This is the part where you ask me, with your best wax model smile, “Hey, how was your break?”
And I could tell you how I captured Osama bin Laden with my genetically engineered Jose Canseco clones, and your response will be “Oh that sounds fun.” And then I ask you the same question, and as you start answering, my eyes will glaze over. For all I care, you could’ve been Michael Moore’s personal back-shaver for two weeks. And I’ll say, “Really, that’s great.” And then we’ll part ways.
But seriously, this spring break, I was lucky enough to spend nine days in Barcelona and five days in Rome, because my girlfriend is studying in Spain this semester. See, I had never been to Europe, so I had this whole plan — find a girl who was planning on studying abroad for a semester, buddy up with her, then dupe her into inviting me to visit. I wish I could copyright this scheme.
As for Europe, everyone is right — Europeans really do everything differently from Americans. Their sidewalks are too small, their tomatoes taste better, they love graffiti, their women are beautiful (is that really a surprise though when one compares the women of Rome and New Haven? I guess that’s like saying the New England Patriots are better at football than the Melville County Pee Wee All Stars), their airports are inefficient, their landmarks are better, their toilets don’t have enough water, and according to the haircuts, Flock of Seagulls still tops the charts.
I don’t know if that last one is a good or a bad thing.
So now, people can no longer say I live in a bubble, for I have seen the other side, my friend. I mean, what’s more culturally diverse than drinking vodka on St. Patrick’s Day at an Irish Pub in Barcelona while a Spanish bouncer punches a drunk American college kid in the face and a creepy Belgian dude is hitting on your girlfriend? Jesse Jackson keeps leaving me messages, it’s ridiculous.
Anyway, it’s great to be back in New Haven. Wait, did I really just say that? OK, well it’s great to be back in America. When I left, 50 Cent was feuding with The Game, Duke was looking a little shaky going into the ACC Tournament, and Hitch was the number one movie in America. I come back, and 50 Cent and The Game are friends again, Duke is in the Sweet Sixteen, and Robots is the number one movie in America. All of this happened with nary a word over in Europe.
How can they not care about these things?? I thought they liked Hitch, because there were billboards for it every half mile. And how can they walk around and carry on with their normal lives during those first four days of March Madness?
I need a steady stream of useless information, and ya know what, Europe? You just didn’t cut it.
I want to know why movies like Hitch are popular. I want to know that Duke went on a tear and won the ACC Tournament, garnering them a one seed. I want to know that Bucknell upended Kansas. (Can you imagine a Yale team ever doing anything of that caliber? I tried to for 38 seconds, but then my head started throbbing and I blacked out.) I want to know why 50 Cent let The Game back into his coveted posse.
Luckily, while thinking about this during section, I came up with an answer. At first, I thought 50 Cent disowned The Game simply because “The Game” is the worst rap name of all time, edging out Silkk the Shocker and Lloyd Banks. But it goes oh so much deeper.
Think about 50 Cent for a second. See if you can guess where I’m going with this: He goes to the bathroom with an entourage. He enjoys hanging around sweaty dudes at nightclubs. He enjoys talking about Gucci and Prada. He is crazy. So, basically, 50 Cent is actually a woman, and that explains why he was consumed by his jealousy of The Game, tried to stab him in the back, and then had an inexplicable change of heart. This explains why 50 Cent holds grudges against guys like he’s a bride who was left at the altar.
Now, if only Europe had picked up the slack, I could’ve come up with this revelation over a week ago.
Still, aside from the aforementioned examples, we really aren’t that different from Europe. We’re both obsessed with the Michael Jackson trial and realize that the days of unintentional comedy from the “Beat It” fight scene are now replaced by the unintentional comedy of Jacko crying as he enters the courtroom in his pajamas. Like people at Yale, people in Europe don’t know how to walk in crowded areas. We both have an incomprehensible love for crappy American movies and crappy American pop music. We both pay close attention to some place called the Middle East. We’re both filled to the brim with cheesy dudes (which is reassuring if you have a girlfriend studying in Europe).
So, Europe, I like you, even if you don’t have a pack of genetically engineered Jose Canseco’s running around and writing books. Or one, for that matter. But that’s probably a good thing.
Carl Williott was the starting towel boy for the Melville County Pee Wee All Stars.