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The Cultural Atrocities Issue

Blacking Out Is the Other Universal Language

Our international offices dug up the strangest, booziest stories of vacations gone wrong.

People have been going on vacations to get fucked up and make bad decisions since antiquity, and that’s not going to change until aliens descend from the sky and enslave our savage world. So in the spirit of broadening our horizons, we’ve investigated debauchery across the globe and asked our international offices to dig up the strangest, booziest stories of vacations gone wrong – or right, depending on how you look at it.


A Tijuana Ass-Kicking
by Rocco Mastrantoni IV

When I was 19 and living out of my car in Las Vegas with my pals Sam, Tommy, and Fat Dave, we decided to go on vacation to Tijuana. We drove to San Diego, rented a cheap motel room, left our cars there, and walked across the border. At the crossing, no one even looked at our IDs. “Was that it?” Sam said, after we’d crossed through. “Are we in Mexico?” We flagged down a taxi driver, who made it clear that we were officially south of the border. He couldn’t understand a word we said until Sam blurted out, “Take us to the party!” Luckily, the driver knew that phrase.

He dropped us off in downtown Tijuana, where we ended up in a club with cheap drinks and even cheaper Mexican strippers. They came over, sat on our laps, and left us with the 12-zillion-peso bar tab ($200), which was more money than all of us had in our bank accounts. When we complained, a gorilla-size bouncer threw us out.

To calm our nerves and nurse our wounds, we pooled our money and tried to buy some sleeping pills from a farmacia across the street, but we didn’t have enough cash. We ended up at another club, a shithole where $20 got you unlimited drinks – but that didn’t stop us from pounding shots and beers as soon as we got in the door. The booze eventually sent me back to the motel a few hours later, and I woke up the next morning to my friends beating on the door. Sam wasn’t with them. “He’s fucking dead!” my friend Tommy explained. Sam had gone missing, and they’d been searching for him for hours. The only clue was an ominous one: In an alley behind the club, they found Sam’s T-shirt covered in blood.


We went back to downtown Tijuana to retrace our steps from the night before, but not even the filthy strippers had seen Sam. After hours of searching and sifting through Mexican prisons, we finally drove back to our motel, dumbfounded and defeated. Before going up to our room, the girl behind the desk pointed us to the parking lot where a “fat, smelly American man” had just arrived.

It was Sam. He had a black eye, a broken nose, and a bloody zigzag cut on his forehead. He was beaming with pride, screaming, “I got jumped in Tijuana!”

Sam told us what happened: he had stepped outside the club for some fresh air, where two thugs sucker punched him, dragged him into an alley, and beat him, taking his only $10 and leaving him unconscious in the streets. He woke up the next day with a giant gash on his face. He took his shirt off and tried to stanch the blood, stumbling through downtown Tijuana, shirtless and bleeding. A homeless man gave him the b.u.m. T-shirt off his back and pointed Sam in the direction of the hospital. A nervous graduate student gave him three stitches to close his three-inch gash. At the crossing, an American official asked for Sam’s passport. “Dude,” Sam said, “I live in a car, I’m 19, and I just got jumped in Tijuana. They took everything.”

Two Black Eyes, One Morning of Shame
by Sienna Doll

Here in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas break replaces spring break. If you’re in high school, this means two long months of sunshine and barely any parental supervision. I’d save up all my babysitting money, convince my parents I was responsible enough to spend a weekend away from them, and go to Wilsons Prom, a coastal paradise a couple of hours outside of Melbourne. One sexy evening at the Prom, after a few vodka cruisers and a hot make-out session with a random boy, I headed back to my campsite still wearing his flip-flops. When I ran back to return them in the pitch-black night, I crashed into him running the other way – he had been coming to my tent to get his shoes.


The next morning I was sitting outside, nursing a black eye and a fair amount of shame when the boy walked past with a similar shiner. I was about to call to him, but when I saw his face, I realised he didn’t recognise me at all. In fact, he asked, “What happened to your eye? I don’t know about mine, but I think I got stung by a March fly.” Sitting there, faced with all my teenage fears of being expendable and forgettable coming true, I searched for something smart to say. When it didn’t come, I just looked away and replied, “Yeah, me too.”

Fingered in More Ways Than One
by Sander Roks, photo by Koen van Bommel

Renesse is a quaint little Dutch seaside town of 1,500 that is especially popular among teenagers who are too young or too low on cash to booze it up in France or Spain. It might not have the reputation of a European party capital like Berlin or other freewheeling cities, but frequently the campsites on the beach fill up with drunk teens who wreak havoc on the dunes, Lord of the Flies style.

Ten years ago I went to Renesse with seven other friends. We built two huge tents with beds and even a little stove. The vacation was full of pranks, which some other kids didn’t find funny – I remember this goth girl chasing me around with a bread knife because we peed on her laundry and emptied cans of soup on her tent. But on our second night, a friend of mine got in slightly more trouble. He was hauled away in a police car and spent the night in jail. We saw him get arrested but didn’t know what had happened at first – the cops would only say that there were “very serious allegations” against him. He came back to the campsite the next morning without a scratch on him, though. Apparently he had been fingering a girl in a dark corner of a club when she changed her mind and went to the cops saying she had been raped. My friend is a creepy motherfucker, but the charges were dropped pretty quickly. He was released and didn’t seem too fazed by the experience, but the girl ended up being taken in for questioning.


Cruse Uncontrolled
by Christian Belgaux, photo by Stephen Butkus

A few months ago, I signed up to shoot photos at a booze-tasting event that took place on a 48-hour cruise from Oslo, Norway, to Kiel, Germany, and back. A lot of Norwegian kids were getting drunk for the first time on the boat because it’s easier for them to get alcohol in Germany than their home country. I boarded thinking I would be professional and never thought I’d wear the crappy onesie I packed just in case it got cold at night.

At first I was doing my job and snapping pictures, but that all went downhill as soon as I started taking advantage of all the free liquor lying around. Soon, instead of shooting photos of whatever, I shot these 20-something girls getting naked in these tacky hallways that looked like they belonged in some chain hotel. Then I wasn’t taking photos at all. I found myself pretending to be a professional gambler at the casino, fighting with two older gay men at the bar, and topping it all off with a (solo) reenactment of the final scene in Dirty Dancing, which was quite the show for all the Germans boarding the boat at 7 AM. At the end of the trip, I woke up in a hallway, wearing only my onesie. All I remember was hearing the last call for the boat to return to Germany.

The Invasion of Florida
by Ben Pobjoy, photo by Gordon Ball

In 2002, my mediocre hardcore band was asked to play a one-off show at some fest in Orlando, Florida, during my college’s spring break. We jumped at the chance to escape the snowy, depressing tundra of the Canadian winter, found a car-rental place in Toronto that offered a cheap three-day package with unlimited mileage, got a minivan, and hit the road. We drove down the coast, splitting the drive into three back-to-back-to-back eight-hour shifts and pissing out the van’s open sliding door while burning down the interstate so no time was wasted on rest stops.


After the show we bought a shit ton of booze and threw an epic pool party at our motel. Eventually, it turned into a stereotypical rock ’n’ roll after-party as we trashed our room in a drunken haze – two beds were snapped in half. The next morning, as we looked around at the debris, we all started to worry, and following the logic of our crushing hangovers, we left the motel without checking out to avoid paying for the destruction and headed down to Daytona Beach. We were all in good spirits, and I busted out my G-string with a sheer dick pouch that had home of the whopper printed on it and slipped it on. A group of rednecks did not like this and started calling me a faggot, eventually chasing us into the van, after which we began our 24-hour drive back to Toronto.

We returned the van and had put 3,000 miles on it in 60 hours. The rental guy asked us, “You guys, like, drive this to Florida or something?” We laughed. “Yeah, man, we did, and it FUCKING RULED."

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