September 4, 2001
When a delivery man rings the bell at Chez Misery-Amongst-the-Swanky-Furniture, I think we all know what he's carrying, my dears. And it's not comeuppance, unfortunately. This year, the seven roommates have only six hours to prepare themselves for a weeklong Moroccan getaway. Sounds lovely, no? But before you start gushing about the lovely mosques, the bustling marketplaces, the intersection of so many interesting and ancient cultures, stop a minute.
Here's my hypothesis. The kids don't really go to Morocco at all. They're trapped in some sunny soundstage somewhere in California. The kids go to Burbank (albeit a Burbank with a few more throw pillows scattered around), where they are kept imprisoned until they do something dramatic for the cameras. The marketplace at Medina? All a lie, my sweets. It's the Highway 39 Flea Market dressed up with a few donkeys. It's like that movie in which the astronauts are supposed to go to Mars, but they find that the Red Planet is only fiberglass and special lighting.
Because to tell you the truth, the kids see about as much of Morocco as I've seen of Mars. As soon as the kids get to the "Darzina Estate" (yeah, right!), they do not venture off that little Shangri-la come hell or high water. The whole vacation is about sunning and lounging and drinking little drinks with umbrellas in them.
And resolving "issues." We cannot forget that, lovelies. I think that's why Bunim/Murray nixed the sightseeing this time around. They want to give us that same claustrophobic feeling that the Real Worlders must feel in their cooped-up little world. Even a little change of scenery (from, say, New York to Burbank) pumps the kids' spirits up. They run about the labyrinthine Darzina property like my dog Scooter after a squirrel corpse. Mike, upon seeing the bathroom, declares with glee, "I could stay in here all day! And it has one of those French things in it!"
But, once the novelty of all those arches and shady oases and bougainvillea starts to wear thin, the same old problems recur. The guys avoid the girls. Some girls avoid other girls. There's snapping and whining galore. When the Road Rulers pull up in their little Winnebago, they're greeted like salvation, glossy young angels sent to save the Real Worlders from themselves.
Coral, of course, couldn't care less. She has told us that she's a Muslim, which apparently means that she must wear a head scarf (only while in Morocco, of course), ignore guests, stuff her face with pizza and insult meeker souls until they cry. It's all in the Koran, you know. "They're just a bunch of people in an RV," she sniffs about the Road Rulers. "It's not because she's hungry," Kevin retorts, "it's because she's a bitch."
Team Winnebago isn't there for a minute before they get the skinny on the Coral/Nicole situation. Why, it's all Rachel can talk about, darlings. She tells Blair (her crush of the moment), "I love them. They're great," but the statements are so blurred together that we all know that she's lying out of her fluffy little head until she finishes, "but they're totally intimidating." The Road Rulers, who seem to be uniformly well-adjusted and enjoying themselves, counsel strength and honesty.
The two groups go to dinner, and Coral finds her slings and arrows returned one-for-one by wiseacre Road Ruler Adam. Coral tells him he's the stupidest person she's ever met (but it's all for yuks! Ha!). Adam describes Coral's sartorial style as "go to Salvation army, buy a turtleneck and wear it wrapped on (her) head." Coral doesn't appreciate this, but the other Real Worlders soak all this in, rapt. Could it be that Coral is not supernaturally sharp-tongued? Could it be that PEOPLE STAND UP TO CORAL AND SURVIVE?
All I can say, mes amis, is that it's pretty sad when a whole group of people have a life-changing epiphany courtesy of the Road Rules team. Nonetheless, Rachel and Lori resolve to have a little talk with Coral and Nicole to end their catty behavior. At first, the talk doesn't seem to be going all that well. Coral calls Rachel "a big baby." Rachel calls Coral "a big bully." Both of these statements are true, but resolution still seems a long way off.
I'm not really sure how it happens, but the four girls do make up. Let's just say that it's not exactly convincing, mes pamplemousses. The mean girls say that they've learned about other people's boundaries. The wimpy girls say that they'll be more honest. Nicole, in one of her few audible statements all evening, says she respects Rachel's and Lori's honesty, but she's "emotionally drained like a Moroccan donkey." The important thing, however, is that Rachel stops crying. With her newfound free time and energy, she snuggles with sensitive-guy Blair instead.
While all this has been going on, the guys have been blowing off steam with lots of rowdy drinking and plenty of grab-ass. The Real Worlders obviously feel like they must re-energize their manhood after being trapped with all these deranged women. What better ode to masculinity than some all-boy skinnydipping? The guys all enjoy their nudity heartily, and later, the Real World guys will say that they've gotten a "spark" from their high-spirited Bunim/Murray comrades. Or, was it simply the magic of Burbank?
Who's Shirtless: Malik is shirtless when he answers the delivery guy's ring. But, it's northern Africa that really brings out the nudity in these guys. Not only are all the guys shirtless as they sun, wrestle, flee the girls, but they go skinnydipping with the Road Ruler guys, too. Some of the girls are traumatized.
Who Cries: Rachel seems to always be weepy and puffy. Hasn't her mom told her that her face will stick like that if she keeps it up?
Most Annoying: This time, Coral takes center stage with her aggressive denigration of everyone in sight. She hates everybody and everything. Oh, wait, she's only joking!
Best Quote: Rachel gushes a geography lesson to her mom, "I'm flying to Casablanca which is in Morocco!"
Next Week: Rachel gets a beau? Mike gets some ass?