Celebrities aren’t the only ones who go into rehab. Why, I myself once spent several weekends in the Minor Addiction Wing of the Betty Ford Center. The little monkey I had on my back was salt; I was using the salt shaker so much that I nearly developed a repetitive stress injury. Some of the other problems that people were getting help with included caffeine, video games and in one very sad case, Vicks VapoRub.
We all knew that the other people there with “serious” drug and alcohol problems were always making fun of us…referring to us “amateurs” and “minor leaguers” but we ignored them and bravely fought our tiny demons.
Although today I am salt free, it has not been easy. As recently as six months ago I nearly had a relapse. If not for dedicated people like my counselor (who I’ll just call “Rick”) I would surely have descended back into that white, crystalline hell. Here is a transcription of the late-night phone call that saved my life…
A telephone rings
Rick: (in a groggy voice) Hello?
TDB: Hey Rick, it’s me.
Rick: TDB? Do you know that’s it’s almost 3:00 am?
TDB: Yeah, I know and I’m sorry, but I’ve hit a really rough patch. I can’t even sleep, the craving has gotten so bad it’s causing me to have these weird…almost erotic dreams.
Rick: What are you talking about?
TDB: Ok, take the last one for instance. I was walking away from the smoldering ruins of an ancient city when I run smack into Lot’s wife…
Rick: Wait, you mean that woman from the bible who was turned into a pillar of salt?
TDB: Yeah, that’s the one. Anyway, there she was, a beautiful, female shaped block of salt glittering in the sun…
Rick: Well, that doesn’t really sound all that erotic…
TDB: That’s because I haven’t told you about the licking yet…
Rick: Ok, Ok! I get the picture!
TDB: If you think that’s freaky you should have seen who was in my dream the night before. Do you that girl on the Morton Salt label?
TDB: Her mother.
Rick: Well, that’s a relief.
TDB: I’m an addict Rick…not a pervert.
Rick: Yeah, ok. Look, have you got any Mrs. Dash in your apartment?
TDB: I always do.
Rick: Good, that should get you through the what’s left of the night. Come by my office around 7:00 and we’ll talk then. Alright?
TDB: Thanks Rick, by the way, did you hear about Freddy?
Rick: The guy with the NyQuil problem? Did he fall off the wagon again?
TDB: Big time. After binging for three days he stopped by a pharmacy to buy more and he tried to pay for it with those “coins” you get at Chuck E. Cheese’s.
Rick: Listen, just because Freddy had a relapse doesn’t mean you will. I’ll see you in the morning.
TDB: Goodnight Rick.
So I hung up the phone and somehow made it through the night. Thankfully, there haven’t been any close calls since then. I’m working on a screenplay based on my experiences. It will be called either “The Devil’s Condiment” or “Please Pass the Salt…to Someone Else!”…I might even make it a musical.
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