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The Cameo Heard Round the World

Last Wednesday started like any other day.  I woke up at the ungodly hour of 6am, got dressed, and headed to work.  About halfway through my day I got an email that may have changed the course of my life. Within forty-eight hours my name was in every corner of the internet, and even, according to a Twitter friend, “the news in Canada”.  What the hell was in that email you ask?  Why a Cameo from a minor player on The Real Housewives of New York, of course.

A few days before my now infamous Cameo I was perusing Facebook and I came across a Cameo from Tom and Tom of Vanderpump Rule fame.  Because I viewed a Cameo, I was now getting ads for Cameo on Facebook and Instagram roughly every four minutes.  And you know what, they worked.  The next morning, I was on Cameo looking for a “celebrity” to book.  For those not sure what a Cameo is, it’s a website where you can pay various famous/infamous/think they are famous people to record a message.  You can have someone record a birthday greeting, give a pep talk, wish congratulations, say thank you, console someone after a breakup, basically the greeting card industry is shaking.  I was shopping for no such occasion, I just wanted something fun…and cheap.  When I tell you, Cameo’s are expensive!  Lance Bass for $249?  I don’t think so.  Debbie Gibson for $195?  I’m all for asking what you’re worth but I’m gonna have to pass.  Carole Baskin for $249?  Are you insane?  Charlie Sheen for $300?  No one can possibly care about “tiger blood” that much…except for maybe Carole Baskin, ZING.  And speaking of Baskin and tiger blood, a god damn Joe Exotic impersonator is $325!  Even in the reality tv realm, I am not paying Ramona Singer $125 for a half assed ten seconds.  But I’ll tell you what I will do, I will pay Real Housewives Of New York “friend of” Elyse Swaine $25.

If you’re at all familiar with the Bravo Cinematic Universe (BCU for short) you know Elyse is not exactly a fan favorite (or at least she wasn’t before all this went down), but she was cheap and had an average turn around of twenty one hours, so I figured what the hell.  I told Elyse I watch RHONY with some girlfriends, Ramona is driving us crazy, so if she wanted to spill any tea, we were all ears.  I sent off my request and figured in a day I’d get some joke of a video telling me something like “tune in to Real Housewives of New York at 9pm on Bravo to get the real tea”, you know some real “be sure to drink your Ovaltine” type shenanigans.

Twenty-one hours came and went, then thirty hours, thirty-seven, forty-eight, fifty-five, sixty-nine (nice), I was worried something happened to Elyse!  Could a multimillionaire with a mansion in the Hamptons decide she had better things to do than film a $25 video for a side hustle?  I began to think I wasn’t getting my Cameo and oh well who cares because it was going to suck any way.  Then, at hour seventy-three point five, it came.  I got a notification on my watch that I had an email from Cameo with an attachment I needed to open on my phone.  I grabbed my phone and ran around work trying to find a sliver of service because I work in a dungeon, and not like a sex dungeon because if I was making that dominatrix money I would have had a more robust Cameo budget.  In our sink less kitchen slash breakroom I found a tiny corner of somewhat serviceable internet service and downloaded my video.  I was not prepared for what I was about to watch.

Ok so HERE is the video if want to watch it before we go any further, I’ll wait.  Good, you’re back.  That was something, huh?  Honestly I felt that I got my $25’s worth when Elyse hit us with “BITCH” at twenty four seconds, but when Leah McSweeney, the patron Saint of Real Housewife perfect first seasons, popped up at the end to reveal Ramona experiences fecal incontinence during coitus (I’m sorry but that’s the least vulgar way I can say it), I lost it.  Wow wow wow what a moment.  I couldn’t send it to my friends fast enough.  After sending it my four friends named in the video, I decided to text it to my friends who watch RHONY, knowing how much they would appreciate it.  Next, I shared it to a Facebook group that’s an offshoot of a Real Housewives podcast I love (shout out to Bitch Sesh) because it seemed selfish not to share with my brothers and sisters in Bravo.  Now the video is OUT so I figure I may as tweet and post to Insta.  I plugged my phone in to charge at my desk and go about my day.  During the next few hours my phone BLOWS UP.  First, I was retweeted by Louis Peitzman, who was kind enough to take up for me with a man who was pretending the video was his and called him an asshole You are an asshole, Mark.  Elyse clearly says, “this comes to you from Heather”, not ‘this comes to you from Mark”.  Nice try, fool.  Next I was quote retweeted by the incomparable Ira Madison, and then the queen, icon, legend himself Danny Pellegrino not only retweeted me in breaking news fashion, he also shared my full Christian name and Twitter handle on his glorious podcast, Everything Iconic.  I had an email from the New York Post, a friend from high school tagged me in an Instagram post, US Weekly is name checking me.  I’m getting more Insta and Twitter notifications that I can keep up with, some tags are to credit me, some are to alert me to people passing the video off as their own.  Also, what kind of weirdo lies about a Cameo?  I paid thirty whole dollars* for that Cameo, respect that!

The train had left the station and there was no stopping it.  I was on Perez Hilton, TMZ, Newsweek, The New York Post/Page Six, People, US Weekly, and countless reality tv gossip sites.  I started getting nervous.  Then Ramona herself commented and engaged with commenters on my personal Instagram and I thought, this is it, this is when the crazy Ramona fans show up to ruin my week.  We’ve all seen the rabid fanbases of Bravo stars like Lisa Vanderpump and Teresa Guidice swarm and attack, and I can tell you right now I do not have the type of self-esteem that can handle dozens if not hundreds of internet strangers telling me I’m ugly or my neck is weird (I imagine these are the types of things overzealous fans say).  I braced up for the incoming hurricane of Ramona Singer Stingers, or at least that’s what I think Ramona stans are called…but I’ll never know because as it turns out, Ramona doesn’t have any fans!  It’s been almost two weeks, and I’ve had nothing but incredibly pleasant interactions with my fellow Bravo fans.  So many complete strangers have reached out to say they hadn’t laughed in weeks, they’ve really been struggling in quarantine, have been sick, or were just having a really bad day and my little video gave them the laugh they needed, and that makes me feel good.

You know who doesn’t feel good about my little video?  Ramona.  She’s fighting on social media with Leah, she wants Elyse banned from the reunion, and perhaps the lady doth protest too much.  At first I didn’t think Ramona really had the loose bowels her coworker accused her of, but then she clogged the toilet in the very next episode of RHONY, and had no qualms about shoving her hand into the toilet with a “little turd” swimming around without so much as rolling up her flared sleeves…and there’s the rumor she pooped her pants out and about in Newport…and how can we forget her Cartagena poop smear?  Maybe Ramona should see a specialist, or at least take a little Imodium.

I don’t know what this whole mess means for the future of not only the RHONY, but also, me.  Elyse has doubled her Cameo price, and if she gets an apple next season, I think at the very least she should send me a muffin basket.  Ramona has been insufferable on tv for years, and her mask-less tomfoolery had fans calling for her firing long before my cameo added scat into the equation, can she weather the storm?  And as for me?  I’m adding producer of Real Housewives of New York to my resumé, and patiently waiting for Andy to ask me to punch up Beverly Hills, because we all know they need it.

*The Cameo itself was $25 but it was so good I added a $5 tip

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About the Author

Heather Foley

Heather has been writing for Caught In Southie since pretty much the beginning and for that we apologize. She can often be found on her couch with a log of raw cookie dough. Her biggest fear is being on an episode of Dateline and her wildest dream is being a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race. Feel free to let her know if there's something you think she should write about, unless it's stupid.