Celebs need 1 national rehab facility
I'M beginning to think that what this country needs is one, giant, centrally located omni-vice "rehab center" that celebrities, evangelists and politicians can check into when they suddenly find their careers crashing upon rocks. Oh, and add astronauts to that list of people who need to flee to the protection and comfort of a well-run recovery facility, the kind with big walls and fences, not to keep inmates in, but to keep news weasels out.
Is there any doubt that NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, the diaper-wearing, BB gun-toting alleged kidnapper will check herself into some kind of a treatment facility to give her lawyers time to come up with a defense to one of the stranger love-triangle cases in history?
As a space shuttle astronaut, Nowak reached for the stars, but she grabbed a handful of weirdville when she set out on her 900-mile trip from Texas to Florida to accost the woman she thinks was making hoochie-koochie with her boyfriend, another astronaut, of all things. Stanley Kubrick couldn't have imagined this: "2007: A Spaced-Out Odyssey."
Whether Nowak intended to kill the third wheel in this tawdry sex-cycle -- as alleged by Florida authorities -- or simply wanted to give her a pepper-spray facial and a stern tongue-lashing remains to be seen. But expect Nowak to flee to rehab so she can pull herself together or at least come up with some plausible explanation for her far-out behavior. (I suggest the "Battered Astronaut Syndrome Defense," under which she claims that being battered by all those strange radioactive micro-meteors in space caused her to go temporarily nutso.)
I SUSPECT she will emerge from rehab not only capable of beating the criminal rap, but able to launch a new career in television commercials. Lots of astronauts have done commercials. Buzz Aldrin pushed 7-Up, and Wally Schirra reminded us that "Only Actifed could relieve my stuffy nose in space."
Nowak could become spokeswoman for a line of adult diapers, since she wore them on her voyage to Florida so she wouldn't have to stop to potty. ("Hi! Whether in space or down to earth, these diapers are really out of this world!")
It's a busy time for rehab centers. Most have installed revolving doors for all their celebrity clients. (Washed up actors, enter in the rear.)
The Rev. Ted Haggard, head of the 14,000-strong New Life Church, eventually admitted to having sex with a male prostitute after telling a string of lies that had God's ears burning. He left his post in disgrace and entered three weeks of counseling from which he emerged -- HALLELUJAH! -- "completely heterosexual."
Three weeks? That's some kind of super-psyche car wash counseling facility they have there. Go in one side a lying, adulterous hypocrite and pop out the other end as a, well, more accomplished lying, adulterous hypocrite. Haggard apparently is taking a page from his evangelist cohort Jimmy Swaggart's playbook. After getting his hand caught in the nookie jar (actually, he paid to watch a prostitute do very nonreligious-type things), Swaggart underwent intensive counseling and -- PRAISE BE! -- emerged allegedly reformed and able to continue collecting millions from his gullible flock. All this Haggard-Swaggart kinky sex stuff has got to end up in a country music song eventually.
On a lesser scale, we have Gavon Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco, slinking off to a treatment facility for a drinking problem after being nabbed making whoopie with his closest aide's wife. Like many disgraced politicos before him such as (Insert Any First Name Here) Kennedy, Newsom realized he had a drinking problem after he was caught doing something really, really stupid.
Which brings us back to the idea that there should be one big rehab facility for all these shining lights to enter. It would make it easier for us to track them all, which, considering the sheer numbers of fallen angels these days, has become a daunting task.
Buy Charles Memminger's hillarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
at any book retailer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org