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Davis

Davis, California

Monday, October 18, 2021

Column: The douchebag impostor

So I’m sure you’ve heard of this place called New Jersey. If you’ve heard of said place, you might have heard of this thing called “Jersey Shore” and this … uhh, cultural movement called being a “Guido.” If you are blissfully ignorant about what I am talking about, then I don’t want to spoil anything for you. (How’s the rent under that rock?) I’ll sum Jersey Shore up in two words: glorified … uhh, irresponsibility. (I am really flipping through the pages of my euphemism dictionary for this one.)

Anyway, I went to Jersey Shore on Friday, and by going to Jersey Shore I mean to a house on Anderson where my friends were throwing a Jersey Shore-themed birthday party.

It was like a terrible, terrible art show. A display of ridiculous hairstyles and garish wardrobes. One of my friends was sporting some kind of Under Armour hooded sweatshirt/vest with a bunch of teal and yellow stripes. It’s marketed for those who worry about protecting their hair from rain but won’t pass up the chance to give that special lady a ticket to the gun show. I asked him where he bought this clown costume. He said Target, men’s athletic. Go figure.

I was not, however, merely a spectator. I was a part of the spectacle, too.

To get into true Jersey Shore character, I changed my name to Angelo and slicked my hair back with enough gel and hairspray to protect me from any blows to the head. I wore fake Ed Hardy sunglasses with frames exhibiting skulls, rattlesnakes and roses. My shirt was too small and had the pink outline of a naked woman on it, matching the naked woman drawn on my arm in Italy’s national colors. I spoke in a nasal accent reminiscent of henchmen from the ’30s. I ended all of my sentences with a bad pun and a fake laugh.

I had become a douchebag.

Some people from out of town came up to partake in the debauchery and listen to me make a fool of myself playing beer pong:

Guy: “Hey, it’s our turn. Where are the balls at?”

Me (As Angelo): “Don’t got enough bawls ovah there, eh pal? Heheh.”

Guy: “Good one. Where are the balls?”

Me (As Angelo): “I gotcha bawls right here, chief. Right? Heheh.”

As you can imagine, those who were not in on the act found it … childish. But my act was convincing. One of the girls from out of town was talking to one of my friends. She gave me a look that was somewhere between contempt and disbelief.

I thought maybe she was into me. Maybe she wanted a piece of Angelo. (I could show her where the bawls are at, right? Heheh.)

My friend came over to me laughing.

Regular me: “What’s up?”

Friend: “Oh man, this is hilarious.”

Regular me: “Is she trying to holler?”

Friend: “No, you idiot. She thinks you’re legit.”

Regular me: “What?”

Friend: “She thinks you’re real. That you always dress and talk like that. She thinks all of us are actually like this. She thinks this is how Davis gets down.”

He was right. It was hilarious – for a second. I looked around at all the people taking shots, yelling and “beating up the beat,” as it were. It was a convincing spectacle, to say the least. I then wondered how many parties were going on, right then, that mirrored what we were doing but without the irony. After all, Jersey Shore has become quite the pop phenomenon. There are people who are like that, who revel in that sort of life where you wake up and get wasted and fall asleep after a few hours in the hot tub with any number of lascivious women. Eat, drink, fuck, sleep, repeat ad nauseam.

I then realized how lucky those sons of bitches are. Glorified irresponsibility, just the kind of life I’ve been trying to pursue these past five years. (Although I’ve spent substantially less time in hot tubs with lascivious women than I might have liked.)

Who knows? Angelo started as a joke, but maybe I can move to New Jersey, work in a T-shirt shop and live happily until I run out of tanner or the clap gets me. Or maybe that East Coast utopia doesn’t exist. Maybe Snooki, the Queen of the Guidos, has a couple of PhDs and spends her time away from Jersey Shore over in Switzerland working on the Large Hadron Collider. (And maybe that’s why the damn thing had so many screw-ups.)

WILL LONG wonders if you were at the party and saw that couple grinding so hard they broke a floor-to-ceiling window. Holler at him at wclong@ucdavis.edu.

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