September 5, 2000
Son of Sulking Safari
Oh, heavens. Why can't a vacation just be a vacation? It's just not enough to gawk at animals and jump off cliffs; the 'Real World' cast also has to experience enlightenment and get all touchy-feely. The main mission of this year's trip to South Africa seems to be to harass David until he accepts the friendship of his housemates. Never mind if he's happy on his own, dearies! He must be brought into the fold, and he must like it!
Julie is the first to have a heart-to-heart with David. "Are you having some sort of trauma?" she asks. David willingly concedes that he has a hard time trusting folks, but he misses close relationships with people. Having close relationships with people, however, eats into his mirror-gazing time, however. It's a difficult balance.
Matt is next to approach David, and he clearly views himself as a superior diplomat. As a self-proclaimed "Crocodile Hunter" (I wonder how Steve Irwin feels about this?), he will be the one to bag David and bring him back for all the housemates to enjoy. You see, mes amis, Matt understands what it's like to be so independent that no one wants you around anymore. If anyone can relate to David, it's he.
Meanwhile, Melissa is calling David "a poor example of the black man in America," even as she huddles safely under her mosquito netting, far away from the poor example in question. She's just bent out of shape because David is talking freely to the most lily-white members of the cast and not to her! At one point, she remarks, "He's feeling the effects of his exclusivity and it's probably making him feel like crap." Talk about sour grapes.
While all of this reaching out is going on, the kids also face bungee jumping over Victoria Falls. Not everyone partakes (Hey, where's Danny?). Jamie, Matt and Julie fling themselves over the edge with little ado- a few odd jerking movements like a pooping chicken here, some heavy breathing and silent prayers there. There's no suspense, because we know no one is going to die, or even get injured. So, what's the point?
The point is, my little bon bons, to see David grow even larger in his own estimation. He initially isn't too thrilled at the prospect about bouncing upside down over a raging torrent, but figures that this sort of opportunity comes seldom. He decides to go through with it, shirtless of course, then feels a strong sense of exhilaration. "All you can hear is the wind," he exults. Oui, the wind coming out of David's mouth!
All of these new experiences have made David a regular chatterbox. He reaches out to his housemates with soliloquies on human perfectability (who needs to look at zebras when you can spout half-rate philosophy?) and the Nation of Islam and his personal history. Since these lectures are at least a sign that David is trying to be a member of the household, no one tells him to shut up. Of course, David feels no obligation to actually learn anything about the people he's talking to.
The kids then visit a township and are reminded how easy their lives really are. Julie attempts to trade with some of the young residents, but ends up causing some hard feelings since she doesn't have enough for everyone. David's gift to a small boy doesn't stir quite the ruckus that Julie's bubbles and beads did. He gives away the Ernie doll that his "mentor" Trey had given him, a very sentimental object. The little kid doesn't seem to know what to make of it, but accepts it anyway. It's definitely a bigger deal for David than it is for the kid.
Once they're home, Melissa finally talks to David. Ever since he gave away his Ernie doll, she's realized that there's more to David than his "bad attitude." She tones down her confrontational attitude over lunch, but still manages to harp on his solitary ways. David promises to think about reaching out to his housemates. "Let it marinate," he proclaims, and we're unsure whether he's talking about the lunch or his thoughts. Even if it isn't definitive, this entente is good enough to end the episode on a happy note. But, if he continues to wax quasi-philosophical, I would kick him right outta there!
Did You Know? Next year, mes cheres, I will have my work cut out for me. Bunim/Murray plans to tape two seasons of 'The Real World.' They're presently scouting locations in New York.
Who's Shirtless: As if he wasn't getting enough attention already, David does his bungee jump topless.
Who Cries: It looks like David dominates this category, too.
Most Annoying: Will David win this title too? Actually, Melissa steals it right out from under his nose. She complains the most about David's reserve, then does the least to reach out to him. No wonder he doesn't want to hang out with her!
Best Quote: "I'm even complex to me!" exclaims David- the self-conscious words of someone who spends a lot of time thinking about how complicated he is.
Next Week: Danny's parents visit the Belfort Mansion.