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.