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Slur rehabs are proliferating faster than nonbinding resolutions--and not a minute too soon. At press time, Tim Hardaway is the latest verbal bed-wetter who wound up in bleep-away camp. Part of the fun of Hardaway's PR train wreck was hearing him go from talking in his own voice ("You know, I hate gay people") to issuing sorrowful pronouncements in the manner of Maya Angelou: "I am committed to examining my feelings," and so on. Slur rehab works wonders--and faster than two Tylenol.
What came next in Hardaway's attitude adjustment regimen? We could ask Isaiah Washington (still employed at Grey's Anatomy at press time). But he's not saying. Come to think of it, Washington's not saying anything. About a hundred times more polished than Hardaway, Washington successfully avoided lockup the first time he came out with the f word at the office. Only when the "intense" actor slipped and threw f bomb number 2 was it time for gayhab.
Due to security concerns, the location of the gay-slur rehab is known only to the directors of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Persistent rumors place it right across the street from the top-secret unit where they housed Mark Foley and the Reverend Ted "absolutely heterosexual" Haggard.
While the rehabilitation methods are shrouded in mystery, we do know that Washington successfully completed the process. He was released into the community service program, where he will donate a free performance on Dante's Cove and allow gay designers to pin fabrics on him on Project Runway.
Gayhab is obviously just the latest twist in the slur rehabilitation biz. Everybody's so tetchy, a whole Sesame Street alphabet of offense is available for rehabbing: the n word, the f word, the q word (not queer, quagmire). Mel Gibson is now building a Malibu campus for the Jewish Slur and Chemical Dependency Unit. Michael Richards has been looking for investors for his N-Word-B-Gone Unfunny Farm franchise, but so far no takers--although with his tendency to jump around in fat-black-woman soft-bigotry bodysuits, Eddie Murphy is starting to look like a possible partner.
But, hey, this field is wide open. Now that saying something mean gets you in more trouble than doing something mean, I recommend we fashion future slur rehab technology on The Sarah Silverman Program. You'll learn to say anything you want if you say it innocently enough while wearing a two-tone cotton baseball shirt. You'll create a post-PC guilty-pleasure persona that's babelicious, witty, and winning. Say it funny, like you don't really mean it, and you'll never have to meet with GLAAD or GLSEN in a small dark-paneled room.