Saturday, December 09, 2006
We may have many fetishes, but dead horse-beating isn't one of them.
Still, when, after being shot, the horse gets up and charges at you, nostrils flaring, cheap extensions in its tossing mane, what are you supposed to do if not reach for the Winchester '73 one more time?
Which is an oblique way of saying, Good God, why didn't anyone warn us? Raggaydy Andy Cohen of Bravo did put out a sort of Gay Surgeon General's Warning about Padma's bikini top, but no one said anything about how, to continue the horse metaphor, she would be shod.
We didn't notice it the first time, but... she's... wearing... Ugg boots! And that, possums, makes this a horse of a different color.
A reader and amateur semiotician had suggested that Padma's hodgepodge, Lindsay-Lohan-on-a-bender-at-Beyoncé's-house look was a cry for a help, a covert message to the world at large. We were skeptical at first, but the Ugg boots changed our mind.
After all, we reasoned, when it comes to wearing a bikini, Padma Lakshmi Rushdie can look like this.
So why on earth would she appear looking the way she did, echoing an underfed Jessica Simpson in the collective national embarrassment that was "The Dukes of Hazzard" (and which Miss XaXa, Southerner that she is, dubbed, ahem, "Puss in Boots")?
Naturally, we thought about burglar alarms. We had just heard that if a burglar comes upon you and tries to force his way inside your house, forcing you to disable the alarm, you can enter the alarm code backwards, which will indeed disable the alarm, but also send out a silent alert to the police, who, if you've picked the right ZIP code, paid your property taxes, and chosen the right skin color, will be there in a matter of minutes to rescue you.
So, we asked ourselves, could it be? Could Padma's bikini, 'do-rag and Ugg boots be a distress call, a giant sartorial Bat(ty) Signal launched into the darkening skies of basic cable?
We looked into the hanky code, trying to determine whether Padma was attempting to send secret messages through her choice of bandana. However, as we discovered, it makes a huge difference whether you think the bandana is "brown" or "sandalwood," a difference of the sort that we couldn't possibly print, even though we are a "family" publication (in that sly, Sly and the Family Stone sort of way).
(Still, if you'd like to know, e-mail us and we'll whisper it in your ear. And should any of you "don't ask, don't tell" Pentagon codebreakers, Lacanian grad students at Yale, or Umberto Eco disciples at the University of Bologna have any insights, please feel free to chime in.)
However, the more we looked at the original photograph, the more the conspiracy spun out. Look closely. Tom Colicchio, conscientious judge that he is, looks intently focused on the food. Gail Simmons, in her Gap gaucho capris (gaupris?), is distracted by guest chef Raphael Lunetta, he of the adorable "pott bellee" (as Maria de Medeiros pronounced it in Pulp Fiction), because really, who wouldn't be? And if Marcel couldn't resist him, why should Gail?
So....Tom, Gail, and Raphael are distracted. Now look at Padma. She's--could it be?--texting. She's seized her chance. Dear God, she's Sidekicking and screaming for help! How fast can she type "I'm a celebrity, get me out here!"? (Or was it something about Soylent Green and departed cheftestants?)