By ANDREA HIGBIE
If I were planning a lovely gay civil union ceremony, I know the last person I would invite is Joe Giudice.
Yet there he is, in all his lack of glory, regaling Caroline Manzo's gay brother, Jaime, and his intended, Rich, and everyone else at their suburban Chicago home with a tale of "the gayest thing" he ever did, involving a friend, a swimming pool and a measuring contest. (Which sounds a lot like the supposed "see who's tallest" contest a few episodes back, from which Joe emerged with a black eye and a bloody nose.)
"I don't want Joe to say anything inappropriate," Caroline said last night on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." Silly lady. Why else would the cameras be there?
Not just to capture Joe asking Teresa, "Is there a beach in Chicago?" (Her answer: "I've been to Chicago but I never went to the beach." Fabulicious!)
Or to show Teresa confusing her brother's suggestion that they have therapy together with physical therapy. Sorry, back stretches and leg lifts won't fix either of them.
Joe has made his mark throughout the seasons as an antagonist, with comments about a faggot here, a "butchie boy" (his take on Rosie Pierri, Teresa's cousin) there. Surely he can be counted on to Joe Juicify the wedding. And that's despite his wife living long in the land of denial, saying of Joe, "Despite what people think, he's not anti-gay."
And adding, "We love the gays."
Last night's episode also showed Rosie, aka Butchie Boy, explaining to her teenage niece and nephew back in Jersey that no, homosexuals do not necessarily have gaydar.
We later get to see her drooling over a bikini-clad married woman in a hot tub.
Next week's episode will feature Jaime and Rich's ceremony. Joe is warming up for it. On everyone's way to the hotel after the day with the couple, Joe uncorks a bottle of wine, inspiring Caroline's adult daughter, Lauren, to inquire, "Did someone fart?" (they're all so classy), and Joe to say, "Greg" -- Albie and Chris Manzo's (gay) roommate -- "you probably got the loosest butthole here."
Joe laughed, Greg did not, and Caroline is shown solo, commenting on Joe: "I see a very unhappy, troubled man that very well may have a drinking problem."
As Joe would say, duh.
Caroline then warns that she is a ticking bomb -- "tick, tick, tick" -- who does not want to say anything to Joe or Teresa that might provoke them to ruin the wedding.
So on that note we shall end here, stating very nicely that a wine bottle beats a wine box and that Jacqueline Laurita, Jaime's sister-in-law, outdid them all, unwittingly but sweetly.
Upon spotting the swans by Jaime and Rich's pond, Jacqueline gushed, "I feel like I'm in fairyland."