Last night we all suffered through another episode of the History Channel's blazing documentary Detente: People Sitting and Talking about Conflicts Brought to You by Lunchables. Then we learned about a Pecking Order and the treaty was broken, faces were slapped with gloves, and gauntlets were thrown down. There be war in Housewives land!
Hello, everyone and welcome to the Real Housewives Institute. I am your tour guide, Dame Brian Moylan. Due to his continued commitment to the inner lives of teenage singers Second Corporal Richard "Dickie" Lawson, can not be with you this week, but he'll be back eventually. Probably sometime after the war is over and he has kissed his nurse (which is really Andrew Garfield dressed up in a nurse's costume) in Times Square and there is a VJ Day. Not a VD Day. No. That, my friends is a very sad day. Sadly, I've lived through it more than once.
Anyway, we're here to talk about the historical conflicts of the great nations known as the Real Housewives of New York City. It began when one of our old allies, the great ambassadress known as Jill Zarin, returns from abroad. She was working as the Ambassador to the Real Housewives of Sydney (and to bring me back the boiled fetuses of wombats, which is the only thing that I will drink at parties) and had to be in the land down under for quite a long time—quite a long time indeed. So long, in fact, that when she returned she discovered that new conflicts had been established and new enemies were being strung up before a kangaroo court. This was very different from the kangaroo court she attended in Australia, where there were two kangaroos wearing crowns and a bunch of other kangaroos in fancy dresses lining up and bowing to them. Such strange customs they have down in that penal colony!
When Jill gets to lunch she's like, "What did I miss," and they're all like, "Oh, we hate Ramona now." And Jill said, "OK, then we shall have war with Ramona. Let it begin!" Actually, no, Jill learned her lesson in Australia. She tried to take on the head of the Real Housewives of Sydney, a real piece of work named Kylie (not after Minogue, but after the Queen Kylie of the kangaroo court) and Kylie, well, she just punched Jill in the face. That's how they roll down there in Sydney. They do not fuck around. So Jill came back and she wanted to make peace among all the principalities of the United Housewives Emirates.
But Sonja and Kelly, they hate Ramona. In fact, Kelly hates Ramona so much that she can't even talk to her. God, Kelly is such a poor little soldier. She's like the cowardly lion with her big mane and various trepidations and confusions. Actually she's more like a lion that is being ridden by a million fairies, all pulling at her hair and sprinkling their dust while she cowers under a tree and eats Starburst, but not the yellow ones cause they are gross. She feeds those to the fairies.
To make Kelly big and strong, Sonja pretends to be Ramona and she verbally spars with Kelly. Sonja does a great impersonation of Ramona except her eyes are bulgy enough and her cadence isn't quite right. Ramona speaks like a girl who has never seen Star Wars trying to do an impersonation of Yoda. Her syntax is all garbled and her word speed all strange, but in a way that no one else can replication. Kelly is an awful Kelly. She thinks that she'll be able to be big and strong in the face of the great monster Ramona, but she won't be. She'll just get all quiet and stop making sense and throw a few yellow Starbursts at her and then her and her hair full of fairies will run away.
Next, there was a strange interlude where the ghost of Cole Porter is haunting Alex's house and her kids are very scared and they're so scared that they don't want to touch the piano. I don't even know what to make of it. Please, feel free to leave your opinions below. Or just try to forget about it. God knows we're trying.
Finally, it's time for the big Ramona battle. It's so funny that Kelly went from "I can't...I just...there's no way...SAND ANGELS!" last week to actually being able to sit down with Quintus Septullius Ramonus, leader of the 10th Legion. Naturally Sonja is there to broker peace between these two warring factions, just like President Clinton had to get the Israelis and the Palestinians together and make sure they played nice and ate the tea sandwiches that Hillary made. When they start talking, Ramona is very calm and reasonable and adult. She even apologizes to Kelly and says she wants to work on their friendship.
Considering I don't even know what this fight was about in the first place, I have no idea if the resolution was correct, but they have reached a very happy place for the two of them. Naturally, Kelly, the cowardly lion, lets out this great quote: "You either fight to fight or fight to win and I'm not fighting at all." Huh? Whatever, Kelly, here's a Starburst. Go play in the corner while the adults talk.
Now it's time for another chat. This time Cindy is coming over to Sonja's house for tea. Cindy rings the bell and who answers the door but a rather comely young man named Michael. He's not wearing a shirt. He invites Cindy into the house and Cindy, lonely dusty twat Cindy, is all like, "Who are you!" He says, "I am Michael. I am Sonja's...um...well....I am her butler(?)" his English is good but flavored with an accent of indeterminate origin. "Oh, really," Cindy choked out. "Did you go to like school for buttling, because, well, you've got a very nice buttle."
"Thank you, I am actually a dancer. I just buttle Sonja to make my way through school."
"Oh, what sort of dancing do you do?"
"Mostly Latin...Salsa, Meringue, Cha-Cha."
"I took a few Salsa lessons once. Why don't we give it a shot?"
"I don't know, Miss Cindy. I don't know that Sonja..."
"I think that Sonja would be very disappointed that her butler wasn't being very accommodating to her guests."
"I guess you are right. Shall we?"
Michael offers her his hand and they shake their hips and move their feet back in forth in what would be considered a very mild salsa, but Cindy, cobweb clitted Cindy, is getting all worked up in her buffed and hairless nether regions. And then Michael pulls her in close and moves his arm down to the small of her back, and then dips her down in a circular sweeping motion and holds her down there, her legs pressed firmly into his, their crotches conjoined as his shirtless torso glistens above her, and that is all Cindy can take. She starts screaming, "Oh, Oh, OH!" and her body shakes and convulses as Michael holds her shivering form above the floor and cracks the faintest bit of a smile.
"Well, what is going on here!" Sonja interjects, pulling the neck of her kimono around herself. "Cindy, one does now show up to other people's house and buttle with their butler. It's just. Well, go get your own butler! Michael is mine."
They sit down and Sonja says. "I invited you here today to tell you that I was right. I told you that I was going to get Kelly and Ramona together and broker peace and you went and told Kelly about it and ruined my plan. Well, I just got back from lunch with them and Kelly's daughter is going to marry Ramona's daughter to seal their kingdoms—rather progressive kingdoms at that—with a lesbian wedding. Take that!"
Then Cindy lies about telling Kelly that Ramona was going to be at the Toaster Oven Party and Sonja calls her out on it and then says, "Now I can't tell you things in confidence." Well, that's true, Cindy screwed the pooch—or buttled the butler—on that one. Then Sonja adds, "Listen, there is a pecking order and Ramona is at the top. You'd be nothing without Ramona. Ramona is a star!" Cindy replies, "Pshaw. Maybe in her own world." Sonja corrects her, "Well, sister, she's a star in your world now too."
And it's true. Everything Sonja says is true. Ramona is a star in this world, and she is higher on the pecking order than Cindy, who is the "new girl." That's just the way it goes. That's what happens when you sell your soul to be in the Confederate Army of Housewives, you have to deal with the fact that Ramona is a star and you have to sublimate yourself to her. That's life as a Soldier of the Housewives Army. Deal with it.
But Cindy is not happy with it, so she goes to the park and runs into Kelly. The two of them walk by a child and Cindy gives it the eye up and down. She wants to eat it. We all know that Cindy is a cannibal and she hasn't eaten since she got all the way uptown and she thought she was going to eat the fuck out of that butler Michael, but Sonja yanked that morsel right out of her clamping jawbones. She's about to snatch that little blond-headed child for a quick snack and then Kelly is like, "Did you meet my friend Aiden. He's two. We have so much in common. Do you think he likes me? Do you think he'll ask me out on a play date? He gave me his red Starburst, and we all know those are the best!" So Cindy doesn't eat the kid.
What happened next? Oh, they ran into Jill Zarin, who was screwing the pooch right there in public—as Jill so often does—and they decide they all hate Ramona and her pecking order. Then Kelly has to rush off to the infamous Toaster Oven Party where Sonja teaches the great art of the toaster oven to her and Countess Crackerjacks. (OK, a long parenthetical about CC: Do you remember when she showed up at Ramona's Mary Kaye Jewelry with Crosses by QVC party and taught Ramona how to speak Italian and made fun of her right there in her own business? Do you remember how she was all like "Ramona's jewelry...well, it isn't for me," but she was wearing these monstrous earrings? They were fucking hideous! It was like seven pairs of cheap Clair's earrings got together and decided to become some nasty symbiotic mutant and take over her ears. You can see them a little in the picture but they were mammoth and disgusting. Now Crackerjacks is known for her jewelry, but not in a good way like, "Oh, she always has the best pieces," in this way like she wears a giant gold butterfly on a chain that was a cast off from a Mariah Carey music video or something. Oh, Crackerjacks. Maybe some Ramona's Bible Baubles for HSN would be better than that. End parenthetical.) The Toaster Oven Party was totally nuts, but not as nuts as what came next.
OK, normally I hate to write about those little 30 second clips that Bravo puts between commercials these days because I hate them. It's like they're some way to trick you into not fast forwarding through the commercials on DVR or something, or like a little tease so that they can be like, "We just showed you something, here are more commercials." Anyway, last night's was the best. Sonja and the ASPCA go to throw out the first pitch for some FDNY Calendar Boys ceremonial baseball game or some shit. It's like in East River Park or someplace crazy like that, and throwing out the first pitch involves Sonja mugging for the camera with her dog in the skimpiest Slutty Cheerleader uniform that she could buy at an adult novelty store in the East Village on her way to the game or something. But it was windy and the wind kept blowing up her skirt and showing off her granny panties and it was a little embarrassing. But then Sonja gets all the studs from the calendar to take off their shirts and huddle around her and she's running her tongue all over their abs like they were just freshly baked in a toaster oven. She is wallowing around like a pig in shit or a slut in scrum of naked fire fighters. Then, when they're walking her off the field one of them—the scrampest of the bunch who had muscles for days and this thick New York accent that would make anyone bend over and push their nasty bits toward his giant hose—asks for her number! Looks like the butler's gonna get a night off. Oh, Sonja. I fucking love you so damn hard. I love you for all of this. Don't ever change. And you better fuck that fireman or I will never forgive you.
OK, now on to some serious warfare. Did you watch the exhibit above? This is the fight between Ramona and Cindy. I don't get it one bit. Cindy is mad at Ramona because she tried to pick a fight with Cindy's brother over Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Cigars, a fight that I still don't understand. Ramona is mad at Cindy because Cindy said there would be Pinot Grigio at her party in Quogue and when she got there she didn't have any and that was like some sort of big insult. I said it before, and I'll say it again, I only drink the boiled fetuses of wombats, and so I bring my juice with me (just got a new shipment in from my former intern Jill Zarin) and so if Ramona can only drink Pinot, she should bring it with her. She can even bring her own brand. But I just don't get Ramona, it's like if a Reisling or Sauvignon Blanc or a White Zinfindel (is that a white wine?) even touched her lips she'd fart and convulse and stop moving. It's like putting in leaded or diesel fuel instead of unleaded or something. No, Ramona, they're all just fucking wine. Drink the damn wine and get over yourself already. The "You Must Have Pinot" thing is just some silly power play.
Their fight, however, was the strangest in Housewives History. It wasn't a fight at all. It was Cindy explaining her case, Ramona explaining her case, and then Cindy giving up with a sigh and a huff. Like she was upset that Ramona wouldn't listen to Reisling...I mean, reason. Of course she wouldn't listen to reason, Cindy, she's a fucking Real Housewife! Cindy's problem is she keeps expecting these people to act like humans when they are not. They are bad mojo trapped in morphing sacks of flesh and silicon that are powered by regret, anger, and, apparently, Pinot Grigio. You'll do so much better when you remember that. So then they just sit there staring at each other in stony silence. This is worse than a giant blow up. This is more devastating than flipping a table and calling someone a prostitute. This is a Cold War. This is living life, every damn day, on the brink of disaster. It's like Ramona is sitting there in the Four Seasons and all you can see are the reflections of mushroom clouds in her sunglasses.
While that was going on Jill Zarin left high school and went to Brooklyn, which is where Alex has been the whole time Jill was in high school. After her fight with Kylie the swelling has gone down in Jill's nose, but her pride is still bruised. She realized, of everyone, she had been the meanest to Alex, the throwabout rag doll that one day grew a spine. Yes, Jill was mean to Alex because she couldn't control her anymore and because Alex backed Bethenny in the Great Housewives Civil War of 2010. But Jill lost that war, and she hobbled with her bayonet scars all the way over to Cobble Hill to make reparations with Alex.
When she got there, things were very nice and civil. They talked like real live mature adults do. Not like Housewives, like people. Alex explained that she can't trust Jill because of how she was treated and the things Jill said about her. Jill, eventually, took responsibility for what she said, and apologized. She admitted she was angry at Alex and Bethenny (I'm not getting back into that...) and her husband Bobby's cancer and that she had a lot of things going on. She was honest about her emotions and she apologized. And it wasn't one of those phony Housewives apologies where they just say they're sorry so that they can fight about some other perceived slight next episode. It was sincere and covered all the little things Mean Jill had done to Alex over the years.
Really, that's all you can do if you know you've been wrong. Ask for forgiveness and try to change, and that seems like what Jill is doing. Alex even says it's the first time they had a two-way conversation, and that is a big step. Maybe Jill is changing. We hope Jill is changing.
Then Jill had an idea. "Let's write down everything we were mad about on a piece of paper and then take them out back and burn them." Alex, and everyone, thinks this is kind of a wacky idea, but Alex goes along with it. She's hoping for more than detente with Jill, she wants an alliance. She wants to nation build. She goes along with it, and they get to scribbling on the kitchen table.
And then they take their sheets outside to the fire pit in Alex's back yard (every New Yorker I know is so fucking jealous of Alex's back yard) and they put their papers in the pit and get the matches. But it's windy that day with a wild breeze off the East River that strangely smells like Sonja's granny panties. Oh, they can't get the fire to light and they giggle at their mishap. They laugh together for the first time in a long time, and they touch each others hands and smile. Alex thinks, "God, we can't even do this right," but she doesn't say it out loud. They finally get fire to paper and it does soar up like a great blaze, like the cathartic bonfire that Jill hoped it would be. No, the paper just smolders and embers grow and grow like skin being taken over by an ever-growing lesion. But they stand there together, in the windy back yard, clasping at each other and hoping that all the wars of the past will be forgotten. And their eyes look up at the sky as they watch the little plume of smoke their grievances made.
And that smoke travels up and up into the sky, as the townhouses in Brooklyn look like nothing but the jagged teeth in an eel's mouth. Over the East River where Sonja is trying to find another man to buttle, over Soho where Kelly is eating Apple Jacks out of the box and watching Ben 10 reruns on the tube, over the West Village where Cindy is sharpening her knives with her living dinner chained to her table, and over the Upper East Side where Ramona is opening up the case in her living room where she keeps all her medals, all those remembrances of wars past, of her victories, of petty squabbles, and of her place in this world at the top of the pecking order. Ramona takes a deep breath, ready for the biggest war of all, the one that is about to come but that might never come. It's going to be a long Cold War and as she draws the deep breath that fuels a confident sigh, she tastes a bit of smoke in the air. But that plume, it just travels, up and up in the atmosphere, it's little smoke molecules being diluted by the air, but the bombarding particles all around it until it isn't even smoke anymore, it's nothing but just regular air, a little piece of the sky. It is over. The peace has dissipated.