HALIFAX, NEW JERSEY

ONLY ONE GUY paid $85 to be here tonight. At half-past midnight, Colin is standing inside the VIP lounge of Pacifico, Halifax’s downtown club-capital, waiting in a lineup otherwise filled with girls clad in white. When Colin’s turn comes, he stands on a couch beside an unusually muscular man in white pants, a white vest and a white tee. Colin shakes hands, grins for the camera, shakes again, and steps back down.

“The Situation is the man,” Colin explains, staring at the man-in-white’s arm around the girl next in line. “There’s really no other way to put it. Any guy would want that.”

“The Situation” in this situation is Michael Sorrentino, one of the eight guidos and guidettes featured on MTV’s hit reality show, Jersey Shore. It’s a show currently in its second season, pitting proud young Italian-Americans together in a summer beach house. Think The Real Jersey World, or Big Guido Brother.

“There’s no reason you wouldn’t want to be The Situation,” Colin says. “Quote me on that: there’s no reason you wouldn’t want to be The Situation.”

But tonight, on June 17, The Situation is situated in Halifax, for Pacifico’s first annual “White Party” (hint: dress code, white). Around 100 people paid at least $25 to be here, or—like Colin—$85 to get into the VIP lounge with The Sitch himself.

“There’s no reason you wouldn’t want to be The Situation,” Colin says. “Quote me on that: there’s no reason you wouldn’t want to be The Situation.”

Everyone has a different reason to be here. Nick came on a whim because his girlfriend bought him a white leather jacket yesterday; Victoria and her friends drove from Wolfville to celebrate her birthday. Alex boasts that he flew all the way from Vancouver “just for this,” adding later that his brother, Max, happens to be stationed here in the army. The brothers came together, and Max says that even though he’s a Jersey Shore fan—“It gives you a reason to be a guido,” he says—tonight isn’t about The Situation.

“Mike is just one guy,” he explains. “The Situation is great and all, but the real Situation is everybody here.” He points to a girl: “That’s the Situation.” And another: “That’s the Situation.” His brother nods; Max continues: “This club is the Situation.”

“Mike is just one guy,” he explains. “The Situation is great and all, but the real Situation is everybody here.” He points to a girl: “That’s the Situation.” And another: “That’s the Situation.” His brother nods; Max continues: “This club is the Situation.”

A crowd begins to form near the DJs just before midnight. People murmur under the pulsating bass of the speakers: “Is he here? Is that The Situation?” A mass of white-clad girls armed with camera-phones and lip-gloss starts to congeal. Camera flashes go off; celebrity hugs ensue. But when the crowd thickens, Sitch steps back. He leans against a booth, behind his identically dressed security posse, and lights a cigarette. He doesn’t smile much. “They’re just a bunch of regular dudes,” a Pacifico security guard muses. He points to rotating close-ups of Sitch’s abs being projected on the wall: “That’ll be me up on the screen next week.”

The VIPs file in—people like Colin, who paid $85 to stand on a couch, have an arm thrown around their waist and enjoy a quick photo-op. A blonde girl steps down, disappointed: “Ninety bucks for a picture, then he stands around showing off to a bunch of other girls?”

A group of three middle-aged women in conspicuously tight pants laugh drunkenly, taking turns snapping self-portraits beside Sorrentino’s recently waxed chest. He just grins: the night seems to gloss over him, as if he’s done this a hundred times before. And he probably has—after all, there’s no reason you wouldn’t want to be The Situation.

This article first appeared in The Watch, in its September 2010 issue.

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