Celebrity watchers are burning up the chat rooms this week with news that Paris Hilton has dumped her chihuahua Tinkerbelle for being too old, too fat, and just too damn heavy to heft up to nipple-line for those adorable look-at-ME! photo ops.
The lapdog-cum-purse-prop has been replaced by a much younger chihuahua, Bambi, which the Toronto Fashion Monitor repeatedly -- and somewhat cruelly -- kept describing as "teacup size."
The reaction from PETA was, as you might expect, a Code Level Red Alert. The animal rights organization has a history of overboard passions and might just as easily have firebombed Hilton's L. A. digs; instead, they issued a fiery condemnation:
"It's a pity that Paris' heart doesn't match her pocketbook," the statement read. "Animals shouldn't be disposed of like last season's trendy handbag." In fact, handbags were one of the deal-breakers for Paris. Tinkerbelle had outgrown the stylish sling-bag Ms. Hilton liked to carry her in.
Tinkerbelle had appeared on Ms. Hilton's network reality show and was noted for big, moist, baby-like eyes -- a somewhat unsettling effect. Whether the dog was given away or destroyed could not be verified at press time -- Ms. Hilton did not return Nightcharm's calls -- but there is an unsupported rumor making the Hollywood rounds today that the portly pooch was rescued by actress Kirsty Alley and will soon appear with her in Jenny Craig ads.
Above we see Paris and Tink in happier days, sketched by Nightcharm fave Glen Hanson for a proposed animated series about the celebrity debutante (heir to the Hilton Hotel fortune). In fact, the svelte, leggy blonde -- who was the grand marshall this year in West Hollywood 's Gay Pride Parade -- fascinates many culture watchers, particularly artists, thanks to the perverse way she broke upon the popular imagination:
A rich but relatively unknown party girl who occasionally did fashion runway work, Paris Hilton first found herself the center of unwanted and embarrassing notoriety when a fuzzy, gray-green, night-vision home video of her going down on some very righteous hotboy cock in a hotel room became the most downloaded porn clip on the internet. This led not to disgrace but to lucrative endorsements for a line of purses and jewelry, as well as a movie and TV career. Later this year, as the founder of Heiress Records, Hilton will release her debut album, Paris is Burning, which will include a cover of Blondie's "Heart of Glass" as well as the single "Screwed," already leaked -- probably by design -- to the internet.
Now occupying the culture slot once held so memorably by Zsa Zsa Gabor as the person most Famous for Nothing ... But Being Famous, Paris found herself written into a South Park episode where she opens a store called Stupid Spoiled Whore, selling girls everything they need to emulate ... well, Paris Hilton! Her instantly iconic night-vision video has even been reenacted -- hilariously -- by Millionaire Playboy's PlayDoll of the Month (above),
Amazingly, not everyone in the universe has the sharp-angled celebutante on their radar. Backstage this June at Live 8, she began a conversation with U. K. Office star, Ricky Gervais, when it became apparent from his shy, bewildered smiles that he hadn't a clue who she was. "I'm Paris Hilton," said Paris Hilton. "Oh, sorry luv," replied Gervais a bit too quickly. "I didn't recognize you without a cock in your mouth."
Our favorite certification that Paris Hilton is indeed the sort of 15-minute phenom that will timestamp the early 2000's the way Jessica Hahn did the late 80's and Monica Lewinski the late '90's is that America's wittiest social-class chronicler, the author Tom Wolfe, has confessed that the facts of Paris Hilton's life defeat even his master hand at fiction:
"That's the one problem with novels," Wolfe told the American Spectator recently as his latest (and spectacularly funny) new novel I Am Charlotte Simmons climbed the best-seller charts. "Novels have to be plausible. Take the Paris Hilton phenomenon. I think a novelist could have thought up the story of a beautiful heiress who gets involved in a pornographic videotape. A novelist could have conceived of a beautiful heiress who has no particular talent getting a $10 million television contract. But I defy you to locate the novelist who could have conceived the actual plot of Paris Hilton's life, which is that she got the $10 million contract because she was on the pornographic tape. That made her career. There's no question about it."
Tinkerbelle is baying at the TV set even as we write.
Special thanks to Glen Hanson for use of his delightful illustrations.