A Big Night Out in... Orlando!
Aug 2 2012
I've been a Canadian living on the outskirts of Orlando, Florida as part of a summer internship for the last couple of months. My new acquaintances consist mostly of sheltered feral children and sex-starved Europeans who're always going on about some thing called "the party bus," the mere name of which is enough to give me an anxiety attack.
However, in the interests of The Story, I decided to get drunk enough to comfortably talk to strangers, disguise myself in more fake tan than Tan Mom, and hop aboard. I mean, I know this is Florida, and when you look at a satellite map of America, it kinda looks like its prolapsed anus, but surely the party bus couldn't be that bad, right?
The location of that sad, little beer on the right is where I sat as we headed downtown. I looked on, despairingly, at my new friends who had all seemed to find love. Apart from the spinster in grey. Who did NOT look happy about how things had worked out.
Stepping off the bus in downtown Orlando, smelling of other people's sex, I ran into these two. When you have a camera around your neck in a city that is five years behind the rest of the western world people automatically think you're a very important person. These two were so psyched about me taking their photo that I feel too bad about the whole thing to make a "Lil' Kim's new face" joke about the chick on the right.
I hope you had a great night girls, because, hey, WITH A FACE LIKE THAT YOU CAN GET IN ANYWHERE.
Someone had decided to call the first club we went to "Zexzoo." Seriously, a real human being made that decision. The bouncers there dressed like street magicians at a funeral and had decided to disprove the theory that "it is impossible to create a dubstep remix of every song ever."
One woman, who must have worked out the purpose of my trip, pointed at these two and yelled "TAKE A PICTURE OF SLUTTY AMERICANS!"
But I was really just trying to stealth shoot the dead Samoan guy in the background. You might be reading this article on VICE, but I earned ten times the fee just for the photo of his bloated corpse from Goregasm.
TREND UPDATE: Tecktonik finally made it to America! Congrats, guys!
I was totally mesmerized by these two. I wish I could have taken a video of them so that you could see them in motion. I felt awful just staring, but as I watched their mannerisms, it dawned on me that the pattern of jerky, agonized movements they were exhibiting meant they were enjoying a song.
Zexzoo became too overwhelming. Too much dubstep, too many gropey young men, I felt about as safe as a disabled Princess Leia impersonator during a power cut at Comic-Con. I decided to head outside for a while, where my camera attracted this guy. Congrats man, you made it on to The Internet.
As a non-American with internet access, I'm afraid of most things American. Especially their police. I took this photo as a test to see if they'd Rodney King me, but they did not. They just continued to sit and be useless. What use could they possibly do with those horses in downtown Orlando on a Friday night?
Here are some more people who accosted me because of my camera. The guy on the right told me his name is Trevor, and that he's a rapper from Toronto (yikes). And also that thing next to his mouth? Yeah, it's not a mole; it's actually a tabouleh.
He then asked me if I wanted to go with him to "the 16th floor" to "smoke some weeeeeeed, man." Obviously, I did not. When I told him this, he shouted "sucks to SUUUCK" into my face. To get rid of him, I asked him for his number, which he told me was 1-800-fuck-a-lot. I'm pretty sure he was kidding, but I'm too afraid that he might have been serious to actually try calling it. Anyone wanna give it a shot and let me know?
Still not ready to hear another dubstep remix, I wandered the "strip" of Orange Avenue for a bit. Which is where I found this dude dancing for tips, who I'm 99 percent sure was Philip Seymour Hoffman.
And this guy, who put on a show for my camera. Which was incredibly unnerving. Especially when he casually walked by me later in the evening and asked me for my "card."
After roaming the strip and wanting to abandon any venue with loud music altogether, I followed the Party Bus leader and an odd mix of Americans and French dudes into a club that I don't recall the name of, so I'm going to call it Bad Vibes Central. It was pretty apocalypse-y. There were drinks strewn everywhere, and...
...this woman raping a man. Not only was the man in blue, the bouncer and I were made incredibly uneasy by this scene, even my laptop was uncomfortable with this photo, claiming it was "unable to read this file" the first six times I tried to upload it.
We went to another crowded bar which I also don't remember the name of. While I was there, I drank some kind of murky green substance. This was the only photo I took, which means this statue of Captain Hook playing a ukulele was literally the most interesting thing on show there. It almost made me pine for the girl-on-guy rape and the Skrillex "clown in space" music that's so popular elsewhere in Orlando.
As I was leaving, I was tapped on the shoulder by two self-proclaimed "models" who kept asking me where they could see their "picture online." It was loud in there, so to make sure I fully understood what they meant, they kept lifting their shirts to show off their abs while aggressively mouthing the word "model" at me.
And like that, it was time to return to the bus. Our pickup location was outside of a "Chick-Fil-A." (Boo! Hiss!) While waiting, I made a lot of new friends, like the French students who were obsessed with my "teeeeetz" and a dude from New Jersey who tried to chat me up but then puked over my shoulder.
Finally, the bus arrived to deliver me from this hell I'd somehow wound up in. Someone shouted "Special ed!" as it approached, but, weirdly, the driver didn't seem to find it funny at all. I could tell he was laughing on the inside though when the drunk New Jersey guy barfed whatever citrusy bile he had left in his gut and we all had to drive home with the fumes of it stinging our nostrils for, what was it now, like an hour? Yeah, about an hour. And that's fine.
Follow Kristen on Twitter: @KristenCochrane
Previous Big Days and Nights Out:
The Future of Our Gay Neighborhoods
I Dressed Like an Idiot at Fashion Week to See How Easy It Is to Get Street-Snapped
VICE Vs Video Games: It’s Not Enough to Make 'Good' Video Games Anymore
There's a Social Network That Costs $9,000 to Join
The Islamic State Threatened America by Making a Shitty Video
The Atheist Movement Needs to Disown Richard Dawkins
Police Raided Australia's Cannabis Capital
Portraits from the Biggest Flea Market in Prague (and Maybe Europe)
Tao of Terence: Psychedelic Drugs, Art, Music, and Other Drugs: An Interview with Finn McKenna
Why I Stayed in an Abusive Relationship