On last night's episode of this unholy fiasco, there was a romantic date, more hotel employee murder, and a Dale/Tinsley party showdown that made everyone feel just awful.
Paul Johnson Calderon
This was a very special week for our little cricket, because he is in love. A socialite in love is like seeing a beaver gnaw on fake wood siding. From far away it looks normal, but up close it is strange and unsettling and off. Obviously the whole thing is fake, just a bit of TV smoke and mirrors done for our glum amusement, but it still said something about how socialites love. The man in question is a fellow named Dirk Chesterfield. Dirk used to be with the French Legionnaires but has since moved to Hollywoodland and is an actor in the talkies. He has a strong barrel chest and a slick in his hair and he thinks that PJC is a "real lovely dame." They met at an alcohol party that was on the show last week, so don't try to tell me that this show isn't building a seriously exciting serial narrative arc. There are layers and lines at work here, real technical storytelling stuff. Basically the way they met was so cute and romantic. PJC was all "You're cuhhyoooot!" and Dirk grinned bashfully and then a few minutes later lifted up his shirt for PJC and (more importantly) all of us to see.
Because Dirk is very into calisthenics, he and PJC went to the gymnasium and did a constitutional. They tossed the medicine ball and used jumping rope and lifted various lifting weights. PJC looked very nervous but clearly found the whole situation very sexy. After the regimen, the two stood panting and sweating in the gymnasium. Dirk said "Try this strengthening tonic! Four of five carnival strongmen recommend it." PJC smiled demurely and Dirk let out a low whistle and said "Miss Calderon, pardon my forwardness, but you have the eyes of a sober Betty Grable." PJC batted his eyelashes and then, in interview, told us that he usually doesn't work out, but that he is in good shape. Because he used to do ballet. And then they showed PJC briefly, doing ballet jumps and spins and stuff. And for a nine-year-old girl, he really was quite good.
And then it was time for the date to end and Dirk kissed PJC's hand and tipped his hat and puttered off in his shiny new DeSoto. Love! Isn't it lovely.
This is a new character! Devorah Rose is the editor of a magazine that doesn't really exist called Social Life. So this show is made for her. Or she was made for this show. It's hard to tell. And, see, that's the problem. No one really knows who or what Devorah is. Sure there's this information, but that's mostly considered mere scuttlebutt. No one truly knows where she is from or how old she is. Some say that you can see her in the corner of one of the Belgian tapestries at the Vatican. Others claim that during the days of the SSTs, a particularly big sonic boom ripped a dimensional hole and she came crawling out of it. Some theorists posit that perhaps she is just a highly charged mass of particles and wind, a natural anomaly like heat lightning or Fairuza Balk.
Whatever she is, she is now on this show and she is saying things. Mostly she is there to say mean things about everyone. She hates all of them! Hates Jules Kirby! Hates Paul Johnson Calderon! Hates the film works of Dirk Chesterfield! (Except for His African Bride, in which a young Rosalind Russell does blackface.) Oh, but she looooves Tinsley. They are the bestest of friends. And because this is a reality show and editing can be what it is, they spliced in each person talking about her after she talked about them. "Devorah Rose is poor and stupid and I hate her," drawled Jules Kirby. "She's nasty!" hissed PJC. "Devorah Rose [stop] Has the cranial capacity of a common bootblack [stop] According to noted phrenologist, Dr. Sebastian Fingers of the Craniometer Institute [stop]" said Dirk Chesterfield by telegram communique. "I know her, and she wrote a really nice article about me, but we're not like friends," said Tinsley, sadly. Poor Devorah. I'm not really sure what her role on this show is going to be, but I'm guessing it's just going to be mindless shit-starting. She seems eager for a producer's prod. Sigh.
When the episode began, Jules was picking bones out of her teeth and muttering to no one in particular, "Damn kids have tiny little finger bones, they get stuck everywhere..." She then set her bedroom on fire and called the maidslaves downstairs and said "There's something wrong with the bedroom, come up and FIX IT." When the maid came upstairs she set that maid ablaze and called downstairs and said "Goddammit, there's something wrong with your maid now. This is outrageous." After she'd set about five more maids on fire, tossed four bellhops out the window, shrieking down fifteen stories to their deaths, and shot flesh-eating ants out of her mouth at the assistant hotel manager, she finally got things clean the way she wanted them. See? You just have to know how to ask. That's all.
Mama Dale was on full alert last night. Lemme tell yew, thangs are not raht with Tinsley these dayuhs. There is still this nonsense going on with Prince Cashmere and plus Tinsley just decorated her shitbox one room apartment in some gross place called the Midtown. Oh her life is just going down the tubes. So Dale went over there and inspected the decorating job. She approved, sort of. Tinsley had put some very subtle enormous floral wallpaper up on the walls. She had a lovely coffee table that was glass with rounded gold/brass edging that I thought looked better in Brenda Dickson's living room, but that's OK. Dale nodded at the Oriental runners placed at odd angles. She approved of the thick, ornate wood pieces that sat in the bright, chic loft like heavy tumors. But then she gasped and shook her head. Tinsley was painting her bedroom blue. Terrible blue! "You cain't do blue in a bedroom, Tinsley," Dale sagely advised her. "It's like you're at the bottom of a dang swimming pool." Tinsley grimaced and said "I'm sorry mommy, I'm so so sorry." Dale noticed that there was an Ethnic cowering in the corner holding a paintbrush, not sure what to do, so she waved her hand and dismissed him. "It's not your fault," she said breezily. "It's Tinsley's."
It's pretty much all Tinsley's fault, always. After taking the brief tour, D & T got to talking about some sort of event or function or something that Tinsley was going to that night. Dale asked who Tinsley was bringing and poor scared Tinsley just sort of didn't say anything and Dale knew immediately that something was up. She suspected it was cashmere related. So after she left T's house, she called her stylist or guru or priest of something and said "I need an amazing dress, now."
Flashforward to the party and Tinsley is there with... yep, you guessed it, the Dark Prince. Dale showed up and acted all innocent. "I'm here to keep you company! You said you were going alone." And, no Dale, that's not what she said. She actually didn't really answer you when you asked who she was going with. Anyway. A big fight ensued with Tinsley meekly telling her mom to leave and Dale basically being the most insanely meddling mom ever. At one point she tried to confront Prince Cashmere in the event hall's kitchen, but he pushed past her and swatted at the cameras and the whole thing was just mortifying. Dale is actually, I think, clinically crazy. I wish the show was about her. Don't you wish that? Oh, and that faaaabulous dress she got? It was a pink prom dress with a big childish bow on it. Shrug.
Oh sighs. What a difficult week it was! First Tinsley had to go to the bag place to look at her bags that the nice people are making for her. Her bags are very important to her because they are like something that says "Hello world! This is Tinsley Mortimer!" Before the bags sometimes she would fall down a lot and that would say "Hello world... Here is Tinsley Mortimer..." in a sad Eeyore way and that is not what Tinsley wants now that she is a big girl with her own new room-house. She wants sparkly shiny bags that give smiles to the world and say her name in bright yellow letters. Tinsley also wants to feel like she is doing something, getting her hands dirty, as Poppa used to say. So at the bag place she took out her construction paper drawings and said "Let's make this!" And the little Chinese worm-man said "Ah yes, OK" and they got to work! She tried to put fabrics in the sewing machine and press the little foot button and then the needle moved and she screamed because it was so scary! Doing things can be very scary sometimes, can't it? But mostly the bag place was nice because Tinsley got to look at straps and buttons and bows and baubles and that is what she likes most in the world, these days anyway.
It used to be a while ago that she liked Guadalupe, her house lady, the best in all the world, but now Guadalupe is back at her faraway home and all Tinsley has is this new person. Her name is Fannie and she is nice and Tinsley likes to be friends with her, but it is not the same. Maybe it's because Fannie also works for Topper, and sometimes though she knows she shouldn't because of that poor kitty that died from being curious, she asks Fannie to tell her what Topper is saying and doing and eating. She wants to know if he smiles most of the time or if he is frowning usually, staring out the window and listening to the quiet beep-beeps coming from the street way far down below. But Fannie usually nods her head and says "Jais, jais," and Tinsley worries that maybe Fannie doesn't understand her, that maybe she was in her own faraway home for too long and now her mouth is broken and can't speak Tinsley's language. So home can be a little disappointing, Tinsley suddenly realized. Without all the old things that used to be fun and good.
Tinsley hoped that the party with her new friend Prince Cashmere would be a good time but then Momma showed up! Momma came and Tinsley felt very nervous and embarrassed all of a sudden in front of the clicky cameras and all the bright, bright lights. This is not how she wanted to say "Hello world, I am Tinsley!" Not at all. But Momma wouldn't listen to Tinsley when she said "Pleeeeeeease Momma, please go home and I will get there soon and we will eat cookies and talk about what shoes we wore today, but right now Prince Cashmere is here and he seems angry. Pleeeeeease, Momma?" Momma didn't listen. Momma doesn't listen very much, unless Momma is the one talking. This is also disappointing to Tinsley. Momma is maybe a little bit like Fannie, a broken mouth or ears that just do not understand the things that Tinsley needs them to understand. Why did Topper leave, Fannie? Why are you always mad, Momma? They don't answer. They just nod and say "Jais, jais" or "No, no!" and Tinsley feels silly and small, like a bug or a bunny.
Momma ruined the nice party because she and Prince Cashmere don't like each other and Tinsley just didn't know what to do. She had her pretty dress on and the bags had been good and Fannie made the bathroom smell all nice like flowers and it had been mostly a fine day, but now it was very disappointing all over again. Tinsley wondered if maybe she did live at the bottom of a swimming pool. Maybe she really did. The marble floor felt hard and cool on her cheek as she lay down and wanted to sleep, wanted to drift off and be at someone's faraway home, walk around and touch the walls and see if they were blue too. She wanted to lie on the marble and press very hard into it and make the world spin, turn back time and make everything young again. And she hoped that when she woke up she would feel very warm and safe and not disappointed. And she hoped that she would feel hands on her shoulders, squeezing them in a nice way, not in a Cashmere way. And then she would hear, in a big, happy voice, "Hello Tinsley Mortimer. This is the world."