The Real World, Season Seventeen, Episode Thirteen, “Opening Day” Recap 5/16
The Mystic Tan salon opens, and “Paulie Walnuts” and John have yet another confrontation after a night of drinking.
[ClickPress, Wed May 17 2006] After the delay caused by Hurricane Katrina, the cast of the Real World Key West are ready to open their Mystic Tan salon.
That night, they make their usual rounds of the bars, but this time they’re also promoting their opening the next day.
On opening day, John is worn out by his “marketing” efforts the night before, and he decides to take a nap in the closet.
Paula Meronek is aghast at this – both at John for taking the nap and at her roommates for not being outraged as well.
That night, the group is out drinking again, and Paula’s resentment is unleashed. In case you ever need to spot a drunken Paulie Walnuts in the wild for yourself, here’s what to look for
1) Repeated shouting of the phrase, “Kiss my aaaaass!”
2) Occasional use of a baby voice.
3) Out-of-control outbursts.
4) Frustrated growling when words fail.
5) Panicked gulping and near-hyperventilation.
The first three are exhibited in the van on the way home and directed at John. At first, he ignores her. But she will not relent, and John rips back into her, calling attention to her anorexia and self-mutilating behavior. The entire van gets quiet – but his comments are painfully accurate.
Later, Paula then adds the fourth and fifth stages of Paulie Walnuts to her behavior for the evening. Strangely, her anger is directed at Jose Tapia and Zach.
The next morning, Paula pieces together the night by talking to the other housemates. Janelle confirms that she did start the fight with John.
Meanwhile, John and Zach decompress from the evening at the salon. John says the only solution he sees is to not be around Paula when she’s drinking.
Later, at the salon, when Paula arrives, John approaches her and says he can’t be around her anymore when she’s boozing. She acknowledges her actions and the two seem to make peace.
Paula has started therapy and after her appointment, she debriefs with Tyler Duckworth. He’s concerned, but he doesn’t want her to feel she can’t even have a drink. It might take her some time to find that middle-ground, but she seems happy to think it’s a real possibility.
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