May 7, 2002
Group Hugs for America!
You've heard world leaders, Middle Eastern policy analysts and religious figures speak about the events of September 11th, 2001. But, apparently, you haven't learned a thing until you've heard the reactions and opinions of seven silly, shallow youths. Sure, they spend most of their time bickering about phone usage, but, by gum, they're the future of America!
On September 10th, all seems to be right with the world. Kids are frolicking in the lake, birds are singing in the trees, the sun beams down on a colorful and orderly world. Aneesa receives a fake cake in the mail (Zut alors! What good is that?), and we learn that her 20th birthday is the very next day. To that end, she is waiting for congratulatory calls from family and friends. However, Tonya has set up camp by the phone, so that she can spend a significant portion of each day cooing to her long-distance lover, Justin.
Aneesa tries to dislodge her barnacle housemate, but Tonya won't let herself be restrained by such a silly thing as etiquette. Yelling doesn't work, either. After all, Tonya reminds us, she's a foster child and doesn't have any family. I would think, dearies, that this would mean she'd spend less time on the phone, but Tonya doesn't see it that way. She refuses to hear Aneesa's birthday pleading, responding with a heartless, "No one listens to you when you talk loud!" Well, what can I say, my darlings, it's true, but Tonya is still rude.
Meanwhile, all this irresponsible phone usage has Kyle thinking about his ex-girlfriend Nicole. He knows he's made the right decision by not contacting his financial consultant cutie, but he's starting to get a little antsy. Everyone else is a phone hog, why shouldn't he spend all his time and money on long distance? Maybe she's even forgotten what a creep he is.
And then, it's September 11th, and everything changes. Everything, darlings? Well, not quite. The phone conflict is only postponed while we see the seven housemates speechify, weep and pray. In short, the Real Worlders are reacting in the same ways that millions of other Americans did. Actually, they're missing one vital component; what about all that irresponsible sex I kept hearing about? I thought at least I could rely upon Cara for that. No one even goes out to buy a puppy, for heaven's sakes!
The kids stare at the infamous footage in stunned (or bored, it can be hard to distinguish sometimes) silence, but it's not long before the individual quirks re-assert themselves. Theo rediscovers his patriotic side and decides that the police aren't all bad. Keri gives a little speech to all the terrorists out there in tv land. Cara runs into the bathroom to cry some more. And Kyle finally gives in and calls his ex in New York, but the ceaseless busy signals cause him to "lose composure." This tragedy just might be his opportunity to connect with Ms. Right, and the darn phone system is getting in the way!
Alas, alack, not even a life-threatening situation will bring Ms. Right around. Kyle obviously expects a bit more swooning from Nicole, who only tells him "stay strong." She doesn't exactly leap into his arms, my chickadees, but Kyle remains upbeat. Upbeat, that is, about everything except the now un-funny wall art in the house.
Meanwhile, Tonya and Aneesa continue to quarrel about phone time, except that now it's a matter of national importance! But, we know that something is in the air when Tonya takes Aneesa aside and apologizes for her childish and selfish ways. Not only that, but all the kids hold hands and recite the AA pledge. This, to me, seems like jumping the gun, since no one has hit the hooch just yet, but it seems to make the kids feel better.
We know that the housemates are resuming normality when Aneesa and Keri go on a wild spending spree to fill all their patriotic doodad needs. After all, consumerism is the American way! Then, the housemates light some candles and sing the national anthem and hug a lot; it feels almost like Christmas, except with a red, white and blue color scheme. All the Real Worlders gush about how this event has brought them closer. "It feels really good," says Kyle, making the whole tragedy sound more like an aromatherapy session. Ah well, my sweets, they'll soon ditch all this profundity for their old tricks.
Who's Topless? Chris doesn't let a national tragedy prevent him from showing a little skin.
Who Cries? Mon dieu! Are you kidding?
Most Annoying: Tonya is an inconsiderate phone hog. Aneesa is an inconsiderate phone hog. Tonya manages to be more inconsiderate and hoggy than Aneesa- quite a feat!
Best Quote: Kyle tries to tell the world that "Tonya and Aneesa love each other, they really do!" Oui, folks, like the Lockhorns love each other!
Next Week: Just like that, we're back to the old grind.
Keri says about Kyle, "Every time he comes home, he gets
into my bed and makes out with me." Ewwww!
May 6, 2002
Castles in the Sand
The Challenge is finally winding down, darlings, and it's dawning upon the Real Worlders that they might not be the complete losers that everyone (including the Real Worlders themselves) assumed they were. "I thought we'd be cruuuushed," Sean admits in a morale-boosting moment. Now, however, the Real Worlders' expectations are headed for the stratosphere. "Going home with nothing would be blecch!" says Kelley. I guess I can't argue with that, dear hearts!
Lawyer/lumberjack Sean dreams up yet another scheme to split the winnings and avoid general blecchiness. This is odd, because I always thought lawyers, as a rule, were in favor of blecchiness. However, this new system involves each participant choosing a partner on the opposing team to share the spoils; no matter who wins, everyone will go home with something. That something might be an intestinal parasite, but at least no one will be emptyhanded.
As if anyone cared, the contest this week requires the kids to erect towers out of giant foam blocks. The aim is to retrieve the blocks from the ocean and build a monochromatic structure on the sand at least four blocks high; since each block has more than one color (the hues remind me of the polyester pantsuits I wore back when I was a slim-tastic size 18), this takes some skillful rearranging. This tres pre-schoolesque exercise not terribly exciting. As a matter of fact, it's terribly, eye-gougingly dull, but the challenge is apparently tough enough to throw certain cast members for a loop. More on that later, pets.
However, Tim and Emily complete their tower in a jiffy and are thrilled to finally win first place in an event. Emily is excited about the Local Motion prize package, which will allow her to fulfill her surfer girl fantasies, even as it induces selective amnesia; "I've always wanted to be a surfer girl, " she gushes, "and to date a surfer. Wait, I have a boyfriend!" (That boyfriend, my bonbons, is that party-pooper James from the last challenge, I kid you not.) I get the feeling, mes amis, that Timmy is just excited to be winning anything, "When I win things, all sorts of things come flying out my nose. You'll have to excuse my victory snot." Perhaps it's a good thing he's been such a loser during this Challenge!
Sean and Elka could've been the victors, but a simple oversight prevents their tower from being completely color-coordinated. They then must endure the humiliation of clashing, as well as the humiliation of second place. The other Road Rules teams finish next, until only Kelley and Danny and Coral and Mike are left. It appears they still have a long way to go, too. Mike has been bringing block after block in from the water, until he resembles "some sort of sea raccoon," in Coral's words. Even when the remaining Real World towers are finished, they aren't structurally sound, to say the least. "You want me to stand on that?" Kelley asks, before adding "Run away! Run away, Danny!"
Now that the Blockhead challenge is over, with one more game to go, the kids are thinking more and more about the endgame and the final prize. Over a sumptuous Chili's buffet (because where better to eat faux Mexican than Mexico?), the kids pick their partners and discuss Sean's "insurance" plan. No matter how Sean tries to paint a shiny-happy portrait of cooperation, there are some holdouts among the cast. Holly doesn't want to share, because she's so sure she'll win and Jesus wants it that way! Other cast members are still skeptical of the plan, notably Elka, who says she doesn't trust anyone but Sean. Emily approaches Elka to be her partner in the winnings, because "You can't look at Elka and not trust her!" But Elka doesn't feel the same way about herself. "We'll just have to wait and see," she smirks.
Next Week: The Miz, God bless him, makes Holly cry.
Want to tell Mrs. Filthy something?