For starters, you have to sing that question. Put on your wimple, and enunciate as the nuns do in "The Sound of Music." Then ditch all the adjectives describing the lively Maria (if it helps to think of Julie Andrews, go right ahead) and replace them with words better suited to the hypochondriacal (and that's on a good day), anxiety-ridden, fear-driven, self-obsessed Aviva Drescher.
Trust me, you'll have a much better time while watching the Debbie Downer of "The Real Housewives of New York," better even than playing the Aviva Drinking Game: each time the word "leg" is spoken, or screamed (as it was last night, thank you, Aviva, for waking me up), knock one back. A shot, not a leg, even if you possess two working ones.
Don't be frightened! Just think happy "Sound of Mucus" thoughts, and twirl around your mountain.
While the line "I ever hear her singing in the abbey" in "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" must go bye-bye -- Aviva is afraid to sing, and she confessed at the Countess's holiday party that she didn't know the words to "Jingle Bells" -- it is easy to replace. Try "I ever hear her weeping, 'Life is shabby.'" The line "But her penitence is real," however, is 100 percent on target. Rodgers and Hammerstein evidently saw a little Aviva in Maria.
The words "She climbs a tree" must go, obviously, but "scrapes her knee" is fine, especially when we tweak it like this, "She isn't free, she scrapes one knee," which nicely evokes her anniversary party at which she tripped on the steps -- better entertainment by far than the singer hired by Sonja Morgan (via her one-gig Sonja in the City event(s) business).
So, how do you solve a problem like Aviva?
That's no easy ride. Speaking of which, Aviva's fear of flying (and fear of being Reid-less, even for a short trip to St. Barts with the "girls") was her crisis du jour in last night's episode, but there were no lack of others.
Especially her broiling hatred for Ramona Singer and Sonja for not showing up at her charity event. (Need you ask what charity? As Aviva put it, raging: "It's not about me. It's not about my charity. It's about THE CHILDREN WHO ARE MISSING LEGS." The event was a spinning class, which is either ironic or deluded, you tell me. And the music was "Money Can't Buy You Class." Same question.)
The entire incident, not to put too fine a point on it, is all about Aviva. Her self-absorption may seem less frivolous than the other women's, but it is self-absorption, nevertheless. Enormous self-absorption.
And so, yes, Aviva -- it is about you. It's always about you, and that damned conveyor belt nearly half a century ago that caught your foot and stole your leg and your life away.
So Reid held her hands (she has both) on the plane to St. Barts, as she couldn't bear to fly alone or with the other women, and her plan was for him to stay at the villa on St. Barts, with all the girls, as they insist on calling themselves, as Aviva cannot be without him. Except when she can.
And damn anyone who should have the audacity to question that. After the Countess tried to get Ramona in trouble by telling Aviva that Ramona didn't want Reid there, it was a wild guess as to which crazy person would leave the villa and/or the island first. Would it be Reid? Aviva, and Reid? Or the vastly irritated Sonja.
This was second in hilarity to a riled up Ramona screaming at a party an episode ago, after her Mario told Heather Thomson (Holla!) that it was a "major diss" on her part not to invite Ramona to London.
"Walk away!" Ramona commanded him. "I don't need you to fight my bottles -- my battles."
Stumbling over each other while offering up excuses for their absence from Aviva's event (to raise money to buy prosthetics for children in need, a cause that Heather, whose pet charity is on behalf of her young son's liver problems, diminished by calling "pretty important"), Sonja beat Ramona by dredging up tears and willfully hyperventilating that when dogs lose bladder control, as she said hers had, "They're -- about -- to -- die!"
Ramona's face that day had been beet red, as she told it. Not from Ramona Pinot Grigio, but from God knows what, and really, Aviva, Ramona said, her beet red face would have sent every person screaming out of the event room in terror.
Ramona was aghast.
"You know how HARD it is to get a dermatologist appointment in New York?"
However hard that might be, Aviva, naturally, had it worse. How was her plane trip? "It was really, really, really hard." Really, it was. Really hard.
"You're both white trash!"
And they are. Ramona even read the dictionary meaning aloud. Hillbillies. They may have money, mainly from marrying it, but they are still as tacky as their families' flypaper. These uninterested, uninteresting women remain as uneducated and uncultured as they were before they had opportunities to change.
None of these women were to the manor or the manner born. They started life fairly hardscrabble, and work hard to deny it. Aviva grew up with money, but it was low-class money. And the face of it is worn by her Daddy Dearest, her other impediment, that lonely goat, though she doesn't see it.
Carole had been modestly quiet about her title until lately, when she's been bandying about her late husband's royal ties like flashy scarves along with their friendship with his cousin, John F. Kennedy Jr., and his wife, Carolyn Bessette, who died just weeks after Anthony succumbed to cancer.
And speaking of the Countess: a Johnny Depp dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow (how's that for titles?) lookalike ended up in her royal clutches one night on St. Barts. What about having that baby, the one with Pepe Le Pew, the one she's been hogging Bravo airtime about?
Well, you can throw out that baby with or without the bathwater if Jacques finds out about the Countess's liaisons dangereuses.
And there's no reason he wouldn't. Unless he's as dumb as the Countess.
And then the Countess told the whole story on the phone, speaking French to a friend who set her up with Johnny, warning her friend to say nothing of this.
The day after getting his royal treatment, Johnny wound up in the arms of Sonja. (Clearly, the Countess and Sonja have similar tastes; they also shared Harry Dubin, Aviva's ex-husband. Didn't scare them. Nor did Aviva's matchmaking efforts between Sonja and Daddy Dearest, who was -- fortunately for us -- absent from last night's adventures.)
All I can say is, Jacques, get out while you can, and Bravo? Thanks for the subtitles.