I won’t bore you with a full recounting of the trouble I had last night with my DVR and how that forced me to get creative to watch the show in a way that allowed me to pause and rewind it. Nor will I vent my spleen over having to miss the Mavs’ improbable 1-point Game 2 victory over the Thunder so that I could instead watch a show about women wearing hats. No, no. I am here to serve. You want nothing but a recap of Episode 2. Or should I say Episode Number 2? Because the theme last night was decidedly and unrelentingly scatological. Though, to be fair, semen did play a minor role, too.
We open with Brandi, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, going to Marie’s house to teach Marie’s young daughter, Sophia, how to dance. Or how to be objectified when she grows up. It’s not clear to me. Basically all Brandi does, as far as I can tell, is teach Sophia how to shake her hair around while wearing yoga pants. Brandi shakes her head so violently that I wonder if researchers at UT Southwestern would find signs of CTE in her brain. For this to happen, first Brandi would need to donate her brain to science, and then she would need to die, which would be sad.
After the hair-shaking session, the grownups repair to the kitchen island for some serious talk about the Charity World. Brandi apologizes for drinking too much Jesus Juice in Episode 1 and sassing off to LeeAnne. Marie explains her theory of the two LeeAnnes, the public LeeAnne and the private LeeAnne. “They are both really incredible people, but they are very different,” she says. So she’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, only more incredible. Brandi tells the interview camera: “Absolutely there are two sides to her. Also three, four, and five, my opinion.” This is a burn, and Brandi deserves credit for it. I’m serious.
Cut to a shot of the cattle drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards, followed by gratuitous aerial shots of North Texas suburban sprawl.
Now we’re in Cary’s kitchen. She explains to her husband, Mark, how she burned herself on a toaster oven by touching the heating element. She says, “I totally touched that thing.” Cary needs a warning label on her toaster oven. It should read: “Totally don’t touch this thing.”
Then Cary insults her husband to the interview camera, talking about how, when she met him, he had man boobs and he was married. Ick. “I don’t know what inspired him to lose 80 pounds,” she says. “Maybe it was my magical junk.” She says this while pointing at her breasts, which confuses me. I thought “junk” properly referred to the derriere. No? As in “junk in the trunk”? Anyway, I’m still waiting for Cary to do a magic trick with her junk. Maybe in Episode 3.
Cut to a shot of the McKinney Avenue trolley, which runs on tracks that I could lie down on, thereby committing suicide in a way that would preserve my own brain for the docs at UT Southwestern so that they could study how much damage this show is doing to my gray matter.
Next we go with LeeAnne and Tiffany to see a man named Andre Yabin, who is identified by Bravo as a “hat designer,” causing milliners the world over to weep. LeeAnne explains that she’s there to have a lid made for the Mad Hatter’s Tea, an Arboretum fundraiser. She brags about not paying Yabin for his work and says that the theme for this year’s gig is “April in Paris.” She has a small orgasm as she says this. Tiffany does absolutely nothing.
Cut to Brandi and Stephanie. In the kitchen, Brandi has a hot glue gun ready. It’s time to make her hat for Mad Hatter’s. Boldly riffing on the “April in Paris” theme, she has chosen to make a hat with a small plastic dog pooping all over it. Stephanie explains that she loves Brandi but can’t wear a hat like hers because she’s in charge of charitable giving for her family. We all have friends like this. People who have irritating laughs and who think they are above wearing poop hats and who tell everyone behind our backs that they are a little bit better than we are.
Then it gets serious. Stephanie confesses that she wrote an apology email to LeeAnne, saying that she didn’t set out to gang up on her in the Charity World. Stephanie reads it aloud as Brandi makes an expression that looks like she is smelling actual dog feces. Stephanie tells the interview camera, “I wrote LeeAnne an apology because I do not want to be at war with her. I’ve seen her go after people and attack people. She has a lot of power.” There is no doubt in my mind that Stephanie has read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.
We go to LeeAnne’s backyard for some grilling and chitchat. Tiffany is there. So are LeeAnne’s boyfriend, Rich, and Tiffany’s husband, The Aaron Hendra Project. The women are dressed for a cocktail party. The men are dressed like they are running to Home Depot on a Saturday morning. LeeAnne’s backyard is an enchanting oasis, if you are enchanted by privacy fences. When LeeAnne has trouble lighting the grill, Rich has to tell her to turn on the propane first.
The Aaron Hendra Project, who wears leather wristbands in case he needs to lift something heavy or star in a reboot of Conan the Barbarian, talks in his cute Australian accent about growing up on a dairy farm and having to artificially inseminate cows, which requires putting one’s arm, up to the elbow, into the animal. Tiffany makes a funny face. LeeAnne asks, “How do you know if you’ve got it in the butt or the vagina?” This is a really good question. The Aaron Hendra Project doesn’t answer it. The Real Housewives of Dallas, we can all agree, is a frivolous show. I’m not saying I want it to be Nova or even an installment of “The More You Know.” But the Bravo producers missed an opportunity here to provide some real public service. How do you know whether you’ve got it in the one or the other?
From inseminating cows the conversation turns to marriage and the fact that LeeAnne and Rich haven’t yet tied the knot. Tiffany says to the interview camera: “I’m not super traditional, but I do think marriage would help LeeAnne feel more secure so she didn’t feel like she has to be Miss Dallas Charity 24-7.” This is more confusing than the question about the two orifices. I thought LeeAnne works hard in the Charity World to help the less fortunate, people who don’t have privacy fences. Now you’re telling me that she does it because she’s insecure? And, more important, WHAT’S THE SCORE OF THE MAVS GAME?
Here we go to Tiffany’s apartment, where she’s eating with her husband. A guitar leans against a fireplace, lest there be any doubt that The Aaron Hendra Project can play the guitar. Also because the apartment is too small for him to have a room for his equipment. To the interview camera, over images of her wearing a bikini on a beach, Tiffany says: “Living as a model in LA, you’re invited to all the parties, and you’re doing lines in the bathroom. Don’t even get me started on the Playboy Mansion.” Then she tells Aaron: “Those days are over.” Yes, they are.
Back to Brandi’s house. She is preparing food with her daughters while holding a small dog, which seems not only unsanitary but also a real hassle. They are making chocolate cake for Brandi’s mom’s birthday. Brandi says it looks like poop. Her small child, wearing a princess dress and tiara, says, “That’s not funny, Mommy.” To the interview camera Brandi says: “Embrace poop, people. Because everybody does it, and if you’re not doing it, there’s something wrong.” She pauses. “Everybody has shit.” This is true. Everybody has it and has to do it. And I myself don’t mind a good poop joke. But observing that a regular chocolate cake looks like poop isn’t funny. Brandi is both right and wrong.
Let me tell you a story. This happened to a friend of mine. He’s a fancy guy who wears a suit and does deals worth millions of dollars. One day at work, he had to rush to the bathroom and didn’t quite make it in time. Perched on a toilet, looking down at his tighty whities, he saw a small brown skid mark. Thinking quickly, he used a tiny Swiss Army knife on his key chain to cut a circle around the offending spot, which he flushed with the rest of his business. Problem solved. Except a few days later when he came home to his wife, who had just folded the laundry. Holding up his underwear, putting a finger through the hole in their rear, she said, “Honey, do you have something you want to tell me?”
That, to me, is a funny poop story. My sincere hope is that Brandi will read this recap and think about what makes for a funny poop joke and what sort of poop joke won’t even entertain a 7-year-old.
Trolley car No. 186 on McKinney Avenue’s M-Line is named Green Dragon. If I could pick, that’s the one that would run me over.
Cut to Tiffany and The Aaron Hendra Project hunting for a house. The Aaron Hendra Project is wearing white jeans with complicated rear pockets. A real estate agent named Mia from Keller Williams greets them at a modern four-bedroom that, unless I am mistaken, is in the Urban Reserve development [UPDATE: I was mistaken. Missed that earlier today D Home reported the house is in Kessler Woods] and, unless I am even more mistaken, the Hendras cannot afford. Tiffany tells Mia: “We’ve been married 11 years, and we’ve never seen each other pee.” She must not be trying very hard.
After walking through the house, The Aaron Hendra Project suggests to his wife that they need something smaller than 3,000 square feet, something with “less maintenance.” By “less maintenance,” I think he means “less jumbo loan that we can’t qualify for.” “Let’s just dream big,” he tells his wife. “You know, trust in God to open the doors and lead us to the right place.” That would be great if God worked for Keller Williams.
Now to Brandi’s house for her mom’s birthday party. There are a bunch of ladies speaking in high-pitched voices to communicate how happy they are. They drink Jesus juice out of really bad gold-frosted stemware. There is no dancing in farts. They go around the table to tell Brandi’s mom why they love her, and Brandi cries. They hug. Still no farting.
Cut to Stephanie’s house. Her husband, Travis, is away on business and has left a list of chores for Stephanie. She and Brandi have some Jesus juice. One of the chores is dealing with a small wasp nest on a porch. For protection, the ladies don two fur coats owned by Travis (!), and take aim with one of those spray cans of wasp killer that can shoot 20 feet. As they hit the nest, which looks like it consists of just one wasp, Brandi says, “That was like jizz!” If that’s what’s happening with Travis, he needs to see a doctor. Or get out of the wood locker manufacturing business, which is what he does now, and go into porn. Is there a sub-specialty that involves pest control? I’m afraid to Google that.
Finally, at long last, we get to the Arboretum and the Mad Hatter’s showdown. I can’t describe the scene. Okay, I’ll try. It’s a scene at the Capitol from The Hunger Games. Everyone is dressed like they are in a bad ’80s music video that shows a dystopian Charity World 100 years in the future where people act way happier than they really are. There is air-kissing. And hats. Lots of big, silly hats.
Brandi arrives in her huge poop hat — AND CONTROVERSY ERUPTS LIKE A SUPPRESSED YAWN AT A THREE-HOUR WORK MEETING TO DISCUSS FIRST QUARTER SALES RESULTS. LeeAnne Tells the interview camera: “This event is a treasured event in this city. The majority of the women at this event are im-pecc-able. Beautiful. Graceful. Elegant. Brandi’s hat — she might as well just walked up to every woman there and went bitch slap, I’m here.” I’m not sure how to punctuate that sentence. I’m also not sure that anyone else but LeeAnne cared about Brandi’s hat. Remember, this is an event where people are supposed to wear enormous, silly hats. Even gay dudes show up in crazy ladies’ hats. And the word “hat” itself is kind of funny after you say it about 10 times.
Brandi tells the interview camera: “I really don’t care what people think of my hat.” She says it in a way that makes me think she might actually have a soul and we might be friends. Really, it was poignant the way she said, “I really don’t care what people think of my hat.” If it weren’t such a cliché, I’d said, “You go, girl.”
Stephanie tells the camera: “If anyone has a problem with Brandi’s hat, that’s a problem they have with themselves. She brought humor to something that could be boring. So they can go fuck themselves.” And she actually says this in an endearing way. Even though the eff bomb is bleeped, you can tell she says it tastefully. I’m being totally serious here. She has found the moral high ground, hat-wise, and taken her rightful place atop it. Then she pauses and says, “I shouldn’t have said that.” Stephanie needs to ask herself WWSTD? What would Sun Tzu do?
Then Stephanie, on a dare, puts fake poop from Brandi’s hat in LeeAnne’s chair before she can sit down for lunch. So LeeAnne sees it, gets deeply offended, and goes to tattle to Steve Kemble, who, according to LeeAnne, is “uber connected in the Charity Society World.” Steve, seated at another table, turns to stare daggers at Brandi. It is hard to show someone you are disgusted with them when you yourself are dressed like an extra from The Hunger Games.
Anyway, LeeAnne wraps up the show by working herself into high dudgeon and telling the interview camera: “Crossing the wrong people in society gets you crossed off the list!” This is probably true. Now if we just had someone in society who could be crossed and who had possession of a list that mattered, we’d have ourselves a show.
Don’t slow down, Mr. Trolley Conductor! Full speed ahead!