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Grab your SPF 30 (or SPF 250, Lacey). The Real World: Austin is headed to Costa Rica! Yes, in that time-honored tradition of exotic Real World vacations, the roommies were whisked away from dreary Austin — home of broken skulls and skanky barflies — and taken down to Central America where everyone could bask in the tropical sun and pretend to be British royalty. Unfortunately, while this little trip did have its fair share of silly drama, we had nothing to rival San Diego’s all out scream-fest or Philly’s pseudo-slutty flirtations with British Guys 1, 2, and 3. Instead, we had monkeys and surfing, which I suppose ain’t a bad thing. It’s better than another night at the Dizzy Rooster.The episode began with a big-ass charter bus pulling up to the Real World mansion. “Don’t they realize there’s only seven of us?” asked an incredulous Wes. Hmmm… Maybe it was a sneaky, “Surprise! We’re taking you to detox!” bus? Alas, it wasn’t, and as the kiddos headed off to Costa Rica, Johanna happily predicted, “I think the trip is going to bring us together!” Um, have you even seen other seasons of this show? (And yes, that was said with full Chandler emphasis. And no, I am not a big Friends fan.)
Well, the roommates arrived at their resort, and after about 1.3 seconds, they were already bouncing around the beach, frolicking like hyperactive puppies. It then only took about another .44 seconds for the guys to shed their bathing suits and become one with nature. There was no real reason for this spontaneous nudity, except maybe some latent bi-curious/male-bonding sentiment. Nevertheless, it was complete and total freedom, and I can respect that. Especially for Nehemiah, who apparently was so modest he actually wore a Speedo under his bathing suit. I’m surprised the simple act of removing these dual layers didn’t become a subplot all on their own.
Nevertheless, after the boys had spent enough time naked together, it was time to hit the bars. Everyone piled into cabs, and as they drove through the streets of whatever city they were in, Wes called out to some hotties on the street… who just happened to be men. To be fair, Wes didn’t realize they weren’t women, which leaves me to wonder just how many trannies he’s “accidentally” hit on in his life. “Those are the hottest men I’ve ever seen in my life!” Wes joked. Man, I can’t wait to see his Midnight Cowboy descent once he moves to a big city.
Anyway, all this Wes stuff was amusing (sort of. Not really), but the real fun of the episode was when a drunk Danny, he of the Napoleon Complex, nearly got into a fight with a local over essentially nothing. You see, a kid on a bike rode by the group and just happened to look at Melinda. Well, that’s uncalled for! “I think picking fights with the locals is the dumbest thing that you can do,” Nehemiah accurately stated. To be fair, Danny’s middle name is “the dumbest thing that you can do.” Nevertheless, Danny was not going to allow some person to look at his fair maiden, and so he assumed his angry, pugilistic swagger, which might have been intimidating had he not been wearing the most popular muscle-tee this side of West Hollywood.
“I’m gonna shut up and walk away?” asked Danny when Nehemiah advised him to hold back.
“Yup. Because I’m better than that,” Nehemiah responded.
“You’re better than that. You fight guys on Sixth Street, but you won’t stand up for yourself here?” Danny then said. Exactly what did Danny have to stand up for? I didn’t realize a passing glance at Melinda warranted a personal attack on his integrity. But then again, I don’t suffer from a debilitating lack of logic stemming from possibly a small penis.
Anyway, Nehemiah effectively shut him up by saying, well, “shut up,” and later at another bar, the two guys talked about Danny’s temper and insecurities. You see, Danny has it rough because every guy turns his head and looks at Melinda. And that’s a problem! Why? Um, because! It just is! Mommy, he’s playing with my toy!!!
But wait! There was a method to the madness. You see, it wasn’t so much that guys looked at Melinda. It was that guys looked at Danny like he didn’t deserve her — which he doesn’t. But I don’t base that on looks. I merely base that on weeks and weeks of possessive, selfish, self-centered, obnoxious, and downright idiotic behavior. Before you send the hate mail, Danny, look at the tapes. It’s there for you to see.
Well, as much as I was enjoying Danny’s self-important wallowing, it was time to move on. Yes, we cut to the Costa Rican beach at sunrise, and with mellow, romantic music playing on the soundtrack, we knew it wouldn’t be long before we saw our favorite couple walking along the sand, professing their love for each other. Ten minutes later, when I woke up, I rewound the Tivo to just after this little sequence and guess what? Time for some STA Travel sponsored fun! Today, the kids would be taking a canopy tour, which meant they’d be gliding along ziplines from treetop to treetop. Very Survivor reward challenge-y. Maybe they’d get to eat some Mayan chocolate also, possibly hang with Jeff Probst for a bit. And yes, I’d certainly like to see Probst whip these kids into shape. One Tribal Council with this cast, and Jeff would have Melinda hanging on his side and Danny marching out of the jungle.
Nevertheless, the kids all zipped through the canopy, which was challenging for Melinda due to her massive fear of heights (I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of that in future Challenges). Still, everyone else had a blast, leading Nehemiah to ask, “How much better can life get?” Uh, probably lots (okay, okay. It looked awesome. I’m just jealous. After all, watching reality stars in paradise is surprisingly much less fun than actually being in paradise). Even Danny looked like he was enjoying himself; however, it should be noted that he did charge a monkey for staring at Melinda.
That night, Danny stunned everyone by announcing that he didn’t want to go to bars. He didn’t travel to Costa Rica just to do what he could be doing in Texas, he explained. Whoa. That seems like an oddly mature outlook. Could it be that Danny ziplined into manhood? Oh wait, no. Nehemiah had the real motivation behind Danny’s attitude: “He doesn’t want Mel talking to other guys.” And yes, I’m sure Melinda will meet some random dude in a Costa Rican bar, fall in love, leave Danny, and spend the rest of her days having wild, passionate sex by the beach. “The kid needs therapy about something like that,” said Wes. And I did not disagree. Even more amusing was Rachel (oh, she was on the vacation too? Oops! Forgot!) who said, “I need to give her that book, ‘Co-Dependent No More’ after this is all done.” But wait, Rachel! I thought that Melinda had gotten over being co-dependent. Isn’t that what Danny and the rest of the roommates had taught her back in the beginning of the season. I mean, right now she’s going from college to college, warning people about co-dependency. Surely she can’t be in such a relationship herself! Ah yes, you can just call me the sarcastic Dr. Phil.
The next day, it was time for another fun activity, and this time, it was nothing exotic. Just pure and simple surfing. Sounds like fun, right? Well, for Lacey, this was quite the daunting challenge. You see, she was pretty scared of surf lessons. And the ocean. And I’m pretty much anything involving the sun. Nevertheless, she and the gang headed out and splashed around in the water, which meant amusing footage of the roommates wiping out endlessly. Oh, and by the way, Danny, we know you love your baseball cap, but you don’t need to wear it IN THE OCEAN. Danny then punched a starfish for looking at Mel.
Well, everyone pretty much had a fun time — everyone but Lacey, that is, who complained about getting smacked by the board and having sand and salt stuffed down her nose and mouth. Let’s face it. She just wanted to go gossip with the instructors. She totally called Ryan that night and was like “So this one surf instructor, he has a girlfriend, but he won’t teach her to surf because he thinks that’s weird, and I’m like dude, you can’t do that. That’s just not right. But then she has a sister…”
That evening, Lacey mentioned at dinner that Wes looks like Prince Harry, which is a fair assessment, assuming that Prince Harry were stumpy, had a bad haircut, and wasn’t wearing his Nazi costume. Well, realizing they had a royal doppleganger in their midst, the gang decided they would pretend like Wes really was Prince Harry. Everyone headed off to the Crazy Monkey (no relation to the Dizzy Rooster. Must… go… to… wacky… animal bars), and soon the ruse was on! Danny and Nehemiah stood around Wes as if they were bodyguards, which would have been cool had I believed for one second that a stuffy British security detail would be waltzing around in tank tops and making exaggerated “I’m listening to my earpiece!” gestures. Still, this whole low-rent episode of Punk’d was amusing, simply because a) Wes didn’t even try to put on a British accent, and b) many American tourists actually believed he was Harry. Of course, in an ideal world, Prince Harry would have actually been in town and then there could have been a chance meeting and then Harry would assume Wes’s identity and Wes would assume Harry’s and then everyone could learn a very valuable lesson! This is pure gold. I’m calling Disney!
Elsewhere in the bar, one of the most ridiculous arguments in Real World history was going down. You see, with all this Prince Harry stuff going around, Danny wanted to know what Melinda thought of that hunky Prince William. Mel shrugged and said he was a good looking guy, causing Danny to then ask, “Would you bang Prince William?”
“If I was single,” Mel answered. I know what you’re thinking: what a slut, right? TOTALLY. Well, Danny could never be with a woman who would theoretically ever sleep with a royal sex symbol if she were single! And seriously, who could? So he walked away, causing Melinda to reprimand him with, “Oh my god. Stop it!” And just when Danny’s reaction couldn’t get any dumber, he then declared, “It’s ovah! It’s ovah!” Yes, Danny actually broke up with Melinda over this. Never mind that he’d probably bone Angelina Jolie in two seconds, even if he wasn’t single.
Well, Danny sought out Wes and again reiterated that “It’s ovah!” And I tell you what else was over: Danny’s tank-top which was now soaked with a big-ass sweat stain on the back. Throw that shit out, dude. It’s been three days, and you’ve been wearing the same thing.
Nevertheless, Danny then wandered out of the bar and drunkenly walked home alone through the streets of Costa Rica. That was smart. Way to look out for each other, roommates! Hey, at least Danny didn’t fly to Buckingham Palace and try to punch Prince William. Yet.
The next morning, Danny woke up and didn’t remember anything. Wes filled him in, and after some laughing and joking, Danny headed out to breakfast where suddenly he became mopey and moody and silent — because let’s not forget: the biggest victim of Danny’s drunken idiocy wasn’t Melinda. It was Danny. Well, not feeling hungry for a scone or a croissant or perhaps a light apéritif, Danny wandered off down the beach, wondering how does he apologize for breaking up with someone when he was drunk. Huh. What a quandary. I think step one would be not walking away from Melinda at the breakfast table. And then step two would be — and this is crazy — saying, “I’m sorry.”
Melinda told us that she absolutely was in the right, and Danny should apologize to her, but of course, as usual, it was she who went and sought out Danny to talk. Time for more lame psycho-babble: “I’m insecure Mel. It’s hard for me to walk besides you and every guy turns around, and it’s just like I feel like I’m not good enough for you.” So you see, because of Danny’s dumb issues, Mel has to suffer. Makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, Melinda just couldn’t figure out where Danny’s insecurities were stemming from. “He has so much going for him,” she said. Well, yes, if you overlook that whole “raging idiocy” problem.
Later, it was time for yet another STA Adventure as everyone went white water kayaking, and guess what? Lacey had fun! Wonderful! Now, back to Danny and Melinda! We re-joined this somber duo as they kissed and made up by the beach. And because he had been such a bastard, Danny even gave Melinda a lovely new trinket of a necklace. Yay cycle of abuse!
With our faith restored in Dannykind, it was time to say adios to Costa Rica and head back to the States. Huh. As far as Real World vacations go, this one was pretty tame. I mean, if the producers could fit everything into one piddling half hour, then you know you’ve got a serious lack of drama. Oh well. There’ll always be the memories. And the STDs.
What did you think? Fun times in Costa Rica? And should Melinda dump Danny?