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.