Spring Break broke — and he’s the guy to fix it | VailDaily.com
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Spring Break broke — and he’s the guy to fix it

Scott Willoughby

While I can’t honestly get away with saying I’ve led a sheltered life, there will forever remain a gaping hole in my experiential education. I’ve never actually been on Spring Break.I understand how difficult that may be for many of you to comprehend. Not only have young people been going on raucous spring party vacations for decades, but recent history has gone so far as to bless us with cultural vanguards like MTV and E! Network’s “Wild On: Spring Break,” ingraining once and for all in the collective head of society that this annual rite of the season is not only our birthright as Americans, but basically our job. Kind of like G.W. Bush’s advice to go shopping after 9/11.Through the marvel of modern television, Spring Break has become more than the hallmark of the latest as-yet undefined generation, graduating over the years to the status of a bona fide American institution. And, alas, I have yet to be institutionalized.You see, while MTV was still sorting itself out back in the day — confusing us all with Peter Gabriel videos and womyn named Kennedy — I was getting sucked into the old fashioned world of sports, specifically in spring, the game of lacrosse. Without the benefit of such educational programming as The Real World,” “Road Rules” and “Girls Gone Wild” to enlighten me and my teammates in the ways of this slice of 20th century Americana, we considered it perfectly natural to run around beating one another with sticks all spring. Little did we know that, meanwhile, even the nerds from the engineering school were down in Cancun getting laid, relayed and parlayed, all on their parents’ dime.Oh sure, we’d get regular reports from Ft. Lauderdale — how wild the parties, how hot the hotties — but that was all just talk. Now, though, we’ve got video evidence. And it hurts.The problem is you can never really go back to Spring Break. If you missed it the first time around, well, you’re pretty much SOL. You can study it on late-night TV, and if you’re hanging in Vail, you can even try to drag it out for a few extra years. But as a rule, you’re bucking for trouble, as evidenced by what I can only describe as a post-adolescent couple putting on a show for the paying customers at The Tap Room the other night.As we dutifully ordered and sipped our draught beers at the bar, this overtly amorous duo slathered, groped, prodded and poked one another in a nearby booth until my esteemed associate took the opportunity to pop the question during a cigarette break.”So, uh, what are you guys going for anyway?” he asked.”None of yaw gawd damn business, that’s what,” the gal insisted, revealing a Brooklyn accent slightly thicker than the tuft of fur on her upper lip.”Yeah, well, it kinda is, since you’re sitting right here going at in front of me, ‘gawd’ and everyone. I just want to know what you’re going for, you know, like how much further you’re gonna take it here at the bar.”She fixed her shirt, blew cigarette smoke in his face and mumbled something about him being an asshole. Her man said nothing, simply staring back at my friend with a toothy Spring Break smile. Whatever it was apparently was working for him just fine.And, in truth, it was working for me too. This was as good as any Spring Break reality show I’d seen on television, plus it was interactive. Needless to say, it’s been a long winter.Since I’m once again not on Spring Break, the winter technically is getting longer still. But with the vernal equinox scheduled on Saturday, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, imagining myself standing on the seasonal equator at the exact moment when no shadow will be cast. Afterward, it will be the days, not the season, that grow longer. And, of course, the line at the Vista Bahn.Yes, the maddening Spring Break crowds are in full swing. But God made the last day of the week the day of rest for a reason, and I have to believe that He stuck Spring Break at the tail end of ski season for a similarly divine purpose. When it’s all said and done, when you can no longer bear the notion of being shot down by another girl gone wild, making mundane chitchat with tourists on the chair lift or watching mustachioed Brooklynites get their grind on in your favorite watering hole, when you’re feeling like a deep-fried Rice Crispy treat so sick of seeing other people vacationing in your home that you actually seek solace in MTV “Spring Break” … when it comes to that point, He only wants one thing. He wants you to road trip.How do I know? I know because while I was writing this column I received an unsolicited email from Amazon.com informing me that the new Deluxe Edition of the “Easy Rider” soundtrack is now available. This legendary soundtrack featuring music from Steppenwolf, the Byrds, Jimi Hendrix and Roger McGuinn has been enhanced with new liner notes, a second CD of bonus material and a remastering. If that’s not a sign telling me to get my motor running, head out on the highway, go looking for adventure, or whatever comes my way, well, then I just don’t know what is.So pick a place and start planning your escape right now. It may not be Spring Break in the traditional sense. But just like the new Deluxe Edition, it may be even better.Scott Willoughby still dreams of finding that perfect Spring Break hottie (without the mustache, please). If you have any leads, you can contact him atscott_willoughby@earthlink.net


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