Sorry about the title. Yes, it’s meant literally. Plus, I thought it was at least a bit more elegant than “two heiresses make phallic shaped gristle pudding to raise funds for trip.” Anyhootyandtheblowfish, this week the girls finally flee Florida and find themselves in the Bayou State, where a new host family shows them their version of “Southern Hospitality,” and that ain’t blowing air up their skirts. Or wait, actually, it is…
Meet the Skinners
The Skinners are the worst embodiment of every stereotype of southern white trash you could possibly imagine. They’re overweight and yet unafraid of sleeveless shirts. Possibly inbred. Display a flagrant disregard of proper grammar and the basic style rule of not mixing florals with plaid. It’s a bad, bad scene.
Ma Skinner (Patty), for whom feathered hair is not a retro statement, but rather something that she’s held onto for lo these many years, explains that “Southern hospitality is not something you learn,” but rather something that’s in-bred—I’m sorry, I mean born and bred. The father, Jimmy, warns his two alliteratively-named teen progeny, James and Jarod, “I don’t wantchy’all boys takin’ any long showers after these girls show up.” Charming.
James, who has “trouble” written all over his walleyed face, seems to have already made up his mind about the girls before they’ve even shown up. He drawls venomously, “They think just cuz they have muuuh-ney they can do whuuutever, when they want.” Grandma Skinner, who looks to be the most reasonable of the family scolds him, “James, we’re trying to give a good impression, please!”
The girls finally arrive and really make one of their best efforts to be friendly. Nicole comes in brightly commenting on how “nice” the place smells. I guess because obvious comments like how nice the place looks are precluded by a living room décor that commits every aesthetic sin in the book: horrid clashing prints, an excess of “country charm” that is neither charming nor even particularly country, and a gallery of stuffed dead animals proudly on display in every corner.
They warmly greet all the members of the family, with Nicole even giving Grandma Skinner a big hug. But this time it appears the family has a beef against the girls. After a horribly awkward pause in the conversation, Patty announces she’d like to go over some “house rules” for the girls, whom she feels “aren’t used to having rules laid down...but ah’ll do ma best to instill some southerness in ‘em.”
They sit down in the living room and while Patty drones on about not wearing shoes in the house, the girls’ attention starts to wander off…to all the dead glassy eyes that stare down upon them. Not just the Skinner family’s but the eyes of the dozens upon dozens of dead animals mounted to the wall or on a stand on a coffee table. Jimmy notices the girls’ looking around and mentions, “We got plenty animals around here. We love animals, as you can see.”
Paris asks what the one with the horns on the wall is, and the Skinners all laugh. Jimmy says it’s the first deer the boys shot when they were young, “We’re big deer lovers. We love to grill ‘em, fry ‘em, barbecue ‘em.” Horrified, Nicole asks, “Their babies?” Nonplussed, Jimmy answers, “Ya can’t tell the difference when you eat ‘em. In fact, we’re gonna prepare one in a little while.” The girls protest. In a direct-to-camera interview, Pa Skinner seems displeased with the girls’ defiance: “I’ma pop the whip on ‘em,” he says grimly. Is this really something you want to say in a former slave state?
From Southern Hospitality to Southern Hostility
Jimmy does manage to get them in the kitchen, but Paris flat-out refuses to go near the hunk of deer carcass (she opts to peel the garlic instead). Nicole slaps on some latex gloves, looking more like she’s going to do an autopsy than cook, and shakes spices into a big, liquid-filled plastic tumbler. I have no idea what else it’s filled with, but Nicole dares James to drink it, which he agrees to if she’ll eat a piece of deer sausage. They get into a standoff, arguing in the kitchen like 4-year-olds (“You do it first!” “No, you do it!”), until they both just go ahead and do it at the same time. James swallows a spoonful whatever vile mixture was in Nicole’s cup, and Nicole chews a bit of the sausage then spits it out onto the counter. James, enraged, tries to force her to put the masticated piece back in her mouth to finish chewing, which Nicole steadfastly refuses. James sees this as “going back on her word” and thus the animosity between James and Nicole has been firmly established.
James decides he’d like to get to know Paris better, so he snottily asks, “When your waiter…or maid or whatever serves you, what kind of food do they serve?” Paris says proudly, “I live with my sister so I make my own food.” She doesn’t look like she requires much sustenance to survive, so I believe her, and feel insulted on her behalf by James’s antagonistic behavior.
Pa Skinner, frustrated, tells them if they’re not going to help in the kitchen, they’d better go outside to work on the “pool,” by which he means the nasty, cracked, above-ground sludge-pit in the backyard which they are to disassemble with Jarod and their new best friend James. They set to work with power tools and sledgehammers, and while they admittedly not going to give Bob Vila a run for his money, James is unnecessarily abusive in his criticism of their work. He also does obnoxious “schoolyard bully” type things, like attempting to throw something icky on Nicole just to bug her and crack “blonde jokes”. Ma Skinner, so vocal about having “rules,” just looks on as James terrorizes the girls, shakes her head and walks off.
The final straw comes when Pa Skinner comes out and asks, “Y’all gonna finish this today?” and James answers, “Well, when you got Dumb and Dumber out here…” Nicole immediately confronts him: “James, I have respect for myself, and this is my best friend, so I have respect for her, and I am being dead [bleeping] honest right now, that if you call me dumb or her dumb one more time, I don’t care how many [bleeping] steroids you take, how many raw yolks you drink, how many push-ups you do, I am being dead [bleeping] serious, I will beat your [bleeping] face in.” James doesn’t even look up at her, and on that note, the girls throw down their tools and walk off.
Instead, James doesn’t talk about Nicole until she’s well out of arm’s (or fist’s) reach, calling her “worse than Paris” and “the mouth of the south is what we call that kind of person around here.” Nicole asks Jarod, “Why is your brother such a [bleeping] [bleep]?” It’s question we’d all like to know, as it is pretty clear that James is, indeed, the biggest [bleeping] [bleep] I’ve ever seen in my life too. Jarod says James just likes to show off, especially when there are girls around. Well I can think of two upon who he’s might quite the impression: “I hate him,” Nicole says. “I hate him too,” Paris echoes.
Four Alarm Foes
As the flames of hatred get stoked, the fire department makes an appearance. Pa Skinner decides to enlist the girls’ help for their local fire department calendar. The girls agree, if only to allow for the obligatory costume change, and emerge from their trailer in something more fiery: Nicole emerges in a jaunty red hat, and stylishly torn top and skirt, while Paris wears a leeetle bikini top and precious little else.
The firemen arrive with their big red truck. Disappointingly, these are the least attractive firemen I’ve ever seen. Usually firemen can be counted on not only when things get hot, but also for being hot; but I am finally receiving visual evidence of why this year the Center for Disease Control ranked Mississippi the Fattest State in the Union.
Photo opp time! Finally, the girls are able to do what they do best: preen and pose. Paris hops right up on the fire truck and poses with her favorite person: herself, in the rearview mirror, that is. Nicole climbs astride one of the firemen, and manages to talk the macho men into striking some Zoolander-type poses themselves.
After the shoot, one of the firemen turns the hose on for Nicole to play with (yes, it’s a phallic theme today on “The Simple Life”), and she sprays a surly James with water in revenge, “for calling us dumb and rude.” James responds with the appropriate level of maturity required, by shrieking, “You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man,” though his physique and pallor more closely resembles that of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.
James finds a fire extinguisher, and decides to retaliate by sneaking up behind Nicole and blowing it up her short little skirt and all over her back. Now, I don’t know what it feels like to be sprayed by a fire extinguisher, but Nicole screams as if someone hooked up electrodes to her genitals and gave her a mighty shock. James runs off holding the fire extinguisher in the air in triumph while Paris runs up to her friend and tells her that it’s gotten all over her hair.
Now one thing you do not do to a die-hard girly-girl is mess with her weave. Nicole is pissed-off, big time, and vows to get back at James when he least expects it. “One thing James should learn,” Nicole says viciously, “I always get the last laugh.” Cue ominous music, fade to black.
Dinner with the Skinners
Back at old homestead, Grandma is breaking out the “fine” crystal (carefully stored in crinkled Walmart bags) for dinner for the girls. It’s getting late and the Skinners wonder where Nicole is. Paris explains that Nicole does not want to come. Ma Skinner asks Paris, “Did you tell her that would upset me?” Paris answers yes. With a little attitudinal neck roll, Ma Skinner corrects her, “Yes, Ma’am.” Paris repeats, “Yes, ma’am,” dutifully, but tries to explain that Nicole “hates” James because of his fire extinguisher attack. Quite frankly, James is a nasty little piece of work and I don’t blame Nicole this time around.
Ma Skinner, livid at Nicole, says, “You don’t want me to go out there.” Pa Skinner orders James to go out to the trailer to apologize, but only because he’s hungry and is tired of waiting. James acquiesces and goes out the trailer, where Nicole is doing some kind of elaborate hair ritual to her napped out hair involving many tools like a blow dryer and a brush. He asks if she’s coming in to dinner, and she says, “No, I’m doing my hair. It got ruined.” He asks how it got ruined. Nicole looks at him like a piece of dog crap that got stuck on her Blahnik and says, “Because you sprayed that gray [bleep] in my hair.” James hangs around and asks her how long it will take to brush her hair (she claims it takes an hour), and if she’ll come in for just 15 minutes, but at no time does he so much as say “please” or anything coming close to, “I’m sorry.” Obviously, this tack is getting him nowhere, so he leaves to tell the family she refuses to come to dinner.
Nicole and Paris decide to go out clubbing instead. Paris (the good girl!) asks if they should go inside to tell the family they’re leaving for the night, and Nicole says, “The Scoobies are so blind they probably won’t even notice we’re gone.” They leave for the night without a goodbye, and are relieved that they didn’t have to go through the rigmarole of “an hour-long explanation” and the family “making fun of our outfits, our hair, our makeup.”
The obligatory booty-shakin’ segment (we need to start a drinking game, folks) takes place at club called Beau Rivage. It is intercut with foul shots of the Skinners at the dinner table, chewing open-mouthed, belching loudly, and celebrating their belches with laughter. I don’t care what people claim about salt of the earth—man, I know I’d rather be out with Paris and Nicole dancing on tables than with these bovine folk.
Revenge is a Dish Best Served…as a Sausage?
The next morning, Paris is relaxing in a lounge chair reading a Maxim that just so happens to have HER on the cover. Pa Skinner approaches her bearing an envelope, and announces, “The gravy train is over with.” Eerie foreshadowing? Just wait. I’m not even going to try to figure out exactly what else he says in his marble-mouthed drawl, but the gist of it is that they a new job today. While the girls are not exactly eager to work, they are even less eager to stay on at the Skinner’s—and they need to earn some more money before they can leave.
The pink pick-up rolls on over to Rene’s, a factory that specializes in “boudin,” a type of Cajun sausage. There they meet Rene himself, a guy who looks sort of young to be a sausage entrepreneur. Nicole greets him by stating, “You’re sexy.” Another gentlemen who works in the factory asks if they would like an apron. “What for?” Nicole asks. “Stuff,” the man answers with distressing vagueness. This followed by a nice montage of buckets and vats and stacks of “the liver, the guts, and a few other things.” I’m okay with the liver, and even the guts, but the “few other things” smacks too much of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” to me, making my stomach churn.
Rene demonstrates the whole sausage-making process, from trimming the skin off the pig (which, Paris informs everyone, nearly induces her to “heave”), to chopping the liver (“Is that foie gras?” Paris asks, before she is told that foie gras is duck liver), to cooking all the various bits in a big pot, etc. Much ewwwing ensues, particularly when it all goes through the meat grinder. “Looks like poop” is Paris’s poetic description. Finally, the “fun part” according to Rene; he takes them to a machine which forces all the ground-up meat into pig intestines. He lifts the intestines out of a bucket, which look like inordinately long, wet condoms, scrunches the whole length onto a cylinder that juts out of the forcing machine, and then shoots the ground meat into the long skin sock. Ewww to the power of ten! Finally, he shows the girls how to twirl it all into smaller links. It ain’t cute, Jeannie.
Now it’s the girls’ turn to make sausage, and of course after their brief tutorial they are allowed to go about the entire process unattended. They cut up the meat but leave the pigskin on, chop the vegetables too coarsely and fling the entirety of them into the bucket with the rubber bands still on the bunches, squeeze in unmeasured amounts of various ingredients, and Paris gets her belly button ring caught on gigantic pot as they pour in what I sincerely hope is rice into the mixture. They both vow never to eat sausage ever again. I vow merely to never eat sausage made by wealthy party girls who don’t take direction well.
The girls decide to give themselves a break, grab some potato chips to eat outside on the street and, inexplicably, start dancing on the sidewalk to music coming from a truck nearby. “What the hell are y’all doing?” Rene hollers, when he sees them outside. He tells them, “You can dance all you want after we’re all done selling this boudin.”
Of course all that’s left now is to force the ground mixture into the pig intestines. The girls fumble with the machine and suddenly pig intestines explode and mass amounts of pale-looking meat shoots out onto the table, onto the floor, onto the walls, everywhere. Even the camera scanning the room has a blob of sausage smegma stuck on the lens. Rene comes in at the sound of the girls screaming, and asks, “What the hell are y’all doin’?” Paris holds up the a length of intestine and says in a child-like sing-song, “Makin’ sausages.” “You’re makin’ a mess,” Rene says, looking devastated at the sight of his little factory covered in unspeakable gore. It does look some horrible crime scene photo.
To complete their day at Rene’s the girls must sell $100 worth of sausages, any way they can. Like usual they end up hawking their stuff on the street. Nicole waggles the un-refrigerated sausage with an ungloved hand at passing cars, and I can think of a million health code violations they are committing. One woman takes the time to stop and ask if they made it or Rene made it; when Nicole answers that they did, the woman speeds off, probably the smartest move I’ve seen this entire series.
Nicole again proves to have the svengali-like skill of being able to talk people into doing her will. As usual she trades on her feminine wiles. She actually tells one guy the sausage is $5 per link, but she is willing to show some skin if it will get her more cash. Forget stripping, these girls are ready to move up to Klute-level, if you know what I’m saying.
One very nice man asks what kind of meat the sausage is. When the girls inform him that it’s pork, he apologizes, explains that he’s Jewish and therefore cannot buy the sausages. “It’s not pork,” the girls rejoin. “It’s veggie sausage,” Nicole blurts out. The poor man goes ahead and buys some. They sell some to another man, but have run out of bags, and so leave the poor fellow driving off on his own, bearing his limp sausage in his own bare hand (yes, this show is rife with symbolism).
The girls return to the factory with $120 for Rene, who waits for them inside with what looks like his entire family. FOX must have agreed to pay them an arm and a titty for the mess the girls made, because they are all smiles and thanks. Before the girls depart, they have one more request: “We wanted to go make a special sausage for a special friend.” GAH! We see them, in the factory one last time, stuffing one sausage with canned dog food.
They bound up the Skinners’ doorstep bearing bags of sausage. “We made these for you guys,” Nicole says blithely, “And I made a special one for James to say ‘No hard feelings.’” She even gives him a warm hug. Pa Skinner sends the girls off with a heartfelt and eloquent speech: “Ya out there, y’all workin’, y’all not playin’ on the beach with yer daddy’s and mama’s money, so we respect you.” Paris and Nicole thank him kindly, and Ma Skinner tells the girls, “You ever by this way again and wanna pop in, feel free.” Not. [Bleeping]. Likely.
Paris and Nicole take off in the pink pickup like rich, heiress bats out of hell. Back inside, the Skinners’ prepare for dinner. James is slightly suspicious of his “special” sausage, but his mom reassures him, “They come from Rene’s, so there’s nothing that they could’ve put in it. She even gave it to you in gesture of…good faith.” Ah, so the Skinners are as intelligent as they are attractive. As James grills up his special sausage, the family pup sniffs around the grill excitedly. He smears a nasty blob of meat on a saltine, shoves it into his gaping maw, chews, swallows and…appears to like it. He even goes in for seconds. Apparently, today’s lesson was brought to us by the letter R, for revenge: “Today we learned, don’t [bleep] with me,” Nicole says. And on that note, the show ends, with 1976 miles to go.
Should we be concerned that Honey Child and Tinkerbell are missing in the same episode in which Paris & Nicole are sent to a sausage factory? Send your questions, comments, and missing dog theories to snowflakegirl@fansofrealitytv. com.