Housewives! Everywhere you look there are Housewives! Tall ones, short ones, skinny ones, fat ones (actually, not that), even ones with Chicken Pox. Some of them are in New York, and they are doing things.
This week's episode of our Bravo Parade of Miseries was all about Fashion. Who's in, who's out? Who's crinkling in a corner like a dark brown paper bag, the quick, raspy hiss of her breathing awaking dogs and small rodents, who scurry away from her, like a Pied Piper in reverse?
Well, that would be newest housewife Kelly, who was awarded the ignoble prize of leading off the episode. You see she's a writer who interviews people about things for things. Actually I think she was writing for Page Six Magazine, a publication that Rupert Murdoch made himself on his 1996 Mac Performa that is now defunct. It would be way too overreaching and ridiculous to blame Kelly for the magazine's failure, but let's be honest. It was all her fault. But oh well. She was wrapped around a piece of cantaloupe and placed on a tray, awaiting a masticated death by some early-spring bruncher.
It was Fashion Week for our Housewives, which means they get to show up to events where no one likes them, and they plaster on those smiles of theirs that are near-indestructible, practiced bits of leathery puppetry that they are. Jill was excited because she had just discovered a magical, beskirtted Asian man-pixie named Zang Toi. He was living in a barrel of rainwater, befriending rolypoly bugs and bestowing rainbows upon worthy people. Jill had woken up in an alleyway and was stumbling home when she spotted him, playing his tiny piccoloflute and making shortbread in his little fairy oven. "What an adorable little thing you arrrruhhhhh," Miss Zarin exclaimed. "I'm gonna take you home and you can work your pixie magic on my clothes, yessir that's what I'm gonna do." Had Jill been able to speak Pixinese she would have heard the tiny creature, like the littlest bell in the littlest church in the littlest town in all the land, crying "No pleeeease, don't take meeeee!"
So Jill had a fashion show for herself at Zang Toi's workshop, where she cooed over the clothes and discussed the various natures of gay peoples, while her old manservant Cumley dyed her eyebrows and another person scraped the rust out of her joints. What a fabulous occasion! Creepy old circus music lilted over the proceedings, but no one seemed to notice. If you looked closely, you could see out the window and there, waiting ominously on the street, was a black hearse. Signs!
Meanwhile in Brooklyn, Alex and her wife Simon were going clothes shopping. IN BROOKLYN. Isn't that disgusting? They sifted through piles and piles of garbage, their hands red and raw from the broken bottle shards and hobo-scrapes, flaming cats running by them, screeching into the night. Eventually they found a soiled heap of garments at some trendypants boutique in Williamsburg. Alex was kind enough to explain to us that where they live, in Cobble Hill, it's all fancy tea and crumpets and no one ever farts, but up here in hipster town Billsburg, it's anything goes. If you can lash it around your emaciated legs and sport it like a pant, you can wear it. So Alex strapped herself into various ensembles while Miss Simon sat on the sidelines, giving bitchy commentary like "If that's charmeuse, then I'm Diana Rigg." The young designers and owners of the store seemed scared and befuddled, shifting awkwardly in front of the cameras and these strange, cawing ostrich people. Glad for the attention, but frightened of the consequences. Meanwhile, in the store's backroom, a man with a pointy goatee in a red satin suit cackled as he clutched a document signed in blood. "They're mine..." he hissed. "All mine..."
Also in fashion were Bethenny and Ramona, who went to a ridiculous rooftop patio to have a meeting about arthritis. Both Jill and Ramona's daughters suffer from the ailment, so Jill has decided to spearhead a charity called Creaky Joints. Bethenny got mad because none of these clucking biddies actually has any idea how to run a charity. And that's something I find amusing. Why do these ladies—same thing can be said of the Atlanta broads, but not the selfish crayfish over in Orange County—think that because they've got a pile of bones in the bank that they somehow know how to be doting philanthropists? It's a sad story of nouveau riche posturing and insecurity and I sort of only half delight in watching it. The rest of the time I put my head in my hands and just shake my head.
Hey, you know what would be good for this episode? Fashion!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a Russel Simmons fashion show and Kelly had washed off the tanning fluids in a river near Woburn, MA and invited everyone to attend with her. Ramona was in High Tonal Mode, calling LuAnn's daughter "Noah," when her name is actually "Noelle." She then got in an awkward yelling fight with Simone de van der Beauf about why he is a shallow, feminine person. Simon said "You don't know meee!!!" and Ramona stood her ground, so that was vaguely sad. Two grown ass adults having a sixth grade conversation about hurt feelings, while terrible dance house music played and the pretty girls frowned. Simon decided that Ramz was "speaking through her derriere", and then chose to brag about his and Alex's seats for the fashion show. They had a "nice long view of both front and back of the models." They were MALE MODELS. That is funny because Simon is likely a homosexual. He declared that he was his own man now, not just Mr. Alex McCord and it was sad because it wasn't true. It was never true. (Disclosure: I met Simon once. He is definitely Mr. Alex McCord.)
Kelly caught a strong side wind and was blown over to a clothing store with Countess Crackerjacks. Cracky was really excited to try on clothes and demonstrate her hot bod. "I love trying on clothes," she declared while picking something out of her teeth. "Reminds me of these crazy sixth months I spent in Tahoe. You ever been there? Real pretty. Rocks and trees n' shit. Anyways, I'm living at this guy Carlos's ski house or whatever and my job, for like six fuckin' months, is to just wear his dead old lady's clothes. I'd be lying on the shag, drinking a Kahlua and Diet Coke, and he'd clap his hands all crazy like and just say 'OK! Fashion show!' So I'd have to put on these ratty old dresses and shit and do like sexy dances for him while he just sat on the white leather couch, sobbing. Other thing was that he'd always put on this tape of 'Rich Girl,' you know the Hall & Oates song, and it would just play over and over again. Man to this fuckin' day, to this day, I can't hear that damn song without thinkin' about old Carlos, sitting there on that pissy white leather couch, just bawling his fuckin' eyes out while I danced all sexy in some dead broad's pantsuit. To this day, man. Hey can I smoke in here? Fuck yeah I can smoke in here. I'm a fuckin' countess. Kelly, your box looks fantastic in those pants."
After shopping, Kelly and LuAnn puttered over to Fashion Week in the Countess' maroon 1979 Dodge Aspen, where Crackerjacks bragged that it "really looked good" for the fashion types to have her in the front row. You know, for like fancy photos and stuff. Cracky turned to Kelly and began a story. "Did I ever tell you about the time I was workin' as a fluffer on porno shoots down in El Salvador?" Kelly shook her head and said "Yes. Yes you have." Crackerjacks surveyed the fashion show. "This crazy scene reminds of those days man, lemme tell ya." Kelly frowned. "Let's just watch the show..." Before it started, they talked about why Ramona is a crazy person and LuAnn reached into her purse and pulled out a photo. "Look at that," she said to Kelly. Kelly examined the photo and murmured "Overlook Hotel... July 4th... 1921... What the fuck? Is that Ramona in that picture?" Crackerjacks nodded solemnly. "Holy Christ," was Kelly's stunned response. Then she bitched about getting her name put on charity lists. Her grudge was that she wanted more credit than just being on the list. "You know what," LuAnn said wisely. "I like the charity work because I like to give back to the homeless." What a homeless person would want with a shell-colored sweater set that LuAnn made off with, running down the Tahoe hills like mad, while Carlos raged in the living room, waving a pistol, is beyond me. But I guess beggars can't be choosers.
Kelly interviewed someone for a magazine and said that she wasn't interested in being snarky or "cunning." Don't worry, Kelly. You're not cunning.
Bethenny had a meal with Jill, who was being hosed off by a bunch of Irish dock workers after her most recent voyage, and they bitched about Kelly. Jill doesn't like that Kelly doesn't wear a bra. Which is fair. Kelly had a boob job probably about 10 years ago, so she's perky, but perky is happening about six inches too low. That's what I'll say about that. Bethenny said to Jill: "I like you how say 'brar.'" I do too. It's too bad that Bethenny was bitching about Kelly and fashion, because the producers then made her go to a fashion show... with the dreaded leathery mink. Bethenny kept insisting that she wasn't a fashionista and hated this world, while Kelly tried to make nice. It was very awkward and eventually Bethenny basically said "I don't give a shit" and Kelly's face sank (further) and she didn't understand how this world of glitz and glamor and fabric and tired, harried, hungry people all working, all the time, even when they are sleeping they are networking, how this amazing world couldn't be the dream of every woman. Outside there were birds chirping and people in ugly old jeans and sweatshirts walking happily down the street and somewhere some folks got married and elsewhere someone died. But Kelly was in the tents, obsessing over meaningless clothes. And yes, Meryl, I know that the royal blue came from whosie who gave it to whosie and then it ended up in a bin so Ella Enchanted could dig it out, but I don't care. Fashion is, by and large, a pretty vapid career. There. I said it.
Anyway, Kelly and Bethenny got into a pissing contest about who knew who. Kelly was bragging about Mick or something who takes pictures and Bethenny let slip that Kelly had flirted with her exboyfriend and again, like with Simon and Ramona, we were transported back to middle school. This weird parade of pretty girls tromping by in the distance, two cool spirits warring against each other. Low pressure fronts. Pimply storms.
Jill had another meeting for Rickety Legs, her arthritis charity, and it was a mess. No one knew what to do, and eventually Kelly breezed in late and said "I don't want anything to do with this." She also said, when finding out that Jill's daughter had arthritis, "Oh, how cute." Ack. The insulted daughter looked at Kelly. She saw her cracked, Magic Shell visage. Her horsey, guttural ramblings about fashion and famous people. The way she looked, for someone who is so pretty, so ugly and exhausted. Jill's daughter looked at her nice sweater and her own healthy, young hair. And she knew she'd won. Sure there was sad, sweaty Paris. Sure there was the incident at the Days Inn yet to happen. But in total... she beat Kelly. And she always will.
Kelly didn't want her name on the invitation for the charity event. She didn't have the time. Nothing was important to her. The cute girl with retard legs or whatever would have to, kindly, stuff it with pumpkins, because Kelly is a busy old bitch who needs seven surgeries daily just to keep her eyeballs from withering and sifting like dust out of her sockets. Bethenny engaged in her in a fight about her being fucking Madonna or whatever. "This little girl is an adorable kid," she said, pointing to the crippled heap of arthritis and scabies or whatever that thing was in the corner. "But I'm busy."
Next week Bethenny and Kells have a big blowdown where Kelly says "we're not friends, you're not funny" and Bethenny fiddles with her cell phone and oh gosh, it'll be good.
In the meantime, we'll just have to listen to that creak and sfffft of Kelly's joints ambling around the city, her deflated balloon heart beating bravely in the spiky caverns of her chest. She roams the city, the Countess Crackerjacks always at her ear.
"Did I ever tell you about the time I was in that snuff film? I was the desk girl at a seafood processing plant just outside-a Tacoma. It was a front for the mob or the Yakuza or somethin'. I didn't ask questions. Anyway, there was this one little yella fella who walked up to me one day and said 'Hey, Tits. You want movie, be in?" I pulled down my tube top right then and there and said 'Sure, Sugarshack. Where we doin' this thing?' He shook his head and said 'No sexy, no sexy. Just —' and he made this like stabbing motion or whatever, with his hands. 'Ohh that kinda picture,' I said, while puttin' the funbags back in their green sequined holster. Loved that top. Found it in the trash out behind a Dots. Anyways, so we go off in this old Land Cruiser he's got and there's this cabin near Crater Lake, and it's creepy as hell. I'm floatin pretty fierce on mescalin and Capris at this point, but whatever, I get outta the car and —"
"I'm sorry, LuAnn, but does this have a point?" Kelly will interrupt.
Crackerjacks will smile slyly and light up a cig. She'll chuckle a low, smoky laugh.
"My point, m'dear, is that I know a whole group a people that'd pay good money to see you dead. And that's just the Japs."
She'll laugh and clap her hands.
"So you put that in your peacepipe and blow on it, Sugarcane. There'n Arby's around here? Mama needs some Curlies."
Kelly will blink, terrified and confused. She won't understand.
But we will.