Hey, Mr. Alex Rodriguez, if you'd guess steroid usage is something you and I do not have in common, you'd be guessing wrong.
Yeah, I've taken steroids; they worked pretty well, too, I have to say.
Mr. R, I am like you-I am an entertainer. I perform in stage shows, comic in nature, that call for me to project powerfully from my gizzard an almost non-stop stream of words that last beyond two hours.
Like you, too, Mr. R, I workout most everyday to keep my body strong as possible, so I can move and project during my shows at peak proficiency.
As you know, performance art requires a high amount of energy and it can take a lot out of you: So I keep fit, figuring the better condition I'm in, the better suited I'll be to defend against any illness that might up and decide to take a stab at penetrating my tolerance.
But even with best intentions through consistent effort, sickness can creep its way forth and attack the fittest among us. When it gets to me, it strikes at my throat, swelling my vocal cords to the point where very I can barely conjure a whisper. Of course, when this happens, I'm useless to all the folks who happened to have paid for a ticket to a show.
Mr. R-with incentives realized-your salary would gross you $30 million per year for the next ten years. We are obviously in totally different universes regarding compensation, but much closer aligned when it comes to feeling the burden of production.
You work for the legendary New York Yankees, one of the most valuable sports franchise in the world; I produce myself, to the tune of many tens of thousands of dollars a year, in New England high school auditoriums. But still, whether it's 20 million folks watching live and via television, or 800 Vermonters watching on tattered high school theatre seats, the show must go on!
Once in my 11-year stage show (comedy) career my doctor looked at me and said, "Your throat will eventually get better, but with your shows this weekend you need it better now. These six pills will help take the swelling down -very quickly. Opera singers take them all the time. They come with a small bit of risk, so it's your choice if you want me to write you out a prescription for them. They're called steroids."
With more than 1,000 tickets sold for Friday and Saturday night I didn't think twice.
Me: "Opera singers use them all the time, eh?"
Doc: "Yes, with great success."
Me: "Write it up then."
I said that with a great feeling of relief, but also with scant sense that I had just joined a well-known group of actors, musicians, and athletes who at some point started with just six pills and ended up covered in their own vomit on a motel bed.
My steroid use was prescriptive in nature. I've taken six pills-steroids-drugs, if you will, to assure I'd be able to perform at peak level.
Mr. R, you took your dope for a couple years and they weren't prescribed, but still I don't see where what you did-in theory-is all that different than what I did.
I just need to find out how I can get a lifetime's worth of free press out of it.
Rusty DeWees tours Vermont and Northern New York with his act "The Logger." His column appears weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com. Listen for The Logger, Rusty DeWees, Thursdays at 7:40 on the Big Station, 98.9 WOKO or visit his website at www.thelogger.com