This week the Real Vibrator Batteries of DildoLand were even dirtier than usual. There was stripping, pasties, whips, boners, gender illusionists, and amputee midgets with strap-ons. And that was just in one of Sonja's dreams! Wait until you hear about what really happened.
Obviously the episode started off with the most obvious of obviousness. Sonja, obviously, was going to throw a Burlesque party because Halloween is her favorite day of the year and because she's so down about being poor, she wants to pretend that it's Halloween every other Tuesday (remember her Masquerade Ball a few weeks back?). Obviously she came up with this theme because she had just seen Burlesque with her gay friends and obviously thought she could do a better job than Xtina Whorgulera. Obviously. So, where does she go shopping (with her gays)? Obviously Patricia Field, clothier to drag queens and Sarah Jessica Parkers, est. 1997. Ramona is there with her to try on clothes, and obviously she brought her daughter Avery, because every mother wants her teen-aged daughter along while she tries on underwear. Avery (who just took Obviology 101 in high school) thinks her mother is inappropriate and should not be wearing things with her ass hanging out anymore because, "she's not 20." She really said that! I love Avery. And then obviously, Sonja has a tranny twin who works at the store. Oh, sorry, we obviously shouldn't be saying "tranny," should we? Sonja had a transgendsexualist twin named Ajnos who worked at the store and obviously it was like that scene in Big Business when Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler meet the other Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler and suddenly their once empty hearts are filled with revelation and secret longing. Obviously. This is all so incredibly obvious that it was like seeing something you always knew was true. Like living in the hectoring parallax of deja vu.
What wasn't so obvious was this show then became about the welfare of everyone's spawn. Next to Sonja, who is 100% my favorite, Avery is in a close second place. She's like 80% my favorite, and she'll be even better once she can drink and meet me out in some of the city's seedier establishments (like when I buy Sonja drinks at the Townhouse while we both look for rich old men to love us). Avery is rebelling against her mother by being completely amazing and sensible. It's like she is the real world application of all of Ramona's insanity. She has distilled Turtle Time into a sellable essence and will one day take over the entire world, if not just the Real Housewives franchise. She starts off their little meeting by chastising Ramona for not making enough time for her and never being home enough, which is probably what her and her UES friends do while sitting on the steps of the Met during lunch time. When they're not talking about how Jenny Humphrey dresses like a slut or which bodegas will sell them Boone's Farm for the weekend, they're having a "my parents neglect me more" contest. It's what spoiled New York children do.
But after that Avery reads a paper she wrote about how Ramona is her role model and it's all very sweet because, no matter how much we might hate our mothers on the outside—especially when we're 16—deep down somewhere in the crater of our hearts, we all want to be our mothers. Except for people who want to be their fathers, and they are sociopaths. Ramona is so happy about the paper that she decides right then and there she is going to make Avery a priority. She shows how serious she is by making a folder just for Avery. OH! A folder! That means she's serious, not that there are office supplies dedicated to the matter. Good thing she wasn't really moved or she would have stapled Avery to her face right there.
While this is going on, Crackerjacks took her daughter out to lunch at their country club in the Hamptons, and the Countess, trying to sample all of her boyfriend's wines, got completely bombed. "Mom, what are we going to do?" her daughter, Victoria asked, not nearly as panicked as she should be, because this wasn't the first time she was stranded somewhere with a drunk driver. "Well, sweetheart," Crackerjacks lisped, "It looks like you're driving home today."
Victoria jumped and clapped, so excited that she was finally going to get a driving lesson from her bombed mother, another right of passage for the spoiled New York teenager. "Let's go!" Victoria screamed, grabbing the keys.
"Whoa. Whoa," Countess said, pulling the keys away from Victoria. "Not so fast sweetheart. Let's do a few laps around the parking lot first. That's how I learned on your grandfather's Jeep one very dusty summer outside of Tuscaloosa after we had just pulled this long con where..."
"God, mom, your stories are so boring! Let's just drive."
So they get in the car and Victoria makes her first trepidatious laps around the empty asphalt, edging her way back and forth, figuring out just how much power is in the pedals. "Great," Crackerjacks slurs. "But you're gonna need to go a little bit faster." As soon as she gets her mother's permission, she guns it, lurching the car perpendicular against all the yellow lines meant to pen the cars in, sending them careening towards the snowbanks that border this little plowed out patch of paradise. "Victoria!" Crackerjacks shouts. "Faster. Faster!" and she lets out one of her guttural laughs that sound like a bunch of marbles rolling around on a drum. And then Victoria starts laughing as she whips the car around and starts doing donuts, not even caring about the icy patches that dot the uneven surface. And they're both laughing, Victoria stock straight behind the wheel and the Countess, lounging in shotgun, one foot on the dash as her head settles against the cold winter window. "Whoa, whoa. Slow down, darling," Crackerjacks finally says. "Momma's getting a little dizzy. Let's go home, shall we? Do you know how to get there?"
"Yeah, mom," she says in that respectfully condescending way only teenagers can muster. "I know what I'm doing."
Now Jill is off to Bronxville, New York to visit Ally, her attractive daughter with the beautiful eyes who made the mistake of going to school within commuting distance of her mother. Well, maybe not a mistake, since mom and the cameras will show up for an afternoon of free lunch and good shopping. That's not so bad. And watching them interact was just as fascinating as Ramona and Avery and Crackerjacks and Secret Prize. Why isn't this the show? Why isn't the show society mothers learning how to navigate motherhood and dealing with their daughters at different stages of their lives? Jill has a daughter in college, and CJ's and Ramona's are almost the same age. Cindy has twin daughters who are babies, and Kelly has some that are still young (but still more emotionally mature than their mother). Alex, well, she doesn't have daughters, but she does take care of Simon. That must count. Yeah, Bravo, why not try a different tack with this relentless vacuum of petty bickering and ludicrous entitlements and focus on the thing that makes each of these women the most human? I would watch the hell out of that show.
Anyway, Ally, like all the other daughters, is trying to rebel against Jill and there is one easy way to do that: sex. Ally rubs it in her mother's face that she is taking a class called, "Talking about Sex and How to Annoy Your Parents: The Construct of Sexuality as Societal Embarrassment and Cultural Obsession in Primogeniture and Parenting." When Jill hears this she lets out a squawk and a bulge, like a hen that's just had her tail feather plucked out. She does not want Ally having or talking about sex. Then Ally does every college freshman's favorite thing, she says, "Foucault you!" to her mother by throwing around all these fancy academic buzz words and stupid theories like her mother should know them, but of course she doesn't, so she feels stupid and Ally feels so adult and sexy. Ugh, college kids. Can't live with them, can't sexually fantasize without them.
To change the subject away from sex, Jill asks Ally what she wants to be when she grows up, and Ally, not wanting to get off the embarrass-mom-with-sex-train says, "I think I want to be a photographer and a writer and write a Sex and the City column." OK, I'm just going to lay this on the line. As a former editor of several publications, I was approached at least once a month by some young whippersnapper who wanted to write a Sex and the City column, and I'm sure it's even worse for editors at large fancy magazines with big budgets. I'm here to break it down for all of you kids out there who want to write a Sex and the City column: No editor anywhere in the whole damn world wants a fucking Sex and the City column. Not one. Not even the ones who have them want them any more. And have you read the original Candace Bushnell columns? They're not very good. So, get this straight: you are not Carrie Bradshaw and no one cares about your sex life. Sex and dating are hell for everyone and there are millions of people now hanging their dirty knickers out of their windows and doing their walk of shames publicly on so many websites. There is nothing left to be said about this, and your voice and your experience are by no means any different from the millions of voices and experiences that are already out there. Stop trying to replicate something that already happened and invest about 8 seconds in thinking up a new and original idea and selling that to an editor. That is what writers do, and if you really want to be a writer, you should start practicing now. If you want to entertain people with your silly and embarrassing stories about sex and dating, then take your friends out to brunch, that's what it's there for. (PS—Jill, you're welcome for dissuading your daughter from becoming a sex columnist.)
Before we can get back to Sonja, where my true heart lies, there is one more interlude we must attend to: Crackerjacks went to go visit Hitz St. Cloud, the musical svengali that has created her musical career out of thin air and even thinner talents. It seems that Hitz, who was once Ursula the Sea Witch's albino eel of doom, has a new track for LuAnn, but most of us already knew that. Hitz plays the song "Chic Say La Vee (Say Bon, Say Bon)" for Crackerjacks and she just loves it. She touches the turquoise around her neck and thinks about all the Pride celebrations across the Southwest where she's going to perform this. Then Jill arrives for, who knows, she was in the neighborhood or something, and Hitz plays the song for her. When it's done, Jill is all, "Well, if you're going for the dance market, you need to have more dance breaks in there. Like chorus, dance, chorus, dance. Not that I don't like your singing, well, no one really likes your singing, but you know what I mean. Right, Hitz. Shouldn't there be more dancing?" Hitz looks at Jill and uses this trick that Ursula once taught him and one of his eyes glows yellow and Jill starts clawing at her throat and gargling like she is at the dentist and trying to spit out mouthwash and half of her face is still novocained. "My voice," her lips are saying, but no sound is coming out. "My voice!" Hitz looks at her through his aviator sunglasses his hands positioned fingertip to fingertip and says. "Much better."
Then he looks at LuAnn and says, "This song is great and all, sugar, but you're going to need a big push to get it out to the public."
"What do you suggest? You're the expert."
Jill, forgetting she can no longer speak, is vigorously making suggestions, but no one can hear her and she just looks like a sick sack of flailing behind them.
"Well, back when I was working with Hats."
"Oh, you know, Men Without Hats. Back when I was making them into a multi-platinum selling artists, we had a great song, but no way to get people to know about it, and we made a music video. Now, what is the first thing you think about when I say 'Safety Dance?'"
"A midget making his arms do like this!" Jill mouths, while making her arms into an S.
"Exactly! And that is because of that music video. We need to do the same thing now. You need a video. If you get one, I'll call up Martha Quinn and make sure it gets on MTV. Now if you'll excuse me, I only have the office rented out for five more minutes, so I have to leave."
"OK, Hitz. Sounds good. A video! I'll get right on it."
OK, now back to my Sonja of love. She's getting ready for her "Burlesque" (I said that like Christina Aguillera sings "Burlesque" in her song and made jazz hands, which is now the only way any homosexual in the world is allowed to say "Burlesque" anymore) Party. Chris March is there for no other reason than he has a Bravo show coming up and they need to keep him on the top of everyone's minds until it premieres. Then Sonja tells everyone that her nipples point East and West and everyone laughs and Chris turns into a pile of ash and just blows away with embarrassment. Then suddenly there is Michael, the butler Sonja buttles (didn't she fire him?) cleaning up dog pee and serving everyone wine, because that is just the metaphor for Sonja's life these days.
Then everyone goes to the Burlesque party and, just as the episode started, it is an exercise in "obvi," as Special Prize and her friends say. Obviously Sonja's boyfriend Brian is there with no shirt on and looking gorgeous. Obviously Alex and Simon arrive in matching ringleader outfits. Obviously Mario is there with Ramona and has a painted-on mustache and keeps talking about how big of a boner he has (and obviously Mario has a huge boner, because obviously). Obviously Zombie Cindy shows up going "Brains! Brains!" and Jill is like "Cindy, we're almost done filming. Where have you fucking been all week? You're not even going to be on this episode." Then a woman comes out and starts stripping because obviously this is a Burlesque Party and then Ramona is obviously shocked and is like, "This woman suddenly started taking her clothes off and I wasn't prepared for that," because obviously Ramona has no idea what "burlesque" means. Obviously, obviously, ob-motherfucking-viously.
Then Simon and Jill make up while wearing ridiculous top hats. See, this is why I never wear ridiculous top hats, because no one wants to have a serious conversation in miniature millinery. Anyway, that was boring.
Then it's time for Sonja's big performance. She gets up there with her best friend, Big Tits McGee, and does a little White Swan/Black Swan thing (because Black Swan is the other movie her gays took her to see this winter). It's a cute, silly little rhyme she wrote with her friend that is meant to empower her, to show off her sexy bravado in this time of economic tumult. It's her rallying cry, her swan song, if you will, to bring out a better time, to get that old Sonja back. Of course, Jill and Cindy are picking on her the whole time, while pretending to be supportive. Ugh, disgusting. I would punch Cindy in the face for her "Sucking a golden dick won't buy you class," remark, but I don't want to have to physically touch her and get zombie juice all over me. Really, that was a low fucking blow from the heiress to the Vajewel fortune. Nothing says "class" like Vajewels.
But Sonja doesn't hear. No, she's just trying to get through her routine, drawing out her consonants in a sexy way and caressing her body to make every man in the audience want her. That is what Sonja has always done. That is why Sonja loves burlesque, because she's at her most powerful when she's being adored, lusted after. That's when she has power. And as she makes her final back bend at the end of the number, everyone applauds and she feels it again, that confidence welling back up in her. She stands up, a little sweaty and light-headed and watches everyone applaud. Brian, her boyfriend, runs up and presses his naked torso against her, the glitter on his skin sticking to her sweaty bustier. "You were great!" he said.
"I'm getting too old for this," she replied, making sure her fake eyelashes didn't come off with the sweat.
"Don't ever say that," Brian cooed, and kissed her.
"Thanks. Really, thank you," she said, and pivoted him around so he was standing at her side, his hand in hers. "Thank you all for coming. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."