Thanks for ruining my childhood, Charlie Sheen

I bumped my head earlier and felt along my hairline to make sure everything was okay. “Phrenology,” I thought, giggling and remembering some comedic bit from Men At Work, a movie I saw when I was 12. And then I remembered that Charlie Sheen was in it and a wave of nausea replaced any minor headaches I might have incurred.

See, I had a massive crush on Charlie Sheen when I was growing up. How massive? I rented Cadence, then bought a VHS copy, made my friends watch it with me on my birthday, and hung the movie poster on my wall. I went to sleep every night and woke up every morning with the official, begged-the-store-for-it, poster and Charlie Sheen’s big ol’ face staring down at me. Wraith? Check. Lucas? Check. Three For the Road? Check. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Check. Courage Mountain? Yup. I saw every movie of his that I could get away with seeing. (Navy Seals was problematic, what with it being rated ‘R’. I’ve still never seen Platoon.) I was 12-13…he was my major icon, even before New Kids on the Block.

By the time the mid-90s rolled around, my Charlie Sheen phase was over. In the 2000s I would tune into Spin City once in a while, but liked the Michael J. Fox seasons better. It was no big thing. But I always remembered my early obsession with all those movies fondly. I mean Wraith is a cheesy, cheesy cheesefest, but I loved it anyhow. And whatever happened to Kerry Green and her gorgeous red hair?

But the bigger question is this: What happened to Charlie Sheen?

Obviously, a lot of his problems with drinking, drugs and women started early, but as a kid I had no idea any of that was occurring. Hollywood, however, did. I’ve already addressed this topic here and here, but whether its Sheen or Mel Gibson or Roman Polanski, there is this “aw, shucks, boys will be boys” mentality that goes on…giving these dirtbags free passes that they don’t give female actresses (and that the “real world” wouldn’t give anybody!). Where’s Lindsay Lohan‘s movie career now? Hmm? Or Yancy Butler‘s TV show? No one offered to pay her a million dollars to keep doing Witchblade, did they? Despite all the opportunities he’s been given, Charlie Sheen has squandered his second, third and fourth chances and, worse yet, entangled the lives of several women and children in his downfall.

What he’s done to me is nothing in comparison, but it sure does sting when you get hit by debris after an idol crashes off their pedestal. I mean, I even had a stuffed panda that I named Charlie. I think my parents still have it somewhere. Maybe I should warn them that he might trash their furniture, dial up hookers, and snort coke off their coffee table. Ugh.

I will always be thankful for Cadence introducing me to the work of Laurence Fishburne, but it’s tainted now. And that guy on the poster? I don’t know who he is. I never did. I don’t need a phrenologist to tell me that.

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