1. “Gravy Boat.” Caity Weaver’s Week on the High Seas With Paula Deen and Friends.
“After spending a week in the presence of, but never really with, Paula—watching her tug on beards, toss a water balloon to her husband, and pull clip-in hair extensions out of her hair to brandish them, deadpan, before a crowd—I decide her house blend of aggressive folksiness is more of a put-on than she would like her cruise buddies to know, but less than a cynical mind would think. She’s certainly naturally bawdy: Over the course of seven days, Paula will hear a joke about breasts being accidentally dipped in gravy and grits and repeat it several times, always to raucous laughter (her own). She will inject jokes about beating one’s meat (to tenderize it) into multiple cooking demonstrations. She will refer to one female passenger as a ’slot slut.’ She will engage in a very brief pantomime of doggy-style sex with her husband as he helps affix a microphone pack to the waistband of her capris. She will see her husband cooking a chicken, and ask, inexplicably, if he is choking his chicken.”