Off the Clock with The Checkout Girl: Pass the brownies

Some pop addicts choose to get their fix. For some, is their dealer. But, I am old. Old means I don’t like change. It also means I’ll soon get a discount at Denny’s. Mostly, it means I get my daily dose of useless news from

Some pop addicts choose to get their fix. For some, is their dealer. While that’s all well and good, I am old. Old means I don’t like change. It also means I’ll soon get a discount at Denny’s. But, mostly, it means I get my daily dose of useless news from People? Online? There just might be something to these Internets after all! I mean, I used to have to wait a whole week between celebrity gossip binges and subsequent purges. Now, leaves me, if not anywhere near the top of the in-the-know, at least somewhere toward the middle-bottom, just above my grandmother who reads the free Parade magazine that comes with her Sunday paper, and just below my mother, who likes to gossip with her church friends who know much more about Hollywood scandal than you’d expect from good, Christian ladies.

While perusing the People website tonight, deciding on which topic most whetted my whistle for this week’s column, I stumbled on the headline “Police Discover Pot On Bret Michaels’s Tour Bus” and was confused because:

1) I’m a college dropout, yes, but when did we start putting ‘s after an s? Are we not doing the dangling apostrophe anymore? Are we getting paid by the letter? Are there new rules for a new millennium or was I just not that friendly with the old rules? While we’re at it, what the hell happened to New Math?

2) Pot? On a musician’s rock star’s glamorous singing man’s tour bus? Jeez, cops, what the hell else did you think could possess someone to wear that much eyeliner? Or even CONSIDER a bandanna with stringy blond hair sewn in? And Rock of Love? Come on, law enforcement, you pulled the bus over for a broken license plate light with a K-9 unit? You’ve seen Celebrity Apprentice, you know that stuff don’t happen sober.

3) The comments section of that “article” is to die for. From what I can understand, the whole fiasco is either the right’s fault, the left’s fault, the media’s fault, or a punishment from the god of choice because women wear low-cut shirts.

In all seriousness, though, the big One Hit Wonder Tour drug bust comes closely on the heels of another beloved celebrity and, well, America’s Sweetheart, really, being persecuted for her love of hallucinogens. Paris Hilton has had two bitsy scrapes with the lawypoo in recent weeks. First at the World Cup, then at the airport in Corsica. Naturally, both were big misunderstandings, but who in the world worth their water cooler salt hasn’t seen a pic of Paris Hilton getting stoned? In fact, a smoking pot is her second favorite oral fixation, winkwinknudgenudge. Anyone who has been alive for more than five minutes knows that about Paris. No, actually, newborn babies come out of their moms knowing that about Paris. Which is weird because I’m all about freedom, but I don’t think babies should watch porn. Ready to have your mind blown? Stop to consider the fact that MAYBE Paris Hilton doesn’t have a wonky eye at all. MAYBE she is just always messed up. Yeah. That.

Come on, People online and other various entertainment news sources! Bret and Paris are hardly the first celebrities to be caught with weed. Such musical giants as David Lee Roth, Dionne Warwick, and Lil Kim’s nipples have all been busted with pot. And such acting greats as David Faustino, Dawn Wells, and Flavor Flav (he transcends categories, really) have had reefer madness. In fact, I’m almost certain that a love affair with Mary Jane is a requirement for entertainment mediocrity! Addiction is the new black and shows like VH1’s Celebrity Rehab and Sober House draw big ratings because we love to see the mighty hit rock bottom (still better than my highest summit), roll around there for a while, and get back up. And then fail again. Because that’s the kind of people we are. But we are also forgiving. And forgetting. It’s why people keep seeing Mel Gibson movies. But, whoever the next celeb is to test the public’s moral boundaries, you can bet I’ll read about it at People Mag. Why? Because I’m old, it’s comfortable, and, well, the crossword puzzles. What? They make me feel smart. Now pass the hard candy.

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The Checkout Girl

The Checkout Girl is Jennifer Lemons. She’s a storyteller, comedian, and musician. If you don’t see her sitting behind her laptop, check the streets of Richmond for a dark-haired girl with a big smile running very, very slowly.

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