The Bitch

Junkie

A Los Angeles entertainment production company has been running classified ads in newspapers across the country, seeking exhibitionistic kooks saddled additionally with addictive personalities for a television documentary series to be called HABITS. The series will chronicle the various misadventures of people battling debilitating obsessions or compulsions. According to the habitstv.com Website: "We are seeking to explore the raw, unfiltered truth about addiction and its impact on the lives of those struggling with it, as well as their family and friends."

The Bitch knows someone who would be an ideal candidate for an impulse-control makeover. She's warm and funny; true, a little loca and given to behavioral binges, but lovably so. This subject hoovers up booze, drugs, fried plantains, and caffeine at a rate that gives pause to even the truly hard-core. Some parts of her aren't pretty. Typical of this hotheaded, reckless personality, instead of working out a sensible plan for healthy living, she compensates through the wonders of modern technology. She's a joker, but inside she's shrieking for an intervention.

So The Bitch faced her down in the street and said, "Look, just fill out this form. These people can help you see what you're doing to yourself." The following questions are taken directly from the HABITS Website, the producers' way of culling the merely messed-up from the true junkies who want to document their hellish foibles on national television.

Q: Please introduce yourself: Tell us your name, your age, your occupation, and the addiction/compulsion that you are struggling with.

A: My legal name is the City of Miami, but people call me a lot of things -- "Magic City," "Capital of the Americas," or just plain "Crazy Town," depending on who's talking. I am 109 years old, give or take. You might say I've struggled to find myself over the years. For a while I was big into Indian wars, slaves, rum running, gambling, real estate scams. Then I grew up a little and traded in the native-slaughtering and slave-holding for drug smuggling, money laundering, and clandestine operations aimed at foreign nations. Sure, I dabbled a bit in destabilizing political warfare, voter fraud, and exploiting cheap immigrant labor, but my heart was in real estate. My attitude was, hey, I'm selling dreams here. Reality isn't my concern. By the time I was in my eighties, though, I was a brittle beauty with a hollow center and a runny nose. Still had a pretty waterfront, but also a hell of a reputation for crime, riots, poverty, and the like.

Then about five years ago, things started looking up for me. People started inviting me to parties again (although only because I put out like a five-dollar hooker -- I mean, "personal assistant"). But my tendency to overdo everything is coming back to haunt me. The addiction I am battling right now is condo fever. I can't get enough of those big erections. I just want more. They make me feel like a big important city.

Q: How did you hear about the show?

A: Saw an ad in a free weekly I only read to keep up with animal rights and obscure municipal politics.

Q:Where do you live? What type of home do you live in (apt., house, halfway house etc.)?

A: Southern tip of the Florida peninsula. People keep saying I should move. What can I say? I kind of like the fixer-uppers.

Q: What is your level of education and what schools (if any) did you/do you attend?

A: Yeah, well, education has never really been a priority. I've got what you'd call street smarts.

Q:Have you ever been in treatment? When and what type of treatment (outpatient, 30-day, 12-Step etc.)? Are you currently in counseling?

A:I guess you could say I've had my share of treatments. The state imposed a financial oversight board on me for a while. A fair number of my elected officials have been convicted of various excesses. There have been frequent bouts of national ridicule.

Q: What has your addiction cost you? What has it kept you from accomplishing in your life? A: Well, I've always kind of wanted to be more of a Seattle, like with the Starbucks flagship store, or a Singapore, but all those orderly building codes and clean streets just aren't in my blood.

Who's Fighting Now? Part IVJohn El-Masry, who owns popular Coconut Grove bars Mr. Moe's and Barracuda, spent part of his 41st birthday behind bars after he was arrested and charged with false imprisonment and aggravated battery. The case stems from a January 25 altercation involving El-Masry, Moe's general manager David Bello, and a Gold Coast Beverage Distributors delivery guy by the name of Marcelino Corbea. El-Masry and Bello confronted Corbea and accused him of shorting their delivery by some 46 cases of beer (and while the arrest report doesn't disclose certain data, The Bitch is going to go out on a limb here and surmise that, this being Mr. Moe's, the beer in question was likely frat-boy favorite Corona or union-busting Coors rather than Chimay Blue). El-Masry allegedly socked Corbea in the face. Bello and El-Masry then reportedly dragged Corbea into the restroom (the men's restroom, The Bitch hopes), tied up the hapless driver and gave him a beatdown that resulted in his passing out. Miami police and an ambulance squad showed up, and Corbea was taken to the emergency room at Mercy Hospital.

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