Please read this letter before it’s too late. Please read it while you are still able. Please read it while your eyeballs are still ungouged. Please read it before your spray-tanned flesh is gnawed and torn from your bones.
Run to the bathroom, bolt the door—do it now!—call the Los Angeles Zoo, and beg them to come and take away the carnivorous mammal which has recently infiltrated your entourage. I believe you call him Baby Luv, and that he is—I can hardly bring myself to utter the word—a kinkajou.
Though it has been many decades—four to be exact—since I have heard the word “kinkajou,” it still has the power to strike fear into my heart. You see, Paris, I once saw my very own mother assaulted by—you guessed it—a kinkajou.
Here’s how it happened: My Auntie Muriel—a street cop in Belfast—was spending her annual vacation chez nous in England. One day, in search of a trouble-free environment where she might relax and not feel obliged to throw anyone into a headlock, Muriel suggested a visit to London Zoo. For the occasion, my sister and I donned our grody, food-stained school uniforms. Muriel and my mother Betty wore sundresses, cardigans, white stilettos and lots of lipstick.
Though Betty and Muriel wore more clothes than you and Nicole, they enjoyed a rapport not dissimilar to the one shared by you and your former gal pal from The Simple Life. (Having left school at the age of 13, Betty and Muriel were about as well educated as you and Ms. Richie.) On the train, they powdered their faces and gossiped—just as you two might have—little knowing what horrible fate awaited the four of us in the “small mammals” enclosure.
First we visited the birds of prey, vultures and hawks, arriving at feeding time. Betty, my sister and I watched eagerly as live vermin were tossed into the cages. While a vulture ate a live rat, a barn owl grabbed a mouse and tore its head off. My mother looked round to make sure that Auntie Muriel wasn’t missing the gory spectacle, but she was nowhere to be seen. Eventually, we found her hanging over a futuristically designed cedar-and-aluminum trash bin and vomiting quietly. Betty appeared to find Muriel’s squeamishness rather amusing and mocked her for her sissy reaction. Fate would soon pay Betty back for her unsympathetic response.
Next we entered a large, dark building that housed nocturnal critters from warmer climes. Betty was immediately entranced—just as you, Paris, must have been upon first spying Baby Luv—by a furry little bundle of possum-like joy.
Wishing to make contact with this appealing little beast, Betty dragged her long-nailed finger across the cage, producing a rhythmic sound. This sound was quickly followed by another sound: the sound of someone screaming her head off. It was my mother. The mammal had grabbed her finger in its mouth and was biting clean through her vermillion-lacquered extremity. The attacker eventually let go, but only after Auntie Muriel repeatedly whapped the cage with her black patent handbag—a white bag would have better complemented her shoes, but this was back when girls had to make do with one bag—and screamed threats in her terrifying North Irish accent.
What was the name of the bloodthirsty animal that had launched this attack? Why, a kinkajou, of course.
When Muriel read aloud the name of the critter on the information card, she and Betty collapsed with laughter. On the train ride back to our dismal satellite town, Betty told fellow travelers that she had been attacked by “a kinky Jew.”
My mother, I should point out, was not an anti-Semite—far from it. My parents had lots of Jewish acquaintances and colleagues, and they always spoke fondly of them. Betty even posited the notion that she herself, with her dark hair and handsomely prominent schnozz, was descended from one of the lost tribes of Israel. The absence of anti-Semitism did not, however, prevent Betty from using the phrase “That would make a Jew drop his bag” when wishing to indicate that a particular occurrence had been somewhat startling. Though people did not make their own porno tapes back then, things were definitely less P.C.
Fast-forward: fall 2005.
Paris, I am concerned for your safety. Baby Luv’s recalcitrant behavior in the lingerie store Agent Provocateur last week—as recorded in the tabloids—is just a foretaste of the mayhem to come. It’s only a matter of time before he snaps and goes postal on your ass. Save yourself! Send Baby Luv off to the zoo, where he can roam free and bite the fingers of deserving visitors.
P.S.: Thanks for always thinking of new and ever more baroque ways of keeping yourself in the headlines, thereby providing us all with endless amusement. You have shown yourself to be consistently inventive. Don’t slack off! Isn’t it time you had an interracial lesbian affair, or pulled a Patty Hearst and joined a revolutionary cult?
For instant press, why not invite Nicole over for Thanksgiving (she looks like she could use a hot meal) and forgive her for screening your porno tape at that party. (The press keeps citing this as the reason for your tiff.) You don’t seriously think that was the first time a group of your pals sat down and guffawed their way through One Night in Paris, do you, luv?