The Simple Life: Michael Yarish
Josh Wolk
January 14, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Paris and Nicole say goodbye to Arkansas

It was a little disorienting watching the girls bid farewell to Altus on the January 14 finale, considering they had just been reunited with the Leding family on a reunion special the night before. It was kind of like ”Memento,” except instead of a well-crafted thriller, it was a couple of morons running around sticking their arms up cows’ yoohoos.

First we concluded the messy ”cliffhanger” of last week, where Nicole threw bleach on a pool table. I had spent all week wondering how this hoopla would resolve itself: Would someone pull out a gun? Would the girls be thrown in prison? Would Curley cane them with a pool cue?

Nope, it ended the way everything ends on this show: with the girls being forgiven because they’re rich and on TV. I’m thinking of pitching a reality show where I walk down the street wearing a solid gold suit and kicking random people in the groin. Sweeps, here I come!

Actually, before the inevitable forgiveness, the good folks of Altus did give them some negative feedback for the first time. After Nicole stormed out, some bar patron yelled out ”Go home, rich bitch, go home!” If Paris’ face was physically capable of rearranging into different expressions, she might have looked a little wounded.

Alas, though, any penitence was short-lived. Albert did an ineffectual job of chastising Nicole (didn’t his son Justin say he was a hardass? He makes Bill Cosby look like the Great Santini), and even with that weak of a tsk-tsk, Paris complained that he overreacted. Is it any wonder that, on the girls’ departure day, Albert tried to sneak out of the house at dawn without saying goodbye? Unfortunately, his plan was thwarted when the girls ran out to hug him. He couldn’t have looked less enthusiastic when he hugged them back: I’ve seen people give more heartfelt farewells to tumors.

And so we all bade adieu to the trust-fund twits. We remembered the good times (in case you missed these clips when they ran on the clip show JUST THE NIGHT BEFORE), and Paris and Nicole paused to reflect on all the amazing things they did that they’ll never be able to do again in L.A, like go to a gas station. Apparently they think that their limo drivers just urinate magic go juice into their gas tanks to whisk them to premieres.

But as much as they came to allegedly love their time in Altus, they were yearning to return to their Hollywood lives. Paris said she was most looking forward to driving her car with her cell phone pressed to her ear. Mind you, she wasn’t looking forward to talking to any specific friend, she just missed the act of talking, and the act of doing it in a particularly trendy way. I wonder what other things she’s pining for that got left on the editing room floor: ”I also can’t wait to hang out with that friend of mine who wears the trucker’s hat. I don’t remember his name, but he drives one of the new Range Rovers.”

Here’s hoping their friends, whatever their names are, welcome them back and tell them how much they were missed, and then beg them never to leave again.

Because otherwise, they might end up coming to your town.

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