Saturday, February 5, 2011

Anyone For Charlie Sheen's Tennis Balls? 2/5/11

The whole coke scene has never been something that has interested me, but if the papers are to be believed, LA is under a veritable storm of the stuff.

It’s been reported, for instance, that Charlie Sheen went on the three-day bender with five porn stars and was witnessed diving into a pile of coke the size of a tennis ball.

I’m a bit of an innocent in these matters, so is that a lot of coke or not very much? Does the tennis ball go in one nostril, or is it split between two (a sort of Deuce!)?

One report said that he took it in a pipe. Can you fit a tennis ball in a pipe?

If it’s consumed a few grains (is that what it’s called, or granules, like gravy?) at a time, wouldn’t he still be there, with a teaspoon?

And why has it made his teeth fall out? Maybe he’s chomping a bit too hard on the tennis balls.

Like I said. I’m an innocent in these things.

Now, to the five porn stars. Five! Isn’t that a bit greedy? And surely once you’ve seen/had one porn star, you’ve seen/had them all. One suggested that Charlie was on a suicide mission; well, if anything fatal had occurred and the woman then confessed to having thought that, yet did nothing to prevent it, I’d say that she was on a manslaughter mission – and one without much man’s laughter (geddit?), to boot.

The porn stars worry me even more than the tennis ball. Were they of the kind provided by the madam who now claims Charlie likes fetishism and spanking? How do those fetishes manifest themselves? Do the women Charlie allegedly hires take it in turns? There’s not that much to hang on to on a bloke, so let’s say that one gets the ears, one the mouth, one the bum, and one the penis, what does the fifth one do?

Maybe she’s the ball girl, running back and fore to the bathroom to get more tennis balls. Or maybe the fifth one gets to do nasal sex when there’s not a tennis ball blocking the airways of the only orifice not being taken up by the other four "stars".

As you can tell, I have given over much valuable thinking time to these matters, and as I am totally addicted to Two and a Half Men (although not in a tennis ball kind of way), I can’t reconcile the brilliance of Charlie Sheen as an actor with the mess that seems to be constantly paraded before us in the papers, even though his character bears more than a little similarity to his real life persona.

I actually feel very sorry for him. Yes, people choose to take drugs, drink, sleep around, and embark on all sorts of destructive behaviour; but the reasons why they do so are complex and vary hugely from individual to individual.

He has been criticised for choosing not to go into rehab, but be treated at home, and I say good on him. Rehab hasn’t worked for him; it doesn’t for many people – you only have to witness the number of celebrities being readmitted time after time to see that. It hasn’t worked for Sheen five times now.

If you crashed your car five times, wouldn’t you stop and think . . . Hmm, maybe this car thing’s not for me. Maybe I should take a bus.

Rehab is big here. Huge. Big subject, big business. It’s part of their tourist industry. On one Hollywood tour, the open-top bus stops outside Michael Jackson’s house and plays the 911 call that was made to the emergency services on the day it is claimed he either took or was administered a fatal overdose. Pretty horrific, by any standards, but even more so when there is a man facing trial for his alleged part in the star’s death.

There is a ghoulish sense of impending doom about Sheen, but to me, being looked after in his own home might do him a darn sight more good than being wheeled off to yet another 12 step programme that, in my experience, has worked for only a very small minority – and there is one argument that says that of the small percentage it works for, they would, by the law of averages with any illness, have recovered on their own.

That’s for other people to argue, and if something works for you when you’re rock bottom, then all well and good; but there is not one pill for every ailment, and if Sheen now wants to try something different, he deserves support, not more criticism for having chosen a different route. He is a huge talent and I wish him well in his recovery and hope finds peace.

The whole thing has certainly put me on my guard here. The next time somebody calls out “Anyone for tennis?” I’m going to think twice.

“New balls, please”? No, thanks.

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