Have you noticed that when celebs go crazy it’s called exhaustion? But when commoners go nuts we’re just plain nuts? Everyone feels so sorry for the celebrity gone cuckoo (because, you know, they’re so disadvantaged and all) but if the commoner steers a wheel into the sand, no one will touch you with a javelin. If they do, you had better believe they’ll use it to impale you should you flip the wheel again.
Exhaustion. I imagine the celebrity strewn across a king-size bed wearing Narciso Rodriguez (next season), her wrist thrown over her forehead ( professionally), while someone spritzes her face with lavender water (organic/fair trade/hand picked/local). The first thing I’m gonna do when I’m rich and famous is go exhausted and capitalize off of my downward spiral with a book that has floral scented pages. Commoner nuts is frightening. Celebrity nuts is nuts with capital potential.
I especially like to catch up on the latest gossip while at the checkout stand at the grocery store, and often choose the longer line so that I have time to get through all of the pictures of devil-may-care celebrities who take to the beach despite horrifically cellulitic* abdominals and big toe hair. And I do have at least one rule of thumb: the cheaper the magazine, the better the juice. Which is why I choose ‘US’ over ‘People.’ Not that I’m going to pay for it, but because they have the best photographs to accompany the articles about celebrities who tried to save a few bucks on a new face by choosing an unlicensed plastic surgeon who has served time. I know we’re in a recession, but when you’re thinking about having your eyelids sliced open and tucked away in your hairline, this might not be the best occasion to choose a doctor who accepts coupons or counts past cellmates as close friends.
* Cellulitic is not a real word. But perhaps it should be.
After the celeb is all mangled up and maimed beyond recognition, there’s always a press conference, right? Because people are going to be suspicious if they suddenly show their face in public looking like an old root vegetable without some sort of explanation. And they always seem so shocked that their black market doctor from Morocco has disfigured them, and that a whole string of malpractice suits and similar catastrophes quickly begin to emerge from his past. Did she not notice that his offices were subterraneous, that his assistant smelled like curry and was missing most of his teeth? And he always serves some meager amount of time, like thirteen months, so you know he’ll be out again, performing more basement surgeries by the spring of the following year. I love it when the celebrity, her lips all misshapen and lumpy from substances that are not yet, and never will be approved by the FDA, her eyes as lopsided as the best Picasso, declaims that its been ‘a learning experience’ and how she’s ‘made peace with’ her new face, and then damn, I remember that I forgot to grab a couple of yams and a knob of celery root.
Is it me, or do you also get tickled by stories of pop idols who beat the crap out of people with umbrellas when there hasn’t been a cloud in the Los Angeles sky since 2006. How did she produce this weapon of choice? Or even better is the headline announcing the latest who has starved herself to such a degree that her legs look like the Thanksgiving wishbone, and she always wears leggings and flip flops as though she can’t be bothered to conceal her shame. Oh, I forgot, eating disorders are the new black.
Of course it’s always a bonus when one of them shaves their head on the heli ride to rehab, rather, 'the spa’, or when their teeth fall out from smoking too much crack. And which billionaire ‘athlete’ (I’m sorry, golf is a pastime, not a sport, I don’t care how good your aim) has rammed his SUV into a tree because he was drunk, getting a blow job, or maybe both, this week? Hopefully both. More reading material for next.
My favorite part of the article is finding out how much they have to pay their victims. And it’s always the best when the sum is undisclosed, because that means it’s in the millions. Hee hee. If I was giving a celebrity a blowjob and he rammed into a tree, I would sue for whiplash, and maybe attempted strangulation, depending on the celeb. Who wouldn’t? It could be your fifteen minutes of fame, you never know, so take advantage when you get the chance and do Warhol proud.
Given that I love a good train wreck, I could not resist watching Whitney Houston sing this song the other night about a million dollars, because I think that might be all she has left after her ten-year experiment with insanity. (Some people go to the annual Terlingua, Texas Chili Cook Off when they need some excitement in their lives, Whitney smokes crack for decade-long intervals. Don’t judge). But watching Whitney is the easy part of the confession, the worst part is that she was the guest on that show where B-list celebs pair up with professional dancers and compete for something, but I’m not sure what, and I don’t know what it’s called. I could look it up, but I’m too lazy. And I’d prefer not to clog my head with the names of shows where turquoise lamé and matching eye shadow go unquestioned. I've got enough tucked away up there.
She potatoed around the stage on her shaky pins, maybe the last of the drugs are still working their way out of her system, and sang this song about having lost a million, or wishing she hadn’t spent a million on crack or something like that. And I’m not certain, but it looks like she could be pregnant, which can’t be good, because I think crack and crazy stay in your system for, like, ever. Toward the end of the song, buckets of fake dollar bills were dumped over her wig, and I half expected her to pick one up, roll it into a tube, and stick in her bra for later. But we’re not talking about that, we’re talking about her new voice, and I have to say I really like the way the crack has sort of dragged it around and rasped it up. When she opened her mouth to belt out some notes, her voice came crawling out like some sewer creature that had spent its life feeding on crumbling concrete and old rat bones. Which is exactly what I want to sound like when I begin my career as a back alley lounge singer. Not just any back alley lounge, but the seediest, mold-stricken hole dug into the city's underbelly. I had written more about this, but I decided to put it in my book. You’ll see.
Whitney ended her wishful song and hugged her aunt and biggest supporter, Dionne Warwick, who wore a purple velour track suit for the occasion. Hm. So I started flickin’ around the boob, you know, since it was on. All the news channels were a-squawkin’ about how Obama was supposed to cherry pick a bunch of celebrities for some fancy dinner, and I got to thinkin’: wouldn’t it be really cool if he cherry picked some poor people and had dinner with them (I mean, us) instead? You can just imagine Obama and Michelle in a room full of white trash families and South Central thugs stabbing at a bunch of teensy roasted birds, Y’all ain’t got no ranch dressin’ up in here? and bustin’ caps in people’s asses after taking excessive liberties with an open bar filled with the good booze.
I also discovered this new movie coming out called 2012, and decided to do some research on the net to find out if the world is really gonna blow up this time (I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed after 1999 and 2000). Now, you know you’re lazy when you get excited about the world coming to an end, because it means that you won’t have to exercise, get a job or pay your credit card bills ever again. Ah, you laugh, but we shall see who's really worth a damn when your pants are falling apart from filth and your hair is full of mice because all the shampoo in the world has oozed into the sewers. At least I have a head start. It'll take no time at all for me to become acclimated to this new Armageddon lifestyle, since I have no job and haven’t paid a credit card bill since June. It’ll be those of you still on that hamster wheel who will turn to urban warriors like me to protect them, for I can live for weeks on a fistful of sticks and a gallon of water.
So the lesson here, I think, is to think of the celebrity as a sort of barometer for your own mental health, and to cut yourself some slack when you think you’re doing it all wrong. If Amy Winehouse can get a boob job and put out a new album after terrorizing her way from London to the islands in fetid ballet slippers, and Whitney can delete a deleterious decade with her own million dollar single (though I think the title of her song may be the only part of her revival that is going to see a million), then maybe life for us commoners is not so grim. I might be wearing shredded jeans today, but tomorrow, who knows, maybe I’ll be whizzing around in a little sports car with new hair and a record deal, rubbing elbows with the black folks in the white house too. And if that doesn’t work out, there is solace in the fact that there are only two more years left before this lovely, fucked up planet will implode, and then nothing will matter anyway, not your hair piece, your bank account, and certainly not your cellulitic gut. I don't know about you, but I'm gonna start stockpiling my twigs, just in case.