<i>Big Brother 12:</i> The Puppetry of the Pea-Brains.

Enzo said: "De Brains goes home. Maybe he wasn't De Brains after all, because I beat him, and you know I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer." He wouldn't be the sharpest knife in the drawer even if he were theknife in the drawer.
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Sunday: The first quarter hour of Sunday evening's show replayed the Thursday show with a few new Diary Room soundbites, before we even got to the HOH competition. It was like a rerun of an hour ago.

But it was worth it for this new sound bite: Enzo, better known as Batman's nemesis The Penguin, said: "De Brains goes home. Maybe he wasn't De Brains after all, because I beat him, and you know I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer."

I do know The Penguin isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. He wouldn't be the sharpest knife in the drawer even if he were the only knife in the drawer. If he'd been in Norman Bates's kitchen, Janet Leigh would still be alive today. The Penguin is duller than Atlas Shrugged. Nor have I ever seen a knife that wore sunglasses indoors.

But what was the point of reshowing over ten minutes the five minutes of pointless plotting to evict Ragan, when we all know Brendon went back to the waiting breasts of Boobiac? Let's get on to the HOH competition. It's not like I wasn't also busy reviewing The Emmy Awards Show, which was on at the same time.

Well, we did get The Penguin saying: "Now dat Ragan's off the block, I gotta choose between Britney or Brendon. So, who's gonna be harder to beat? Dat's a no-brainer, even for me. Brendon, duh." Somehow, The Penguin being aware that he's a dimwit doesn't make him any more likeable.

The Penguin on The Neandertal's eviction: "You'll have Rachel in the jury house. Go make ugly babies." He should talk. Pity any baby that resembles The Penguin. (Are there infants with hair plugs?)

If Boobiac's and Brendon's babies resemble Brendon, they could be gorgeous. If they look like her, well, what does she actually look like? I mean without fake hair and fake boobs, and heaven knows what else about her she's had manufactured. It's remotely possible that Boobiac started out looking perfectly okay. But then, if she can, I'm sure Boobiac would have her girl fetus given silicone implants in utero, so it would be born able to nurse itself. Do they have formula Tequila for the babies of drunken sluts?

Why were they putting on layers of clothing for the outdoor HOH competition? It was triple digit heat out there during the day last Thursday, and well into the 80s even at midnight.

Lane, aka The Beast, was conflicted. The Penguin was insistent that Ragan and Bitchney were to be nominated, as the only non-Brigade members left in the house. But The Beast, knowing that he might win HOH, has grown too attached to Bitchney. He thinks of her in the shower, as he's - ah - picking at his ear with his visible hand. He'd prefer to throw the competition. "Hopefully Enzo can win, and make that decision for me. So Enzo, pull it out. Win this one."

1. Under no conceivable circumstances do I want to see The Penguin "pull it out."

2. The Penguin win a competition? Puh-leaze. Kathy has a better shot at winning HOH, and she's gone. His is not the basket into which to put all one's eggs. The Penguin is 100% mouth. 0% game.

Head of Household Competition: The game was "Big Brother Blackjack," a card game involving using a small ramp to toss a ball into a target. It in no way involved the actual skillsets needed to win at blackjack. So naturally The Penguin, in disguise by being out of his tux, thought he'd have it aced. As James Bond movies go, this was not so much the Daniel Craig version of Casino Royale, as the Peter Sellers version.

In the first round, Ragan managed to hit his two targets in three balls, prompting this insane remark from The Penguin: "Wow. Ragan. Who knew Ragan, dis bag of bones, could play blackjack so well?" He's not playing Blackjack! He's playing Ski-ball. Playing Blackjack involves sitting, looking at two or three cards, and saying stuff like "Hit me," or "I'll stand with these," not launching small balls down a ramp towards targets.

After his utterly pathetic second-round failure to hit any target at all, The Penguin said: "Man, I can't win anything, man," a moment of self-discovery so intense, he needed to say "man" twice in one sentence. Who knew he was such a lousy Blackjack player? His pathetic performance shocked -- ah -- um -- well, it shocked him.

Hayden's Diary Room summation was an unusually accurate observation for a man with a curtain of frizzies now hanging over his eyes, owing to his relentless refusal to cut or groom his hair. (He's the shaggy clod.) "Enzo bombs another competition. I have to say one thing for the guy; he has been the most-consistent competitor all season long."

"Ragan beat me! Ragan beat me!" The Penguin wailed in bewilderment, apparently not having noticed prior to this that Ragan has been wiping up the floor with him in competitions for nine weeks. "You see how tight Ragan's shirt is? Like he can't even breathe. Like he can't move his arms in that shirt." Ragan's shirt is form-fitting, but it's not that tight. His sleeves are hanging loose on his skinny excuse for biceps. And in any event, what's The Penguin's excuse? He wasn't even in his Penguin suit. "De more I stay in this house, de more embarrassing it gets." So leave. The Penguin was born embarrassing and will die embarrassing.

So it came down to Ragan vs The Beast. Ragan clutched, and The Beast became Head of Household, and was faced with the choice of Brigade loyalty vs sex. This choice might have had some suspense, if I'd never met a man before in my whole life. They can trumpet "Bros before hos" all they want, but when the choice is save a platonic bud, or get laid, getting laid always wins. Always!

The real revelation of The Beast's HOH Room was that The Beast comes from money. He doesn't work for The Ewings. His family are The Ewings! They own their own oil company. It turns out that The Beast's job, which he has been making sound like he labors out on oil rigs, covered in grime and grease, actually consists of playing golf and taking clients to restaurants. He owns two cars and a new house. He's rich! Instantly all the other players were thinking "He doesn't need the prize money." Certainly that was Hayden's thought, he who hasn't made $5000 in two years.

Hammock talk: Bitchney: "What are ya thinkin' 'bout?"

Hayden: "Nothin'."

I believe him. I can hear the unwavering bleeeeeeep of his inactive mind from here. I can hear his ends splitting.

The Penguin on the possibility of being on the block: "I'm not having that." Well then maybe you should trying winning something.

I know it gets boring in the house, intensely boring, which is why I wonder why on earth anyone pays money for the live feeds to watch a bunch of boobs sitting around, bored out of their minds, but this was a new low for CBS turning desperate to fill an hour: we saw The Penguin pretending to use the weight bench as a small space cruiser (It's a safe bet he wouldn't be using it to exercise. I haven't forgotten his lifting the weight bar with no weights on it at all. Gee, why can't he win competitions?), while Bitchney fashioned tiaras out of tin foil. It was like watching recess at an elementary school. Next they'll be making baking soda volcanoes, and construction paper dioramas.

Pandora's Box: Again? What now? It's already subjected us to the return first of Boobiac, and then of Jesse. What fresh horror could it unleash? The return of Chima? So far, they've been punishing we viewers more than the houseguests. This time The Beast was offered a "Money Tree." He could select up to three envelopes from the tree. It was possible, if he picked the right envelopes, to win $10,000. The Beast showed the one characteristic common to all rich people: greed. (How do you think they get rich?) He went for it.

And he picked the wrong three envelopes, getting himself a grand total of $91.17, of which he said: "Maybe I could fill my car up with gas." What does he drive? A tank? And excuse me, his family owns an oil company. Doesn't he get his gas free?

The house was to get a punishment for each envelope. And the house doesn't believe he only made $91.17. For all they know, he made the full $10,000. This turned out so lamely, you'd have thought he was The Penguin. Okay. That's unfair. If The Penguin had been choosing envelopes, he'd have ended up owing the tree $10,000.

The First Punishment: while the houseguests lazed outside, all their eating utensils, and cups and glasses vanished, so they could eat and drink like pigs for a while. I wonder if The Penguin will even notice.

The moment The Beast told Bitchney he wouldn't nominate Hayden, she went right to Female Defensive Whine #1: "So what you're saying is you like Hayden better than me?" Please shoot me. Ladies of the world, men always and without exception like their men friends better than you! It's only that they consider you their only option for sexual pleasure that gets you to trump the guys. This is why it's essential for women to keep homophobia alive. If men ever reached the point of actually considering each other as viable a sexual option as women, they would have no reason to put up with this sort of behavior whatever, and the human race would die out in one generation.

The Beast stupidly went around asking everyone except Ragan if they wouldn't mind being the pawn. He might as well have asked: "Anyone want to hit themselves in the head with a hammer? It feels real good when you stop." Outside of Texas, no one would say yes to that.

The Penguin doesn't understand why The Beast doesn't want to put up Bitchney. Boy is he married.

Nominations: The Beast listened to his Number one Adviser, the one in his pants, and nominated Ragan and The Penguin. I giggled. The Penguin actually thought The Brigade would outrank The Package. Welcome to the real world, Penguin.

In justifying it, The Beast said: "Enzo, you are great people." Apparently he thinks no one person could be as lame as The Penguin. He must be plural.

Wednesday: The Penguin and Ragan, whom I am now renaming "The Whiner," sat around and asked each other if they were "okay," with all the portentous seriousness usually reserved for asking about imaginary terminal bone diseases. The Penguin wasn't really needed in the conversation, since The Whiner has reached the point of whining out loud to himself when alone. Either that, or else the voices in his head have gotten so loud that now I can hear them.

The houseguests are so overwhelmingly bored, that for lack of anything to do, they held a "Shunning of the Penquin" ceremony when The Penguin's week in the penguin suit ended. The Penguin said: "The Meow Meow gets to shun away from The Penguin, and gets to be himself again." Not here. Here he shalt ever and forever be The Penguin, squawking menace to Gotham City's good citizens. Also, it would appear that he's not fully cognizant of the meaning of "shun". Well, I'm sure he'll find out what being shunned really means when he returns home after the series ends. He certainly will if he meets me.

Watching The Whiner cram for a possible exam was about as exciting as watching anyone cram for an exam.

Power of Veto Competition: The concept of Otev returned from last year, this time incarnated as a "Happy Singing Clam" that looked like a rejected dark-ride character from a low-budget Disneyland competitor. It involved singing clues to houseguests' imacted names, retrieving muddy CDs, and climbing ramps made of what looked like ice.

The Whiner, this week's target, he who is without allies, he who has pulled it out and won challenges in the clutch before, fouled up, and was almost eliminated in the first round. He was only saved by The Beast's amazing stupidity, as he actually got the wrong answer-CD.

Hayden kept The Brigade Loser tradition alive, and went out in the second round.

Bitchney went out next, leaving the two nominees as the last two competitors, insuring a change in nominations. Could The Penguin actually win an individual competition?

In a world where clams sing, and Jimmy Fallon has his own TV show, anything can happen. The Penguin knew where the answer CD was from his earlier searches, and body-slammed The Whiner out of the way to get to it first. This is perfectly kosher play. It is, after all, full-contact Happy Singing Clam CD Retrieval.

When the impossible happened, and The Penguin won, The Whiner channeled his inner-Brendon-the-Sore-Loser, and hurled his last, loser CD at Otev the Clam, which sailed off of it, rebounding so that the hard edge of it slammed into The Penguin's hairplugs. Hello Big Brother producers and watchdogs; that's assault on a fellow player. Isn't that an instant-removal-from-the-house offence, as well as behavior fit for 5 year olds?

And The Whiner was off to cry and babble his self-pity aloud to himself, in an effort to make himself as unpopular outside the house as he is inside the house. When will people learn that self-pity is a most-unappetizing emotion?

Bitchney put the screws to The Beast to keep her off of the block, as he was preparing to take a, it appeared, shower, fully-dressed. Of course, given the viral-internet popularity of a certain clip of The Beast - let's say - scratching his ears in the shower, he may never shower naked again. That clip has now been seen by more people than have watched Janet Leigh shower at the Bates Motel. (Ms Leigh's famous motel shower is also less creepy, given that The Beast uses pulling his ear to say "hello" to his mother. "Hi Mom! Still proud a me?")

As soon as Bitchney was utterly assured she'd just be a 100% safe pawn, The Penguin began thinking it might be the right time to break up the third showmance, by sending out Bitchney.

The Second Punishment: Bitchney's theory for the second punishment was: "We're the only people left on earth." That would indeed be a terrible punishment for them, and a narrow escape for the rest of us, when you consider that in a very few weeks now, they will all be released back into the wild with us! I just wonder, given what her theory was for the second punishment, what she did she think the third would be? Might number three be that there's nothing left on earth to wear but hippie-tards and penguin suits?

Well, it wasn't quite as bad as mankind being wiped out except for the five-least-deserving human specimens. No, it was -- sock puppets!

Is this a punishment, a crafts project, or the pilot for Big Brother: Sesame Street? Each houseguest received a puppet that had some feature that suggested that houseguest. Bitchney's had fake-blond, yarn hair. Hayden's had the frizzies, The Penguin's had what all took for cat whiskers, but which were actually the long nails that all of America watching Big Brother this summer would like to see hammered into The Penguin's face if he ever opens his mouth or goes shirtless again (or maybe they're supposed to be hairplugs), The Beast's has a fist where most people would have a brain, and The Whiner's hates itself.

The contestants had to speak only through the puppets for 24 hours. The Beast's puppet was trying to eat an entire can of Pringle's. Or, maybe it was just trying to choke itself to death, after what The Beast had made it do in the shower. Is Sock Puppet Rape a crime?

Meanwhile, as The Brigade tried to plot, their sock puppets were betraying their secrets to each other, and forming a secret sock-puppet alliance, the Top Left-Hand Drawer Alliance, and began laying plans to oust the puny humans, and have an all-sock-puppet final four. The Beast's puppet was the new ringleader, since it had demonstrably more brains than the man using it.

The Whiner, desperate for a friend, tried to form an alliance with his own sock puppet, but Socks wasn't having it. It's not easy being made of an absorbent material when you're being worn by a chronic crybaby. Having to sit on his hand and listen to The Whiner whine to it hour after hour was making Socks suicidal. ("I want my life back." Oh yes, Whiner, quoting Tony Hayward. Good role model. No wonder your sock puppet wants to stage a coup.)

The Penguin's sock puppet doesn't get the appeal of golf. Me neither. Mark Twain called it "a good walk spoiled," though judging from Tiger Woods's last year, it's more like "a good walk by the spoiled." Man, is CBS desperate to fill out an hour of TV this week: puppets discussing how stupid golf is.

Said The Penguin's sock puppet of golf: "I don't know; it's like another language to me." Oh heavens, it's like English to him.

I was sorry when the 24 hours ended. I was starting to like the sock puppets far more than the houseguests, but these socks were made for walking, and that's just what they did. Next stop: eBay.

The Third Punishment: This punishment I dubbed "Mike Boogie Fever". Music would start up at random times, and the houseguests had to "dance." It's the new hit series: Dancing With the Brigade. It had one good thing going for it: Bristol Palin wasn't one of the "dancers."

"Do I Fear a Waltz?" Hayden Moss, Music Critic: "To make things even worse, classical music gets mixed in this bunch." No comment from me required. But he added, as his horror at being subjected to a Strauss waltz mounted: "Like, did they even dance back then? I mean, what is that?" It's a waltz, you pathetic moron, a type of dance they did "back then."

Why am I lying to the poor boy? He attends college in that bastion of forward-thinking, Arizona, which just re-elected John McCain, so we know they're all really, really smart out there. And like all Arizonians with higher education, he knows "dancing" was invented in 1986.

The Beast: "The music can come on any time of the day. It doesn't matter if you're napping, sleeping, swimming, lifting." The Beast sees "sleeping" and "napping" as two different activities." At least this finally gave us some night-vision shots of The Beast shirtless. I was beginning to fear that his brown t-shirt was a half-body tattoo.

Though no genius, nor even merely mentally-competent to make his own legal decisions, The Beast has realized that if he nominates Bitchney, his Brigade Brothers may very well take advantage of the chance to end Showmance 3: Bitchney and the Beast, and he's not ready to end this fantasy romance made in Texarkana just yet. Hayden, still recovering from hearing the better part of a full minute of Deadly Classical Music the day before, is in no mood to have this further horror thrust on his still-weakened system.

Bitchney however, had the advantage over Hayden of pillow-talk wheedling, which now consisted of more iterations of "You like Hayden more than me." I was waiting for "Why don't you just marry Hayden, if you like him so much?" but CBS cut it. She finally nagged him into retreat: "I think we should go back to sleep." Wait. Were they "sleeping" or "napping"? It looked more like napping to me, but I'm not the expert The Beast is. It may seem like a trivial question, but assume for a moment that you are Bitchney's hapless fiancé back in Arkansas, which would sound worse to you: "I napped with Lane," or "I slept with Lane"?

Veto Ceremony: The Penguin took himself off the block. I wondered if he would, or if he would forget. He's not the best-sliced egg in the salad.

Sex triumphed again. The Beast nominated Hayden to replace The Penguin. He has now done what Mr. Mensa never did, betrayed all members of The Brigade. The last of loyalty is lying in the sock drawer.

The Whiner now realizes that there are "cracks in this boy's alliance; and I'm going to do what I can to try to expose these cracks..." Oh Whiner; what a wellspring of gay stereotypes you have been all summer, from your bromance, to your whining, to your craybaby jags, and now, to your announcing your intentions to do all you can to expose the straight's boys' cracks. Start with The Beast's, okay? There's no rush on The Penguin's.

Thursday: Back against the wall, no sock puppets left to conspire with, The Whiner must scramble his brains out to avoid eviction. He's got to get his face deep down into those cracks, and spread them wide.

First The Whiner went to Bitchney. If he could swing her vote, it would go to The Beast to break the tie vote. The Whiner told Bitchney, that a final two of her and him would be the only way she'd have a chance to win. I'm not sure that's true, but what do I know? I watch Big Brother.

Then The Whiner pitched to The Beast to betray The Brigade and break the tie in his favor. It would be a big move that would shake up the last few episodes.

Said The Beast: "Ragan's got me thinking." Wow. Talk about accomplishing the impossible! Someone should loose The Whiner on Paris Hilton.

Hoping to hear The Whiner whine about how miserable the sock puppets were, the Chenbot was disappointed when The Whiner enjoyed the sock puppets. Well of course he did; when he had his puppet, he had his only friend. She should have asked Hayden, who could have complained about the ear damage he suffered being subjected to classical music, and then he could have asked Miss Chen what people did back in the olden days before dancing was invented, when Julie was a little girl.

Said The Penguin of his penguin suit: "That was definitely a cool penguin." I fear he is unaware that penguins come from polar regions, and thus that all penguins are cool.

We went out to the jury house this week, where Boobiac is lying about in the sun, her red-cellophane hair sparkling and melting in the afternoon glare, reading thick books full of chemicals and equations and stuff. The two blessed weeks I've gone since last hearing her shrill braying laugh ended in a teeth-jittering scream of a cackle, as the Boobster befouled my screen once again.

Boobiac told us, at length, how Mr. Mensa would be coming through the door, just before Kathy wandered in, hollering "There's a new sheriff in town" in the severely-mistaken belief that it would sound cool, like a penguin.

Kathy got to drawl out to Boobiac about Mr. Mensa's Diamond Power of Veto. Boobiac sad and mad. That's bad, she's sad. I'm glad she's mad.

"I felt like a victim in a crime," overstated Kathy, who took her blindside as equal to someone who's just been raped or assaulted or murdered. If only she'd said: "I feel just a like a murder victim."

Then we jumped ahead a week, to when Mr. Mensa arrived to enter a mansion in which these two annoying broads (Honey, those women are broads!) have made themselves at home for a week. Before long, the poor man may be wishing he himself had an imaginary bone disease.

"He broke my heart," said Kathy of Mr. Mensa, because he was playing for himself to win instead of for her to win. To the best of my knowledge he did not pledge to marry her and then dumped her at the alter. Get over yourself, drama sheriff.

But Kathy's high-horse is about to be saddled up and ridden hard, for the time has come for Mr. Mensa to 'fess up that the wife's bone disease story was a put-on, and to face Kathy's Wrath, for she, as a cancer-survivor herself, was deeply offended! She rode her high-horse over him backwards and forwards.

I felt most-conflicted. On the one hand, I find Kathy annoying in the extreme. Her very voice grates on me, and her showing in the game, her being a literal dead-weight to be dragged about lifeless in challenge after challenge, has left me with little respect for her game play. Her tantrums here I find wildly inflated for maximum drama.

But there's the small point that, morally, she's right. What Mr. Mensa did was despicable, and he deserves some shunning for it.

He, however, simply views it from a point-of-view so radically different from Kathy's, that she can no more conceive of it that we can accurately picture a cube with five dimensions. She sees it as pissing on every genuinely gravely-ill person on earth. He sees it as no big thing, a lark. What it was, was a poorly-thought-out gambit in extremely bad taste, without the redeeming quality of satire.

Boobiac said of Mr. Mensa's Big Lie: "Like, you're the most-horrible person I've ever met in my life right now." This put-down is even more terribly stinging when you consider that Boobiac has met herself.

Said Kathy: "That's not a strategy; that's just cruelness. That's cruelness." If you're wondering what "cruelness" is, it's "cruelty" as mentioned by someone who only knows 12 English words.

After saying he regretted it "because it didn't pay out," Mr. Mensa's lame defense included: "I was going to donate money to the foundation for that disease..." He was going to donate money? Sorry National Foundation for Imaginary Diseases of the Skeleton, but your imaginary disease didn't get me enough sympathy votes to stay in the house, so no soup for you!

Kathy went on, not having finished grossly overdramatising Mr. Mensa's lie: "There is not enough money in the world that would sell my soul to the devil, and that right there is pretty close to it."

Oh please. He told a bad-taste lie which offended Kathy, and no doubt many others. However, offending people isn't the same as hurting or damaging people. Telling the Nazis the Jews are hiding in the attic for some cash and getting out of town alive, that's selling your soul to the devil.

Yet I suspect Kathy's statement: "There is not enough money in the world that would sell my soul to the devil," is literally true. The Devil would command a price beyond all the value of earth to put up with being stuck sharing Hell with Kathy for eternity. May I leave the jury house now?

No. Because Mr. Mensa witheld the surprise double-eviction, so we could have the full bittersweet overindulgence of the Branchel reunion, a moment more delayed than the reunion of Sun and Jin on Lost. Hopefully, like Sun and Jin, Brendon and Boobiac will drown before the final episode.

Watching the shaving of Brendon's head, Mr. Mensa observed that he "looks like a penis." Boobiac was grossed out, although it was clearly true, and accounts for her mad passion for him.

The Chenbot asked The Beast if he was playing dumber than he actually is, though I don't see how anything that is still breathing could play dumber than he actually is, but he said: "Oh I'm definitely playing the half-a-dodo part." So, only half his dumb act is an act. The other half is real dodo. "I gotta bring brains back," added The Beast. Has he a glass gallon jar somewhere in his luggage, labeled "Abnormal Brain. Do Not Use! From Texas!"

Eviction Ceremony: Bitchney caved, and The Beast was saved from having to extend his treachery against The Brigade. The Whiner was voted out unanimously.

The Chenbot asked The Whiner a lot of questions about Mr. Mensa, and he reaffirmed his respect and love for Mr. Mensa "because whenever Matt and I had conversations, they came from a real, genuine place." You could feel The Chenbot encouraging The Whiner to lay it on with a trowel, to prepare for the moment when the entire jury house will gleefully inform him of Mr. Mensa's Big Lie, while Mensie stands there, sheepishly smirking. Tune in for that next week.

Head of Household Competition: This was another lengthy task which could not be completed before the end of the show. It was Christmas-themed, appropriate considering that the temperature in Studio City was in the low hundreds. They had to maneuver delicate glass Christmas ornaments through chickenwire. Bitchney was at a tremendous disadvantage because of her long fingernails. She couldn't grip the ornaments, and kept dropping them. And the ones she grasped firmly enough not to drop, she shattered with her nails. By the time the episode ended, the ground outside her chickenwire looked like the rubble following a bar fight between gay elves. She hasn't got a chance, and winning Head of Household may be her only hope to survive next week.

Only two more Big Brother columns still to come: next Friday's, and then the Monday following for the finale. Until then, cheers darlings.

To read more of Tallulah Morehead, go to The Morehead, the Merrier, or buy her book, My Lush Life.

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