Spring break: get ready

Mar 052003
Authors: Paul Franco

It’s that time of the year, you know what I’m talking about: in the immortal words of Millhouse Van Houten, “Sprrrrrrring Breaaaaaaaaaak!” Week upon week has gone into preparation for this one week. If you do the math that’s at least two regular weeks of planning per one week of carrying out said spring break plans.

All the planning can only lead to one thing: disappointment. There’s so much hype surrounding spring break, it can’t possibly live up to it (in the words of Public Enemy: “Don’t believe the hype!”) At least that’s been my experience, but then again I haven’t really participated in a real spring break. (That is to say, I’m a loser and went home the past two years!)

As I look forward to a possible road trip beginning this Friday, I can’t help but feel a sense of impending disillusionment. Personally, I have been watching spring break documentaries (to borrow a phrase from Andy Richter Controls the Universe; what the hell happened to that show?!?) of girls going wild ’round the clock to determine the elements of a great spring break, or at least the elements that the entertainment industry tells me I should have.

Well, I’m pretty sure I won’t be participating in the bead-for-flesh trafficking ring. Taking advantage of drunk girls who left their inhibitions at home because that’s how they are “supposed” to act (according to these documentaries!) by offering them shiny, plastic spheres that you can get at K-Mart for 95 cents in exchange for a peep show somehow seems demeaning for both parties involved. I’m pretty sure I know what guys do with the memories, and pictures they take: they put them a keepsake box, am I wrong? But what the hell do the girls do with those beads? hang them on their walls and proudly declare: “I had a hell of a time!” Somehow, I don’t think so.

Aside from the debauchery depicted in these documentaries, the world of entertainment has also dictated other elements that add up to a great week. If you’re going to take a road trip, you need a cherry red beat-up convertible boat, the kind that gets ten miles to the gallon. You certainly don’t take a blueberry (not purple!) Mazda Prot/g/ that gets reasonable gas mileage.

It has to be a convertible, otherwise how else are you going to stand up and feel the wind rush through your hair as Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” comes on? Try that in a regular car and you’ll hit your head. You might try sticking your head out the window, but you run the risk of falling onto a highway at about eighty miles an hour. And a hospital visit is sure to ruin any spring break, whether it’s a well-planned trip or not.

Speaking of convertibles, spring break has also become synonymous with the imbibing of incredible amounts of spirits. That is to say, spring break equals getting so trashed you can’t remember what you did the night before. In the various films I’ve seen concerning spring break (or similar circumstances), so many comical situations (and none of the STD’s!) arise out of indulging in insane amounts of alcohol. Ha, ha, hee-larious!

While we’re on the subject of regret-filled mornings (well, not regret-filled or urination burning in the movies!) let’s talk about the soundtrack to your spring break. I like to break it down in much the same way the moving picture industry (this thesaurus is really cool!) would. For the road trip we already have “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Some guys may have apprehensions about such a song, but once you hear it on a deserted, desert highway, it will get the blood pumping.

You’ll need a rocking club anthem to go with the foam party and choreographed dance sequence of your trip. I’m thinking something like Basement Jaxx’s “Where’s Your Head At?” or the old standby “Gangster Trippin'” by Fatboy Slim. Then there’s the part of your break where you lay on the beach with an old buddy catching up on good times and wondering where you are going in your respective lives. A song that is kind of upbeat, but still pensive would do quite fine during this segment; maybe you can get The Strokes to do something-they’re hot right now.

The most exciting portion of your spring break should be accompanied by an oldie, but a goodie, which is being played on the radio of your convertible. “Earth Angel,” will go perfectly with that time of spring break when you meet the love of your life that you know you must leave in a few days. (She’ll say: “It’s so hard!” And you’ll answer: “Who cares where we’ll be in a week, be in the moment!”)

I’ve seen so much in the entertainment industry about spring break from how my spring break should play out-to what I should drive-to what songs should be in the background, that I feel prepared to be let down. The question is no longer how, but when; Millhouse asks: “Well, when are we going to get rowdy?” And I proudly respond: “In two to three days!”

Last week my column may have been misconstrued to imply that I absolutely knew Zac Westbrook smoked insane amounts of marijuana. In fact, I do not know for sure whether or not Mr. Westbrook engages in such activities. I apologize for any misunderstanding.

Paul Franco is a junior majoring in philosophy. His column runs every Thursday in The Dish. Holla!

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