Real Housewives of Orange County: The Storming of Ft. Lauderdale

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When you live in southern California, by the beach in Orange County even, and you have had enough, where do you go? I mean, when the weary working world has taken its toll on your frazzled nerves, when the screeching children are just too much. When you just need a break. Well, you go to the place that is the complete polar opposite of sunshine-stained SoCal. That place is the wintry and upside down tundra known as Ft. Lauderdale, FL. It's just so different from Orange County. See, in Orange County all the Republicans are Republicans because they are rich. But in Florida, all the Republicans are Republicans because they're old, old and rich, or hicks. See, that's a difference. In Orange County everyone wears bright clothing and gaudy gold jewelry all the time. But in Ft. Lauderdale, everyone wears bright clothing and gaudy gold jewelry only most of the time. I mean really it's like comparing apples and artichokes. So that's what the Housewives did last night. They packed up their valises and hopped a jetliner to the Rio of America, which the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area is called on account of all the drugs and murder.

Vicki had organized the trip mostly because she likes it when people say "thank you" to her, but it didn't go exactly as she'd planned or hoped. See, she wanted it to be a girls weekend. And like her sister from another blister, the New York Housewife Ramona, Vicki does not like it when the sacred compact of a Girls' Weekend is violated or betrayed. And violated and betrayed it was, as both Tamra and Juggs Jackson invited their spouses. Well, not so much invited as were told by their husbands that they couldn't go unless the men came with. Because women can get into trouble if they go anywhere unescorted. I mean, just look at Ellen DeGeneres! So this greatly displeased and saddened Vicki, who would spend the bulk of the weekend pouting, when she wasn't shrieking at helicopters or wild animals, that is.

Oh and there was another surprise! Once the girlies had arrived they immediately sat down in the lobby for a drinkie-poo (Vicki suspiciously drank club soda... is she pregnant?) and guess who showed up. I mean just guess. Gretchen was there. There's a hint. It involved Gretchen. Still haven't figured it out? No, silly. It wasn't the vengeful zombie-ghost of Jeff. It was even scarier. It was Slade! Good ol' Doug Smiley showed up and Vicki's eyeballs shrieked like they'd just seen a helicopter or a wild animal, which is the appropriate reaction should Doug Smiley ever amble out of the shadows of a hotel lobby and sit down next to you. This was the clincher. Vicki declared the weekend ruined, because she was the only person there without a man on her arm. Oh, except Lynne. I mean, Lynne was there unescorted, but who really cares about Lynne? Nobody, that's who. Lynne is the saddest person that's ever existed in the known world, mostly because no one cares about her. Sigh.

So yeah, Vickles was in a pickles and there was nothing that could be done about it. She insisted that the menfolk go off and do they thang while the ladies went and did they thang, and hopefully ey'body's thangs wasn't gonna get in a knot. She and the other girls went flying in a helicopter, and Vicki screamed and screamed and screamed into her radio thing, which is probably really soothing to the person who's trying to keep the damn thing up in the air. I know that whenever I fly—in dirigible, autogyro, or horseless airplane—I go straight to the cockpit and just scream in the pilot's ear for the duration of the flight. It's just a professional courtesy. After Vicki got done screaming at the helicopter, she decided it would be fun to scream at some animals. So the girls went on an Everglades safari adventure, which someone equated to being like an Indiana Jones movie, which makes sense, because the Indiana Jones movies were always about going on safaris. If there had been Nazis on the Florida Everglades tour (and, let's be honest, there were probably some of the Neo variety lurking in fishing huts just out of sight) then it would have made even more sense. Anyway. The girls saw wild boars and a big antelope kinda thing and probably monkeys and giant snow turtles and willabeavers and truffala goats and snarling ridgebacks and fantastippotamuses and fire-breathing titmice and alligators. The last one was the most exciting, because the girls were hooting and shrieking on a little fanboat and for a brief second I thought "Omg, what if one of them fell in and got eaten by an alligator?" That would have been vaguely cannibalistic, one reptile eating another.

A weird thing that was going on on the trip was that Gretchen and Tamra were sort of getting along. Isn't that peculiar? They were like laughing and joking and blonding together. And see, kids? Peace is possible. If the Israel and Palestine of Real Housewives of Orange County can put aside their differences to point and shriek at a flying bearcat together, then any peace is possible. Good for them. Good for the world. Is that a rainbow I see? I think it is.

Back at the hotel more tension with Vicki was brewing. She kept moaning and complaining about how her girls' weekend was ruined and how life was so unfair and awful and no one liked her and the world was getting cold and dark, like a veil of thin black snow was being pulled over the sky. Everyone felt bad, and by everyone I mean no one. What the fuck did they care, they were there with their hubbies or goo-ish boyfriends named Doug and Lynne was off murmuring to herself in a corner so the world was perfectly right. Vicks Mahgicks should just simmer her damn pie hole and make nice with all the sweaty, stern-faced men. But she didn't want to. She really, really didn't want to. The girls had a dinner during which Tamra and Gretchen talked about Doug Smiley and if they were going to get married, and Vicki's face got even madder when Gretchen said yes. And there were flashbacks of Jo and we all stroked our beards and said "Ahh, yes. The past. History, my dear boy! History!" We then spun our globes and sipped our brandy and returned to watching the field study. At this point Lynne was face down in her bowl of spaghetti and Vicki had steam coming out of her face and Gretchen and Tamra were shrieking and laughing and Juggs was just sort of dumbly sitting there, saying prayers and bouncing her boobs with a fist.

Most of the girls wanted to go clurb-burmpin' after dinner, but My Friend Vicka wouldn't hear of joining them. Not when she was without a man. She just won't be the only person who is there alone. At this point, Lynne groaned and rolled over and fell to the floor and everyone was just like "What was that noise? This restaurant must be haunted. But anyway, yes Vicki, you are the only person on this trip who isn't with her man friend." Lynne quietly burst into flames under the table and Vicki summoned the waitress and said "It's awfully hot in here all of a sudden, could you turn up the AC?"

At the club, with Vicki safely stowed in her room and Lynne kidnapped or asleep in some bushes or something, the girls met their men and started bitching about Icky Vicki. She's so weird and lame and also lame and weird and nobody likes her. It was typical grade school bitchy gossiping, except with mysterious alcohol shots and more men in sparkly designer embroidered T-shirts. For all the talk of dancing, there really wasn't any. They just sat in their little powwow circle and said mean things about Vicks Vapo Rub and eventually Tamra felt kinda bad. Because, you know, they're friends. Even if her magnificent beau doesn't approve of it. (He claims that Vicki has changed Tamra, and I'm thinking that he means that Vicki has encouraged Tamra to sort of be her own person and maybe get a job, which Simon cannot tolerate.) So Tamra frowned when Doug Smiley made a joke about Vicki dying and she decided to do something with just Vicktory the next day.

That fun just-the-two-of-us outing turned out to be getting manicures while weeping. They walked onto the Ugly Betty set and Vicki started weeping about Simon and the "hate in his eyes" when he talks to Vicki and Tamra just shook that sandy head of hers and said "No, no. No no." But Vicki was right, of course. Simon does hate her. And Tamz doesn't know what to do.

What she ended up doing was getting down on her knees and pleading with Vicki to come on a romantic moonlight motorboat cruise with her and the men. But Vicki said she wouldn't bring a good energy to the hang because her heart was forever broken. She'd come to Ft. Lauderdale for some fun and sun and all she'd gotten was sadness and misery. The poor dear. So Tammy-Tam-Tams-Tamela said "OK, fine" and she limo'd off with everyone else to the boating. They were all like "Why can't Vicki be alone with us?" and then finally someone noticed Lynne sitting there in the corner, food mush tumbling out of her partly-open mouth. They said "Oh, yeah! Lynne's here! Why can't Vicki hang out with her." Lynne nodded her head sagely and said "Roger roger, finger-cat." Everyone just blinked for a few minutes until Gretchen slowly put a bag over Lynne's head.

On the boat, Juggs' horrible husband Ed Hardy was being stern about Juggs' ass-bearing dress. Juggs explained to us that some things aren't meant for public consumption, like when Gretchen put fake boobs in her dress on the boat and cackled like a purple hyena (which they'd seen on their safari!). Then everyone paired off and hugged on the boat, drinking their classy pink champagne. Lynne just sat there and pretended her husband was there, slurring to his invisi-ghost about various things. She actually did that on the episode, I'm not making that up. See, Lynne was allllllll kindsa hopped-up on magic pills last night, because she just got her face transplant and it hadn't quite grafted itself onto her skull yet, so she was in a small bit of pain. So for the whole trip she just mumbled things and made funny noises and walked into marble columns and got attacked by alligators and stuff. It was marvelous and whimsical, this watching a woman form a terrible painkiller addiction! Poor floppy Lynne. My sister and I were IMing this afternoon and she said "Lynne is totally going to die in some terrible accident that would have easily been prevented for anyone else." Then we spent a few minutes making up various ways for Lynne to die in some freak accident, and this was my favorite that she came up with: "Reality star Lynne Curtin was swept out to sea in a bizarre swimming accident today. She is presumed dead." I hooted for a good ten minutes at that one.

ANYWAY. Tamra and Simon had more exciting conversation about Vicki as they stood nobly on the prow of the ship, Floridian winds billowing their loose clothing, the evening sky the brushed blue steel of dusk, a pink hum glowing down where the land reaches up and grabs air, that perfect seam of horizon. While they discussed things, and while Juggs and Ed danced, and Gretchen and Doug made giddy giggling teenager love to each other down in the boat's cabin, no one noticed as Lynne became tangled up in some rope and tripped, plunging overboard. From there she bobbed in the wake of other boats for a while, and then just let the currents take her. She watched as Florida receded in the distance. She bumped up around the Bahamas, sailed past the green thicket of the Yucatan, she drifted down the coast for a long long time and eventually swung around at Cape Horn, the wilds of Patagonia a gray foggy mass in the distance. And then she soared back up, up the skinny spine of Chile, fierce white Andes poking at the sky. She bobbed and glided up past Baja, past Cabo San Lucas, and then there she was. Washing ashore in old Orange County, her journey done, dripping and salty. She trudged up the beach and out to the street and set off for home, a thin wobbling figure headed into a nuclear sunrise.

She is presumed dead.

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