Monday, May 9, 2011

Chelsea Handler's victims get their turn ‎

Comedian Chelsea Handler is best known for her raucous late-night TV show, "Chelsea Lately." In her fourth and newest book, "Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me," Chelsea's friends and family reminisce about their most humiliating experiences at her hands. Read an excerpt.

Chapter Eight: Sisterly Love by Shoshonna Handler

My name is Shoshonna and I am Chelsea’s older sister. My parents told me that before Chelsea was born I was a cute, good-natured, happy-go-lucky kid. Then came 1975 and my blissful little five-year-old world was turned upside down. I had been the baby of our large and dysfunctional family for five years and had loved every minute of it. I didn’t know what to make of the new addition to our family, or why they would have named her Chelsea. Every time I heard her name, it reminded me of seafood stew. I cried all the time.

Chelsea had an all-consuming presence. It felt like being hit by a train. My father has told us all many times over that when she was born, she came out with such a strong cry that the nurse said to him, “You’d better watch out for this one.” Over the years, I became more quiet and pensive as Chelsea’s boisterous personality took center stage.

She was full of piss and vinegar from day one, and could throw a tantrum that would put any toddler to shame. This kid was a force to be reckoned with, and my parents were already exhausted with their other five kids. They were in no way prepared to handle raising this particular child, and their feeble efforts were of little consequence. Besides, our mom was always napping, knitting, or cooking, and was too soft-spoken to really stand up to Chelsea.

By the time Chelsea was three, she had the street smarts of a nine-year-old, and I may as well have been born yesterday. We were complete opposites, like oil and water, and never agreed on anything. If I was watching a TV show she didn’t like, she would say something like “A package just came for you at the door, Shana,” or “Mom just took some brownies out of the oven,” and then take over the television. I fell for it every time. I would come back in the room and wage war in the form of a wrestling match.

I would be the one to get yelled at or sent to my room because I was “older” and “should know better.” We fought constantly and wanted to rip each other’s throats out for most of our childhood. Physically I had the upper hand, but verbally I was no match for her. By the time she was eight, she had the debating skills of a seasoned politician, and I am being completely serious.



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