Keri is the perfect drunken party girl. Josh Wolk offers sorority sisters everywhere the eight stages of alcoholic indulgence
The Real World
Credit: The Real World Chicago: MTV

Keri is the perfect drunken party girl

Keri is tough. How tough? Tough enough to change a tire, as we saw on the Feb. 5 episode of ”The Real World.” And I have no doubt that, if pressed, she could not only bring home the bacon, but also fry it up in a pan. Her mechanic skills kicked off a show that centered around her endless flirtation with Kyle and her revelation that once you get past the lug nuts, she’s very sensitive.

However, I was a little confused by the show’s definition of ”sensitive side.” Kyle lamented that while he can be very emotional, Keri is very internal and strong, and these two personalities could be at odds. But then, as if in answer to his prayers to the compatibility gods, she suddenly revealed something that attracted Kyle to her vulnerability. Her revelation? ”I hate tornadoes.” Now, far be it from me to stand in the way of one of television’s greatest loves since Rudy and Kenny on ”The Cosby Show,” but does the fear of a cataclysmic weather event really count as vulnerability? Deep, deep down, in a place she doesn’t share with anybody, is she also not that crazy about tsunamis? Calling her a frightened teddy bear for this is like saying that General Patton was a big pussycat because he wasn’t that crazy about being shelled.

Later in the show, Keri further let her guard down, and it didn’t even take a natural disaster: all it took was about 15 shots of Jagermeister. The sequence where she stumbled home with Kyle should be distributed to all substance-abuse classes, because she exhibited a textbook case of the Eight Stages of a Party Girl Returning Home Drunk. Here is how the trip back to the house progressed:

1) Denial As she zigzagged across the sidewalk, she proclaimed, ”Buddy, buddy, let me semind [sic] you that I’ve be drinking since I was 14.”

2) Indifferent self-sufficience ”Do you want to go home with me, or do you want me to go alone?” she asked, stumbling toward the El station.

3) Lashing-out When Kyle decided that perhaps it wasn’t the best idea for a blind-drunk girl in a tube top to take the train home alone at 4am, she snapped at him that ”I didn’t exactly ask you to take me home.”

4) Euphoria ”I’m so excited I got this drunk tonight!”

5) Rationalization ”I don’t black out, don’t puke, I just get sleepy.”

6) Apologetic and confessional ramblings ”I’m really sorry I got this drunk, I didn’t mean to. I’m not used to people taking care of me.”

7) Touchy-feeliness As Kyle hugged her goodnight (making sure he slipped into nothing but boxers for the allegedly platonic tuck-in) her fingers began caressing his chest.

8) Passing out

Post these stages on your sorority-house refrigerators. You too could know a drunk party girl, and now you can spot her and stop her before she starts acting out Meat Loaf’s ”Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”

Kyle confessed that this trip home really turned him on. ”I’m most attracted to her when she comes out of her pokerface shell,” he said. ”I respond to emotions.” He seemed to be responding to near-catatonic drunkenness. Frankly, this sounded dangerously close to a roofie kind of love.

All of this rampant vulnerability was really messing with Kyle’s dedication to his long-time girlfriend, Nicole. Their relationship status was murky: they were on a break, but he still called theirs a ”storybook” and ”fairytale” kind of love. My memory is hazy, but I can’t recall which Hans Christian Andersen story involved the prince who left his princess to stay with another princess whom he got liquored up and hugged while in his princely boxers. Perhaps it was one of Grimm’s.

Kyle seemed very confused, illustrated by the fact that when he had a marathon phoner with Nicole, he was shown flipping through a big note pad while they talked. Was he crunching numbers, trying to discover the odds of his girlfriend kicking him in the groin when she saw the video of him flirting with Keri in the hot tub?

He asked for love advice from his visiting college friend, Jason, whom I noticed requested a Jim Beam and Dr. Pepper when he arrived, a sure sign of someone whose advice should always be ignored. It’s like walking in on your shrink wearing a beer hat with a siren on top. Later Jason and Kyle met some other friends to party, and Keri sat on the bar sidelines, hypocritically sneering at his drunkenness until she finally stormed off, giving him one of those passive-aggressive, ”No, you go have a good time with your little friends. It’s just that…oh, forget it” kind of speeches that inevitably end in ”What’s wrong?” ”Nothing!” Well, looks like Kyle’s solved the mystery of how to be in another relationship without Nicole being able to technically accuse him of cheating on her: he forgoes the physical aspect, and goes solely for the bickering.

With all this talk of the two likebirds, let’s not forget about Tonya, who we last saw fleeing to Walla Walla with her pesky kidney. Her boyfriend Justin met her at the airport, and, refreshingly, he seemed to know her pretty well. When he drove her home, she said, ”My roommates love me, they can’t wait for me to go back,” and Justin laughed in disbelief and said, ”They can’t wait?” Made you wonder if Tonya’s stay in Chicago wasn’t also a vacation for Justin.

Tonya then visited her doctor, and she was shown wheeling an IV with a mysterious yellow liquid inside. I suddenly pictured her doctor whispering to a nurse, ”Oh, damn, that girl is back whining about her kidney stones. Just fill an IV with lemonade, remove the needle and tape the end to her arm. That always makes her feel better.”

Back in Chicago, the group discussed how they were all becoming so tight, but it’s always easy to bond when you have someone to bond against, namely the absent Tonya. Aneesa was loudest in mocking her, concluding with some snickering remark about Tonya ”getting a ding-dong in her cooter,” which I’m not entirely sure I understood, but it certainly doesn’t sound like ”Get well soon.” It looks like Tonya returns next week, only to get in a spat with Theo, so tune in then when we’ll discuss the Seven Stages of a Real World Brawl. It’s all in the name of public service.

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