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McCULLOUGH: Charlie and the Crazy Factory

“Just sit back and enjoy the show.“

— Charlie Sheen

Let’s talk about Charlie Sheen, shall we?

It’s all the rage.

Did you watch his prime-time special or morning show interviews? Did you Google Alex Jones so you could hear the first rant that killed the top comedy on television? Do you follow him on Twitter?

I have. I did. I do.

The Germans have a word, schadenfreude, that means delighting or taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others. It is one of my biggest pet peeves and the quickest way to make sure I’m never your close friend.

I do have my own exceptions that I suppose are shared by a lot of people. Delighting in the misfortune of rival sports team is always OK. And I love it when silliness results from raging stupidity.

Enter Charlie Sheen.

If you haven’t heard about Sheen’s escapades by now, you’ve been off the planet, you know, out there where Sheen’s brain functions, since “it fires in a way that’s maybe not from, uh, this terrestrial realm” — as he told ABC.

Sheen is making Britney, Lindsay, Paris, Jacko, et. al look like, to quote the man himself, “Am. A. Teurs” in the celebrity weirdo department. And the addled, brutally honest quote-machine is making for some great entertainment.

I normally avoid this celebrity meltdown nonsense like the plague. Most of these shenanigans are perpetrated by low-talent idiots who probably should’ve never been famous in the first place. At best, they’re annoying.

But I can’t look away from the Charlie Sheen runaway train. He’s a legitimate movie and television star. And each day I find myself wondering how much crazier the story will get.

I’m even interacting with him on Twitter, inasmuch as replying to two tweets with no response can be called interacting. I first congratulated him on knocking Justin Bieber off the trending topics and did it again after he uploaded a pic showing a hot dog named after him. I may have also encouraged him to “go celebrate.”

I know. I’m so naughty.

But come on. Do you really want this story to end with another trip to rehab and a bunch of half-hearted apologies?

Or do you want a full-gonzo, all-out, blaze-of-glory finish?

I’d prefer the latter. As long as no innocent bystanders get hurt, of course.

But that, my fellow non- “rock stars from Mars,” is unlikely. Sheen has been accused of violence on more than one occasion. So, all jokes aside, I fear it will end badly. Well, I know it will end badly, but I fear it will include other people.

And, my tongue completely removed from my cheek for a moment, I really feel sorry for his kids and the rest of his family. I can’t imagine the pain Martin Sheen must be feeling while he watches the world take delight in the self-destruction of the son he’s tried very hard to help.

But the son, apparently, doesn’t want the help. He has gone so far over the edge that if you turn around you’ll see him cresting the horizon behind you. He’s put the accelerator on the crazy train to the floor and welded it there. He is reveling in the sparks flying off his shortening fuse. For Pete’s sake, he is planning to spawn from this dementia a book, a movie and a cologne. I’m guessing that last one will be called Tiger Blood.

And speaking of blood, let’s all hope that when the “F-18” finally flames out and crashes that it doesn’t spill anyone else’s.

But in the meantime, pass the popcorn and enjoy the show.

E-mail Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.