Later, sitting in a poolside cabana under a steady drizzle, Wentz seems a bit uncertain about the whole Barcelona deal. "It doesn't really make a whole lot of sense," he admits. "But we'll try anything, dude." Of course, for Wentz's many haters, this relentless branding is just another infraction on an ever-growing rap sheet that goes roughly like this:
Count 1: Pete Wentz is a douchebag. He cops to the charge every chance he gets. Take, for example, the video for "I Don't Care," Folie à Deux's first single, which ends with a bouncer decking Wentz, then peeling off a mask to reveal that the downed man is actually Hills twit Spencer Pratt. "me and spencer pratt being knocked out at the same time," Wentz blogged. "thats like getting two d-bags with one stone." If you admit to being a douchebag, can you actually be one?
Count 2: He's the prince of oversharing. Guilty. Many of FOB's lyrics refer directly to Wentz's personal life, though he swears the new record is not autobiographical. "I'm 29, man. I'm not even trying to be angsty anymore. I'm no longer mad at my dad for throwing away my porn collection or whatever." Then again, anyone seeking a fix of Wentzian self-disclosure can get their fill free online, where he maintains no less than four blogs. One is about the band, another is about Clandestine, another includes his reviews of things he likes (including the musical Wicked), and the last is for updating close friends and anyone obsessed enough to stumble across it. Those who do will find a remarkable mix of sincere reflections, self-lacerations ("if anyone ever really knew me, they'd string me up and leave me as a sign of what not to become"), and enigmatic bits of raw poetry. "i want love in handcuffs," he wrote after midnight on June 19, 2007. "meth bake sales to lower global warming. sweat shop work to burn calories."
Count 3: He can't play bass, and he spins around like an idiot. The spinning thing is kind of impressive, actually, given how rarely he collides with a mike stand. But no, he can't play bass.
Count 4: He took a picture of his Johnson. Like you haven't. The difference is that Wentz's Johnson somehow made it online. Interestingly, "Penisgate," as he calls it, is one of the things that brought Wentz and Simpson together. Simpson, after all, had recently survived her own public shaming on Saturday Night Live. "She just called me up and made me feel a lot better," he says.
Count 5: He married Ashlee Simpson. It was true love, he says. "I've had a thing for that girl for a really, really long time."
Count 6: He's a sellout. "The idea of selling out is one of those things that just seems so ancient to me," Wentz says. "It seems so, like, nineties." In fact, the band has SELL OUT BOY T-shirts on tourfor a tidy profit.