LAST EDITED ON 12-09-03 AT 08:58 AM (EST)
Arkansas Residents Describe Paris' Trail of Trash
ALTUS, Ark. — Trust Paris Hilton (search) to complicate the simple life.
Armed with her designer outfits and an attitude as big as Arkansas, the airhead hotel heiress was able to tear apart this bucolic community as she attempted to live the rural life with her friend Nicole Richie.
The ditzy behavior of the two city slickers was both inappropriate and absurd, Altus residents told The New York Post.
"They did a lot of things that were stupid," said Danny Counsel, a dairy farmer who fired the girls from his farm in the first episode of the new Fox reality show "The Simple Life."
And that was one of the nice things that locals said about the pair, who were hosted by the Leding family on their farm.
"The way they were acting here on the streets was a disgrace," said Lynn Foster, owner of a local antique store called You Never Know. "I have a younger stepdaughter, and they were using the F-word around her, scantily dressed.
"They were also living in a house with kids and talking like that. That's everything we teach our kids not to do. They had no respect."
The pair even irked the local cops.
"The girls came up to me and asked me if they could buy a couple of police suits and work in the prison," Franklin County Sheriff Reed Haynes, 65, told The Post. "I told them it was no place for joking around, and I declined."
As for rumors that the girls were asked to leave the state of Arkansas and were handcuffed at one point, Haynes said only, "There are no reports filed on anything."
Melinda Calista, 19, a receptionist at the local Days Inn, said Hilton and Richie were flat-out rude and stuck-up when they stayed there.
"Paris and Nicole got kicked out of the Ledings' farm three days before they were supposed to leave," said Calista, who lives in neighboring Ozark.
"I cleaned their rooms, and they were a mess. They had left camouflage nighties, Crest White Strips, some Xanax bars . . . and a pack of cigarettes.
"It was a good thing they only stayed here for three days, or I would have kicked them out myself."
As for that rickety blue pickup truck the girls were given to drive when they first arrived in Arkansas, Calista said, "They painted it pink and drove around with it, and then took it back with them to L.A."
Counsel, who tried to help the two girls integrate into the local community, described their behavior as "erratic."
One night, Nicole poured bleach all over the pool table at a bar, Alligator Ray because she couldn't find her purse, he said.
And although the two were assigned security guards by the show's producers, they still managed to get into more than their share of trouble.
"They would sneak off at night and pay the security guards off," Counsel said.
How did they get the money for the bribes?
"They conned the boys out of several hundred dollars," Counsel said.
The boys he's referring to are Anthony Leding and Trae Lindley, who dated Nicole and Paris during their stint in Altus.
Other local boys the ditzy debutantes traipsed around with were Steven Detherage and Danny "Chops" Perry, two 23-year-old Ozark natives.
Perry said he disliked Hilton right off the bat.
"She told me that my name wasn't 'Chops.' I got real angry and told her, 'As far as I'm concerned, I've seen better-looking girls walking around my college campus.'
"She thinks she can get away with whatever she wants," Perry said. "That's my nickname, <'Chops'>. She started calling Trae 'Chops' instead of me.
"I didn't talk to her much after that.
"But Nicole is a sweetheart."
Other locals didn't think much of either of them.
Paris and Nicole "dressed real slutty," said Brandy Gibbs, 25, an Alligator Ray bartender who said he saw the duo throw back Jagermeister and Gator Bite shots.
"Paris was once wearing a backless dress that was cut right above her butt, and as she was walking past the bar, and for no reason, she pulled down the bottom part and showed her butt. It was right in front of a couple of kids."
Still, not every story is as nasty.
Bill "Buffalo" Leding may have hunting rifles in his Lakeside Food Mart, but he also has several snapshots he took with the girls hanging right by the cash register.
In an upcoming episode, Hilton and Richie work in the store "dippin' minnows," screeching from the sight of crickets and boxing jumbo, juicy nightcrawlers.
"I got both of them to kiss one," Leding said proudly. "It was fun. I got Nicole to eat a live minnow. And then some guy came in with tobacco in his mouth, and she asked him for some, and she got real dizzy."
The girls also pumped gas and made deli sandwiches for Leding for only $6 an hour.
Other Arkansas folks who have seen the show have varied opinions.
"I thought they'd give us a black eye more than they did," said John Harlin Burns, 82, a World War II veteran.
"But I thought it was real good and showed that those girls don't really have it too good. They don't know what the world's all about."
''What really scares me most, more than nukes or cancer, is a person without a sense of humor.''