Thursday, April 29, 2010

I wrote a thing about ex-girlfriends this week, but it was terrible. It wasn't funny enough,and it was 90% too whiney. I won't post it. It had a few decent jokes that I'll recycle elsewhere, one winner involving Steve DeBerg.

I'm tired. I'm taking the week off. I worked my ass of on all those Bali blogs, if you haven't read those yet, scroll down, they're all there.

Thanks for reading. Tell your friends. Good Night.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ubud Retreat

Part two on Ubud, Bali. If you missed part one, you can find it here.

I walked into central Ubud with the two girls. Short skirt/Chucks was named Etna and she was from Ireland, and her friend was a blonde Brit named Pepper. Brits. They had met on the road and had been doing the Southeast Asian circuit together for the past month. Both had several months left on their trips. I had 4 days left. I was jealous. Most non-Aussies that I met on this trip were traveling for months, I was unique in my short trip.

I mentioned getting dinner. The girls had eaten before the show, but said they would join me and have a beer. We walked quite a ways down the central Ubud street before deciding on a restaurant, a place called 3 Monkeys. We sat down at a table facing a lit up rice paddy in the back yard. We ordered a round of beers and I ordered my dinner. Not surprisingly, we talked travel. All of us had spent time in the usual spots - Bangkok, Singapore, New York, London, Paris, Rome, even Vegas. One round of beer turned into three.

At 11, we were the only customers left in the restaurant, and they clearly wanted to close. Ubud isn’t a late night town. The girls were embarrassingly specific in trying to figure out who owed what for the bill. I decided to resolve the argument by picking up the whole tab. They argued against it, but I told them I wouldn’t hear of anything else. After all, they were both on months long trips and needed to save cash at every turn. I was on a 10 day vacation, and short vacations are designed to throw around money. The girls wanted to get another drink before they went to sleep. I asked the staff if there was anywhere we could go for a drink, he told me that the only open place in town was across the street.

We walked into the only bar in town, called Napi Orti. It was loud. It was pretty much just white people. It was a complete sausage fest as well. The only girl in the place was dressed in traditional Balinese garb, and I was 97% sure she was a tranny. We sat at a table near the speakers, the only one available, and a really loud one. The girls bought me a drink. Then another. After 5 drinks, Pepper still wasn’t any cuter, but she seemed to like me. After five drinks, plain-Jane Etna became a knockout. Somehow, despite the overabundance of dudes at the bar, I managed to hold my corner down, nobody came to hit on the girls.

A better table opened up. We moved. A Dutch dude that the girls met the other day saw them and joined us. He seemed like a cool cat. He spoke less English than any Dutchman I’d ever met. He seemed to like Pepper. Good. I felt like a two-on-two wingman situation was better than me acting on my own, especially since he and I dug different girls.

An Indonesian pick-up artist dude moseyed over. He used all the tricks. Quickly got himself a chair. Palm reading. Kino. Card tricks. He was all over Etna like a cheap suit. She fell into every trick he set up. I should really learn some card tricks. The Dutch guy and I looked at each other with obvious disgust for the Johnny-come-lately. I wasn’t having fun anymore. The brilliance of the card trick game - while entertaining the girls, it bores the hell out of any dudes around. I should learn some tonight. The girls and the Indonesian pick up artist made plans for the next day. I didn’t care, I was going back to Kuta the next day either way. I checked out. This was supposed to be my night off, and here I was throwing back gin drinks and talking to girls at 2 a.m. in the only bar in town.

The pick up artist left. So did the Dutch guy, I was left with the girls again. We decided to leave the bar. On the way out, another random guy stopped Etna, this time it was a fat white guy. Look, I’m no decent player, but I could have crushed this dude’s game like it was Zelda 2. I didn’t care. I was done. I left alone.

I began walking toward my hotel, about a mile north of the bar. The streets were empty. No people walking. Coming to Ubud from Seoul by way of Kuta and Kuala Lumpur, it had been a long time since I’d seen streets so empty. I saw an open Circle K and took the opportunity to buy a beer for the road. I’d soon find out that Ubud has no shortage of road dogs.

Southeast Asia is pretty well known for its high population of stray dogs. KL has them. Bangkok is crawling with them. Kuta has its share. Unlike Ubud, these places all have an active nightlife. In Ubud, the late night streets are the exclusive realm of the dogs. There were dogs everywhere, barking at each other, chasing each other, darting around. There was no traffic for them to worry about. Bali also had a breakout of rabies a couple months back. I’ve never had any fear of dogs, but I do have a healthy respect for rabies.

Near my hotel, the road abuts an old soccer field. At the north end of the soccer field, there’s an intersection. At this intersection, I could either turn right or go straight, either way I would be back to the hotel in three minutes. As I neared the intersection, a pack of dogs ran into the middle of it. They stared me down. I stared back. They barked, not a how’s it going bark either, a we’re gonna fuck you up bark. There was no way to pass the intersection. The dogs ran this corner. I was terrified.

I retreated. I really didn’t have a choice. I considered walking all the way back to the Circle K to buy some beef jerky to distract the dogs. I walked along the soccer field, and I noticed that another establishment was still open across it. I walked across the field to get to the open place, which turned out to be a restaurant/hookah bar. I considered running there, but i figured that would just give the dogs something to chase. The pack stayed at the intersection and didn’t come after me as I crossed the field. I suddenly missed the Kuta “Hello my friend, transport?” touts. I made it to the restaurant. I was able to convince this random local dude to give me a lift on his motorcycle, which required admitting what a pussy I was. It took roughly 28 seconds to get back to the hotel. I tipped the dude for the ride and sat down on my hotel’s porch. It was time to drink that road dog, then to get to sleep.

I woke up at the usual time in the usual state. It was 10:40, just in time to get an order in for the free hotel breakfast. Like every other morning in Bali, I nursed a reasonable hangover. I planned to spend most of the day in Ubud before returning to Kuta for the sunset.

I went down to the Monkey forest. The monkey forest was just south of the bar I had been at the night before. As I walked, I saw legions of ferocious, possibly rabid dogs. During the daytime, when the crowds and the touts were out in full force along Ubud’s main road, the dogs slept. I let them lie. The monkey forest was probably my favorite sight in Ubud. The monkeys mauled people who had bought bananas for them, and I got to laugh at oblivious Eurotrash getting mugged by monkeys. The “forest” part of the monkey forest was amazing as well. I walked down into a gorge to a jungle stream. Everything everywhere was green. Emerald deep green from all sides. My camera ran out of charge shortly before I reached the most brilliant jungle scenery I’d ever come across. Hell, my $150 point-and-shoot Samsung would have failed in capturing it.

Shortly after running out of camera charge, I realized that I’d hiked as deep into the forest as I was going to go. I was on the furthest precipice of my trip - I would go no further. Now it was a matter of going back to the top of the gorge, back to the monkey forest entrance to pick up my water and my Lonely Planet, back to the hotel to pick up my bags, back to the bus stop, back to Kuta, and back to my original Kuta hotel to crash a night and get my main bag back. In Kuta, I would recharge my camera, stay a night, and then go back to Kuala Lumpur, then back to Seoul. Once you get to the farthest place that you’re going to go, there’s nowhere to go but back.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ubud

I woke up at my hotel in Kuta, Bali at the usual time and in the usual state. It was 10:40, just in time to get an order in for the free hotel breakfast. Like every other morning in Kuta, I nursed a reasonable hangover.

On vacation, I wake up well over 2 hours earlier than I do in real life.

The highlight of the previous night had involved striking out with a couple of gorgeous Swedish girls. Make no small plans, I guess. At breakfast, I met up with a buddy whose name I had forgotten. He had been my fellow Swedish girl spurnee the night before. I left my large backpack at the hotel’s left luggage, and carried only a pair of small day packs. It was time to get the hell out of Kuta. It was time for a night off from the bars and and the clubs and the girls. It was time to go to Ubud.

Ubud is an arts-focused city in the Balinese interior. I caught a minivan up there. I was the first passenger. The other three passengers that we picked up were all girls, all traveling alone, and one was too cute. Gaw. It was too early, I was too hungover. I put on my headphones and listened to the Adam Carolla podcast for the hour and a half journey.

I found a serviceable hotel, the Gandra House. It had nice gardens, a chill vibe, free breakfast, cold showers, and no A/C for 10 bucks a night. The woman who ran the operation was super nice, after I checked in she brought me a thermos of hot tea. I left one of my daypacks in the hotel, and headed off into Ubud with the other.

As I walked, I realized I had taken George Carlin’s “degrees of stuff” routine about as far as one could take it. In my daypack, I had my Lonely Planet, my wallet, my iPod, my hotel key, my camera, some sun screen, some smokes, and the book I was reading at the time, “The Sun Also Rises.” Outside of the books and the sun screen, this is the stuff I have with me all the time anyway. Back in my hotel, I had my larger daypack with clothes, my alarm, and toiletries. In Kuta, I had a large backpack with most of the clothes I had brought on the trip, more toiletries, my camera charger, my DS, and any souvenirs that I had thus far acquired. In Seoul, I had most of my “real” stuff, like my computer, my current books, and the rest of my current clothes. At my Mom’s house in Baltimore, my Game Cube, N64, Super NES, PS2, the lion’s share of my books, the remainder of my clothes, all my CDs and DVDs (and VHS tapes and cassettes), my paper documents, and photo albums awaited my return to the States. Any junk mail I may get finds its way to my Dad’s house in Florida, as it is currently my official address. The junk mail can be united with some of my old toys, like Legos and whatnot, and grade school yearbooks. No doubt collecting dust in my cousin Liz’s attic in the South Side of Chicago, I have my night stand, a horribly obsolete TV and printer, another 40% of my books, all of my old maps, and a shoebox filled with random keepsakes from the 80s and 90s, possibly including notes from ancient ex-girlfriends. I feel the worst about that stuff, it’s been there 4 years now. I just hope Liz hasn’t thrown away the shoebox, maps, or books. Across town on the North Side, my cousin Jess looks after my bed, my NES, and all related NES peripherals and games. An $8 cab ride north, my brother lounges on my awesome red leather chair, my pride and joy in 2004 and still an all-time top 5 chair. Back in Kansas, my buddy Daniel continues the extended loan of my camping gear.

TL;DR I had stuff in ten places, spread across six cities in three countries. And Jack says I have my shit together.

Sometimes, I miss April of 2006, which was the last time that all that stuff but the Legos and grade school yearbooks were in one apartment

I walked to the Puri Lukisan museum. Unlike Denpasar, it was completely tout free. I admired Balinese art in sweet silence for an hour or so and lazed through the flowery landscaped gardens. Kuta has its good points, but it’s uglier than a 1993 white college basketball big man. Ubud looked fantastic from every angle. I walked on to another museum, dedicated to the Spanish painter Blanco, who had set up shop in Ubud in the latter third of the twentieth century. The views of the rice paddies in the distance were sublime, but Blanco himself was a little boring, a poor man’s Dali in both talent and eccentricity.

I hit up lunch at an Indonesian suckling pig restaurant. I arranged for tickets to a traditional Balinese dance show with my hotel. I checked out the city market. I got my first Balinese massage, as my feet were killing me and because there weren’t any annoying touts around trying to sell me a massage every 5 seconds like they do in Kuta. Ubud ruled.

I headed out to the show in the evening. The program included a kecak dance and a fire/trance dance. The venue was in the round (well, really a square) and involved folding chairs on risers. I sat down on a chair in the corner, between a group of old Canadian ladies and a couple of girls. I talked to the Canadian ladies and the girl to my right before the show started. The girl wasn’t all that cute above the neck, but was rocking the always winning combination of Chuck Taylors and a short skirt. Her friend was less talkative.

The show started. A kecak show consists of 50 or so Balinese dudes singing, chanting, and making hand movements while sitting in a circle around the actual play. The actors don’t speak, but wear lavish costumes and act with large gestures as the chorus sings and chants. They told a story from the Rama Epic, based in folklore from India. I knew this from my program of course, otherwise I would have had no clue what was going on.

During the climax of the Rama show, the actors did speak to each other, in Indonesian or Sanskrit or something. However, as the singers came to a quiet part, one actor, wearing a large king mask, broke the fourth wall and said “hello!” to an audience member. The tourist laughed. The actor followed his greeting with “My friend, transport?” Killer joke, as tourists hear just that every 39 seconds in Bali.

Next came the fire/trance dance. The chorus moved to the far side of the space, and the actors left. 18 inch high metal barriers were set up in front of the chairs. Somebody gathered a large pile of wood into the center of the stage, and it was lit ablaze. As the bonfire burned down to coals, a man with a giant horse head strapped to his waist began feverishly dancing around the coals and fire, barefoot. Once the fire had burned out, he hopped up to the pile of coals and kicked them, punted them really, right toward my section. Everybody jumped. The 18 inch barriers were no match for the coals, and one hit one of the Canadian ladies. She was spooked, but fine. The girl in the short skit moved to the back row. Somebody swept the coals back to the middle of the stage. The dancer kicked the coals again, this time trying not to boot them over the barrier, but one or two still went.

I’ll take flying flaming coals over American insurance laws any day.

The man kept repeating the process. He’d kick the coals, and embers would fly. I was too transfixed by the visuals to worry about the danger. Once the coals were out, the house lights came up. The man removed the horse head and sat down. He looked as though he really had just come out of a trance. The soles of his feet were jet black.

The show was over and the crowd dispersed. I made brief pleasantries with the Canadian ladies and the girls and headed out alone. I was eager for a smoke. Cigarettes are terrible in Indonesia. Indonesian lights are harsher than Korean or American regulars. Still, as I was on vacation, and because it’s legal to smoke pretty much everywhere, this 90 minute show was by far the longest I’d gone without a smoke for the whole trip, airplanes excepted. My lighter was acting up, so it took a few seconds to get situated. By this time, the two girls had left the theater. I began walking home, and they were walking in the same direction. It occurred to me that it was silly to walk 6 feet in front of them in silence, so I paused a beat and said hello.

Looks like this will be a two parter.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Denpasar

It was Tuesday in Bali. I’d been in Kuta for a few days. I’d originally planned on going to Ubud, a more traditional, artsy town in the island’s interior on Tuesday for a couple of nights. Not too surprisingly, girls interfered. I’d met a cute and interesting Aussie girl the night before. She had to take her drunken brother home from the club early, but we made general plans to meet back at the same club tonight. I decided one day in Ubud would be enough - I’d stay in Kuta Tuesday night.

Kuta during the day presents a bit of a problem. Sure, there’s the beach, but I’d spent the lion’s share of the previous day sitting on the beach. There’s surfing, but I can’t surf. The touts around town are largely too relentless and annoying to deal with, thicker than tropical mosquitoes. I could always drink all day - in Kuta I would have plenty of company in that endeavor - but I wanted to be at least mildly coherent to meet this girl. A day trip was in order.

The largest city on Bali by far is Denpasar. Nobody goes to Denpasar. Denpasar is just under 20 kilometers from Kuta. It’s reputed to be dirty, grey, drab, and harsh. Lonely Planet declared it to be a workaday city with next to nothing of interest for the tourist. I was going to Denpasar.

I went to Kuta’s “Bemo Corner.” This is an intersection that bemos, ie minibuses reminiscent of Filipino jeepneys stop on their run between the airport and Denpasar. Lonely Planet told me the bemos were fairly frequent. Touts in the area told me otherwise, this info is outdated, there are no bemos anymore. I didn’t believe them, as they had a vested interest in providing alternate transit. After waiting 20 minutes, all the while low-balling various transit touts that approached me, I gave up on the bemo idea. Fortunately, a motorcycle taxi driver agreed to my asking price at that same moment - $2 for a ride.

The motorcycle taxi ride was terrifying, thrilling, annoying, and fun, often all at once. The driver, as per Bali tout statute A2, offered me rides to other parts of the island, tickets to cultural shows, a round trip to Kuta, hookers, and drugs. I told him to drop me off at the Denpasar museum. He offered to wait in the parking lot and to give me a ride back later. Given his obvious shadiness, I declined all offers. Generally, he would turn around to face me while making these offers while weaving through traffic.

People from 3rd world countries have some amazing innate abilities. They can haggle better than a bankrupt Scotsman. Than have no fear of local wildlife, including ferocious dogs and monkeys. More than anything, they can drive. They can drive a motorcycle in traffic while looking the other way. I saw guys on motorcycles that were carrying 19 inch tube TVs while driving. I saw families of four on one motorbike. I rode in an SUV that was almost always within an inch of a motorcycle on the highway. Driving on rural Indonesian roads appears to be far more stressful than driving in Manhattan rush hour. It’s an entirely different kind of driving, altogether.

I left my motorcycle driver at a park in the center of Denpasar. It was a five minute walk to the museum. This walk was unlike any I had experienced in Bali. I saw zero other white people. I had zero touts attempt to stop me or sell me anything. This was my first time in Bali that I was able to walk five consecutive minutes without running into a tout. It was fantastic. Thank you, Lonely Planet, for steering the paleface clear of Denpasar. I loved it already.

I walked into the museum, which had amazing courtyards filled with Hindu shrines, and the tout-free streak ended. Guys trying to sell me fans and other knick knacks came out of the ether. I ignored them and entered the museum proper, and was quickly joined by a small Indonesian man with a mustache. I told him I didn’t want a guide, but he said he wasn’t a guide but a man who was studying the art in this museum. I wanted to be left alone, but the non-guide kept following me around and telling me about the various pieces of art. He seemed kind and genuinely excited about the art, so I stopped trying to ditch him, even started asking him questions about some of the art.

The museum had five different buildings. There was an elderly German couple leaving as I moved to the second building. Other than them, the museum grounds were occupied only be me, my guide, some workers, and of course touts. Every time we changed buildings, the touts would try to sell me more crap. I was a bit annoyed that my guide, er, not-guide, didn’t chase the touts away when I clearly wasn’t interested in buying anything from them. At the last building, I tipped him 5,000 rupiah, which is about 50 cents. Not much I know, but the admission to the museum had been half that. Plus, he never shooed away the riff raff.

I went to a Hindu temple next to the museum after this. Another guide appeared, and I waved him away, told him no guide, no guide. He listened. I got to enjoy ten full minutes walking around the temple before another tout came up, offering to show me around the museum.

I left the Denpasar central square and walked to the market. The walk required crossing a couple of streets. Crossing the street in Kuta was a fairly painless affair, but in Denpasar, a city of 400,000 or so, it was near impossible. The stoplights are largely figureheads. I used this method to cross the street: I stood on the curb waiting for a gap in traffic. After waiting for a long enough period of time that I no longer cared if I was mowed down by a car or motorcycle so long as I was no longer still standing on that curb, I walked into traffic. It worked.
The market was absolutely elbow to tit. Between pick ups trucks, motorbikes, and pedestrians, it was one step at a time through the chaos. On the plus side, it was nothing like the market scenes in Kuta. No white people, and no touts, at least none that spoke English. There was a vast flower market that was flooded with people buying flowers for Hindu offering rituals. Moving through that, I came across a sea of tropical fruit stands. I really wanted to try durian, but I didn’t see any. I ended up moving indoors, to the fabric market, where I got suckered into buying one of the worst shirts I’ve ever bought - traditional Balinese garb, but it really doesn’t allow for much range in shoulder motion. When I tried it on that night, it took ten minutes to take it off. I almost had to go Hulk.

I left the market the way I came, and crossed the busy street the same way, standing on the curb until I no longer cared whether I lived or died so long as I could continue moving. I was starving, and I had one more stop to make in Denpasar - the mall.

After reaching the central square, I turned south, toward the mall. I came across a couple of streets that were like the other difficult to cross street. Then, I came across a street that was far worse. I would never be able to cross this bastard without actually being mowed down. Suddenly, a policeman appeared. “Hello! Where you go?”
“Mall”
With that, he immediately took out his whistle and started walking across the street, stopping traffic. I followed him, and then jogged across the street. He turned back and went back to wherever he came from. I continued south happily. Nice of that cop to help me on my way. Really nice of him to not demand a bribe.

The Denpasar mall was awesome. Chaos, just like outside, only air conditioned. I went to the food court and got some mie goreng, Indonesian fried noodles with egg. It was under a dollar and awesome. I had a cigarette, just because I could. I walked around and headed for the major department store to see if they had durians or other interesting food, and found some instant mie goreng. More importantly, I learned the real prices of things. Fake sunglasses cost under two bucks. T shirts cost a dollar. I didn’t find anything I liked, but this was good stuff to know when dealing with the shysters in Kuta.

I returned to Kuta, and went to war with the shysters. “Hello, my friend. You need T-shirt? Sunglass?” Both. Let’s dance.

After selecting a Bintang beer shirt and a pair of fake Ray-bans, the haggling began. The clerk started at the usual ridiculous price, lets say $30. He typed the amount onto his calculator. I countered with one cent. He laughed, but I told him we’re going to end up a lot closer to my price than we would to his. After some give and take (him - $25, me - 2 cents; him $20, me - 3 cents) he asked my real price. I told him four bucks. He scoffed. I told him I’d been to Denpasar, and I’ve seen behind the curtain, I know the real prices. The t-shirt and sunglasses cost him $2.50, $3.00 tops, so he’d be making a nice dollar profit off this.

Listen, I know that a buck or two make a far bigger difference to the average Indonesian working man than they do to a gringo like me. I’m generally not going to haggle to the last dime. I’ve been happily ripped off a number of times. Haggling is unquestionably a competition, and I don’t want to lose. Usually, I’m happy with a tie, a win-win deal, but the T-shirt shops on Poppies Gang street in Kuta are snake pits. I want to win.

And I won. Shades and a T-shirt, 4 bucks. The shopkeeper and his boss were clearly unhappy with the deal. I left the store and waked toward the beach to catch the sunset. For the first 100 yards of the walk, through the gauntlet of shady T-shirt and sunglasses and jewelry and towel shops, not a single tout tried to get me into their store. Victory.

Wish I could have said the same regarding the Aussie girl, but I never saw her. More so, I wish I could say the same regarding the Swedish girls I met at the club that night.

I also wrote a little bit about fashion in Bali on my other blog. The link is here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

0.0

I’ll get on with Bali/KL stuff soon. I still have a lot of ground to cover there. Tonight, I want to talk movies.

I’ve been having bad luck with movies as of late. I saw “Up in the Air” and “Inglorious Basterds” a couple weeks ago, and I enjoyed both quite a bit. Of course, as an airline nerd, I had to question why Clooney’s company in “Air” was based in Omaha. One would think that a consulting firm that required such frequent travel would be in a city with a real airport.

Since watching those, my luck has gotten a bit worse. I downloaded “Sideways,” but after all the hype I’d heard about it (5 years ago, I know) it was kinda meh. I never really got too involved. On the night I downloaded Sideways, I also started downloads on “Syriana” and “This Film is not yet Rated,” the latter an interesting-sounding documentary on why some films with minimal “offensive” material end up with “R” ratings. It took two days to get Syriana. Once I got it, I discovered that it had the original voice track, but was also overdubbed in Russian or Latvian or some harsh sounding Eastern European tongue, and there was no way to turn the dubbing off. Delete. The other movie took longer to get, as there were not many sources available. Once I got it, it turned out to be the DVD portion with the director’s commentary. Really? Who the hell watches the director’s commentary track, especially on a minor film’s DVD? Delete. You get what you pay for sometimes, I suppose.

While perusing Rotten Tomatoes (okay, listening to an Adam Carolla podcast about movies) I learned that “Good Luck Chuck” received a 0.0 out of 100 from the major critics category. Amongst the general public, it surged up to a 0.5 out of 100. All signs pointed to this being the worst movie of all time.

I decided to watch it, so you don’t have to. Don’t say Nintendo v Nascar never does anything to help the people. Download time for this one - 27 minutes, and it played like a champ. A 2007 movie with a 0.0 rating. Sometimes, I hate the internet. As I was in Korea for all of 2007, I knew absolutely nothing of this movie. I went in completely fresh.

The movie opened with a group of grade school kids playing spin the bottle. Youthful Charlie, our hero, landed on a 5th grade goth girl. They went into the closet, and she wasn’t just into necking, she wanted to engage in intercourse. Charlie, being a grade school kid, wasn’t into that, so the goth girl put a hex on him. The hex was that every girl he dated would then marry the next dude that she dated after him. We have a premise. Hey, I’ve seen some bad movie concepts in my day, this didn’t seem 0.0 worthy. Plus, this was a relatable concept for me. For no less than three girls, I was the second-last person for them to kiss/hook up with in some capacity before meeting their husband/getting married. Hell, I made out with this girl in a bar in Jeonju last weekend and later found out she was engaged, so make that four.

Smash cut to modern times. Holy fuck, it’s Dane Cook. Nope, this movie no longer has potential. I consider deleting it immediately, but soldier through. Dane is with a girl on the beach, and he can’t return an “I love you” while getting head. She dumps him. Plenty realistic so far. Dane is too moral to lie to a girl that’s in the process of blowing him.

We see Dane and his fat sidekick at work. Dane is a dentist, and his sidekick does boob jobs. Dane is unhappy, his sidekick is happy. Dane has an assistant. She is hefty and black. Imagine my surprise when she also turned out to be sassy.

Dane and his fat sidekick go to a wedding. The fat guy, shockingly, isn’t good with the ladies, but he has lots of bad pick up lines. The bride at this wedding is Dane’s ex, and apparently she met her husband through him. It seems the hex worked. The girl from the beach is also at the wedding, presumably because she was Dane’s date before they broke up and still went anyway. We see her making out with some random guy it the wedding. Wonder if they’ll get hitched?

Jessica Alba shows up. Hmm, she’s famous, I wonder if her and Dane will hit it off? She’s clumsy in a way that should involve wearing a helmet. She works with penguins in some sort of aquarium joint.

I was a bit annoyed to see Alba. She’s hot, of course, but everyone knows she never gets naked in movies, and she doesn’t bring a whole lot else to the table. At this early juncture of the film, gratuitous nudity is all I can hope for.

Anyhow, Dane courts Alba for 10 or 15 minutes of screen time. She rebuffs him. She never has any reason to whatsoever, other than the fact that Dane Cook is the very definition of douchebag. The beach chick gets married. Other women hear of Dane’s legend, if they bang him, they will meet their soul mate. For some reason, Dane is opposed to this idea, then his fat sidekick convinces him otherwise.

In the most disturbing gratuitous nudity montage of all time (lotsa tits, yeah, but Dane Cook also prominently involved in every frame) Dane plows his way through 734 or so women, including his sassy assistant. This leaves him feeling empty and sad, because the women all meet their future husbands and get hitched within 45 minutes of coitus. BTW, I kept wondering about these future husbands. I personally wouldn’t have sex with a girl that had ever been to a Dane Cook live event, much less marry a girl that had actually porked Dane-o.

Dane starts chasing after Alba again. He goes to her stupid penguin show and they talk about bullshit penguin stuff. Dane finds out from Josh from 30 Rock (Alba’s brother in the movie) that she had been talking about him, since he gave her free dental work earlier in the movie. She talks about her hero, this penguin PhD dude (hmm, wonder if she’ll meet him after having sex with Dane, thus setting herself up to get married?) but decides to go out with Dane. After a few dates, she’s ready to throw down. As she’s undressing (off camera of course, stupid Alba) Dane gets a call from his fat sidekick... and answers the phone! You know, because most of us guys answer the damn cell phone when our idiot buddies call and we’re about to have sex with our presumed soul mates for the first time. The fat sidekick tells Dane that ALL of the women that he had hooked up with in the montage got married. Dane reacted as if though this wasn’t something he didn’t already fucking know, even though he clearly knew about it before. So he leaves.

Anyway, everything predictable from before happens. Dane and Alba later hook up. Then they break up, because he tries too hard. Then Dane tracks down the goth girl from the first scene, and she tells him if he loves her, set her free, blah blah. Dane hooks Alba up with the penguin nerd guy, and he’s a retard klutz too. In the horrible climax, Dane finds out she’s going to Antarctica with him to study penguins. He goes to the airport, turns out Anytown International has TWO connecting flights to fucking Antarctica that day, and Dane buys tickets for both for $17,000 to get past security. He talks to Alba, and Penguin nerd is married anyway, and she isn’t moving to Antarctica but coming back on Wednesday.

Ugh. Don’t see it. It’s not so bad it’s good. It’s worse. It’s worse than Rocky V for this key reason: Rocky V is 100% Dane Cook free.
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