A storm was a brewing in Jersey. Plans had already been made to visit a winery in Napa, but a hurricane put a wrench in the gang’s plans.
Despite news reports that the world will likely be ending Melissa and Teresa pressed on packing the essentials of any camping trip: sequin monokinis, wedge heels, underwire bras, and eyelash glue. But Jacqueline was a little more practical. “Bring three outfits that you can wear out, and the rest is casual”, Chris explained. Good, my collection of cheetah evening leggings and my trunk of cosmetics it is!
Over at the Lil Manzos apartment in Hoboken Albie did the unthinkable. He asked his lady friend to share his apartment. Chris and Greg were not exactly thrilled at the idea in the beginning. Who wants to have some guidette walking around your pad when all you want to do is watch some football and rub your balls on the couch? But then it occurred to them that she’d be heavily involved in cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms and supplying ample jasmine and gardenia scented candles and Martha Stewart room spray. So they were in. But Albie thought he’d keep the development quiet knowing his mother and sister Lauren would probably flip a lid knowing precious Albert Jr. might get serious with a girl who is a professional cheerleader.
Teresa had been looking forward to a little get away. Nothing makes you feel better about your mounting bankruptcy bills and the possibility that your husband will go to jail than surrounding yourself with people who obviously hate you. Problems shproblems, let’s jump in a monitor home and act like I am happily married and I don’t sell stories to tabloids so I can afford leopard print pajamas and chandelier earrings. So she and Joe went through the exact conversation they had prepared the night before the cameras crews arrived.
After leaving their various offspring with distant relatives and other hired help in a disaster zone they headed to California via trips through Pittsburgh and Houston to get to the Promised Land.
Since Teresa and Jacqueline were basically no longer friends they couldn’t be stuck crammed in the same transportation vehicle. Instead the Gorgas and Giudices shared the same car, which made sense given their propensity to listen to Bon Jovi’s Greatest Hits on repeat and taking a piss out the car window to save time. Except they still managed to trail the rest of the crew by an hour. In fairness, it takes a village to rub down with body oil before embarking on any adventure.
After arriving in San Francisco the gang boards custom RVs. Caroline is in disbelief at the amount of luggage for a four-day camping extravaganza. For example, Teresa is wearing a pair of blue suede pumps. “At least they’re Aztec-y. We’re going to a Native American place, right? That’s what I heard. We’re in the West.” It was a fair question for someone who had likely attended school in the back of a sausage shop and never really learned American history, let alone basic numbers and grammar.
A quick stop at Camping World ensured they would have all they needed for the trip’s duration. Most important purchases included an outdoor grill, a plastic flower arrangement, and a small square of cardboard for break dancing routines. Teresa had wanted to buy games, like Scrabble, but she couldn’t find the broken English edition.
Once they arrived at the camping ground they were surprised to find it was not in fact a spot beneath an arbor of trees but in a concrete parking lot off the highway. Sort of like their homes in Jersey, but without the mobile toilet. Which, by the way, Teresa had occupied the entire trip with a horrendous case of the runs. They tried to enjoy the situation by making non-friends with their neighbors. “So yous guys just likes so sits heres and tries to look at stuff and eat, huh”, Teresa asked? The other campers looked confused. Who were these people with greasy hair and purple tube tops and matching heels with cascading chains? If this is what they wear to roast marshmallows then what do the wear to empty the sewage?
Rich felt similar dissatisfaction with the camping locale. His idea of camping was sitting in a lawn chair outside a strip joint. So for that they bonded and that was a step in the right direction.
The next morning they arose to a sunny morning in the trailer park. The sun was shining, Kathy was baking some corn muffins in the microwave, and Rich was still suffering the effects of a Viagra overdose. But the Gorgas and Giudices seemed to be getting along better. Things were going so well that Teresa and Melissa were willing to squeeze each other’s implants.
Kathy and Teresa had a sit down so they could discuss her passive aggressive comment about the cookie recipes in her newest cookbook. Remember, Kath, when you sat at Teresa’s book signing and spit on pages 50-53? Remember when you suggested she had made copies from your mom’s cookbook in the middle of the night and then peddled it as her own? She couldn’t own it. So she left Melissa to explain to Teresa that Grandma Antonia had called all the family and asked them for the recipes. She said it was for Gia’s home economics class, but somehow they all ended up in Teresa’s latest cookbook. Important note: Teresa’s next book is slated for release in the fall and will be called: “Stolen: Italian Favorites From People I am Related to”. It’s on pre-sale on Amazon.
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