Real World
Wining And Whining

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Morning. Montana, Syrus, and Sean sit in one of the many small rooms containing an Ikea couch and a phone, listening on speakerphone as Anthony (the phone is labeled "Anthony," much to my endless amusement) tells the three of them, "Stay home today. We'll hook up on Monday." This conversation is chopped into so much conversational suey, but another cut later finds Sean crouched by the phone all but begging Anthony to tell them exactly why they shouldn't come into work: "Does it have to do with a child or the dorm?" Not that he's implicating himself in every available wrongdoing. Montana confessionalizes, "Anthony called us and suspended Sean, Syrus, and myself without any explanation other than it has to do with the safety of the children." Anthony passive-aggressively (remember last week when he told the volunteers that he thought they were doing a bad job because that's what the children told him?) stumbles and bumbles that he doesn't have enough "information" about their wrongdoing to discuss the matter further. Montana has no idea what she could have done wrong, because post-binge blackouts are a bitch like that, and Anthony attempts to placate them with the utterly beguiling, "If the information proves false...I will pay you for today." Pay them? Pay? Them? Can we address the nature, then, of the word "volunteers" I hear bandied around so casually, then? Anthony offers no further information and terminates the phone call, promising they'll talk "on Monday." Ouch. Public perception of them hangs in the balance for a whole weekend. Sean wonders aloud, "I can't think of what...I can think of a few things." Syrus posits some of their possible infractions, my favorite among them, "Me messin' with big boy." I'm sure that's it. He also thinks it might be "the sipper," which I imagine means the wine tasting until Montana wonders if the trouble might have been caused by "having something to drink while [they] were with the kids." Syrus doesn't think that has anything to do with it. He thinks it's the sipper. I think it was big boy. When oh when will people learn just NOT to mess with big boy? Wait. He's talking about Jimmy Carter, right? 'Cause that's who I'm talking about. That's who I'm always talking about. Right?

It's the day of reckoning at the CCC, where Syrus sits in Anthony's office. Anthony kicks it full-tilt Real World Boston: An After-School Special in threatening Syrus, "I'll give you the topic...alcohol!" Syrus laughs. Sure as hell yes he drank on the trip, but never in front of the children. So Syrus is in the clear. Next in the chair is Sean, looking like he borrowed a short-sleeve polo shirt from one of the eleven-year-olds, and while I try to physically pack my lunch back down my throat by hand, Sean owns up to drinking in front of the kids. A quick cut to Montana in the chair finds her owning up to drinking "one of those sample glasses." Anthony point-blanks, asking if the kids tasted alcohol at any point, and Montana snickers ever so slightly and -- oh my what a coincidence -- just happens to remember a point at which she heard one of the kids say, "ew, gross," and then, as she tells it, "I see that Jeffrey, at that time, had a glass of wine in his hand and they had both sipped it." Anthony guilts that he could "lose his license" because kids drank alcohol in the center's care, and a Montana confessional tells us, "I feel really bad. I feel like I've let people down." Duh? Duh. Back in the chair, Sean asks if he's very, very fired and Anthony tells him that Sean can stay, provided he gives "a hundred and ten percent" in the future. I hate that expression. I think that expression is my "third wheel." Montana's situation, however, is "the most serious of the three." So Montana will stay on suspension, and Anthony promises to call her tomorrow. I'm not saying "personal vendetta," because it's obvious that what Montana did was very, very wrong, but he just seems to be loving this a little too much for professional courtesy to allow. Who's the Big Boy now?

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