On the first day of winter my true love gave to me……Another way to make me feel shitt-y.

Most of us use our hair dryers to, well, dry our hair. But Lori Broady, 31, turns the dryer on, sticks it in her bed, and falls asleep to the soothing sound of hot air. She’s been doing this every night since she was 8 years old, despite knowing she may burn herself or start a fire. This, of course, raises the question: Why doesn’t she just buy a fan if she needs a little noise to fall asleep? Turns out, it’s not that simple.

Broady appears on the new TLC 12-part series, “My Strange Addiction,” which premieres Dec. 29 at 9 p.m. Also featured are folks with other extreme behaviors like thumb sucking, toilet paper eating, “tanorexia” and even a guy in a relationship with a silicone doll.  MSNBC

Here we go again.  Here’s where we find out for the umpteenth time that the line between normal and extreme behavior is, well, not a line at all.  The very same springs of action or motivational urges that lead to wildly successful careers and uncountable riches, if scoonched a bit to the left or right become bizarre aberrations and psychotic twists.  If you don’t get the dice to roll your way, instead of a zillionaire genius you become a compulsive pervert who drills holes in his own head for thrills.

We already know about the crackpot who eats toilet paper.   All of us are on close intimate terms with alcoholics, junkies, and nicotine addicts. The nerds who spend weeks in their rooms playing internet zombie combat games.  Tanorexics.  Anorexics.  Spamorexics.  As Pogo Possum noted years ago, We have met the enemy, and He is Us.

And now it’s coming on teevee.  I can hardly wait. Not.  Unlike freaks who watch 70 hours a week and walk around the house with a remote control stuck to their foreheads.  What is TLC, anyway?  The Terminal Lobotomy Channel?

The ancient Greeks had a word for it: akrasia.  Weakness of will.  A lack of control over one’s actions.  Both Plato and Aristotle discussed it at length, as did several generations of British philosophers.  Two millennia later, it’s cheap theater.  A freak show.  P.T.Barnumsville.

Go for it, TLC.  I won’t be watching, although I admit to a morbid curiosity: who’s sponsoring the series, and why?  Fast food?  Alcohol, tobacco, or firearms?  Sports drinks?  The church?  Who stands to profit off human weakness, other than every single one of us?

Somewhere in my ancient metal file cabinet I there lies the outline of my second novel, which was all about an alcoholic commodities trader who launched a career in organizing self-help groups, patterned after the AA model, to make a fortune off victims of odd addictions.  Sex fiends.  Compulsive cleaners.  Chess freaks.  Bulimics.  Maybe I need to dust it off and start anew.  If only I had the sort of addictive personality/discipline/motivation to devote 6 months of research and isolation to completing it.  Unfortunately, I’m too normal.  Or lazy.  Or healthy.  Or.

This entry was posted in Gen. Snark, Maj. Snafu, Corp. Punishment. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Will

  1. Tanya Hyde says:

    When I heard about the TLC series I sent an email inviting them to visit our Tanorexics Anonymous chapter here on Haulover Beach. I figured the lure of nude tanning addicts would be irresistable, especially given our location and the fact that we are sun freaks, not tanning bed slugs. Nobody here uses a tanning bed. At least they don’t admit it if they do.

    I never heard back. Oh, well. Their loss.

    S: You missed our Winter Solstice party, celebration of the start of days becoming longer. Did you lose your suntan during the cold streak? Come by this week anyway for a touch-up. You know where to find us!

  2. Beardsley says:

    Pretty heavy stuff for the week before Christmas.

    I really doubt you’re “too normal” to devote several months to an unfinished novel. (Your second one? What’s the first?) Besides, as you point out, maybe the whole self-help-for-so-called-addictive-behavior scene is making a comeback. The heyday for this nonsense was the Me Decade, of course, when everybody wanted attention, and victimhood was a surefire draw. But narcisism is always in. Ask Hollywood.

  3. Joe Balls says:

    This is very timely…..I have a cousin with a cross fetish. She can’t seem to get enough of them. Her house looks like a cross (pun) between a church and a dungeon, what with all the Bleeding Jesus statues hanging around. She wears about half a doizen, swapping jewelry daily, and has a bunch of tattoos. We tried to get her to find some help, but she says there’s nothing wrong with her.

    For the last 5-6 years she’s been going to South America at Easter where they do live crucifixion reenactments. People drag their crosses through the streets up a hill where a crowd ties them up — at least they don’t use nails — and they hang sround for a few hours. Sick. She has a video of herself as one of the victims which I never want to see.

    On the plus side, she’s easy to buy Christmas presents for.

    • Diesel Fitter says:

      There was a 4-minute film going around a few years ago with what looked like a live crucifixion in which the girl is nailed to a cross and dies. It was billed as a snuff film. Your cousin probably owns it. BTW, is she local? Does she have a date for Xmas mass?

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