Poor Barry Bonds. He just doesn't get it. The reason America doesn't love him is not that he did drugs - it's that he did the wrong ones. I mean, Keith Richards has spent more on his right arm than George Bush spends on childrens' health care, and what does he get? Forty years of subsidized debauchery and 7.3 million from Little, Brown to write his memoir.
Come on! It's not like generations of young fans and wannabe rock stars went out and put busloads of bad smack and baby-powdered cocaine in their veins trying to emulate their hero. Well, okay, maybe they did. But who says kids are going to rush out and pop Cream, Clear and - my personal favorite - Mexican Beans (aka Testosterone Decanoate) to be like Bonds? Sure, they might dabble. But how many are willing to go all the way? The man's head is the size of Rush Limbaugh's left buttock. It's too risky. What if, instead of getting their performance enhanced, the PFE's just left them with the Limbaugh buttock-head? Then what? They won't even have the chance to earn an asterisk, let alone a record to go beside it. They'll just have to find a sideshow somewhere and dance for quarters.
The truth is, Rush ruined narcotics for everybody when he got popped for dilaudid. (How the status of that glam painkiller has fallen since the days when Lenny Bruce could intone "It's de-lish, it's de-luxe, it's di-laudid!") What self-respecting hipster wants to party down like an overweight right-wing Viagra smuggler? Rush nearly made the stuff uncool - until Little, Brown saw fit to reward Richard for a lifetime of service to the Narcotic Consumption Industry. Hats off to you, Michael Pietsch!
(Personally, the memoir I'd have liked to read was William Rehnquist - The Placidyl Years. Talk about the ultimate party pellet! The only people I knew who got addicted to placidyl were 70s porn actors. With a couple dyl-dyls in their bloodstream they could have sex with a lawn chair. No wonder his clerks used to call the late Chief Justice "Snakehips!")
But back to the hapless slugger. That George Bush saw fit to loudly and publicly not call to congratulate Mr. Bonds is testament, yet again, to our president's moral stature. Mr. Bush, after all, is a man who used his drugs of choice - cocaine and alcohol - the way nature intended: to lounge around getting DUIs until he could find Jesus and run whatever oil company or country his father bought him into the ground. Bonds, that degenerate, actually accomplished something on drugs. (Even if he did end up with that truck tire-sized head thing). And we all know narcotics and ambition are a lethal mix. Just look what happened to Keith.
(Author's note: at 39, after a lifetime of loserdom, I wrote a book about being a junkie that attained best-sellerdom. So what if I had to lose my liver, family, home and self-respect in the process? For me, as for Big Barry, doing dope was a great career move. But if you check my Dewey Decimal number, there's still an asterisk next to it.)