Wednesday, February 15, 2006
- Betty Ford Cheerleaders perform at 12:00, 3:00, and 5:00 p.m. All 10 girls are addicts in recovery. Cheer “1-2-3-4 We Don’t Abuse Substances Anymore!” receives a lukewhmmmarm response. Autograph signings following performances are continuously crowded.
- Keynote speakers James Frey and Augusten Burroughs wandering through the conference room clutching Starbucks coffees and shaking hands.
- Goodie bags include: “Let Go and Let God” bumper sticker; “Fuck You, I Can Still Drink Coffee!” mug; 2006 Zagat Guide to AA Meetings (N.Y.C.); Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits CD; Coupons from Phillip-Morris; Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice coupons; can of Red Bull; “Virginia Is For Recoverers” T-shirt.
- Naltrexone table crowded all day long. Dupont reps boast F.D.A. approval for over-the-counter low-dose versions of the pharmaceutical is underway and slated for 2007. The question most often asked: “Can I still get high without violating parole?”
- Opioid toxicity inhibitor Revex booth shows clip from Pulp Fiction on continuous loop. Reps claim that the revivification of Uma Thurman is exaggerated for effect, but the results are similar. Throughout the day, most people break off into Tarantino discussion groups to discuss the director’s body of work.
- Toni Bentley lecture at 4 p.m. Sold out.
- The Celebrity Poker Tournament Benefit for The People in the Woods Summer Camp Recovery Program for ACOA and their Children featuring David Cross and Scott Stapp is boycotted by members of Gamblers Anonymous. Fights break out, leaving the event to be rescheduled.
- Dennis Hopper autograph signing at Cedars-Sinai booth, 12-5. Hopper is in good spirits throughout the day, and frequently apologizes for Space Truckers. Flawlessly recites “He’s not a kind man” Kurtz monologue from Apocalypse Now to applause.
- “Trekkers For Tolerance” booth largely quiet.
- Ambien booth closed early due to conflict of interest.
- Complimentary cookies from Nabisco, Pepperidge Farm and Stella D’Oro emptied by 3 o’clock.
- Panel Discussion and Lecture “Strategic Pathways to Clarity: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors versus MAO Inhibitors from the Emergency Department to the Home.” Liz Wurtzel, moderator.
- Playboy Booth: “Girls in Recovery” issue giveaway, autograph signing.
- Craig Medical drug-testing demonstration shut down when urine specimen cups area mistaken for energy drink samples, due to the proximity of the crowded Red Bull booth.
- The Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad Emergency Response Time Drill and CPR Demonstration cancelled when it is learned someone has absconded with Resusci-Annie.
Mick Stingley is a freelance writer. He is single and lives alone in New York City. He and Céline Dion will both be 40 on March 30, 2008.