As Dorothy remarked to Toto after being twirled away by tornado: I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. Well, there "waren't" no tornado, but after the past week, I'm beginning to wonder whether I'm still in Genoa City. Or maybe the strangeness I feel has nothing to do with the unfamiliarity of the city, but is more the 180-degree turns in the characters of many of its citizens.
What is going on? Who are these people? And where did they bury the people they used to be? Like many of you, I've been eavesdropping on the Genoa City doings for more years than I'd care to count. So I would have sworn I knew these restless people well: Victor, Nikki, Ashley, Jack, Phyllis, Jill, Kay, John and all the rest. As for the Newman seedlings, I remember the days when Victoria was a pint-sized blonde who bore a striking resemblance to Ashley's Abby. But after the past week, when it comes to more and more of these people, I'm beginning to feel that I hardly know them at all. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all for change. Without it, Genoa City things wouldn't stay fresh and exciting or keep us coming back for more. Well, maybe it's just me, but I'd rather see the changes in the stories instead of in the puppets playing the parts.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Nothing remains the same, even in make believe people, and I think that is the problem for me. My Genoa City folks are feeling less and less like people, even fake ones, and more like cardboard cutouts whose personalities change every time you change their paper outfits. Well, I don't presume to speak for anyone but me, but I find it just a little bit hard to care about what happens to cardboard cutouts. When I was little, when mine got bent, either from playing too rough with them or putting them away too carelessly, it wasn't long before I deemed them unredeemable and tossed them on the trash heap.
And unredeemable is what some Genoa Citi-ans seem well on their way to becoming. Take Gloria for instance. Somewhere far, far away, preferably. She's a newcomer on the Genoa City scene, but she has certainly made herself mostly unlikable during her relatively short stay. The wide-eyed, presumably undereducated beauty has effortlessly been able to bend supposedly smarter, should know better, people to her will without even chipping the polish on one fake nail.
It's not hard to believe she could weave a romantic web around John. After all, this is a man who lived without love for a long, long time. And when you consider the previous loves of John's life (one ran off, one slept with his son, and the other had Aids), it's no wonder he took one sniff and proclaimed Gloria a welcome breath of fresh air. But it shouldn't have been so easy to pull the wool over the eyes of everyone else. And though, like the identity of the person who really set the pool house afire, the truth will never be known, the fact remains that her selfish determination to destroy Jack for refusing to share his Jabot toys, could have played a part in the Gibson woman's death. And her lip-service remorse for that, coupled with everything else she did to make a bad Gibson situation worse, will label her forever unredeemable in my critical eyes.
Although Ashley's dark deeds have been partially painted over, I doubt she will ever fully live down the shame of that sordid semen snatch. That was way over the top and reeked of Victor-obsessed desperation. For me, the thing that made it palatable enough to swallow down and eventually get beyond, though, was the fact that in the end, not only did her maneuvers fail to win her the bird-man in the bush she was trying to capture, it also wound up costing her the bird-man she once held in the palm of her hand.
But getting back to character lobotomies, there are a couple who are behaving very much in character and are more than three-fourths of the way to being unredeemable. Of course, some fans might believe they've already moved into the realm of no deposit, no return.
Let's begin with Bradley the boy wonder, the Founder and CEO of Cads, Incorporated. A company he built from the ground up. With somebody else's funds. I bet a completely blind person without a seeing eye dog can sense that Brad, after gobbling up his wedding cake, is about to devour plates of extramarital pie on the side as well. When it comes to this snake in the grass, there is apparently no one he labels off limits. But then again, what can you expect from a man who saw nothing the least bit slimy about marrying sisters? For someone like that, dividing yourself unequally among sisters-in-law seems almost normal. Once he twists upon the cotton sheets with Sharon (and after that "it's me I don't trust" comment, you know he's going to), at the next Newman family dinner he can take a sort of sick pride in the fact that he's sampled all the Newman female tricks, I mean treats, at the table. Like I always say, Brad is just a keep in the family kind of fella.
And that brings me to Sharon. She's become so nasty, just typing her name makes me want to rush to the sink and wash my hands. I guess it's always been her modus operandi, as they say, for her to throw herself at the nearest man who shows her a little attention when she's all out of sorts with the man she married. And true to her original character, Sharon proved this past week that she continues to remain free of restrictive morals. The woman who drank herself to the brink of transgression with her coffee house employee, had her way with the hired stable help, found herself unable to resist tasting her father-in-law's lips, and slipped and accidentally fell into the sheets with Cameron (that dreaded overindulgence in strong drink rearing its inebriated head again), is well on her way to committing yet another unpardonable sin.
Okay, up till now, I've given Sharon the benefit of the doubt. In my discussions with real people about the make believe folks of Genoa City, I've staunchly defended her erratic emotions. "Of course she's unreasonably angry," was one of the things I said. "If my man had done to me what hers did, I'd be kicking and screaming and aiming for his most tender spots too!" But I finally had to fetch a sturdy stick to draw a deep line in the sand. First of all, because as so many fans have stated, Sharon has been no bride whose bedroom blush has been seen only through her husband's admiring eyes. And after her recent actions, I probably couldn't feel sorry for this barren-brain bimbo now even if someone offered me piles of crisp packets of cash. Not that I was caught completely off guard by Sharon's bad behavior. She made her intentions crystal clear before and practically during Brad's wedding. But apparently when it comes to Brad, she assumes 'no' really means maybe, if not an outright yes. So what if he's married to Victoria? In her eyes, she is the woman he really wants. By the way, no she didn't dangle Brad in front of Nick as a man who supposedly respects his wedding vows. Is anyone else still sore from laughing so hard their stomach ached? Obviously she's unaware how he disrespected his vows with Ashley by giving Olivia all he had that long ago night. Or, much more recently, when he was locking lips with her scandalous self? And apparently she has just about the same amount of respect for his vows as he does.
Do you know what hypocrite means, Sharon? Obviously, you mustn't, so let me explain. It's a person who has the nerve to point their accusatory finger at someone else for doing the very thing they themselves are doing (or have done), or know they are about to do. Hmmm, I don't know what all of you fans think, but I think that describes Sharon just about to a perfect T. In my eyes, though, she's already worse than Nick. Because to his credit, clearly Nick didn't set out to make Phyllis a sweet addiction he couldn't resist. Though to his discredit, I still don't think he tried very hard to stop nibbling once he started. But Sharon is plotting, well, as much as someone with mostly air in their attic can, to make Bradley her own. One second, she's all weep, weep, I need a friend, gulp, cry, wipe, wipe. I can't do this, benefit, stress, Cassie, Phyllis, divorce, Nick, it's all just too, too much for my poor shallow self to handle. And the very next second she's smiling cheerfully through tear-free eyes, flirting like the trollop she is and talking about kissing and making love to her husband's sister's husband.
And Brad, being the cad that we all know him to be, isn't expected to put up much of a fight against her wanton will. Oh, isn't the fur going to fly furiously through the air when these rattling skeletons come tumbling out of the closet for all of Genoa City to see? She thinks she's crying now. Wait until Nick, Victoria, Nikki and Phyllis get through with her.
Now that I think about it, a divorce is exactly what Sharon should get. As ugly as this is probably going to get, Noah could very well end up with his father, Abby with her mother, and Brad and Sharon could live unhappily ever after, cheating on each other until death do they part. And given their current story situation, it couldn't happen to a more deserving couple of cheaters.
Even though the types that tap the keys couldn't portray Sharon much uglier or unlikable, I'm not feeling all that warm and fuzzy toward Phyllis either. Even though she's well on her way to being whitewashed into sainthood, as if butter has never melted in her mouth, you know with the heart tugging music, her reasonable, understanding tone, the poor, mistreated Phyllis stands alone against the hate-filled packs of disapproving citizens mentality, I still don't feel any pain on her behalf. At this rate, it won't be long before someone is pinning a medal of morality on her. But Phyllis' helpless little shrinking violet act doesn't move me, because she's clearly no 'why does everybody keep on picking on me' victim. She is more than capable of handling any heck anyone in Genoa City is foolhardy enough to try to serve to her. As she quickly proved that when she very capably gave even better than she received when she returned verbal fire to Brad, Jack, Ashley and Sharon's sarcastic salvos. Not that she doesn't have the complete right to defend herself; I'm not blaming her for that. But it proves she has no need to be handled with spotless white kid gloves. And despite what she's painstakingly trying to prove, Phyllis is not standing all alone with no one to lean on.
You know the old joke about how many [fill in your choice here] does it take to change a light bulb? Well, here's my twist on it. How many people does it take to support a Phyllis? I might be in the minority, but I felt no urge to reach for a Puff to dab at my eyes when she punched the button marked "tears" while lamenting to Nick about the few number of people who don't look at her with hate blazing hotly from their eyes. Well, even if I was the only one, all she got from me was an "Aw suck it up, missy." Jack hardly hates her; and his pretense that he does is completely transparent. His ego has just been demolished at the thought of Nick being the recipient of all her special little tricks. Michael, even with the Abbotts and his own little bundle of joy to be, has more than enough time to stand close by and hand her a hanky or a spoon for her ice cream. And then there's Nikki-I-just-can't-do-this-without-Phyllis, who has apparently appointed herself Phyllis' head cheerleader. I say, guess it just proves she's not quite the competent businesswoman she's forever proclaiming herself to be. Heck, she's spending Victor's shiny dimes. Hire somebody. How hard can it be?
So now Phyllis is fired. From Jabot. Where she had been hired after being fired from NVP. Where she had been hired after being fired (or quit) from Jabot the first time. Where she had gone after being fired (or quit) at Newman that other time. Where she had been … whew! I give up. Anyway, she's gone back and forth between these companies so many times, why bother to add them up? And worse, who even cares? And now that pod Victor has offered to return yet another job he snatched away a week or so ago, who else is convinced it's heigh ho, heigh ho and back to NVP Phyllis will go? Where she'll be in a perfect position to exchange longing looks with Nick and share more inane conversations about time machines and altered universes. This, despite the cavalier way he's treated her, up to and including his druthers that she reject Victor's job offer and sacrifice her dream career on the outside chance it might help to save his marriage. So much for her intention to hide her pregnancy. Phyllis? The woman who is an expert at the art of using a child to capture a man.
Well, it certainly seems that Sharon and Nick are finished. So what happens next? I stand right in the middle of all those fans who witnessed plenty of heat between Phyllis and Nick. Of course, I have yet to see a man Phyllis hasn't started brush fires with, so the fact that she has it with Nick means little. But do they have a future together? This one is hard to call for me. On one hand, I hate to see them end up together because of the way they began, sort of like a reward for wrong behavior. But on the other hand, Sharon's attitude hasn't been conducive to my caring a whit what happens to her. And if Sharon kicks Nick to the concrete curb, someone might as well erect a sign above his head. One that reads: "The line forms here." Because it's not as if Nick would have any problem finding a replacement. Even Phyllis, in spite of Nick tramping painfully on her toes in his rush to brush past her to reconcile with Sharon, would be quick to forgive him everything once he uttered the magic "I love you" words.
And what of Victoria? Will she wind up hearing a tiresome refrain of 'I told you so' from one and all? Or will she call it even because of Brad's quick forgiveness of her pre-marital one sofa stand with J.T.? If she does, I'm afraid I will call her a word that begins with f, ends with l and has two o's in the middle. Because I can't imagine her still wanting a piece of Brad after he's torn off a chunk and shared it with Sharon.
Will someone please jab me with a sharp elbow when Victor regains his senses? Every time he talks these days, I feel my jaw hanging unattractively ajar and I suddenly have the urge to slap myself upside the head to clear my confusion. Because he's addressing everyone in that tone he usually reserves for very small children and Nikki, when he's feeling romantic. I swear if he would have mumbled 'my sweetheart' in that syrupy voice just one more time, I would have leaped from my seat and run screaming from the room.
Dashing my hopes, it's clear now that Victor's uncharacteristic behavior does not mean he's up to something nefarious. Instead, somewhere deep inside the once ruthless one's brain, something has apparently come loose. Either while repeatedly head-butting that carjacker, or perhaps while screaming with impotent rage at one of his hapless family members, the connection between good sense (and not) has short-circuited and now sparks are flying everywhere. And he's suddenly thinking about the orphanage and someone who smelled like lavender. Making snowflakes for his 'sweetheart'. Snowflakes that he's locking away. With no company to run, apparently snowflake-making is what he's been doing when he wasn't smoothing Nikki's hair. About this inexplicable behavior, I am uncharacteristically at a loss for words of description. But it's looking more and more likely we're going to need the men in white coats with hypodermics filled with a catatonic-causing concoction hidden behind their backs.
On the Abbott side of town, things continued to go from bad to much, much worse. Jack is out of Jabot, out of CI, out of a love relationship, out of patience and full of rage. On top of that, he came close to being escorted from the Jabot premises by a beefy security guard who didn't appear to even recognize him. Oh how far the once mighty one has fallen. But apparently not far enough to feel compelled to accept the charity of Victor's offer of employment. At least not yet.
And that only covered part of Jack's week. Before it was over, Smiling Jack he had even less reason to put on a happy face. Because prison life, even the presumably comfy one in which John is serving his time, has not agreed with him, and like his old friend, Victor, he's obviously in dire need of immediate medical attention. When he looks at Gloria, he's seeing Dina and all the hurtful things she did to their family so long ago. Too bad I can't see someone else when I gaze at that conniving old crow. Anyway, if John continues to deteriorate, a release seems like the only option, although mental health might not immediately follow. But at least looking after John might keep Gloria out of the office where she could conceivably cause untold kinds of irreparable harm if she inflicts her fashion ideas on the Jabot models.
I have to agree 100% with Jack about his distrust of Michael. Much as I like Michael, the way he continues to protect his criminally insane Mother is sickening. As long as Gloria is his Mommy Misfit, anything he does concerning the Abbotts is a conflict of interest, with Gloria's interest coming before the people who are paying his exorbitant bill.
And finally, my Mommy always said, if you can't say anything nice, keep your mouth shut tight. So let me say very nicely that Nick and Cassie's stroll down memory lane was … different. I guess I should be glad they didn't stop and critique that stable scene. Lust or love or whatever you want to call it, I still think celebrating your beloved daughter's birthday by frolicking in the fragrant hay with your lover approximately two minutes from your front door definitely falls in the "Not Cool, Nick" category. And wasn't Phyllis just the perkiest thing you've ever seen in 'Daniel Goes to the Prom?" But all, in all, Nick's remorse was well done, though completely wasted on his wife, and it was nice to see Cassie again.