Paula Deen's giant howling orange face and Chico's be-swathed form is alternately and simultaneously one of my most and least-favorite things on television. The Food Network fry-mistress is one of the absolute monsters of our time -- with the complexion of a photographic negative, a brash and brazen ignorance that she wears on her linen (always linen) sleeve and a jones for butter so severe that it could coax a reproachful "dude, you are an addict" from Tom Sizemore, Deen embodies every glorious, galling excess currently on display in our culture. But while her goes-to-11 shrieking is tough to take, and while it's a bummer how fearlessly she has made her howling and proud lack of interest in any type of cooking but her own a part of her brand -- she's basically a culinary Tea Party, demanding a return to some unhealthy and imaginary yore in which the streets were viscous with shortening and men were still free -- she's also weirdly gripping to watch. Guy Fieri, for all the myriad things that are profoundly wrong with/about him, at least wants you to know that he knows how to cook. Deen just wants to laugh too loud at what didn't even seem like a joke and then shove cookies into your face.
Anyway, the internet is clearly in P-Deen's thrall as much as I am, and today the very amazing and very strange Paula Deen Riding Things photoshop tumblr lit up the parts of the web where I hang out. I discussed this with Brendan Flynn, one of our generation's foremost tumblr-readers, someone who reads Cook's Country for the articles, and who is as taken with the mysterious and richly umber Deen as I am.
brendan: Paula Deen Riding Things, currently trending on twitter. Internet 1 Brendan 0 today.
David: Yeah, I saw some of that earlier. The internet is just better at this than we are. I didn't even know I wanted to see that.
brendan: and Paranormal Blacktivity. that's also trending. but yeah, the internet is better. Paula Deen is terrifying. I can't even watch the top chef she's on. it just sits in my dvr box.
David: Sits in your DVR box, screaming and getting cream cheese on everything.
David: I also cannot imagine her food being good? Her show is fascinating, though. I watch it until I get too nauseated to watch it. I like when she drags her poor dumpy family around.
brendan: no, it doesn't look good. and I like Durkee Fried Onions a lot.
David: Her husband looks like a grumpy Southern Santa Claus, and she's just pulling him around like France, screaming about something and terrifying pedestrians with the force of her great gusty laughter. The guy looks ashamed to be there, but also like he'd rather be at home, eating chips.
brendan: grumpy southern santa claus is awesome.
David: Big golf belly hanging out. He should have his own show. His orange wife in loose Chico's linen garb, howling. Her giant teeth. She dresses like Missy Elliott in the "I Can't Stand The Rain" video, only the weird garbage bag outfit is from Chico's in her case, and she's screaming about frosting, and how you can-too fry it. Did they let her grade the food on Top Chef? Did everyone have to make tartar sauce, and then she did a shot of it and decided which version she liked best.
brendan: he's sort of the opposite of the barefoot contessa's husband.
David: I haven't seen that dude, although I guess you don't get to be a Contessa without a Count in the mix. What does he look like? A banker? A duke?
brendan: a banker, which he is. and been a clinton appointee. seems incredibly affable and happy to eat/listen to a story.
brendan: according to Wikipedia, he also was in the Nixon whitehouse, dean of yale school of management and at one time managing director at lehman brothers.
David: Affable plutocrats, man. Can't beat 'em. Paula Deen's husband ran a gun shop for awhile, then retired because he felt like he wasn't eating enough fried fish. He was sick of the bullshit.
David: So who do you think wears/owns more loose-fitting linen pants, The Contessa or Paula Deen?
David: And I do have a follow-up.
brendan: it's a push, maybe. But I'm going with Deen b/c they're probably cheaper (contessa is strictly lands end) and she seems to favor volume
David: That was my follow up -- which one's wardrobe comprises more linen by yard, not by item. How did you anticipate that.
brendan: it just makes sense.