3. WHEN PEOPLE IN THE MEDIA ASK YOU HOW YOU DID IT, JUST SAY “OPRAH!” (See above)
Trust me, you don’t want to get spiritual with some ho-bag from E!who wants the lowdown on Glitzville needle jockeys. Remember the Eternal Rule of Media Whoredom: If you’re sincere, you’ll sound like a simp. If you’re ironic, you’ll come off like an obnoxious blowhard. Best to turn it around and ask whoever’s got a mike in your face if they ever came to mouth-down in a pool of vomit and Bromo Seltzer in the Health ’n’ Beauty Aisle at Vons . . . Make it about them, and you’re off the hook.
But back to Oprah. For me, quite frankly, she is an inspirational figure. Truth be told, I had a life-changing experience when, during a commercial break on my visit to the mother of all talk shows — a theme program, not to brag, titled “When Smart People Do Dumb Things!” — Oprah leaned in, took my clammy paw in hers, and whispered, “I tried crack!”
And then what? I wanted to ask, but the red light on Camera No. 1 flashed back on and the director gave the high sign before I had the chance. To this day, I wonder if the Big O was about to whip a pipe out of her pantsuit, or if she was just making between-segments chitchat.
4. GROUPIES: SHOULD YOU BE WORRIED IF YOU HAVE THEM?
Ask yourself this question, junk-stars: Having laid out the most vile, repulso, poo-butt gruesome details of your life in the black-tar trenches, do you really want to get smushy with some gal who finds the arcana of your stint perping mailmen in the Vignes Street Denny’s restroom “a real, like, turn-on”?
The bottom line: Be careful. If somebody knows who you used to be and still finds you attractive, she may have more problems than you do.
5. WHAT DO I DO NEXT? I CAN’T BE AN EX–DOPE FIEND FOREVER!
All true, my special clean-and-sober friend. So what can you do, when the fame meter starts ticking back to zero? My suggestion: Snag yourself another calamity. If you’re a man, try bulimia. The whole field of MBIPD (Male Body Image Perception Disorder) is wide-open. And legions of female readers, afflicted by this tragic syndrome for years and believing it to be gender-specific, will applaud your sensitivity and bravery for opening up what is, admittedly, a rare and unglamorous can of worms. The downside, of course: You’d better not show up wearing waist-54 men’s “husky” trousers, or your routine will be something less than believable.
Still, if spilling the beans is your path to glory, the odd finger down the throat is a small price to pay. You’ll be rich, you’ll be famous, and, unless you’re lying through your teeth, you’ll probably be thin.
Jerry Stahl is the author of the memoirPermanent Midnight and the novelPerv: A Love Story. His new novel,Plainclothes Naked, will be published this November by William Morrow.