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Jersey Shore Recap: Hiding (Among Other Things) in a Bush

This week's installment seamlessly picked up from last week's Sammi/JWOWW smackdown, which resulted in hurt feelings and torn weaves. But what followed was a surprisingly lighthearted episode that featured drunken kickball and the dry-humping of a stuffed crocodile, the first time either activity has appeared on American television since the series finale of 7th Heaven. Here now are the dirty, filthy dozen highlights:

1. Sammi vs. the Three Trash Bags
In the aftermath of the brawl, sourpuss Sammi lamented that in the house, it's her "against the three trash bags" — referring to JWOWW, Snooki and Deena. We tried to think of three brands of trash bags, but could only come up with Hefty and Glad (seriously, is there a third?), which means one of these ladies has got to go.

2. Deena and Snooki, Two Peas in a Pod
Deena and Snooki decided that the best way to diffuse the house tension and display the bonds of their friendship was to see which inanimate objects they could stuff themselves into. First, Snooki curled up in a large piece of luggage: Imagine Garfield, after many Jell-O shots (and lasagna!), trying to stuff himself inside one of those little cat-carriers you take to the vet — that's what this looked/smelled like. Then, Snooki and Deena tumbled in and out of the roof-deck hammock, and OH MY GOD, DID WE JUST SEE DEENA'S BALLS???

3. GTL ... C?
Sammi and Ron split from the group (a common theme tonight) and added an unexpected wrinkle to the morning Gym-Tan-Laundry routine: Church! This raises several questions: For what, exactly, were they atoning? And, why oh why did the MTV cameras not follow them inside the church?!? How much fun would it have been to see an angry, juiced-up Ron start punching choir members for looking at him funny?

4. What's in Deena's Boobs?
While debating the authenticity of Deena's boobs, Pauly D asked the universe, "What's in a real boob?" to which Deena replied, "I don't know — fat and milk?" Biology lesson, kids: "Real" boobs are apparently made of the same stuff that goes in a DQ Blizzard, including (in Deena's case) crushed-up bits of Oreo cookies.

5. "We're in Fuckin' Seaside, Bitch. Let's Go to Fuckin' Karma."
In addition to being the most awesome fortune-cookie message ever, this was Snooki's rallying cry to the house as they embarked on the first night out to the rocking-est, date-rape-iest club on the Shore, Karma! Predictably, Sammi and Ron ditched their roommates again and stayed inside for some more moping-around-in-bed time. And boy, did they miss out on some fun: Vinny dodging a grenade, The Situation seemingly forcing three girls to make out, and Deena and JWOWW's anus dance battle. But the best part was ...

6. "I'm Hiding, Whore."
How great was it when Snooki decided to hide behind a plant at Karma for no apparent reason? Even greater was her explanation that she'll "pee in a bush, poop in a bush, and hide in a bush." We're not sure if this was a promise, a threat, or an ancient riddle, but it appeared as if Snooki was doing all three things simultaneously.

7. Menage a Ick
Vinny and Mike returned to the house with the same lady, evoking scenes from Y Tu Mamá También (which is Spanish for "Awkward Three-way with a Drunken Mess From Paterson Who Clearly Had No Idea That What She Was Signing Was a Release Form"). The ground rules for the threesome were laid out: Each guy stays to one side. But, wait — just as Mike was going to join, Vinny and the girl locked the bedroom door before "The Situation could get situated". How ... rude? A dejected Mike made his way down to the kitchen, where he opted to make PB&J (as in the sandwich, but feel free to come up with Jersey Shore acronyms for PB&J in the comments) instead of hooking up with an all-too-eager Deena. Skippy trumps skanky.

8. Eat, Pray, Snub
For the third time this weekend, Sammi and Ron abandoned everyone, and this time, it was personal. The Sunday Night Dinner has a long, cherished history on the Shore, but instead of eating filet mig-nons with everyone, Sammi and Ron headed to a creepy broccoli rabe-steraunt for a romantic meal of corn on the cob and fountain Diet Slice. How could they? And to add insult to culinary injury, Sammi and Ron callously and mysteriously showed up after dinner holding a giant stuffed banana — the same banana that Snooki wanted (understandable, considering her earlier tryst with the stuffed crocodile). As Vinny Pauly D so perfectly put it, "You don't come in on Sunday with a big banana and expect everything to be peaches." You don't, indeed.

9. The Return of the T-shirt Store
YES! The gang is back working at the T-shirt shop! And now, the shop is selling T-shirts with actual Jersey Shore–coined slogans on them ("GTL" and such), which, when you think about it, is like Derek Jeter personally selling foam "We're No. 1" fingers at a kiosk in Yankee Stadium. After they all return home from a grueling twelve-minute shift, the girls again rag on Sammi behind her back. "Karma's a bitch," says Snooki, but we're not sure whether she is referring to the club of the same name, where she recently peed/pooped/hid. Sammi and Ron are comforter-bound once again, where Ron cryptically shook a bottle of pills.

10. The Commercial for Taco Bell's Frito Burrito
Although it has nothing to do with the episode, the ad for the new Taco Bell product bears mentioning: a burrito stuffed with meat, cheese, and Fritos. The chip. Are we witnessing the dawn of a wonderful new era of fast-food and convenience-store snack fusion? Can the "Skittles Whopper" be far behind?

11. Are You Ready for Some Kickball?
Snooki and Deena retreated to the roof for a spirited game of "Astroturf Cigarette Kickball" (which will no doubt be under strong consideration to be at least an exhibition sport at the 2012 London Games). We weren't there when Lou Gehrig tearfully said, "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth" or when Muhammad Ali claimed to "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee." But when Snooki crossed home plate/lawn futon and yelled, "I just made a run, whore!" it was evident that her words will live on in the annals of sport for decades.

12. Boardwalk of Shame
Finally, everyone, including a reluctant Sammi, decided to venture out to the boardwalk for a pointless night of roller-coaster rides and pouting in a curiously empty amusement park. That's when we saw some cracks emerge in the rock-solid Sammi and Ron relationship. Ron wanted to have some fun with his boys and maybe punch a stranger in the face for old times' sake. Sammi wanted to look at her feet and whine. When they got home, Sammi tearfully recalled Ron's indiscretions in Miami, and Ron responded defiantly that he's allowed to hurt, too, and that she shouldn't be crying. And considering that Sammi is getting paid handsomely to watch Ron work out in between long, silent stretches of lying down on a tiger-striped comforter, we think he has a point.

Honorable Mentions
• Mike is really growing into his role as housemother, sending everyone off to bed and waking them up. If Vin Diesel or Dwayne Johnson haven't yet cornered the market in "tough cop forced to go undercover and take care of adorable children" movies, then The Situation may have found his niche.
• Umbro shorts are the pajamas of choice for the men of Jersey Shore.
• Sammi should release a workout DVD of her sitting and sighing on various exercise machines.
• When Deena described Sammi as "a female backpack," it was hard not to think of Dora the Explorer's backpack.
• Mike sort of looked like a spastic turtle while checking himself out in the mirror.
• The look on JWOWW's face when she realized she forgot her and Tom's anniversary. Anniversary of what, we wonder?
• Snooki's outfit for boardwalk night sort of made her look like Ted Williams, the golden-voiced homeless guy.
• A true "walking holiday"! There will be a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day episode of Jersey Shore on Monday, and is there a better way to honor the legacy of Dr. King than to have Snooki ask, "Is my vagina out?"

Photo: MTV