. So I found myself in line for MTV's hiphop dance show "The Grind" as part of the Spring Break festivities at Lake Havasu City. I checked my parachute pants to make sure all of the zippers were zipped because it would look ridiculous if I had change flying out my pockets while I Funky Chickened. I was going to fulfill my dream of appearing on "The Grind" and the MTV talent scouts would notice me. Then I would appear on next season's "The Real World" and be the guy that they kick out of the house- forever being banished to "The Unreal World."
The trip to Lake Havasu had been full of pratfalls and hilarious hijinks. My friend Greg and I had stolen an official University of Arizona van and a car full of wacky administrators chased us across three counties. Along the way, we picked up a hitchhiking, talking frog. The frog demanded that we sing cheesy songs like "Movin' Right Along" and "The Rainbow Connection" until Greg threw him out the window while shouting, "It isn't easy being green!" The administrators (with Dom DeLuise inexplicably among them) nearly caught up with us until their car got a flat in a particularly desolate stretch of desert. Good thing they didn't have a far walk to the New Campus.
I was next in line. The hulking MTV security guard glared at me and asked, "Can you dance?"
I snapped my fingers and shouted, "Greg the Human Beatbox will break out the piece of cardboard because it's time for Beatmaster Burstein to do the Electric Boogaloo in his funky fresh style!"
A spotlight came down on me and then . oh, I can't continue this charade any longer. I'm lying. The closest I got to Lake Havasu was watching the MTV Spring Break specials. I didn't do much during the vacation. I ate. I slept. I killed a grizzly with my bare hands. I did some homework. Nothing out of the ordinary. I had a peacefully inert time, but when I watched the bacchanalian festivities on MTV, I felt bad that I wasn't having a monumentally good time.
Come to think about it, in my four years of college I've never had a Coming-of-Age Spring Break like characters in those cheesy '80s flicks do. I read about all the cool places to go in Rolling Stone, but I've never gone. I usually watch Spring Training baseball games, but this year paying $8 to see my plumber Ed play shortstop for the Seattle Mariners just didn't cut it.
The only time I tried to go anywhere exciting was my first college Spring Break when two friends of mine and I went to Los Angeles and nearly killed each other. We traveled for hours in a two-seat '78 Mustang (I was cramped in the area in back of the seats) in what devolved into a mini-"Lord of the Flies" scenario. We all started getting on each others' nerves. At one point, I pretended to go asleep and heard my friends talking about how cheap I was. Our trip to Disneyland was a bust because the rides just weren't as cool or scary as we remembered them to be 10 years earlier. We also had a nasty tendency on getting lost for extended periods (like three hours). We can all look back on that "vacation" and laugh, but at the time I had people testing my food before I ate it to make sure it wasn't poisoned.
After four years, I have realized that it is perfectly fine doing nothing during Spring Break. The vast majority of people have unspectacular Spring Breaks which they do homework, work or spend time with their families. It's easy to buy in the media stereotypes and think that you're not "cool" if you're not somewhere wild and crazy. The Spring Break stereotypes that we buy into are created by suited executives sitting around boardrooms trying to think of ways of boosting circulation or ratings.
. Sorry, I just got a call from a major media outlet that said to cease and desist with my honest column about Spring Break. The caller said if I didn't stop, he would have someone come by my house and drown my sorry slackerness in a pool of Cherry Slurpees. Oh well, back to the Big Lie .
My "Grind" appearance was cut short when the car full of administrators had finally caught up with us. They had Greg and me cornered until I yelled, "Hey, is that a '60 Minutes' camera crew I see?" Each of them covered his/her face, pointed to the nearest person and said, "It's his/her fault." Greg and I slipped by and jumped back in the van. The administrators and state patrol gave chase until Greg and I reached the edge of the Grand Canyon. We stopped the van.
I yelled out the window of the van, "We're tired of these dumb Generation X stereotypes, especially regarding Spring Break. As such we're going to go out in a blaze of glory. Floor it Greg! See you on the other side, coppers!"
"Ummm . Jon, there's no gas left in the car," muttered Greg. "I was apathetic when it came to getting gas, much like our generation is about the world. We could get out of the car and run off the canyon, but I doubt that would have the intended impact. Plus it wouldn't be half as cool."
I looked at the dozens of cops surrounding us.
"I sure hope that they show Brady Bunch reruns in jail," I said.
Jon Burstein is a senior in political science and journalism. If you see him, kick him. But kick him with love.
Read Next Article