I’m not going to lie. I loved this episode of The Real World. The house was filled with total lunacy, thanks to the reliably nutso Paula and her bevy of emotional insecurities. What started off as a simple tale of a cockblock gone wrong soon raged into a full scale explosion in the house, and yes, for those of you wondering, Paula did hyperventilate. It wasn’t as showy as that first panic attack / gagging experience, but she certainly lost it in a wonderful way. I know I shouldn’t make fun of Paula — she does have some serious emotion scars and whatnot — but damn, it’s just too easy. Nay, FUN.I knew there’d be shenanigans this episode because on the “Previously on The Real World” intro, we relived some of Paula’s lesbian antics from last week. For those of you who may have forgotten, Paula smooched with a girl at a bar, and then she revealed to us that she kind of was dating a girl. Silly me, I thought that was just a random blip on her radar of bonkertude. Little did I know the sort of drama it would stir up this week.
Anyway, things started off simply enough with John happily chatting to a girl, Kelly, in a bar. Kelly was a cocktail waitress, and from what we later learned, John really liked her a lot. How sweet. Might this be an episode tinged with puppy love and romance? Hardly. We then cut to Paula who was sitting nearby and staring daggers at the two. Let the jealousy begin.
“No offense to John,” Paula told us, “but he comes across as very obnoxious and like that guy; so other girls, they would rather speak to someone a little calmer and a little more on their wavelength.” Yes, turns out that most girls don’t like talking to John — probably because Paula intercedes and passive aggressively bashes him to their faces. And true to form, Paula totally cut into John’s game with Kelly and deflated the whole evening. Still, John brushed it off and told Paula, “I heart Kelly!” To which she replied, “I love her too!” We all love her! She’s wonderful! It’s a known fact! Who’s Kelly again?
Anyway, Paula continued her expert analysis of John’s psyche. “I think he just doesn’t want to own that not every girl wants to talk to him,” she said. Yes, no girls ever want to talk to John… except all those girls he talks with. It seems to me like Paula’s going through some classic psych 101 fun: transferring embarrassment and insecurity from perceived rejection into spitefulness. I know it because I LIVE IT.
Nevertheless, John may be “obnoxious” to girls and whatnot, but that didn’t stop Paula from happily hopping into his arms as he carried her home. You see, it’s only bad when he pays attention to other girls. Otherwise, he’s a swell guy!
Back at the house, Paula stumbled up the stairs and through the front door. Yes, she was wasted, and that could only mean one thing: crazy time! Surprisingly enough, she didn’t go full-scale insane. She merely crawled into the phone room, called her psychotic ex-boyfriend Keith, and then promptly passed out. Great. She was probably gonna puke too. Luckily, John saved the room from a certain pea soup fate (assuming that Paula had actually eaten pea soup, which she probably hadn’t). He scooped up his wacky roommate and carried her back to her room, ultimately tucking her into bed. But seriously, he’s crazy obnoxious.
The next morning, we shifted gears to Zach’s latest adventures in the wide world of manager-ing. The big opening day was coming up, and as you might remember, the goal was to launch some huge promotional event. Well, Zach had a brilliant idea. He had hired a 110 person marching band for opening day. Because when I think of Mystic Tan, I think of a bunch of kids banging out “Louie Louie.” Well, even though the marching band/tanning salon correlation was a bit beyond me, Zach was confident in his idea. “Our opening is going to be a huge success,” he said. Yes, I’m sure it will be written up in Marching Bands For Tanning Salons Weekly!
We then headed to the Pineapple Gallery where the roomies seemed to be having issues with the car. Everyone needed it all at once. Luckily, fearless leader Ricky had a surprise. Outside waiting for the gang was a brand new Mercury Milan! Yay! “This is not a car to go out to nightclubs,” Ricky then stated. Yeah, okay. Good luck with that, Ricky. Then again, maybe the roomies will treat the car well. Despite their lunatic tendencies, they do seem slightly more responsible than those Austin losers (sorry, it wouldn’t be a recap without at least one Austin bashing).
Well, everything seemed absolutely wonderful. The kids had a new car, the marching band was in place, the weather was great. What could go wrong? I mean, just because these guys were living in hurricane alley during the worst hurricane season of all time didn’t mean there could actually be any problems on the horizon. Later, Ricky called Zach on the phone and asked him what the contingency plan would be if the tanning salon didn’t open as planned on Wednesday. This completely stumped our manager extraordinaire, who asked, “Why will we have a contingent [sic, of course] plan if we’re not opening Wednesday?” You see, Zach, that’s the beauty of the contingency plan. You don’t know when you’ll use it. You don’t know why you’ll use it. You just have one. Well, turns out that the plumber hadn’t arrived at the salon, and now there were worries that all the permits wouldn’t be ready by the big opening day. And if that happened, everything would go to shit. The marching band would be for naught! People on the street would be like “I hear a marching band, but where’s the tanning salon I automatically associate with such a marching band? Something is wrong!”
It seemed like things were getting too damn stressful on the business front. Luckily, the gang got to relax from their busy schedule of relaxing by spending the day on the ocean. They went sailing and snorkeling and parasailing and jetskiing. It was the bestest day ever! (I was actually really, really jealous.) But hark! Stormy weather on the horizon! Quite literally. A giant, ominous storm cloud brewed over the ocean, perfectly foreshadowing the chaos that would soon break out in the house. Hey, Mother Nature. You’re not a cast member. SHUT UP.
Turns out there was a tropical storm brewing in the Caribbean, and now all tourists were being evacuated from the island. I don’t know why the residents were left to perish in the storm, but I guess Key West has its reasons. Well, what to do during an evacuation? Get drunk at an evacuation party! Yes, everyone headed out to some random pub where an older guy / hanger-on named Timmy happily trumpeted the arrival of Rita. While the roomies sipped cocktails and stared at Doppler radars (FUN times), John went and got cozy with a new crush named Kristen. She was a cute, blonde girl, and she seemed totally unfazed when John said, “We’re going to ride jet skis in the hurricane right now if you want to come.” Wow, what a wonderful activity. Later, they’re going to sun tan in a tornado and then fly kites in an electrical storm. It’ll be loads of fun!
Well, as soon as John began talking with Kristen, Señorita Cockblocktosa suddenly emerged. Paula immediately attacked his character, telling us, “I don’t think John has the mindset to respect women.” She then added, “Clearly he needs to beat them savagely.”
Okay, she didn’t say that, but she did continue her rant of jealousy by saying that John treats other women like they’re just one of the guys and that’s TACKY! Clearly, in order to “respect” someone, you can’t treat them like an equal. Sometimes I wonder if John’s been raised by baboons.
Paula then told us, “I think John’s just a very simple guy.” It seemed like a rude thing to say, but then we cut to him telling Kristen, “Guess what? I got stung by a jellyfish today.” Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with saying that, but coming right off Paula’s comment, it actually made me laugh out loud. The implication is almost that John goes out to the beach and stomps on jellyfish for fun.
Well, having suppressed her cockblockitude long enough, Paula finally interjected. “That’s such not a good line,” she said in response to the jellyfish comment. However, Kristen wasn’t affected by Paula’s blatant attempt to make John look bad. Later, as the two burgeoning lovebirds played pool and flirted, Paula continued to stew in her own jealousy. She complained to Zach that John was really drunk and annoying Kristen. Yes, Kristen was clearly annoyed by the way she tossed her hair, laughed at his jokes, and made unnecessary body contact. Nevertheless, Paula sneered, “He’s an idiot. She’s a human being.” She then added, “Now excuse me while I go cry to my ex-boyfriend who beats me.”
Later, as the group was figuring out some post-club meal plans, John offered to get some pizza. “I’ll eat THIS,” Paula said, pointing to what looked like Kristen. Around this time John started to realize that he was being cockblocked, and he was not happy.
“The fact that Paula is trying to cockblock is kind of at this point boggling my mind,” he said. But to be fair, a lot of things boggle his mind: pretzels, pen caps, marbles. I could go on. Well, soon Paula put her cockblockage into overdrive (no, not MTV overdrive. Just general cockblock overdrive). She told Kristen and her friends that they should all just hang out as girls — screw the guys. Furthermore, they should come over tonight! Poor, poor form. Totally taking over the situation. But wait. It got WORSE! I’ll let John explain.
“To my dismay, I come outside, and I see the girls doing calisthenics together,” he says. CALISTHENICS?!?!?! Okay, to be fair, they were really suggestive calisthenics. Basically, Paula was trying to do a few pull-ups, but since she lacks, you know, any sort of muscle fiber, she could barely lift her forty-pound frame. Luckily, Kristen spotted her by grabbing Paula’s midsection and pushing her up and down. If someone had been playing a guitar, I would have thought it was the Lillith Fair all over again.
Girls Gone Wild: Drunken Lesbian Pull-Ups Edition.
At this point, John simply gave up on Kristen and went home. He was understandably pissed, but guess what? So was Paula. She was mad that John was mad. You know how these arguments end up: disaster. Sure enough, Paula was soon screaming nonsensical things.
“It’s about treating people with respect!” she yelled. And honestly, what better way to respect someone than by completely interfering with their love life? Of course, Paula kept yelling about respect, but what exactly did John do that was disrespectful — beyond suffering an egregious jellyfish injury?
As we all know, there’s only one thing John does when he feels attacked: he lashes out. And so he quickly took a swipe at Paula’s sexuality. “This bitch over here is a f*ckin’ lesbian, dude,” he said. This, by the way, was in response to Paula who had just moments before bragged, “John is mad because I steal his girls.” Uh, why wouldn’t he be mad. Stealing is BAD. Don’t act like you wouldn’t be hyperventilating if Svetlana stole one of your men… or women.
Nevertheless, Paula continued to harangue John for his inability to maintain the attention of straight women, and then suddenly, the whole thing turned into a grand scale screaming match. John yelled that she was always cockblocking, and Paula yelled that John was always calling her out. Wait, huh? John called her out? You know, offering a slice of pizza is not “calling you out.”
Well, Paula stormed upstairs to the bedroom — a.k.a. the preferred location for optimal eavesdropping — while John and Zach talked about her downstairs in the kitchen — a.k.a. the preferred location for being overheard. The guys tried to analyze her, saying that she feels some need to protect these other girls, and yes, she may also be a lesbian. Paula, meanwhile, clung to a nearby curtain for support as her face contorted into a pre-sob frown. Eventually, she could eavesdrop no more, and so she walked out onto the staircase and cried to the guys, “My life is NONE of anybody’s business!” Ahem, you’re on a reality show. Privacy isn’t really an option anymore. And by the way, how can she complain about people poking into her business when she’s totally interfered with John’s business with his girls?
Paula then honed her inner Abdul by uttering a completely incomprehensible sentence: “And you blame me for taking your girls that are supposedly straight should just show you the caliber of your excellence in the womanhood of life!” Say it with me now: huh? Before we could even try to decipher that bad boy of a run-on sentence, Paula then continued.
“Actually, I AM a lesbian, and the fact is I CAN take any one of your girls any day of the week!” she bragged. She then suddenly clasped her head, made a little noise, and shook. I assumed this was her version of a brain fart. Finally, in between sobs, she managed to simply exclaim, “This is why I hate PEOPLE!” Well, people that don’t beat her, that is.
The next morning, with everything completely unresolved with Paula, the Mayor of Key West suddenly popped up at the doorstep to tell the gang to leave the island. No, this wasn’t because Key West had suddenly grown tired of the septet’s antics (unfurling a carpet in the middle of the street, anyone?). It’s because Hurricane Rita was comin’ to town, and everyone had to get the hell out of Dodge. I couldn’t help wondering the Mayor went from house to house to deliver the personal evacuation notice. I mean, surely a politician wouldn’t do something as transparent as drop by the Real World house for a little extra camera time, right?
Is this the Mayor of Key West or my high school chemistry teacher?
Anyway, turns out Hurricane Rita had the worst timing EVER. Not only did the roomies now have to cram inside a hotel room in the West Palm Beach Marriot, but they hadn’t even smoothed things over with Paula (I smell a panic attack coming on!). Plus, let’s not forget about Zach’s super special opening day extravaganza for the tanning salon. “I was so foolish to think that the only thing in our way was the plumbing and our training,” he sighed. Aw, that’s okay, Zach. You’re still learning. That’s why you need a contingency plan. Well, you’ll also need one once you realize that your marching band idea is TERRIBLE.
As the roomies prepared to leave town, Paula and Tyler had a nice little heart-to-heart about her troubles. Paula said that yesterday, she was having the greatest time in her life. She was parasailing, snorkeling, all that fun stuff. But then after last night, she was back to where she had been: less than zero. The good news was that this whole experience had really forced her to focus on herself, she said. And to that, Tyler responded, “The greatest love is the one you have inside yourself.” Aw, that was nice. I wonder if he got that from a fortune cookie.
Paula then told Tyler that as soon as Rita was gone, she was going to get some serious therapy. THANK GOD. By all means, just talk to someone. John, meanwhile, wasn’t sure if therapy was going to fix his relationship with Paula. According to him, he’d been stabbed in the back by a friend, and he wasn’t sure there was anything that could set things straight again. We only knew one thing: this was going to be the most awkward hurricane evacuation EVER.
What did you think about this episode? Will Paula ever be able to function properly?