Ah, youth. Few of us are capable of looking back over the years and not cringing at a least a few of the antics we pulled, especially as teenagers. I can certainly relate; two words: white Pinto. I’d found myself in a world of trouble when I was 17 and if I remember, it was because I’d missed curfew or some other similar transgression. My mother wasted no time in putting me on restriction and in our house, restriction meant a forfeit of the phone and keys to our cars. This particular weekend, Mom had gone out of town on business, leaving my sister, my dad and me behind to look out for each other. Saturday morning arrives and my sister and I jump up and get dressed for the beach. Dad’s a pushover – always was, bless his heart, and we knew he’d temporarily suspend my punishment. Once again, little sister and I busted curfew wide open; this time, however, we had a game plan that was foolproof.
We knew Dad would be bowling that evening, so we decided to wheel into the bowling alley with a nonchalant attitude, thereby providing the perfect excuse for not being back to the house on time. Taking a shortcut, we’d found a cut between a shopping center and the back road that would shave about five minutes off of our arrival time to the bowling alley. What we didn’t know was a mud puddle that looked as though it was simply standing water was actually this deep cut that the four wheel drive trucks “played” in.
Instead of keeping close to one side, in my seventeen year old wisdom, I plowed right through the middle of the so called “mud puddle”. It took about seven seconds for us to realize we were sinking faster than the Titanic. When the
little car finally hit bottom, muddy water came to the bottom of the windows. My sister wasted no time in panicking, pushed the door open and jumped out. Water came gushing in and suddenly, I was sitting in water up to my waist. Still not realizing we were in a drop off made by the big trucks digging with their big tires, I watched my sister hit the underwater wall and fall face-first into the mud. I don’t think I’d ever laughed as hard before or since.
I think it’s stories like that in our pasts that allow us to view today’s teens with such humor, such as the case with the latest season of MTV’s smash hit, Jersey Shore. These kids (and really, that’s what they are, whether they’re 21 or not) are providing the silly kind of entertainment that any of us can appreciate for what it is.
In the first episode, we learned one of the reality “stars” of the show, Nicole, aka Snooki, discovers fried pickles (new catchphrase alert, folks: “frickles”) for the first time and immediately declares this discovery as a life changing event (oh, please…we grew up on fried pickles). Fried pickles are as common as catfish shipped out of the catfish capital of the world, Belzoni, MS (the state I still call home). We also are enlightened when she tells us the tanning tax imposed by the Obama Administration is now preventing her from hanging out in her favorite tanning bed and then says Obama doesn’t need a tanning bed so she doesn’t expect him to “get it”. McCain, as she calls former presidential candidate John McCain, wouldn’t have imposed such a tax because she’s certain he could appreciate the importance of a healthy glow, suggesting his pasty appearance could use a few hours in a capsulized sun. Go figure.
I’m the first to admit reality TV is better than any psychological help. So many entitled people enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame, allowing their lives to unfold in front of millions of viewers is powerful therapy. It’s easy to editorialize and declare a housewife a psycho or a bachelor a crybaby or laughing at defendant as he’s shredded to pieces, courtesy of an impatient judge (C’mon…they have to know they’re not getting out of that courtroom with any shred of pride or dignity, right?). It’s all good for the soul.
So there it is – I’m totally diggin’ Jersey Shore. It’s silly, serves no purpose and yet, I can’t take my eyes off of it. So bad is my addiction that I record it on the DVR and begin watching it a half hour after it’s begun so that I can zoom through all the commercials. Snooki has her frickles and my sister and I have that hilarious summer day that included
a sunburn from spending the day on Biloxi’s beautiful beach, a white Pinto that was anything but once we finally got it out (did I mention my dad had a four wheel drive truck, too? He rescued my little car in a matter of minutes. Oh, life in the south!) and a secret my Mom didn’t discover until we were well into adulthood. I can only imagine the restriction that would have resulted had she found out when she got home and the pact we talked Daddy into that included never revealing what happened. It’s likely Daddy would still not have his bowling privileges back!!
Want my mom’s recipe for southern fried pickles? I’ll have it posted before the day’s over, so check back soon!!