They'll always have Paris.
The Eisners of Fallston had two visitors over the weekend - just two city gals with a hankering for Harford County life. On Thursday, a Greyhound tour bus pulled up to the Eisner homestead and out popped Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie of The Simple Life. Greeting the stars of Fox's reality show were Andy, Robyn, Josh, Cody and Kerri Eisner.
On Thursday, the clock began ticking on the family's 15 minutes of fame.
"The first thing we did was unload their luggage, which was quite a feat," says Andy Eisner, the dad. "I did it myself. It liked to kill me. The girls don't know anything about traveling light." We guessed as much.
The women, Hilton heiress Paris and her pal, Lionel Richie's daughter, Nicole, have been traveling the East Coast filming the third season of The Simple Life. The Green Acres-ish premise: Rich party girls with flat, tan tummies leave their cell phones and credit cards at home to experience the so-called real life - you know, chores, jobs, fast food and spending time with the kind of folks who rake leaves and don't appear in Internet sex movies. The boring set.
In previous episodes, The Simple Life has planted Hilton and Richie in a Florida trailer park and at an Arkansas farm, among other earthy locales. They have shoveled manure and attempted bull riding and branded cattle - with lipstick. For the new season, the "celebutantes" were at a Delaware day-care facility last week. Their mission: changing diapers. Then they were spotted at a Taco Bell in Wilmington! Richie was seen flagging drivers down in Wilmington as she tried to jump in people's trucks, which, to be fair, could well have been a refreshing distraction from the subject of Fallujah.
Then, on Sunday night, they were spotted at T Bonz Grill & Pub in Ellicott City, where they ordered take-out crab dip and quesadillas and chatted up regular folks at the bar before heading out with two guys, says restaurant owner Derek Reese.
"It was just all scripted stuff," he says. "But nobody wanted to leave the restaurant. Everybody wanted to sit and watch. They are the hottest thing out there."
Hot as in "That's hot," Paris' catch phrase. She has built herself a catch career - magazine covers, wall calendars, jewelry line, a best-selling book, Eminem video cameo, planned movies, planned Paris nightclubs, and now, she is among us in our simple state of Maryland. Will a pit stop in Dundalk be next? Duckpin bowling? Now, we're just being greedy.
Reportedly, Hilton and Richie are staying with an Ellicott City family this week - "reportedly" being the operative and recurring word in the not-so-simple local arrangement. Reportedly, everyone who agrees to be filmed with the stars has to sign a confidentiality agreement that, if broken, may well result in a spin-off reality show called "Extreme Bankruptcy." Money doesn't talk.
The Eisner episode is scheduled to air in February. Then, the family can tell friends what Paris and Nicole were like in real life, if there is such a thing anymore. After the show airs, we can learn what they ate and wore and said inside the Eisner home. Do they floss? Wax? Waxed floss? Do they snore? Would they ever come to Timonium? We do have a new Eckerd's ...
Alas, until February, our simple imaginations must run wild and cheap.
Andy Eisner, a sales manager for a tile distributor, seemed ready to burst with inside information, but he held his tongue yesterday. The crew had left but he seemed a bit unsure of exactly what happened at his home. Was it a dream? No, it was reality TV.
"They didn't trash my house," Eisner did say.
That's a start.
So, how did this popular show featuring two popular people land on his doorstep - as opposed to ours? It's one of those darn talented kids again: Eisner's son, Cody, is a 12-year-old drumming phenomenon, well known about town at clubs such as Tracy's Comedy Store, so well known that he somehow captured the attention of the show's casting director, his father says. Eisner wasn't crazy about the idea of the show coming into his home, but his family overruled him.
Early last month, the Eisner people met with The Simple Life people and at least one condition was easily addressed: The Eisners' home in Fallston was not part of a neighborhood association. "That was a really big thing for them, and I saw why when they came with about 80 people," Eisner says. The house was soon beset by onlookers to the point that the Maryland State Police started rolling by to get people out of the yard, he says. About 150 people came by to take pictures of the duo. Suddenly, an unpublished number looked good.