Let's say you've got an actor, the star of the blockbuster hit of the summer, Ford Tough. It's breaking box office records left and right. And with good reason.
Given the economic hardships many of us are currently facing, the story of Holy City superhero Robert Ford and his fight to keep landlords from dumping the furniture of evicted tenants on the side of the road is particularly timely.
Of course, nobody knew Ford Tough was going to be this big. Not only was the script being written during filming, but rumors from the set indicated that the film's star, Chris Haire, was spending all of his off-camera time popping Percocet out of a Pez dispenser and downing shots of vodka and turpentine.
First, there was that misunderstanding at the convenience store. Then there was that incident at the airport. And finally, there was that time on the set when Haire collapsed, right in the middle of a scene in which Sen. Ford was stopping the police from putting the furniture of down-on-his-luck economist Al Parish on the side of the street. Folks say Haire just muttered something about taking a road trip with WTMA's Donna Darlin' and then collapsed on top of a pile of yard gnomes.
Later that day, Haire's people issued a statement, one which was designed to put all the rumors to rest: the actor had been admitted to the hospital to undergo treatment for dehydration and exhaustion.
No one bought it.
See, whenever an entertainer is rushed to a hospital to be treated for dehydration and exhaustion, we all know better. It's just code for saying that an actor or musician has a thing for pharmaceuticals.
And since folks have gotten wise to all this euphemistic BS, the ole D&E excuse has evolved. Now, it seems that a celebrity is more apt to be suffering an "adverse reaction" to medication.
Oddly enough, this line has been used to explain the recent hospitalizations of both trouble-plagued chanteuse Amy Winehouse and Lowcountry ass clown Arthur Ravenel. That said, we sincerely believe that in the case of the latter, the excuse is 100 percent legit, that is, unless Cousin Arthur picked up a bad habit or two from his son, which we doubt. White power is one thing. White powder another.
Speaking of euphemisms, it seems like we've got a new one in our midst, one that appears to be designed to cover up another unpleasantness. It's called getting retired, and there's been an awful lot of it going round.
First, there was Charleston Fire Chief Rusty Thomas, then Assistant Chief Eddie Bath, and now Assistant Fire Chief Larry Garvin. And in the case of Garvin, retiring from the fire department wasn't something he apparently wanted to do, right here, right now. He told The Post and Courier as much: "I had really wanted to leave in March of next year. Chief [Ronnie] Classen asked me to go ahead and retire." (According to the P&C, another assistant chief is expected to retire soon.)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it has been my understanding that most folks retire when they're ready to exit the workforce and to spend the rest of their days doing, well, whatever the hell they want to do — work in the yard, build birdhouses, make voodoo dolls which look an awful lot like Mayor Riley. Retirement is not something that someone decides for you.
Besides, we've already got a word for that — it's called resigning.