The Bad Corey

I used to have a special gift for finding the biggest project in the room.  The insufferable, destructive ass hat.  The one that was equal parts narcissist, emotional trainwreck, unemployable, and leather pants.

Any time a guy would walk into a party backwards, still peeing on the front porch, zip up and drop a cigarette from his mouth onto the carpet, and grind it out with the heel of his boot while yelling, “It’s not my fault you were dumb enough to put white carpet in here!” my ass hat spidey-sense would go off and the little hairs on the back of my neck would stand at attention.

Then some random girl would walk up to him, throw her drink in his face for some unrelated reason and storm out the door, and I would think, “Well, this is obviously the guy for me.”

Had I known back then that I could cut out the middle-man known as “Misplaced Hope”, I would have just walked straight up to any of these types of guys and said, “So where do I fill out an application to worship you, pay all your bills, have you steal money from me and then cheat on me with one or more of my friends?  I am accustomed to disappointment from every man I’ve ever known and, on a subconscious level that I won’t uncover for many years, your brand is as comfortable and familiar to me as a mother’s perfume is to her child.  Maybe I can fix the past by fixing YOU!”

Like so many girls who sprang forth into adolescence headfirst down a hole of despair and emotional depravity, it all started with The Bad Corey.

This may come as a big surprise to you (except not at all because hello), but in the late 80s I was all the way into The Coreys.

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That would be Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, in case you’re not familiar, and if you’re not familiar, I don’t even know where to start with you.  Maybe somebody is offering Remedial Corey classes at your local night school.  I highly suggest you bone up on this information, because it will be on the test.

Calculators are only permitted for the “Box Office” portion of The Coreys Test, where you will have to figure out how much money the “Meatballs” movie franchise lost when they cast Corey Feldman in “Meatballs 4″, a classic sequel to a sequel to a sequel, as the “hottest water-skiing instructor in town.”

I don’t know how that conversation went around the producers’ table, but I assume it started and ended with, “Let’s do this thing!  Oh god kill me now please please kill me what has my life become.” <sound of Drano being chugged>

It’s not one of the better Corey movies.  All Corey movies are graded on a curve, by the way.  It’s not fair to grade them against “other movies”, or what some people refer to as “good movies”.  It’s only fair to grade Corey movies against other Corey movies.

Were you your best Corey in this film today?

Could you have Corey-ed it up some more?

What did I learn about Corey in this movie that I didn’t already know?

I tell you what, though, and I seriously, seriously am not even remotely kidding here.  Corey Feldman should have won the goddamned Oscar for his performance as “Teddy”, the abused kid with the burned-off ear in “Stand By Me”.

When he calmly informs the junk man, who’s insulting his father for being crazy, “My father stormed the beach at Normandy,” before eventually exploding into threats and tears as the boys drag him away from the junkyard, it GUTS me.  Give it a re-watch and see if you can make it through the emotional complexity of that really terribly abused kid actually defending his abusive father without wanting to just die inside.

Yes, of course I read his autobiography, “Corey-ography”, so knowing how badly Corey Feldman was abused in real life as a kid, that scene makes me want to curl into a ball on his behalf.  That may have just been a scene in a movie, but that abused kid in that scene was very, very real.  That’s a hell of a big ask for a kid on a movie set, and I can only imagine how tapping into whatever he had to tap into to pull off that scene must have torn him to shreds.  He was just a kid, for god’s sake.  That would have hurled most adults into a 72-hour hold.

Hey dramatic departure!  Let’s lighten it up a bit, huh?

You didn’t really have a choice in the matter when it came to loving Coreys in the 80s – they were everywhere.  You would never ask a twelve year old girl if she was into The Coreys.  You just asked her which one.

Now, you would think with all my gushing over Corey Feldman in “Stand By Me”, that would mean that my Corey of choice was Corey Feldman, but you’d be wrong.  Despite being the long-haired Corey, the bad attitude Corey, and the damaged Corey, there was someone far, far, far more damaged.

Someone who seemed to be a shiny, jangly, pretty boy, who later turned out to be a bottomless pit of screaming, soul-ripping darkness.

Corey Haim, for his pretty boy face and the adorable smile that made America fall in love with him in movies like “Lucas” and “The Lost Boys”, would surprisingly end up becoming The Bad Corey.

I always liked cute Corey, sweet Corey, Corey who just wanted to take Heather Graham out on a nice date in “License to Drive”.  I liked him just fine.  But the moment The Bad Corey publicly emerged?  Goodbye to Sandra Dee.

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Tell me about it, stud.

I remember the moment it went from a “like” of Corey Haim to a “love”.  It was in the old movie theater down the street from my house, watching “Dream a Little Dream”, and my formerly sweet-faced, blonde highlighted Corey Haim, the one with the cute smile where his lip kinda curled up at the corner like Elvis (and don’t even get me started on Elvis), the Corey with the clean jeans and high-tops, appeared onscreen before me, looking like this:

sdjf

Smoking cigarettes?  Check.  Hair dyed an unnatural color?  Check.  Ludicrous clothing and accesssories?  Check.  Foul-mouthed?  Oh god.  Check.  The pasty, lifeless complexion of a person who is clearly on drugs?  (angel harp music) Check.

My Corey?

My Corey had blossomed into The Bad Corey.

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I got chiiiiiiiiiiiills, they’re multiplyin’. And I’m loooooooooooosing control-olll.  ‘Cause the power, you’re supplyin’, it’s electri-OH MY GOD LET ME SAVE YOU FROM YOURSELF.

What was that?  LET ME SAVE YOU FROM YOURSELF?

You know that’s the one, right?  That line?  That’s the one that leads so many women down that road.  “Fixing the broken guy” road.  “Giving him a reason to live” road.  “Being the one who makes him see that the love and devotion of a woman will make him stop destroying himself” road.

The alternate name for this road is, “You will spend a lot of time and money in therapy after this guy has ruined your life.  You cannot fix a broken past by breaking your future.”

I don’t know if I can adequately express to you just how much I do not recommend this road, especially when “Nice Guy Who Doesn’t Snort Prescription Diet Pills Because His Coke Dealer is in Lock-Up” roads are also nearby, and won’t cause the kind of wear-and-tear on you that will leave you stranded on the side of life’s highway with an empty wallet and a vaguely itchy crotch.

I’m not going to tell you these roads are always easy to find, sometimes you just have to get lucky, but as my therapist told me in not so many words many years ago, they’re much easier to find if you stop driving your car in circles around Sodom and Gomorrah with a bullhorn out the window shouting, “Free girlfriend, money, psychiatrist, and laundry service here!  Standards nonexistent!”

And I won’t even charge you a co-pay for that bit of counseling, sister.

Building The Perfect Panic Pizza

I’m not particularly skilled at this thing called “cooking”.  I appreciate your attempts at being polite when you pretend to enjoy the frozen pizza I made you that is somehow completely burned on the edges and bottom yet still frozen in the middle.  It’s a magical skill, I know.  How does one even accomplish that in a conventional oven?

That being said, there is one kind of pizza that I’m actually pretty good at making:

The Panic Pizza!

Oh, you don’t know how to make a Panic Pizza?  Well hot damn!  Let’s start the Home Shame Economics cooking class!

The first and most important ingredient in a Panic Pizza is the human-shaped dough glob that is you.  Hopefully, you’ve mixed and mashed yourself with so much alcohol and so many carbs the night before that by morning, you’re ready to be scraped off the couch and rise, get punched a few times in the gut, and then tossed up like so many cookies into the air of daylight.  After all, it’s another day for you to try your best at not being a shit show.  Good luck with that, paisan!

Now your dough is ready for sauce.  Since the jar of sauce is too hard to open and you don’t feel like walking all the way over to the cabinet that’s four feet away to get the jar opener thingy, you decide this Panic Pizza will be sauce-less.

You trailblazer, you.  It takes a lot of guts to have that kind of Lack of Motivation, which brings us to our first topping!  Lack of Motivation!

Hang on.  Now you’re picturing a loved one trying to chew the dry, sauce-less pizza and then they get the hiccups when they try to swallow a particularly large and dry bite, then they start choking, you totally suck at doing the Heimlich Maneuver, and then the morgue comes to take their dead body away because you killed them with your dry pizza because you were too unmotivated to get the jar opener thingy.  The hearse will pull away and you’ll be inconsolable, crying, “Why couldn’t I just get the jar opener thingy?  I should have seen this coming!”

Sorry, Lack of Motivation, but the first topping on this Panic Pizza is Anxiety.  Rookie mistake!

So, first layer on some gloppy Anxiety, then Lack of Motivation.  Our Panic Pizza is starting to really take shape!

Now that you’ve got Anxiety going, you can sit back and put your feet up for a while.  It’s time for Anxiety to take over, which means Anxiety gets to pick the rest of the toppings.  That’s what you get for letting Anxiety into the kitchen.  Once that guy comes into the picture, he takes over EVERYTHING.

Anxiety wants you to feel pretty bad about what a bother you are to everyone when you act like this, so let’s liberally sprinkle some Guilt onto the Panic Pizza.  You want to take it right up to the edges so you don’t get a single bite without at least a little of that zesty Guilt flavor.

Now Anxiety wants you to feel really weak for not being able to control Anxiety, so you slice up some Shame and lay it out on the Panic Pizza in concentric circles.  Those circles better be perfect, because if they’re not perfect, then nobody will like you…

…which is just in time to add Insecurity to the Panic Pizza!

Insecurity gets sprayed onto the pizza from an olive oil mister so that you can be sure it’s evenly coated all over the Panic Pizza.  Oh man, despite all your preparation, it looks like you missed a spot.  It’s probably because of the next topping going on the pizza…

…and that topping is Stupid!

Really, nobody could confuse it for anything else, seeing as you’re a grown adult with adult responsibilities who should be more than capable of handling your own jacked-up and self-destructive thoughts by now, but since you can’t, I guess that means you’re just Stupid!

You know what?  Let’s not render the verdict on that one yet.  Maybe you just haven’t tried therapy, religion, yoga, meditation, herbs, oils, deep breathing, visualization, and grounding techniques yet!  Maybe you just need to try harder to defeat your anxiety disorder!

Oh wait.  You have tried?  Tried and failed, you say?  Then go ahead and toss some Stupid onto that Panic Pizza, then pop open that smoky bin next to it, and LAYER ON THE FAILURE.

The only thing left to add to your Panic Pizza is the cheese of Anxiety’s choice, which means you don’t get any cheese, because Anxiety thinks you don’t deserve any.  Instead, Anxiety will give you the last topping in the form of a little cup of that garlic butter “sauce” from Papa John’s, because if that shit ain’t Self-Loathing, I don’t know what is.

Mamma mia!  Anxiety make-uh you the perfect Panic Pizza pie-uh!

Related, I found this at Wal-Mart this weekend.  Feel free to mark this on your calendar as the day humanity officially gave up.

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This is not okay.

 

 

The Love Boat Promises Something for Every Neurosis

I looooove television.  Not just any kind of television.  60s, 70s, and 80s television.  You can take your reality shows and stick ‘em where Sonny from Bosom Buddies don’t shine.  I would rather stare at a blank screen all day than watch a reality show.

Okay, fine.  Unless it was the first or second season of Bret Michaels “Rock of Love” on VH-1 because that shit was genuinely entertaining.  #TeamHeather

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Every Heather has its thorn. My god, I adore this woman.

I totally want to party with her, get arrested together, break out of jail, and live life together on the run.  Or at least break out of Catholic school with her.

Then we’ll get free stuff from gas stations and happen upon a strip club that has an amateur night, and I’ll dress up in a men’s business suit and hat, except I’ll be wearing carefully applied lipstick.  She’ll wear a white bellbottom outfit with a sparkly bra and enter the stripper competition.  I’ll pull off my hat at some point during her routine, revealing that I’m actually Alicia Silverstone.  Biker guys will swoon.  We will win the competition and use our prize money to get a motel room for the night.  The next day we will taunt a handsome man on a tractor.

I realize this is actually just an Aerosmith video that I’m describing, which doesn’t make it any less important as a personal goal.  Don’t shit on my dream.

When I went through my Howard Hughes OCD psychotic break in 1994 and stopped leaving the house for a few months, the one thing I looked forward to more than anything was when The Love Boat would come on at 3am.  I love that show so freaking much.  The problem was that between midnight and 3am, there was jack squat on TV.  I could buy some time if there was a good guest on one of the late night talk shows, but for the most part, it was a lot of sitting around and waiting.

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The first thing I bought for my new apartment seven years ago. Not even remotely kidding.

I suppose I could have done, I don’t know, something besides sit around and wait for a television show to come on, maybe read a book or “think about the future” or whatever, but I had fallen so far down the well I couldn’t even be bothered to shower more than once every two weeks at that point.  Reading a book or doing anything constructive might as well have been climbing a mountain.  Everything was too daunting.

I would get so anxious in those hours waiting for The Love Boat to come on, wishing and praying more than anything that time would just move faster.  This was before I got any kind of treatment for my OCD, so when I got anxious like that, I got extra compelled.

Obsessively compelled, that is.  Black gold.  Texas tea.

Shut up.  You don’t have to quote The Beverly Hillbillies theme song.  We get it.  You like TV.

Hang on, though.  This one’s my favorite.  Perfect Strangers theme song:

🎵 Standing taaaall on the wings of my dreams.  Rise and faaaaall, on the wings of my dreams.  Rain, thunder, wind and haze, I’m bound for better days.  It’s my life.  Myyyy dream.  Nothin’s gonna stop me now.  (Harmonica part.) 🎵

You are the literal worst.

Every four minutes between midnight and 3am, my OCD would make me do a security check in the house where I would go room to room to make sure all the windows were closed, all the doors were locked, and all cabinets, closets, bathtubs, and under-bed areas were free of psycho killers.  Light switches, door knobs, anything along the way had to be touched between four and sixty-four times until it felt “right”.

At every four minutes, this translated to fifteen security checks per hour.  But the number fifteen was deemed “bad” by my brain, so I had to do another quick check right before the hour was up to make it an even sixteen times.

Sixteen was a really good number that gave me momentary mental relief.  Nothing felt as great as the number sixteen.  Bad numbers included all prime numbers, particularly the number three, and anything that wasn’t divisible by four.

Bad numbers?  Oh man.  Bad numbers just simply could not be tolerated.  If someone on TV said the number thirty-one out loud, I would have to whisper, “Thirty-two,” or else I’d become extremely uncomfortable with that thirty-one just hanging in the air.

If someone else happened to be in the room, they would say, “What?  Did you just say something?” and then I would say no and tell them that they must just be hearing things.

Most people with OCD will tell you something similar to the above.  There are totally innocuous things that are arbitrarily classified as “good” or “bad”.  Numbers in my case, obviously, but I had certain electrical cords that I deemed bad for no reason.  Round foods were deemed good.  Square foods, bad.  Knocking on doors, good.  Doorbells, bad.

This is because the very technical scientific term for OCD is “broken-assed brain”.  Thankfully in my case, I was able to get it fixed later down the road (mostly).  My therapist said there was probably a reason buried deep somewhere that I had assigned good/bad to certain things, but that it ultimately didn’t matter.  OCD is illogical, and trying to apply logic to it is a waste of energy.

It was a shame I never had the cleaning compulsions that some people have or else my house would have been museum-spotless every night before The Love Boat came on.

Don’t get me wrong.  People who have the cleaning compulsions will often scrub floors until their fingertips split with gangrene and their nails crumble and rot down to the cuticle, so it’s no picnic, either, but at the very least you get a clean floor out of it.  The most my compulsions were doing for me was making sure that there wasn’t a miniature psycho killer crouched in my bathroom cabinet.  I mean, it’s a good thing to know there wasn’t one in there, but at the same time, the odds were generally pretty slim of one actually being in there to begin with.  My time could have been better spent, especially given the filth I was living in.

So I would do my routines for all those hours in anticipation of The Love Boat every night, night after night.  Walking around the house in my filthy Nirvana tour shirt with the glow-in-the-dark seahorses on it, checking and touching and checking and touching, and then I’d eventually put some nice, round Crispy Crowns in the oven around 1:32am (around means precisely or else you have to wait until 1:48am).  I would eat the Crispy Crowns in even numbers, making sure to chew each one sixteen times on each side of my mouth, and get ready for my show to finally start.

2:59am.

The show was about to start!

It was finally about to start!

I was so happy as the ending credits rolled for the show that was on before The Love Boat.  Yes!  My show was about to start!

Then the clock would strike 3am and the theme song for The Love Boat would come on.

🎵 Love…exciting and new…come aboard…we’re expecting yoooooooooou…. 🎵

I would be so elated, so relieved, and so relaxed it was finally on, that I would fall asleep halfway through the opening credits and sleep through the entire show and then be furious I had missed it.

Every night.

 

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Imma let you finish, but in 1994 I was more Angela Chase from My So-Called Life than Angela Chase was Angela Chase.