If you have a few minutes, and the topic is of interest to you, one of the weekend’s better longreads is a piece by Caity Weaver over on Gawker, who recounts her experiences on a Paula Deen themed cruise last month. Deen — who is in the midst of a comeback thanks to a $75 to $100 million VC injection — was in attendance, but only reluctantly. The cruise on the Celebrity Refection cost its passengers $3,000 a pop, and Weaver wanted to find out what kind of crazy person would pay $3,000 to float around on a Paula Deen shopping mall. Unsurprisingly, people a lot like Paula Deen. Also not so surprising: Not that many people (only 139 attended the cruise, though the ship has capacity for over 3,000).
If you have a few minutes, check out the full article. Briefly, here are some of the highlights.
— Paula Deen hates to look at veins; she paints watercolors; she loves to play the slots; and she’s the proud new owner of a goldendoodle.
— There were black people on the cruise. Four of them, to be exact. One was Brad Anderson, otherwise known as the Grill Sergeant on a cancelled cooking show on the Pentagon channel (which I didn’t realize even existed). Anderson ended up introducing one of Deen’s cooking demos.
“She said ‘Brad, would you come on the cruise?’ in that wonderful accent of hers. And I said, ‘Yes ma’am.’ No matter what she calls me, I’ll be there saying ‘Yes ma’am.'”
I don’t know if “no matter what she calls me” is meant to be a joke/allusion to the scandal or not.
— Weaver had several discussions about Paula Deen’s use of the n-word with various passengers, all of whom underplayed it, suggesting that it was OK because other black people called each other the n-word or because it was used in rap music. One lady tried to justify it by saying that her five-year old was called a “cracker” at school, which doesn’t seem to illustrate anything, other than how weird it is that a five year old would be called anything with racial connotations. Several people also tried to play it off by saying it was “in the olden days,” or that Deen had used the word in the 60s or even the 40s (Deen wasn’t even born until 1947). In her deposition, Deen confessed to using the word 25 years ago, which was 1987, which is hardly the “olden days.”
— Deen did not speak directly about the scandal that crumbled her empire. However, she did at one time possibly allude to it when talking about media reports that had suggested she’d used a diet supplement to lose 35 pounds.
You cannot believe everything that you read. And I can’t believe that the law allows people to do things like that. But, you know, our laws are set up… our laws our set up to protect the guilty. I mean, I hate to say it, but, that person is protected for tellin’ a lie about me.” One gets the sense she is no longer speaking specifically about diet supplements.
How did she actually lose the weight? By cutting carbs. “Everything in my kitchen that was white, I threw it out. Except my husband.” *uncomfortable laughter*
— Finally, though Weaver didn’t provide any context for it, nor any details (thank God), we also found out that the strangest place that Deen has ever had sex was with her second husband on a train traveling from New York City to Savannah.
I just thought it was important that we all shared that mental image together. You’re welcome.