Warm breezes. Waves crashing
on the beach. Sweet, tangy margaritas.
The soothing sway of a sailboat. All
these visions have filled my head for
the past two months as I have planned
my spring break trip.
It all started on a mild day in
October when some friends and I went
o a football game. The game is one
e will not talk about, but the spark of
an idea made our loss a little more
Spring Break Flip Sides
This week we present to you the Spring Break fantasies and
nightmares of several Arts subeditors. Keep them in mind when
you're planning your Spring Break.
So I've planned another Spring Break excursion to
New York City, and I'm going to "Sunset Boulevard."
The ultimate nightmare, therefore, would involve Glenn
Close slipping down that staircase and breaking her neck
because she's wearing 3-1/2 inch heels and 25 pounds of
crepe-de-chine. On her way down she rips apart the set,
and the whole scene is so bloody and painful that her
understudy can't even go on. And of course I couldn't get
another ticket until 1997, when by that time Florence
Henderson will be starring as Norma Desmond. (Can't
you just see her descending that staircase with a bottle of
Wesson oil?) But there will be plenty of tickets to see
Helen "I am woman hear me roar" Reddy in "Blood
And from there things would only get worse: Vanessa
Williams gets strangled in her spider web, the rain in "An
Inspector Calls" drowns the cast and stray "Cats" begin to
breed in every dark alley on Broadway.
My dear friend and former illustrious Weekend editor
Darcy Lockman has agreed to let me stay with her in
Brooklyn, so I can take the money I'm saving on lodging and
funnel it into discount shopping. My ultimate fantasy would
be finding a cashmere cardigan for $50, but that's about as
realistic as Mandy Patinkin stopping me on the street with,
"You're MelRose! I read your column all the time!"
My other plans include a fun-filled two days with my dear
friend Matthew and his roommate Michael, shopping in the
garment district and a guest spot on "Late Night with Conan
O'Brien." Conan and I will be doing a duet of "Anything You
Can Do, I Can Do Better."
Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?
- Melissa Rose Bernardo
palatable. An idea that seemed crazy
initially, but has somehow grown into
What if we all headed down to
Key West to go sailing with this guy
Captain Joe? It seemed like another
one of our senior pipe dreams that
would be tossed around for awhile
and soon forgotten.
But it wasn't just a dream for very
long. Before we knew it 20 of our
closest friends had signed up to go
nd be beach bums for a week as we
ruise the ocean. And we haven't been
able to talk about much since.
It's funny how the permanently
gray skies of Michigan can make one's
mind wander to the sunshine of far-
away places. Having lived in Detroit
all my life, I have never been able to
make it through January without
dreaming of exotic ports and warm
places. And the anticipation of this
sear's journey is almost more than I
I will say, however, that this group
and I seem to have gone a little over-
board. (And I hope this doesn't mean
we actually will do this literally.)
Every week we meet at the bar to do
a little pre-partying, if you will. We
seem obsessed with the idea of a sun
that will shine for more than a few
nutes at a time. We talk about the
nks we will have, the adventures
we will take, the hangovers that loom
Planning a trip with 20 people is
no easy task. I hope that none of you
are having as much logistic hell as we
are having. Right now we don't know
exactly how we are going to get back,
but no one really seems to care that
much. Captain Joe assured us that
*everal of us won't want to come back
anyway. And the thought that we could
end up stranded on some deserted
island while Captain Joe takes off
with our money hasn't completely
left our minds either. But, again, it
doesn't seem to matter.
The idea of the trip is to go for a
week of complete relaxation. This, it
seems to me, should be the crux of
ny good Spring Break trip. Why go
nywhere if you aren't going to re-
lax? I just want someone to point me
to the nearest palm tree so I can sit
under it and stare at the ocean. (If I'm
not back to write my column, you
know where I will be.)
As we all talk about our plans for
this trip, we realize that we don't
actually have many plans. It's kind of
a do what you want type of trip. No
*ne has to answer to anyone and we
are just going to fly by the seat of our
To make this free-for-all work we
only have two rules: 1) No slackers
and 2) Whatever is said or done in
Key West, stays in Key West. It is the
done part of that last rule that could be
a problem. (You know who you are.)
I suggest that all the rest of you
$ho are vacationing with friends this
year adopt these two rules. You know
you don't want any bar or hook-up
stories floating back to Ann Arbor to
haunt you for the rest of your life, do
Wearing an army-issue bookbag filled with granola and a tattered copy of"On
The Road," you make your way down State Street, looking to hitch a ride out
West. Suddenly, a blue Camaro comes tearing around the corner. It stops
abruptly, a window is rolled down and a whiny voice yells "get in!"
You can scarcely believe your eyes. "Tarantino?" you ask. "Yeah, yeah, but
get out of Harvey's way," he says as Harvey Keitel, in gold lam6, shoots a string
of bullets over your head.
"Here! Help us out!" yells Tim Roth (in a tank top) as he tosses you a gun. He
is sitting next to a sullen-faced Michael Madsen in a "Wyatt Earp" T-shirt.
You look out the back window and see that Christopher Walken and a whole
slew of hoods are chasing you.
"Is it because of him?" you ask, gesturing towards Madsen.
"No," says Tarantino, "Travolta was so good in 'Pulp Fiction' that no one
cares that Michael turned down the role to be in 'Wyatt Earp,' a real stinkeroo.
In fact, no one cares about him period. That's why he's sulking."
"He's the problem," says Roth, gesturing out the window frantically.
"Let me in! I can do it. I've been using the 'Thigh Master'!" screams a British
voice. You look in your rearview mirror and see that Michael Caine has tied
himself to one of the car's back wheels and is attempting to climb in.
Oh my God.
Suddenly, there is an explosion and they're all gone. You look out the back
window and are startled to see Eric Stoltz popping his head out of the trunk.
"He tried to use the oil pan for a bong again," explains Tarantino as he makes
his way past the Ypsi skyline towards a deserted beach in southern California.
There, you all sit in the sun for days, sipping Pina Coladas and waiting for the
Again, you're dressed in hippie garb and looking for a ride. Suddenly, a blue
Datsun comes tearing around the corner. "Git In!" yells a voice.
You can scarcely believe your eyes. "Tarantino?" you ask.-
"Yessiree Bob!" replies your companion. You realize with dismay that you
are not sitting next to Quentin Tarantino, but Billy Bob Tarantino. In the back
seat lurk his brothers, Clem and Early and a guy in a "Wyatt Earp" t-shirt.
"We're the Tarantino brothers from the U. P.," says Billy Bob, grinning
toothlessly, "and that there's Michael Madsen from 'Reservoir Dogs,"' he says
jovially, scratching his crotch and exposing a pair of "Wyatt Earp" under-roos.
"Nobody else wanted 'im so we got 'im," pipes up Early.
"Where are we going?" you ask, horrified.
"We're gonna tour Ypsi," they reply, cackling maniacally.
The tour takes seven minutes, yet vacation's just begun. Soon, the brothers
begin singing Billy Ray Cyrus tunes in unison. You think the worst is over, when
they pull up to a "Panchero's," which has sprouted into a national chain. Billy Bob
orders the 50 ft. bean burrito and you pray for a quick death.
Finally, they take you home. You discover that in your haste, you have lost
your keys and none of your 23 housemates seem to be home. You turn to find them
all grinning at you in a blur of beer-stained "Wyatt Earp" t-shirts.
"You can always sleep at our house" says Billy Bob, giggling maniacally.
I arrive at my home on Friday
afternoon, grinning from ear to ear,
clutching the new My Bloody Valen-
tine double album in my hands(which
has been released AHEAD of sched-
ule, for a change) and making a bee-
line for my CD player. I throw it in
and crank the volume up to around 10.
As expected, it is brilliant, ecstasy-
inducing and lays all rock music to
waste, just like their last LP. The
thought of lying around listening to
this masterpiece continuously for the
nine days of Spring Break fills me
with a profound feeling of bliss, until
the phone rings. I answer it, and all I
hear is a mysterious recording listing
off the nine dates and locations of My
Bloody Valentine's secret tour. Bi-
zarrely enough, it coincides perfectly
with my Spring Break.
So, the next day I hop in my car
and follow the Valentines from city to
city, being overwhelmed by their fabu-
lously moving and powerful four-hour
set every night, in which they play
every single one of my favorite
songs(i.e. every song they've ever
written). On the last night, however,
they invite me on stage to help them
play the 30-minute loud bit at the end
of "You Made Me Realize." But as
the maelstrom of noise pounds on, I
notice that I am losing the minuscule
amount of hearing ability that I have
left, and by the end, I am completely
deaf. But for the rest of my life, the
sounds of My Bloody Valentine's last
tour (they break up immediately after
this one) reverberate through my head.
I arrive home clutching three me-
diocre CDs that I've just purchased
from Tower Records. I listen to them,
and they all suck. This would be bad
enough, but the next day, my night-
mare comes true as I hear a knock at
the door. It is John Cleese out of the
Monty Python troupe, flanked by the
Crash Test Dummies, and a scene
from a Monty Python sketch begins
John Cleese: Crash Test Dummies,
JC: Crash Test Dummies. You
purchased three CD's yesterday, and
with every third CD, you get the Crash
Test Dummies playing live, free, in
your living room, every day for a
Lead Dummy: Mmmm mmmm
Me: What?! I didn't see anything
about this offer at the store!
' JC: Yes, well, they had to make
sure no one knew, as they found it
would tend to harm their sales, you
Lead Dummy: MMMmmmmmm?
Me: Well, we don't have enough
space in the living room. Maybe they
could all set up in the bathroom. They
could all stand in the bathtub, and
make sure they have at least one piece
of heavy electrical equipment in there
with them ...
When I think of my fantasy Spring
Break, it makes me feel so old. I can
remember a time when I wanted to go
as many places and do as many things
during break as was humanly pos-
sible. Especially when break fell near
Mardi Gras and I had a free place to
stay with friends in New Orleans. I
spent two years in a row trekking all
over greater New Orleans going to
parades and cat-fighting other women
for beads (no, I didn't show my
breasts!). And not to say that those
years weren't great fun, spent with
some of the best friends I'll ever have
-but suddenly I feel too tired to do
any of that.
I think it all hit me last Spring
Break when I couldn't afford to go
anywhere. My mother and sisters were
on Break at the same time, and we all
spent the week together hanging out,
reminiscing, shopping and watching
TV. It was great, and I even got enough
sleep to make through the rest of the
semester just taking naps in the after-
noons (my family goes to bed at 9
p.m. each night).
These days I would kill for nine
days of serious NOTHING. Well, not
absolutely nothing, just a little less of
the every day. No dorm, no residents,
no classes, no homework. Give me a
few pairs of sweatpants and some t-
shirts, a few fluff magazines and
beaucoup de Chex mix, and I'm set
for life. And my boyfriend, I couldn't
go nine days without him (hey, you
go ahead and gag if you want to, this
is my fantasy, not yours). I'd spend my
time with him wherever he went. Even
if it was just home. Perhaps I'd share
some of my Chex mix with him (after
all, I probably would have snagged all
of his sweatpants for the first part of
this fantastic trip).
In all seriousness though, why go
anywhere? Just sitting around at home
seems to me to be the best way to
relax, which is what a truly rejuvenat-
ing break should be all about. So,
forget about those expensive tickets
to warmer and more crowded destina-
tions. Call up the folks, tell them to put
clean sheets on your bed, some chicken-
broccoli bake in the oven, and then
head for the 'ol homestead.
My phantasy spring break involves
being cut off from the world at large.
Imagine being in a bunker of some
sorts. I have a TV in front of me. It has
been hooked up to the finest of cable
systems. Comedy Central, the Car-
toon Network, Turner Classic Mov-
ies, all that shit. I'd have a super
remote that controlled all functions of
the TV, including a "last channel'
button to make channel flipping easier.
There would, of course, be power
flowing to the television.
I would also- have a well stocked
kitchen. Lots of food I like, and easy to
prepare. It would also be nutritionally
balanced so that if I just wanted to eat
Twinkies for a week I wouldn't get
Bathroom, but it's a fantasy spring
break so I wouldn't have to use it.
In front of the TV would be my
bed, massive and huge to allow ample
rolling around. The woman whom I
love would be next to me. We'd have
no clothes and a large pile of prophy-
lactics. Room would be very warm.
One word, baby: Broadway!
It's true. For one week only I will
be appearing as "Rizzo" in the Broad-
way production of "Grease." Come
relive the tearful hijinks and wacky
antics of Sandra Dee, and rediscover
the innocence America lost after the
50s. Plus, free pie for all my friends!
Sigh. It's merely a dream. I do,
however, have a Spring Break night-
mare. It seems that I randomly appear
on the "Love Connection" fully ex-
pecting to find my future soul mate,
but instead my three choices are
Courtney Love ("I like to talk all
night long about me and then weep"),
Rosie O'Donnell (in full "Exit to
Eden" ware) and Kathie Lee Gifford,
who keeps scampering about, sing-
ing about Carnival Cruise Lines. Even
before I can make a selection, Chuck
Woolery informs me that the audi-
ence has broken protocol and chosen
a surprise date, Newt Gingrich. Oh,
the bitter irony.
Look, I don't even know what I'm
doing in the next hour, let alone for
Spring Break. I'm sure I look for the
same thing everyone else does, and
that's a buff Bill Bellamy letting me
Not here, but there. Hop in my
auto and get there. Hot tunes on my
stereo - the Stooges, Bart6k, Bird.
Route 66, even though it's desolate
by now, victim of the superhighways.
Alone, as usual, but sayin' "howdy
do?" to all the real hep cats along the
way - Betty, Big Pete, Ahmed, Susie,
Miller (hope ya get out soon buddy!),
the Lemon Grove Kids. Stop in a
diner for a slick burger and a sugary
beverage. Stop in all the used book
stores, record stores, antique stores,
flea markets - have enough bread to
get the cool loot. Find a tape of every
version of "Louie, Louie" ever re-
corded; crank it with the windows
down through every town spreading
the gospel of Richard Berry. Read
Burroughs, read Bangs, read O'
Connor, read Rand, read Fawcett.
Write a bit. Run into Joe Don Baker at
an Amoco; get his autograph; frame
it. Mitchell! Find the hitchhiking
woman who knows the secrets; dump
her in Albuquerque. Drink coffee 'til
my heart explodes. Cry. Live a hun-
dred years. Find a rave attended by
Michael Bolton, Pavement, Led Zep-
_ a- I h 4 -_.ira nDI.
I MOM == W. owl TO