It’s my blessing and curse to remember writing, the way a fashionista remembers details of an outfit years later (“…and then there was the most extraordinary string of Mikimoto pearls, in graduated sizes, about 18 inches, falling just below the clavicle notch…”). And so I recall, in much greater detail than I’d like, the overheated phrases of an Ann Landers column that ran when I was about Kate’s age. It was about the dangers of the drug scene. Er, drug “scene.” Ann hung quotes on every word that she identified as youth-culture slang, so it was quite the column. I particularly remember her description of a “sick thrill” she called “fruit salad.” The gist: Everyone comes to the party with whatever pills they could “score” on the street or “liberate” from mom’s medicine chest. All the pills are thrown together in a bowl, and everyone at the party swallows a handful.
(At this point I should say that in my youth, which included many brushes with drug culture, I never, ever saw anything resembling a “fruit salad” that didn’t consist of mixed berries and maybe kiwi. Of course, I was behind the bleeding edge of the baby boom, so who knows? As my friend Name Redacted used to mourn, “Pot was a party drug. You lit up a joint, you passed it to the closest person. It brought people together, it made the party more fun. Cocaine is all about shutting people out. You pick whoever you want to suck up to, and invite them to go to the bathroom with you. This isn’t a good thing.”)
(I should also note that when I was Kate’s age, I was reading the daily newspaper. Two of them, in fact, as we subscribed to both the Columbus Citizen-Journal and the afternoon Columbus Dispatch. I still subscribe to two newspapers. Kate doesn’t read either.)
Well, I’m rambling. My aim, today, is to finally give the Ann Landers fruit salad a proper name. I propose: Anna Nicole’s Casserole, or if you’re French, Cassoulet a la Anna Nicole. This is in honor of her autopsy report, released yesterday. Her system was so packed with fun that the Associated Press ran the full list as a sidebar. Seriously. Here’s the text, in its entirety:
The following drugs were found in Anna Nicole Smith’s body during the autopsy, according to the Broward County medical examiner’s office:
Brand Name (Drug) indication
— Ativan (lorazepam): anti-anxiety medication
— Cipro (ciprofloxacin): antibiotic
— Klonopin (clonazepam): anti-seizure medicine also used to treat anxiety
— Methadone: strong painkiller, often used to suppress withdrawal from heroin
— Noctec (chloral hydrate): sedative and sleeping medication
— Robaxin (methocarbamol): muscle relaxant
— Soma (meprobamate): muscle relaxant
— Topamax (topiramate): anti-seizure medication also used to treat migraines
— Tylenol (acetaminophen): pain reliever
— Valium (diazepam): anti-anxiety medication, also used as a sedative and to treat seizures
In addition, she had also taken these around the time of her death, according to interviews and other evidence gathered by the medical examiner’s office:
— Benadryl (diphenhydramine): antihistamine
— Human growth hormone: touted as a muscle-building, weight-reducing agent
— Nicorette (nicotine polacrilex): used to quit smoking
— Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate): anti-viral medicine
— Vitamin B12: helps formation of red blood cells
Source: Broward County medical examiner’s office; University of Miami toxicology department
My favorite single item? The B12. It’s one of those health cures I’ve heard about all my life. “I need a B12 shot,” people are always saying. “Really? What does B12 do?” I ask. No one knows. It’s like “toxins.” It’s good for you. Ask no questions.
My second-favorite item: The Tylenol. Talk about feeling no pain!
And finally, bringing up the rear: Nicorette gum. Because it’s important to give up one’s unhealthy habits.
This is better than River Phoenix, who died after a similar heapin’ helpin’ of Anna Nicole’s Casserole. But he was a vegetarian, because red meat can kill you, man.
Lots to do today, not enough time to do it in. Console yourselves, children, with bloggage:
The 10 Worst Rap Album Covers Ever Made. No. 1 belongs in the Smithsonian.
I’m so crushed “Rome” is over. I want to be BFF with Atia. Can’t we do a sequel?
And now, off to the gym. Class is called “Flex Appeal.” I have no idea what this means, but I could use some flexing.
ashley said on March 27, 2007 at 9:23 am
What? No TrimSpa in her system?
jcburns said on March 27, 2007 at 9:35 am
Your google ads right now: ‘Craving Meth?’ and ‘Drug Interventions.’
Marcia said on March 27, 2007 at 9:36 am
That autopsy report was interesting reading, wasn’t it?
I feel rather sorry for her; instead of being remembered the way she most likely believed she would be, as the hot chick every guy wanted, everyone is instead reading about her assymetrical, scarred breasts and abcessed buttocks. Not exactly immortal sex symbol material.
Marcia said on March 27, 2007 at 9:39 am
X-post–the Google ad thing can be quite humorous. I had a post at my place about how Christians incessantly harp about homosexuals, and the corresponding ad was for “gay cars.”
I never did click it so I’m not entirely sure what constitutes such a thing.
4dbirds said on March 27, 2007 at 9:44 am
The anti-depressants and anti-seizure medicine are used in the treatment of bi-polar disorder. If the gossip magazines have it right, it doesn’t sound as if she was being closely followed by a doctor. My family member who is on these meds is monitored with blood work, exams and talk therapy.
Mary O said on March 27, 2007 at 9:48 am
Thanks for mentioning Rome. I want to be Atia when I grow up. I felt so much better when Atia snapped out of her funk and gave the devastating what-for to Livia. As my kids would say, She got schooled!
But that last close-up of her was devastating. I hope to see more of that actor soon. She was amazing.
I don’t know what I’m going to do when the Sopranos is over. Maybe cancel HBO and start saving for college?
4dbirds said on March 27, 2007 at 9:53 am
Wasn’t Atia the best part ever? Polly Walker used her talents to portray an affectionate mother, insecure lover, murderer, jealous social climber and regretful survivor. She made Rome worth watching.
Joe Kobiela said on March 27, 2007 at 10:40 am
Hey Dave K.
We are still waiting for the Bob Seger report.
Nancy, enjoy the flex class, Just make sure you warm up the muscle’s first and remember to Strech Slowwwwww,
nancy said on March 27, 2007 at 11:24 am
“It doesn’t sound as if she was being closely followed by a doctor.”
Actually, I think she was, perhaps literally. The accompanying AP story — and I’m sorry, I only saved the sidebar — said the Noctec (chloral hydrate) was prescribed by a doctor who was “traveling with” A.N. I guess she was tanning poolside when her patient was having, er, breakfast.
Oh, and Flex Appeal was indistinguishable from Buffed Bodies, which I took last week. We were told, during the dumbbell exercises, to strive for “Jennifer Aniston arms.”
LA mary said on March 27, 2007 at 11:36 am
The doctor who was traveling with her was requesting scrips from other docs, one of whom works for the same hospital I do. The PR department here is very happy he refused to fill that last request, which I understand was substantial.
Danny said on March 27, 2007 at 11:50 am
And with a single post, Mary delivers yet another crushing blow to her would-be competitors in the brushes-with-celebrity contest. Oh, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. The human drama of athletic competition.
brian stouder said on March 27, 2007 at 12:31 pm
The doctor who was traveling with her was requesting scrips from other docs
If it can be proven that that doctor was making such requests, that might be the keystone of a winning ‘wrongful death’ lawsuit against her.
I’ve noted that alt-media (such as TMZ) seems to be the ‘source of record’ in all the mainstream media reporting. I suppose TMZ is allowed to be the canary in the coal mine – ‘real media’ stays clean while those guys ferret out (to mix animal metaphors) all the nuggets – and take the risk of being wrong.
The John Edwards story last week was like that; one minute MSNBC.com had their BREAKING NEWS banner up, with a big, grim-faced pic of the candidate – and then ‘poof’! gone!
And then a mostly unapologetic corrected article about Edwards staying in the race, and some rascally blogger guy who got the story wrong!
Danny said on March 27, 2007 at 12:48 pm
That seems about the size of things these days. As Nance has basically said, we want our news fast and snarky so we can form our sometimes ill-informed opinions immediately. I guess I prefer it to being bored by the slower than molasses historical news cycle.
But on the flip-side, one of the more interesting things that comes out of it is that sometimes you really catch the MSM with their pants down with regard to exhibition of their perceived liberal bias’. Like when the alt-media has been running a story that has overwhelmingly solid sourcing (e.g. the Monica Lewinsky and the Dan Rather fake memo scandals) and yet the MSM refuses to run with a story that gores their personal ox.
nancy said on March 27, 2007 at 1:55 pm
To be sure, Danny, the Monica story wasn’t really an alt-media scoop. Newsweek reported the story, Drudge found out what they were doing, and went ahead and let it slip. It’s always bugged me that he took credit for breaking that one, when all he did was find out someone else was about to break it, and then take his natural advantage — the web — to leak the gossip about it.
It may seem a fine distinction to some, but it’s the difference betweeen actually doing the legwork and having someone whisper in your ear.
But really, in its own way, just doing that was the start of something important, so I guess he gets some credit for that.
Danny said on March 27, 2007 at 2:09 pm
Yes, you are right. I had forgotten that aspect of the story. I think it is a big distinction in that case but, the my impression is that the more common chain of events these days is for the alt-media to do it’s own legwork and scoop the MSM.
Of course, since sources are mostly “confidential,” ithere are undoubtedly times when someone in the MSM, be it a low level assistant with an axe to grind or a top level investigative journalist who is frustrated with their own editorial board, is slipping the info to the alt-media on the sly.
Laura said on March 27, 2007 at 2:59 pm
Some docs perscribe Ativan to combat nausea in chemo patients. The stuff left me so disoriented (even with a half dose) that I had to quit it. Anna Nicole must have been some sturdy gal to handle all that fruit salad. Then again, I guess she didn’t.
brian stouder said on March 27, 2007 at 5:26 pm
It’s my blessing and curse to remember writing, the way a fashionista remembers details of an outfit years later
I liked that remark; I only remember the general texture or feel of writing that I like. Rereading books is a rarity for me, but snapping up the work of favorite authors is not.
Gotta mention again how marvelous the book Sword of Lincoln is, by Douglas Wilson. He presents a very enlightening and entertaining narrative which follows Lincoln’s writing and re-writing (and pre-writing!) process for all sorts of state papers, letters, proclamations, speeches, and odd scraps and meditations. The author makes the point that Lincoln’s most basic response to complex and pressing issues – was to write; and then re-write, revise, and write some more. And he always read aloud what he wrote – he was an aural writer. When he read aloud, he’d grab whoever was handy as an audience…and he was very big on commas!
The craftsmanship and great care with which he wrote and revised makes for a very interesting exploration; very like looking over his shoulder as he works.
Just like with great race drivers – I admire the work, even though (or especially because) I cannot do it
basset said on March 27, 2007 at 11:12 pm
more than likely that’s the Memphis pyramid on album cover entry number eight… the real one being a sports arena that was supposed to be the center of a rejuvenated downtown.
now it sits empty, superseded by yet another sports arena on the opposite edge of Memphis’ center city; there has been some talk of turning it into a giant Bass Pro Shop.
and I am not making that up.
ashley said on March 27, 2007 at 11:21 pm
BTW Nance, this should confirm the supremacy of…well…basically anywhere over Michigan.
What is wrong with college students these days?
Nance said on March 27, 2007 at 11:27 pm
Excuse me? Are you saying this is a bad thing? When was the last time a girl walked into your house, took off her clothes, laid down on your couch and took responsibility for her own orgasm?
Fave detail: They’re getting rid of the couch.
Dave K. said on March 27, 2007 at 11:58 pm
Several events/circumstances have delayed my promised Bob Seger review. Less than 12 hours after returning from “DETROIT MICHIGAN, THE HOME OF ROCK AND ROLL!!”, I was on my way back north, spending two days in a Metro airport hotel attempting to negotiate with Dana Corp. folks who obviously weren’t interested in negotiating. Then there was a minor incident involving my local union president being suspended, pending termination, by the same parties we had spent such a lovely time with discussing pension freezes and elimination of retiree health care benefits. (Numerous phone calls, e-mails, and conferences later, Prez has been reinstated, back-pay and overtime to follow).
Several days of warm weather and much needed Harley riding followed, as I watched for a topic which would support said review. Anna Nicole’s Caserole; close enough!
Cobo Arena with 13,000 Rock n’ Rollers is THE BEST place to watch a concert I can imagine. I e-mailed my daughter, telling her, “When Bob sang ‘…12 hours out of Mackinac City, stopped in a bar to have a brew…’ I told your mom “I forgot all about that song”. She wondered why I didn’t remember “Roll Me Away”, before the 2nd verse. I told her, “I remembered it at the first NOTE, but I didn’t have the lump out of my throat so I could speak until the 2nd verse!”
From that first note until long after the 2nd encore of “Rock and Roll Never Forgets”, everyone I could see was dancing, singing, and partying. No one threw up in Paulette’s coat pocket this time, but one of the “kids” behind us did spill some beer down my back. He and three buddies had driven 10 hours from Omaha, first time ever to see Bob and Silver Bullet. He apologized, asked if I wanted “a big swig” of his beer to make amends. I just laughed, remembered, and told him, “No thanks man but just don’t waste that stuff”.
The band was rocking, the Motor City Horns were hot, and the backup singers sounded and looked great. Bob sounded better than ever, to this old rocker, and he really seemed to be having the time of his life!
My wife and I agreed that this was without a doubt the BEST concert we have ever seen, and we’ve seen quite a few shows in 54 years. Dancing, singing, and partying, clean and sober, I couldn’t have possibly been higher!!
Thank You, Bob Seger!!
MarkH said on March 28, 2007 at 2:35 am
Nance, not to pick a nit, but I will anyway re: alt media/Monica.
What I remember is that Newsweek did not report the Monica story, as they were not going to break it. They, thanks to the investigative abilities of Michael Isikoff, HAD the story, but spiked it. Word got to Drudge and he ran it only AFTER he knew Newsweek was sitting on it. So what Drudge broke was as much Newsweek blowing off a solid story as the story itself.
I can understand your reporter’s pride tweaked at someone else running a story you own, and Isikoff had a right to be upset, but at Newsweek, not Drudge. I understand Mike fought hard to have his editors run it. Drudge can take the credit, as I see it.
cce said on March 28, 2007 at 9:45 am
Christmas N’ Memphis. I’m so getting that album. Because, well, since I was about nine I’ve been feeling like “Christmas just hasn’t been the same.”
Anyone know of a good vinyl store in the Boston area?
As for AN and her fruit salad. The addition on Benadryl says it all. True junkies, those who have been taking so much stuff they can no longer feel the thrill, use Benadryl to intensify the effects of certain narcotics. So sad that just plain Ativan, Klonopin, Methadone and Topomax couldn’t get her there.
Marcia said on March 28, 2007 at 9:57 am
Benadryl was misspelled in the autopsy report. You’d think those guys would have a most commonly used in overdose drugs spellcheck of sorts.
nancy said on March 28, 2007 at 10:07 am
I thought Benadryl was also the poor girl’s diet drug. I recall reading something about the fashionable ladies who pop one a day for the infinitesimal metabolism boost it gives.
Danny said on March 28, 2007 at 10:59 am
Thanks, Dave! Hey, how long did he play? Was it a three or four hour show?
LA mary said on March 28, 2007 at 11:20 am
Children’s Benadryl is the drug of choice for moms who want to take kids on long trips peacefully. I’ve had more than a few mothers tell me this.
LA mary said on March 28, 2007 at 11:22 am
Frat boys just aren’t what they used to be.
MarkH said on March 28, 2007 at 12:19 pm
Mary, she just picked the wrong house. Must have been the GEEK house; imagine if it was the animal house.
brian stouder said on March 28, 2007 at 12:24 pm
Good god! you got that right!
If that frat had found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, they probably would have found a way to foul up their good fortune
Dave K. said on March 28, 2007 at 1:49 pm
Danny, Bob Seger played for about 2 1/2 hours, with one 8 minute intermission. Uncle Cracker opened, starting exactly on time at 8:00pm. They did about 30 minutes, and the crowd was enthusiastic for their show, no boos or “We Want SEGER…”. Nothing, however, like the roar from the crowd when we heard “Took a look down a westbound road, right away I made my choice…”.
Dave K. said on March 28, 2007 at 2:03 pm
By the way, I remember burning a couch,(and a Cadillac also) at the Hillsdale Delta Sigma Phi house. I am sure that the uninvited guest would have been welcomed and encouraged by my Brothers! MarkH you’re right, sounds like this one must have stumbled into the “Phi Dog” house, Hillsdale’s “Geek” house at the time.
LA mary said on March 28, 2007 at 3:22 pm
I remember we had a couple of frat guys on our intramural softball team in college, and they were always a little “overprimed,” for games, in their words. I recall we had to forfeit to the library science team because all our players who were in fraternities were passed out or could not reliably remain upright long enough to hit the ball.
brian stouder said on March 28, 2007 at 4:10 pm
reminds me of the story about Micky Mantle (from Ball Four?) – where he was ‘over-primed’ for a game, and still jacked a homerun.
He joked to his buddies that he swung at the middle ball!
Bob said on March 28, 2007 at 4:52 pm
Benadryl as a diet drug? Metabolism boost? Hard to believe!
The effect of Benadryl on most people is drowsiness or lethargy; I remember when Mom was plagued with allergies, not a good thing for a farm mom/wife. She’d take Benadryl to get some relief, and keep going through the grogginess through sheer force of will.
Every now and then I’ll go through an episode of insomnia, and a big dose of Benadryl at bedtime is a sure-fire remedy.