Instead, I saw Hoochie Mama in gruesome prison yard
light, flaming the goods. If she wasn’t loaded,
I run Baptist bake sales.
And, on a personal note, I hope that somewhere in
the subsequent years, Dr. Schlessinger, half Italian,
has embraced the bikini wax.
My relationship with Laura has been complex. In days
of old I had to drive a lot, and I’d flip between
her show and Dr. Toni Grant’s. Dr. Toni was
another radio shrink who had a sexy voice and did
cool stuff like suggest bored couples take up tantra.
Grant is actually a clinical psychologist, while Schlessinger’s
PhD is in… physiology.
That means frick-all in/of itself as some of the
world’s most thorough dopes have big degrees
in their ‘field’ — and Laura’s
no dope. In point of fact, it is her brave, incisive
mind, coupled with its weirdo turns, its bait-and-switch,
that intrigues me.
No one is better than Dr. Laura at swatting mosquitoes
of self-indulgence, our country’s scourge. I
feel the thrill of hockey fans at a brawl when she
says things like, “You don’t have a drinking
problem… you have a character problem.”
I love to hear her dismember deadbeat dads, ‘Christians’
sliming in the name of God, whiners playing ‘victim.’
When she booms, “Its none of your business,”
to snooty numbnuts, happy chills trill down my spine.
Yet, like another doctor — Hannibal Lecter
— she can turn on a dime.
“No. DON’T get your nose fixed.”
I remember her browbeating a sad girl who clearly
had a mega-honker. “God gave you that nose.
Wear it with pride.” Gosh, did God turn Laura’s
hair blonde? Powder her lids with Fawn Taupe? Does
He fly her to work? Did He tie her tubes so that she
could enjoy, pregnancy free, her vast knowledge of
physiology? Did he then untie them so that she could
make The Kid who’s Mom she so fervently is?
Sometimes, when Dr. Laura is in what I call ‘Mood
Disorder Mode,’ I crave a Vicodin. I’ve
got to station-bail, anywhere, even into the flabby
arms of NPR. She can get like a tweaked-out gang banger
mid-binge. Even though Dr. L ‘devotes her life’
to the ‘welfare of children,’ woe betide
the kid who gets on her air in this head space.
“My mommy and daddy got divorced and my mommy
moved away and now I don’t see her anymore and
I miss her,” says some small, scared child.
I’ve heard this, in myriad variations, a zillion
“Well, that’s what happens when people
don’t honor the covenant of marriage”
Dr. Laura will bark. Now there’s a helpful comment.
“Call your mom and tell her how you feel.”
Why of course! Something easy for an eight year old
to do, and sure to bring results!
Another five star M.D.M. fave is The Meek Broad Sex
Call. A young matron, audibly trembling, stammers
something like, “I… I just never want
to have sex with my husband...”
Something snaps in Dr. L. She amps up to Feral. Her
voice dilates slowly, eventually choking the stratosphere.
“Well, dear, he doesn’t want
to take out the garbage, but he does it, right?? You
have a WIFELY DUTY! DON’T YOU LIKE TO HAVE AN
Earth to Dr. Laura: If a woman never wants to have
sex, she can’t have an orgasm. And no doubt
she’s married to #1 Coors fan, Minute Man Mike.
When Dr. L called gay people “a biological
mistake,” I didn’t have a cow. She’s
as entitled (under our battered first amendment) to
spout her creed just like Howard Stern. One, allegedly,
can use one’s brain to consider the source.
It’s the death of independent thought that’s
the problem, not what one highly strung Piece of Work
More witless is what that Piece of Work does.
Laura gets all unctuous when she talks about (trumpets,
please) the Dr. Laura Foundation. The Foundation’s
purpose is to provide what she calls ‘My Stuff’
bags, with teddy bears, blankies, etc. for ‘abused
and neglected children’ who have been taken
from bad homes, to be put into worse, by Child Protective
A nice cause. Not on par with finding loving parents
for all the abused, neglected and abandoned children
from women she insists made the “right moral
choice” not to abort… but nice.
The maggoty truth, however, is that despite the grandiose
name, the Dr. Laura Foundation is not funded by Dr.
Laura. Ms. On High pickpockets the dough from her
badgered listeners — mostly exhausted underdogs
who slave to stay middle class.
Schlessinger is worth at least a hundred million.
She laments that while the Foundation provided 50,000
bags in 2003, “I’m sad to tell you that
we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of need…
300,000 children must be rescued from their homes
Well Jesus H., lady, sell those planet size diamonds
you wear — thanks to your fortune built from
others’ pain — and you can ‘My Stuff’
all twelve fucking dimensions!
Laura hates ‘feminism’ but by 99 percent
of its varied definitions she’s the Grand Lodge
Poobah, for better and worse. She is independent and
unstoppable. She lives life on her own high testosterone
terms. While she was out slaying dragons and dragging
them home, her milder hubby watched The Kid, who has
her last name, not his.
She imposes a quirky, despotic, agenda-laden template
on others’ minds, while accusing ‘feminists’
of doing the same.
When Dr. Laura became an Orthodox Jew, listeners
had to endure perpetual ‘kosher’ homilies,
oft times with Catskills accent. Since she abandoned
Hebedom (I’m Hebeish; relax) for sailboat racing
we must now sustain the slaps of life/boat metaphors.
Which reminds me: Someone might mention to Laura
that her fans, scrambling to pay rent, don’t
all appreciate the sailboat racing updates. Most don’t
get down to their yachts that often.
In the end, however, I must belaud Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
Her greatest job, motherhood, has been a raving success.
Deryk Schlessinger, by all accounts a lovely guy,
just dropped out of college and is opening a hookah
bar in Hillsdale, Michigan, far away from L.A., its
darkness, and Mom.
can view an archive of Xanadu's columns here.