[Originally published August 3, 2010.]

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California was in unprecedented danger. Within the first several weeks of summer, the Golden Coast was crippled by the highest levels of freaking on record. Worse, the California Gurls responsible had spread throughout the region, compromising the entire state. As anthropologists, there was no choice but to act.

In our field, we are presented with a thesaurus of adjectives to describe our indigenous subjects. And yet, upon our arrival at a beachfront party, we found only two words that could classify these California Gurls: unforgettable and undeniable. (A coupling formerly believed to be impossible by the natural sciences.)

We maneuvered through the Daisy-Duke and bikini-clad masses undetected, careful not to displace a California Gurl’s Jeep or stiletto. As soon as we located the pack leader, the only gurl who possessed both a Jeep and stilettos, we directed our attention exclusively to her.

The queen, emitting a strong odor of cherry chapstick, led the gurls in a host of tasks, such as tanning, putting hands up, and, of course, freaking in Jeeps. At the height of this exhibition, the monarch showed her approval on her subjects by releasing a harrowing shriek: “Aaoaoao oh aoaoaoa!” This was a horrible tribal yell that none should repeat audibly, and we deem it a social blessing that only those in attendance would hear it uttered.

Our vantage point was fantastic, but the screeching gave us no option but to move to a safe distance. Shortly into our relocation, several aggressive California Gurls intercepted us. Surprisingly, the gurls were incredibly polite—offering us popsicles and bottled water. We thanked them and immediately drank the liquid (we were terribly dehydrated from the encroaching freaking), unaware that we’d made a fatal error.

There was something in the water. After swallowing it, our muscles instantly atrophied and our throats constricted, rendering us completely defenseless. Our limbs were wooden; our insides felt as if they were drying out. As a desperate last resort, we looked to our popsicles. We struggled, but slowly we were able to bring the perspiring treats to our mouths. Again we were thwarted, this time by a pack of newly suntanned California Gurls who formed a heat-propelling phalanx around us, effectively melting the popsicles—and all hope.

Now on the California pavement, we struggled to maintain consciousness. As if fueled by our ruin, the partying intensified. We observed as near nuclear tanning spells erupted, accompanied by fierce freaking and what seemed like an endless session of putting hands up. We heard the obstructed bellow of the queen as she released her horrible, unmentionable shrieking: “Aoaoaoao oh aoaoaoao!”

Thankfully, Snoop Dogg arrived toned, tanned, fit, and ready. For what exactly, we could only speculate.

We gasped for Snoop to save us from these California Gurls—these California sirens. To our bewilderment, the emcee simply smirked at us before allowing himself to be swept away by a riptide of gurls. “Snoop!” we gasped, “It’s suicide!” But it was too late.

We wept quietly for Snoop until moments later, when we overheard his unmistakable voice insisting that he was okay! Optimism abounded in our afflicted group, and we praised Snoop’s bravery. However, our faith was deflated when the rapper sabotaged his status report by denying any rumors that he would play, and pledging himself to the Bay.

Snoop had fallen victim to the gurls, and we cursed them. He conceded to the queen (or his “queen-ie”) and lauded magnanimous amounts of praise upon her, supplementing this respect for her owning a Jeep as well. Also, at some point he rhymed bikini with “tankini”, which caused a trickle of blood to begin flowing from my nostrils.

For hours we lay incapacitated, sucking short bursts of air as Snoop and the California Gurls, so undeniable, partied around us. Occasionally we would receive a stiletto to the cheek, followed by a speckle of sand to the eye.

“They don’t even mind sand in their stilettos,” I wearily remarked to a colleague, unaware he was already dead.

Fortunately, at the eleventh hour, several research assistants whom we ordered to wait in the anthropology van rescued us. Before they too could fall victim to the gurls, the assistants extracted those of us lucky to be alive.

We implore that no one visit California until this summer of freaking subsides. At current, the area is completely unstable. Furthermore, do not attempt to even observe a party alongside the gurls. For, even as you fall victim to their poison charms, you can feel yourself falling in love. Most of all, do not disrupt the nature of these California Gurls, because they have it on lock.

My God, they have it on lock.