accustomed to having their food prepared for them, but it also takes a lot of energy to cook dinner, and they need to be fueled for their toil. However the men, not knowing when the women will return, finish dinner on their own, righting the natural balance of the guido household and shaming the women into never trying to cook again.
Now, let us investigate the guido's incestuous dalliances.
Deena, and the other guidos, have a very difficult problem in Italy. This species already has a very tenuous grasp on gravity, being rather short and squat and quite often intoxicated. Now that they are half a world away, and the pull of the earth's core is different from it is back in the United States. This, naturally, causes them all to fall a lot more often than usual. Poor dears, but it is never not funny.
Deena, fares worse than any of the other housemates, probably because the strange natural forces in Italy coupled with her short stature and top-heavy condition makes her tower lean like Pisa and then topple to the ground. I believe that her evil marionette Pierre also has something to do with this, but I have yet to prove that. All I will say is that the Duck Phone is strong in that one.
Deena's accidental acrobatics aside, the evening started off as it ended at Otel, the seventh flame of hell, with Deena and DJ Paulie Disgusted Italian kissing in the corner. She was ready to go home to "smush," but DJ Paulie Deny wasn't so sure. He didn't want to mess around with her and then upset her when he fucks more American tourists in the future. That is actually quite courteous and thoughtful of the man. If only all the other guidos had such an aversion to drama that he had. But their mutual crush continues, if unrequited for the time being.
The creepiest of all the relationships is definitely what is happening between The Situation and Snooki. It's like watching two stock cars turn the raceway corner way too close to each other, waiting for the screech of the tires and the smoke to billow out of the undercarriage as they crash into the giant Tide ad on the wall, erupting into a flame ball. Yes, it's going to be that bad and that's because they are both in it for the wrong reasons.
First, Snooki was on the phone with her rather possessive boyfriend, who was upset he hadn't talked to Snooki, who is half a world away, in 24 hours. Listen, mister, when your girlfriend is doing her work with science you have to deal with the fact that she's not going to be available to you 24 hours a day. We know you're jealous, but that's no reason to act out. When they get in a fight, The Situation is there to offer her comfort, but it's not really comfort at all, it's him creeping up on her, trying to get her to dump her boyfriend and get with him so that he can exercise his control over Snooki and prove his dominance of Jionni.
But just as The Situation wants to be the alpha hookup male of the house, Snooki wants to be his object of affection, relishing in his attention, as unwanted and dangerous to her relationship as it might be. When Sitch meets an ugly American tourist (and really is there any other kind) named Brittani (really is there any other way she would spell it) he hooks up with her because, well, he can't help himself. He'd rather hook up with an ugly girl than hook up with no one. She serves her purpose though. When he brings her home, Snooki gets jealous, remarking how much more attractive she is than the other girl. It's not that she wants to be with Sitch, necessarily, but she wants everyone in the house, including donkey dicked Vinny and DJ Paulie (Not) Donkey Dicked to think that she's the most beautiful. This girl is one magic mirror away from living in a fairy tale.
The next evening, Sitch gets wasted and tells Snooki that he has feelings for her, and she is once again happy to be in his affections, and leads it on, but isn't going to do anything about it, because of her attachment to Jionni. So the Sitch does exactly what you think he would do. He calls up Ugly Brittani and spears her once again.
Ugh, since we're talking about the couples in the house—and really everyone is in a couple right now except for JWOWW and Vinny and based on what we know about Vinny, it's amazing she hasn't tried to fit it in at least once—we have to talk about Sammi and Ronnie. If Sitch and Snooki are a NASCAR YouTube video crash waiting to happen, then Sammi and Ronnie are a Ferris Wheel that is about to fall over crushing everything beneath it. It's just spinning, spinning, spinning, while the creaking iron of its base heralds the imminent destruction as it crashes with the screams of a thousand tourists.
It's to the point where all the other guidos feel exactly the same way as the amateur scientists watching this whole experiment. They are all sick of the fighting and totally embarrassed. They are totally justified and both Sammi and Ronnie are guilty. When drunk beyond drunk at the club, Ronnie starts rubbing how many girls he's slept with in Sammi's face. She reacts by trying to start a fight in the club, but everyone knows, by now, that the Ferris Wheel is creaking, creaking closer to the ground and separate them.
Sammi, for her part, says that she walked away from Ronnie and now knows better than to start a drunken fight and thank god for small lessons learned. It only took him throwing her around and breaking her glasses and generally shaming her in public before she figured that out. Good on her. The problem is, when she's sober, she's all "Oh Ronnie. I still love you. Let's cuddle and have sweet sweet babies together and join evil dark forces forever." God, girl, give it a rest. I think that Italy isn't doing either of them any favors. They're strangers in a strange land, and it makes sense that they would be drawn toward a familiar embrace, complete with bad tattoos and bacne. This is just awful.
Here is a couple that we never saw happening: it's Vinny and Ronnie. Now, I'm not saying that Ronnie is gay, but if he's going to be gay, he might as well get gay with the biggest dick in all of Italy. No, not Lapo Elkann—though he is a bit of a dick—Vinny's! When the two of them get in the Jacuzzi, or the LoveCuzzi as Ronnie calls it, sparks start to fly.
Their whole interaction is fraught and Ronnie has a look on his face that says that he can barely talk because he's thinking of just the right way to make a move. Now I've been in many hot tubs with many strange men, and it is always a curious interaction. While the point is to bring yourselves closer together, no one is quite sure how to make the first move. Luckily for Ronnie, he blames the strange gravity of Italy for working its magic in the Jacuzzi. He explains to Vinny that its position on the globe coupled with the warm water actually creates a whirlpool that brings the two of them together in the center of the pool, flesh touching flesh, and water washing over their limbs—some of them stiffer than others. That's really just Ronnie trying to creep up on Vinny.
Maybe Vinny should hook up with Ronnie just once, if only so that Ronnie can come out of the closet (real or otherwise) so that Sammi will leave him alone once and for all. That would work, wouldn't it?
Now that we've looked at everyone's personal lives, let's look at their professional lives. Of course we have to maintain the charade that the guidos are actually going to work at a job. This time around it's at a pizza parlor in Italy. I have a feeling that pizza, at least as we know it, is to Florence as General Tsao's Chicken is to Beijing. They might vaguely know what it is, but what they're making is some totally different concoction. Also, it's stereotypical in the worst way, but the scientists devising this experiment are no stranger to a stereotype, now are they. We're sure this is going to be nothing more than a boring distraction, and it seems that Marco, their boss at the Pizzeria isn't nearly as much fun as Danny from the Shore Store or the Super Mario Brother from the gellato shop in Miami. Damn, this is making me hunger for a slice.
Of course, everyone is late for their first day because they're wandering around lost looking at the Vatican, a site that they also see on a later occasion. They are not incorrect in saying that the Duomo is the Vatican because to the guidos, that is the center of their religion. During the Great Guido Insurrection of 753, a group of guido Catholic leaders (who had bigger, shinier, blingier crosses and rosaries than all the other priests) split off in a splinter group from the main church and installed their headquarters in the Duomo in Florence. While most guidos practice a form of pagan Catholicism that recognizes both Jesus and their angry household god, the Duck Phone, as their personal saviors, they still consider the Duomo the true seat of their faith, and thus they call it the Vatican. See, it's you who doesn't know where the Vatican is, not them.
And as they walked past, their footsteps echoing on the cobblestones and filling the gothic nooks and apses of the great cathedral, some unspoken force awakened, an entity angry that it was not being honored and as the eight young people crowded into a small pizza shop on some forgotten via, the Duck Phone quacked it's deep, ancient rumble, threatening to bring them all together, only to tear them asunder.