Monday, November 06, 2006

The Other Psycho

There are ten events that psychologists identify as the most stressful things that can happen to a person. Number one is public speaking and losing someone to death is number two. There’s also divorce, moving, buying a house and changing jobs. Getting into a bikini should be on there but I’m guessing the list was compiled by men.

I’ve never been divorced nor bought a house but I have sold two of my Dad’s condos, moved seven times, lost loved ones to death and did standup in numerous clubs with various people two or three times a month spanning twenty years, nine countries and twenty-four states. And I’ve worn bikinis, tankinis and did it without the help of martinis.

During the Bosnian War I had to sleep in a red-tagged bunker in Macedonia with the U.N. Peacekeepers guarding the compound with machine guns. I was in a Blackhawk helicopter over Serbia in a blinding snowstorm with zero visibility when the co-pilot said he didn’t advise landing as we were landing. I starred in a musical review in Paris for seven months, becoming only the second American in French history to lead a Can Can. The first was Josephine Baker, the third was LaToya Jackson.

I traveled alone to India for three weeks to have experimental surgery. I did shows on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean where I was issued a gas mask and then shown how to plunge a hypodermic filled with antidote into my thigh in case the Agent Orange and Mustard Gas escaped from their containment drums on the island. (I would have died long before I got the needle in but they don’t tell you that. I heard it from a soldier on the island) I am not a coward, a baby, a whiner or someone who doesn’t take chances. Nothing fazes me. Except going to someone’s home as a house guest.

For starters, you can’t eat a bowl of cereal while sitting at the computer naked. What’s up with that? People also prefer it when you help them cook. And clean up. Well, if I did that at my house, sure, I would do it at yours. But I don’t so I’m not so don’t ask. And look up the word ‘guest’ while you’re at it. And if you don’t have an extra room for me, I’m not coming. I didn’t go camping when I was a kid and I’m not going to start now.

But the thing that really spins my rinse cycle is in the bathroom. Hiding like Olivia Newton John’s boyfriend in Costa Rica is the shower control panel. While there are many variations on the theme, the most vicious of them all is the little Ferris wheel that has red and blue markings lifting off in a faux rainbow, presumably to tell you how hot and how cold you can make the water. These deleterious disks reveal the biggest lies you will encounter outside of a romantic relationship. No matter how low I go on the red dial, I still end up with second degree burns. And no matter how medium I go on the blue dial, I have to don a parka before I step in. How is it possible that you can go into anyone’s house anywhere in the world and work their computer but need Faucets for Dummies to turn on their water? By the time I’ve figured out the dials and managed to take a shower, the people I’m staying with have either reported me missing or moved.

There really is no place like home. End of chat.


  1. So, are you going to be on The View this week?

  2. I'm just one of Joy's bff's. Susie Essman is just one of her New York bff's. Joy has about 20 best friends and always says, "one of my" when she mentions a best friend. We should all be that lucky to have so many people who love us.

  3. Anonymous3:48 PM

    This is the most exciting, truth-filled piece of literature I have ever read about the simple pleasure of disguise. And yes I always told my sister, why you cleaning up over their house and you don't clean up at home...

  4. Anonymous4:07 PM

    Suz, this post is so funny and well written that it's impossible for me to quote all the great lines back to you. You've obviously had a fascinating life. Write an autobiography so that I can read it, would ya?

  5. I've already written the book, although it's about my disastrous romps through love and the ghost that follows me around. It's called All the Bad Sex I've Had, a very, very, very long book.

    WIth the help of the very talented and generous Jess Riley, (Riley's Ramblings)I am putting the query letter together. It is harder than writing the book.

    Thanks for your kind words.

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