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The Real Housewives of D.C. Recap: The Subtext Play-by-Play

In the interest of truth, transparency, and science, we asked the boys in the lab to build us some kind of subtext translator to help cut through the passive-aggressive hint fests and crudely disguised advertorials that pass for conversation among the Housewives. We’re still working out the glitches, but in general, we’re quite pleased with the results.

1. Cat and Charles
- Hi, former darling.
- Hi, soon-to-be-ex baby.
- What’s your excuse for ignoring me now?
- I’m Photoshopping you, ungrateful wench. Some wives would thank me.
- Yeah, well, whatevs. Want me to just jump in now and tell you exactly how I want my book cover doctored?
- Sure, darling, there’s nothing I enjoy more than listening to you tell me how to do my job. No, really, boss away.
- Well, lucky for you, you’re taking off again tonight and I won’t see you for another week. Have I thanked you today for dragging me to this fetid backwater and leaving me here to rot? Here, let me do it by asking you to tell me all about what you’re doing this upcoming week so we can all be impressed.
- I’m flying to New York to shoot Peter Jackson and Bill Clinton, then to London for my brother’s wedding, which you’re not invited to, then jetting to Florida for photos and laughs with General Petraeus, jogging back to D.C. for a quickie twofer with Pelosi and Tim Geithner, then hopping the Pony Express to the North Pole for some shots of Superman, Santa Claus, and that lone penguin from the Herzog documentary, then jumping on the nearest sled to meet up with Ghandi and Jesus.
- Jesus Christ.
- That’s the one.

2. Michaele and Tareq
- Check it out! I’m shaking my ass around this hotel suite pretending I used to be a Redskins cheerleader and CIA operative!
- Wow, I can’t believe you married me … I don’t care how much money I pretended to have!
- We’re building an empire and hobnobbing with heads of state and communicating with alien life-forms! Look at my ass!

3. Michaele and Cheerleaders

- I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you! Phew! Made it through! Inhale white light, exhale black smoke!

4. Stacie, Cat, Erika, Mary, and Lynda
- Hey, son, what’s your favorite ice cream?
- Yeah, I don’t really like ice cream, Mom. Which you’d know if you spent more time with me and less time hanging out with these weird ladies on this stupid show in order to get Business Stacie more listings or whatever. Why can’t you just put your picture across a bus-stop bench like all the other Realtor moms?
- You don’t like ice cream? Oh my God! Well, how about you shove it down your gullet anyway, for the nice cameras?

Ding-dong!

Cat and Mary arrive with their respective children wrapped in shag carpeting. Cat makes an innocuous remark about having fallen down on her way over. Erika, who’s been drinking for at least an hour longer than the latecomers, smells blood and pounces.

- So, you’re mean and klutzy.

Cat’s hackles rise and she calls for help, but no help is forthcoming.

- She’s so horrible to me, your friend!

But it becomes clear that the adults are just going to stand by and watch while another woman is victimized, so Cat’s children attempt a diversionary tactic.

- Who’s the oldest mom?

It’s a stroke of genius, and it works for a moment, but Erika is on the prowl.


- Mean girl. Mean girl. Mean girl …

Enter Lynda, in the nick of time.

- Hello, I’ve come to invite you all to the evening with David Catania that our mutual friend Paul Wharton is hosting.
- Mary: I don’t know who David Catania is.
- Stacie: I can tell you he’s a city councilmember who’s also a big champion for gay marriage, only I’m going to look all tense and bug-eyed when I do.
- Mary: Oh, well, I’m going to get all soft-voiced again because I sense we're about to get called out for being bigots. Hey, why don’t I throw Michaele Salahi under the bus? We all hate her, right?
- Great idea!
- Way to diffuse the bomb, Mar!
- Well, I was about to come out as an ignorant homophobe on national TV, and so were you, Stacie.
- Total bummer, yeah.
- Michaele Salahi is a skank!
- Whore!
- Freak!
- Socially inferior makeup-seller girl!
- Person named in lawsuits!
- Stupid sweater spouse.
- So, Mary, tell us about your grown kids moving back home with you.
- It’s cool.
- No, it’s not!
- Pushover!
- Bad mother!
- Skank!
- Whore!
- Spineless worm!
- Cat: Well, I think Mary’s a spineless pushover and a bad mother in a stupid sweater, so there.

Glassy-eyed, Erika lashes out like a hostile Andy Cohen.

- THAT’S THE MEAN GIRL COMING OUT!
- Hey. What’s your damage, Heather?
- You said mean things about Tyra Banks which I took personally for reasons I’m still unpacking in therapy!
- I knew it! I knew you were secretly in love with Tyra!
- I am not! I was just supposed to be the skinny-pretty one on the show until you showed up with that damn accent! I hate you! You’re so negative! You suck!
- Lynda: Um, Erika? I’m wearing a raincoat indoors again? But I’d like to take the opportunity to point out that you’re placing judgment here, too.
- I’m so jealous my head is going to explode!
- You’re sharing your feelings, which is good …
- Yes!
- But you’re placing judgment, which is bad …
- Okay, I think I might be in love with her.
- … And you’re making us all very uncomfortable.
- Why won’t she love me? What’s wrong with me?
- Gels! Gels! Get your coats!
- Am I unlovable?
- I’m going to murder Charles’s boss for talking me into this freak show.
- Wait, Cat! Come back! I love you! I hate you! Don’t leave me! You bitch! Let’s work this out! Don’t give me bad body language, okay! You’re all I have! Can we figure this out? You ALWAYS do thisI You do this on a routine basis! Don’t walk away from me! I look just like Jada PInkett Smith!

5. Lolly, Mary, and Rich
- Mom, Dad … Can I just not work and sponge off you while I pretend to be an artist?
- Rich: No.
- Mary: Okay.

6. David Catania, Paul Wharton, Lynda, Mary, Stacie, Cat, Jason, and Erika
- Hi, I want to thank you all for coming down to talk about an issue that’s making some of you really uncomfortable. Jason, Stacie, I see you’re instinctively crossing your legs and grasping for each other’s hands.
- Mary: I guess I never educated myself on this issue because it doesn’t affect me and I only really care about myself.
- Stacie: Jason and I understand that people have different lifestyles or whatever, but we really don’t want to have to dwell on it.

7. Mary, Stacie, and Erika
- Jason and I are totally for equal rights, but our spiritual leader says marriage is between a man and a woman and it’s okay to discriminate in this particular instance. I know that in our black history, “separate but equal” didn’t really work … Hmmm, I’m conflicted.
- Yeah, me too.
- It is confusing.
- Hmmm.

8. Lynda and Paul
- We’re concerned about Cat
- Yeah, she’s bored and lonely.
- We’re her only friends here.
- … I wonder what’s up with her marriage.
- I know. It looks bad.
- Let’s be nice to her so we can get the dirt.
- Totes.

9. Michaele, Assistant Jen, and Pom-Poms
- I need boobs.
- You don’t need boobs.
- Good girl. I need butt implants.

10. Salahis and Virginia State Delegate Dave Albo
- We don’t have to financially go bank-rupp again because the laws are restricting the wineries.
- Can you fix them?
- Yeah, the wineries are looking to Tareq as their savior. And I’m a former Redskins Cheerleader and Russian cosmonaut.

11. Lolly and Mary
- Wow, I’m getting that I can pretty much talk you into reversing your position on anything … marriage equality?
- Yes!

12. Tareq, Michaele, and Desperate Ghostwriter Who Has Hit Rock Bottom
- We’re writing a tell-all!
- How much money can we get, you think? I heard you can get advances.
- What is the process to write a book? We don’t have time. Also we don’t know all our letters yet.
- Do we actually have to write words?
- No, you morons. Actually, I want to make it largely about me and what I think about you.
- Okay. We have this dumb title in mind.
- That really sucks, but I want to get into your good graces. This is going to be fun.

Photo: Bravo