Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: At the Camel's ToeS

Oh, hello there! I didn't see you come in. Yes, I was just standing here in the driveway with my camel. Yup, with my real life camel standing here in the driveway on any old Tuesday. This is just what happens in Beverly Hills on a Tuesday. That and really sad romances.

First of all, I'd like to welcome you all to my beautiful home and I hope you enjoy your stay here. That said there are only two things I want to talk about regarding last night's episode of Fake Arabs of Beverly Hills, but I'm going to talk about three things. Yes, the first one I don't want to talk about at all, and it's Russell Armstrong, the suicide victim who was on last night's episode. We all know that Bravo tried to edit him out of the show because he killed himself right before season two started, partially because he was afraid how the public would perceive him on television. But now, here he is, reanimated and walking around, like a sac of flesh jolted through with electricity and dancing in Andy Cohen's Meat Circus. I don't want to be all high and mighty about him being there, but there was something morbid about his presence. Something at once understated and manic. Maybe this was just dramatic irony, because we all know what happens, but it was bad.

Kyle and Maurizio showed up at the Armstrong's igloo for dinner and did a PSA for PDA right in front of the tentative couple. Then Taylor whips out an Us Weekly and wants to talk about them being in the tabloids. On the one hand, I say KADOOZE for finally acknowledging that there are factors outside of the show that affect the characters' behavior, namely the press and fame and all that smog-filled cotton candy that comes along with being on a reality show. But man, this was a Kadoozie to start with. Russell is pissed off that there is a rumor in the mag that they're splitting. Um, you and your wife went on national television and all you can seem to talk about are your marital problems, and then you're shocked when it shows up in a tabloid? Please! Then he says he heard the story came from Lisa, and that he's going to sue the magazine so it gives up their source. One, it doesn't work that way. Just ask noted celebrity journalist Judith Miller, who went to jail rather than tell her the name of the "friend close to the celebrity" who told her that Jessica Simpson doesn't wipe after she takes a poop. That's called journalism, folks! Two, there is no two. Other than the second tear that tumbled down my cheek when I watched this. I cried for us all.

So, there's Taylor and Russell: a ghost that is haunting the hallowed hills of Beverly and a man who committed suicide. Sad to the millionth power. Now we're going to ride this Segway to talking about Pandora's engagement party by talking about Lisa calling up Taylor on the phone and being like, "Sorry, darling, but my rich friend Mohammed won't let me invite your husband because he swindled Mohammed out of his yogurt fortune and now he only has seven mansions and can't forgive your husband for forcing him to sell the other 90. I hope you understand." And she said, "Yeah, that's cool. I'm going to come anyway." And Lisa let out this noise that was like when you pinch the opening of a balloon while letting the air out and it just goes "SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-ISSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHH-fart." That's the nose she made when she said, "Oh, you're coming anyway, question mark." She actually said the punctuation out loud, that's how intense it was. So, yes, Taylor showed up anyway, without Russell. I can't stop my head from shaking.

Yes, as we learned last week, Lisa has a friend named Mohammed who is heir to an enormous yogurt fortune. His last name is Dannon. Mohammed Dannon. His mother was Elora Dannon and there was a popular documentary made about her rise to fortune. It's called Willow. Anyway, Mohammad has a huge torture chamber and he decided to import Morocco into his torture chamber so that Lisa could celebrate the marrying off of her spawn Pandora to Jason, a man who is the picture of amber waves of grain. Lisa, her purple mountain's majesty stuffed into a black dress, invited everyone from the club to celebrate her fruited plains.

While she was getting ready, she got a call from Kim Richards. Every time a call comes from Kim Richard's it is a bad thing. When your phone says, "Kim Calling" every time you feel like it's 3:30 in the morning and you wake up out of a dead sleep and when you pick up the phone you're going to hear sobbing on the other end and you say, "Kim, are you alright?" and she starts with the world's worst phrase, "Don't be mad." Yes, Kim calling is basically a "Don't be mad," ring tone. Then, everything that comes after "Don't be made" is a mush of blubblers and strange non-sequitors. She sounds like when you're watching a familiar cartoon dubbed into a foreign language. That is what every single call from Kim is like. So Kim calls Lisa and says she can't make the party because she has to move on Saturday. Why the fuck is Kim always moving? She's like a Hobo of the Valley or some shit. Or maybe she's on the run from something, who knows?

After Lisa and a man who wears a Rod Stewart Halloween costume year round give Pandora and her little national anthem lavish engagement presents (about $120K worth) they go to the party and are greeted by a camel and three ghosts of Britney Spears past who are jiggling their juggles while holding snakes in the driveway. It's like Michael Jackson lives here. Who wants a camel for a party anyway? They're large, smelly, diffident (or do I mean obstinate?), and spit everywhere. Taylor and Kyle think the beast is fucking crazy, but not Camille. She walks right up to it and the great animal lowers its crooked neck and rests its head right on Camille's shoulder. "Shhh," she says, petting its head. "I know, Sweetie. I know." That Camel hadn't been so happy since it was cast in the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.

All the ladies arrive one by one (except for newbies Dana and Brandi, who were not invited, or maybe they were and were kidnapped by Tuscan raiders before they go to the yogurt palace or maybe they were shackled in the hidden room in the basement and made to tell tales every night to the sultan) and they went into the back yard and there Camille and Kyle—Was it, Kyle? I don't remember. I wasn't taking notes and I watch the show with some boy I brought home from a Halloween party and he was taking up most of my attention. What I do remember is this fucking crazy mermaid creature. Just lying by the pool was a woman wearing a Weeki Wachee Mermaid Tail and she was telling her Weeki Wachee Mermaid Tale, "Look at me, I'm a mermaid. I get wet in the water. I am covered with scales. I am here to amuse you. I am flopping around by the pool. I am a mermaid. KWEEEEEE-HEHEHEEHEHEH. Mermaid! OK, I'm not a mermaid. I moved her from Florida trying to make it as an actress and I'm this close to doing porn to pay the bills, but I'm being a mermaid instead. I tried to kill of Mohammed's latest girlfriend, but then I discovered that she is a Real Doll brought to life after he sold a little shard of his soul to some sex devil. Now she'll never die. I am a mermaid. KWEEEEEEEEEEE!!!"

Then it was time to go to the basement where Mohammed had set up some bizarre bazaar tent that made it look like the inside of a very ornate cavern. Like at any moment a gilded stalactite would fall from the ceiling and kill one of the Housewives. Still everyone walked down the stairs like normal people but not the mermaid. No, she took off her tail and slid down the ornate banister, this time the shrill KWWWEEEEEEEE coming from some other pair of lips and it stutter slunk down the burnished wood.

Not down in the basement though was Kim. It's not that she couldn't make the party, it's that she was down in the valley going to a wine bar. OK, rule #1 of dealing with the Tennesse Williams' tragic heroine that is Kim Richards: Do not take her to anyplace that has booze in the title. That is just asking for trouble. But there she is, at some sad wine bar. Actually, it was "Wine and Tapas," and Kim showed up without a shirt or bra on, her freckled funbags bounding out for a stroll and the hostess was like, "Excuse me!" And Kim said, "What? I thought this was a topless bar." "No, lady. Tapas. TAPAS!" "Oh! I guess that makes more sense. Chortle Guffaw."

Kim is there seated by a fresco that looks like it was an art project for the local high school and in comes a man. It is her man. Yes, Kim has a man. Earlier we saw Paul trying to convince his fellow doctor who looks like Mark Whalberg that he should go out with Kim. That is a very bad Idea. Kim Richards is your friend who is always like, "Set me up with Guise (which is how she spells the plural of guy)!" and you're like "Oh, yeah, sure!" But you know that your friend is a giant walking puddle of mess. That she is no good for anyone and anyone who you try to set her up with won't be your friend anymore. You do not set people up with Kim Richards. That is rule #3. Rule #2 is "do not use her breath spray."

We meet Kim's new guy and it turns out that one day she was walking in her neighborhood and she came back and this big grey ash heap of a man was standing next to her mailbox. "Hi?" she asked with a tilt of her head. "Who are?" she tilted her head the other way, and the man just stood there, like a brooding golem. "What is?" She stood still, not quite understanding what was happening but glad, even for one moment, not to be alone. "OK." she said surely. "Follow me." And he came in and never left. That is how Kim Richards got herself into a relationship with what has to be either a private investigator, a hit man sent by the mob to kill her, or a paparazzo. He's just some strange mailbox hanger-oner. A stone lawn jockey given the ability to move.

But we still haven't seen the man's face. And slowly, ever so slow, the camera turns away from Kim and toward that sad fresco that wants to be so much more than it is, but knows that it will never quite live up to the beauty that inspired it, that it just doesn't have the raw talent to make it on the wall of some ancient ruin or cathedral. The the camera spins onto Kim's man, Pumice. He is a giant heap of volanic rock that his been plunked down to guard Kim. It is both incredibly hard and totally round all at ounce. And it is sooty, and when you touch it, every time a little bit of it flakes off in your hand.

Kim can't keep her hands off of it, and her fingers are getting pink from constantly rubbing the grit back and forth. The pain is what tells her it's real. "It's going to be so hard to keep this secret," she said to Pumice who didn't wince or reply. It was like talking to the man in the mountain, to the forgotten sibling of Rushmore. "My sisters are never going to like you. No one is ever going to approve. Oh, you think my sisters won't be that bad, but you don't know my sisters. They don't like anyone." No, Kim, you're wrong. They like plenty of people. They just never like the men you choose because there is no way on god's green earth that Blached DuBoys over here picks a good man. Not even once. She's currently carting around one of the stone faces from Easter Island that she found propped up on her mailbox and is calling it her boyfriend. These are not good mating skills. That is why your sisters hate everyone. Why can't you just find a nice father who is divorced and wears ugly jeans and Tevas and works as an accountant at some sort of boring corporate enterprise with an amorphous product and marry him? You can go to soccer games and root for his kids and to the movies and out to Outback and you can share one of those bloomin' onions and you'll ask for extra ranch dressing because your mom never let you have ranch when you were a kid because she said it was beneath you. That's what you need, Kim. Enough with the striving. Enough with the loving any old bag of stones that rolls down your driveway and shows you attention. Oh Kim. A million jillion times, Kim. That is the saddest syllable ever in the whole world. Kim.

But back at the Dannon Mansion, the ladies are whooping it up in the cavern, unaware of the awfulness that's happening in the valley. No, they are underground enjoying belly dancers and contortionists, magicians and love dwarves. And Belly dancers, don't forget those. All the Housewives always think they can belly dance and Kyle is no different, she gets up there, doing the splits on stage and giving her best "Jeanie in a Bottle." Everyone is impressed and now it's Taylor's turn, and she is all bone and jut and she uses her yoga and Pilates to get her leg straight up in the air, shoving her vagina out into the crowd and it just looks like one of those shark jaws you'd buy at the aquarium. Camille gets in on the game and gives a little "Walk Like an Egyptian" realness and she looks at Lisa as if she's supposed to take the invisible dancing baton and she just rolls her eyes and crosses her free arm over her body to clutch the elbow of her other arm, which is cocked in the air holding a glass of champagne. No, Lisa passes, but she surveys the crowd and she laughs her hearty laugh. So happy to be surrounded by her friends and family. So happy to be the beneficiary of a rich man's party for her only daughter. So so happy and lucky that she laughs and her giggles billow along the tenting on the ceiling, struggling to get into the night, to echo across the hills and even the valleys. To soar and sing. But they are stifled in the basement, tortured and contained, the fuel of some mad man's crazy game.