The Quotable Gary Coleman 

As an actor, he read a script. But as a columnist, his words are all his own.

Gary Coleman is not just a former child star. He also is an online advice columnist, dispensing wisdom to the lovelorn, the siblings of pregnant drug addicts, and people just interested in what he has to say about bisexuality, mean parents, or heavy petting.

You can read Gary's advice online at the UGO Networks -- Webathon.ugo.com. UGO promotes Gary as a "highly opinionated guest columnist" who "resides in Los Angeles, California, with his trains and virginity." UGO claims to have seven million monthly visitors to its Web site. Just how many of those millions of Internet hits are for Gary is uncertain, but one thing is clear from reading his advice: He's not a fence-sitter like our current governor.

When writing on the subject of drug addicts, for instance, Gary might as well be Donald Rumsfeld talking about Saddam Hussein. When one writer sought advice about his pregnant sister and her drug-addicted boyfriend, Gary made it clear that, as governor, he won't be supporting any touchy-feely drug treatment approach for California's thousands of drug-addicted inmates and parolees. "Useless-ass, doped-up, fucked-up addicts!!" he wrote the worried sibling. "It may be harsh, but this is how I really feel: KICK ALL ADDICTS TO THE CURB AND LET 'EM DROWN IN THEIR OWN VOMIT! They're useless, pointless, dangerous, untrustworthy, and unworthy, period. Addicts are a waste of flesh."

Another advice-seeker, whose gender was unclear, asked for Gary's help in dealing with being short. The writer, familiar with Gary from his role on the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, wanted to know if Gary is still small-statured and how he copes with it. He answered in straight, tough-talking words informed by his own experience. "I'm 4 foot 8 and I'll be 4 foot 8 when I'm in a box," he wrote. "You learn to work with it, around it, and through it, and if anybody has any problem with it, tell them to go pound sand. You are you. Be proud of your height. Trust me, it's better to be short in many circumstances than to be tall." Gray Davis will soon learn that being governor is one of those circumstances.

Gary's advice demonstrates the refreshing unconventionality of his political views. While he endorsed abstinence from sexual intercourse before marriage in one response, in another he earnestly encouraged a man to embrace his homosexuality without shame. Such undogmatic, nonpartisan views are certain to have great appeal to voters sick of the poll-driven political infighting so common in Sacramento and Washington.

Amy Alkon, a syndicated advice columnist known as the Advice Goddess, whose work appears in more than one hundred papers around the country, believes Gary still has room to grow as a dispenser of online advice. But the Los Angeles-based writer and voter loves the idea of having a governor willing to roll up his sleeves and fix things. "It's smart to pick somebody who's committed to solving problems instead of somebody who's committed to kissing the hands of people who've greased their palms," Alkon says. "As an advice columnist you have to be decisive, which is already a step up over the highly indecisive Gray Davis. And when Gray Davis does get decisive, he always makes the wrong decision. I don't see how Gray Davis is, in any way, superior to Gary Coleman."

If decisiveness is what you seek in a governor, consider these other gems from the Quotable Gary Coleman:

I graduated from high school a year ago and I have been pursuing my dream to become a dancer. The problem is, my parents don't see it as being a "real career." ... And both of them would rather that I get some job that would make me fall asleep to even think about. They are also saying that I am only dabbling in college because I'm majoring in dance, which they consider to be a "fun class." Help me, Gary, what can I tell them?

GARY: Tell them to bug off. You're going to college. You made them proud. Tell them to shut up. And also bring home the money you make dancing and ask them then if it's not a worthwhile occupation.

Hey Gary. I'm big -time in debt to my bookie. He says if I can't come up with the $30,000 by the end of July, he's going to get "very upset." I don't really think he'd kill me since he would lose a huge amount of money, but I can't take the chance. What should I do?

GARY: Be prepared to have your legs broken. Be prepared to have an arm broken. Be prepared to have something taken from you. Be prepared to have him throw you in a trunk, drive you to a bank, and get some money out of your checking account. Bookies are ugly. That's why they're called bookies.

I'm sixteen years old and have a problem with my job. ... I work at a restaurant and my position is a lowly dishwasher. The waitstaff is usually pretty nice, but the owners and especially one homosexual cook makes my job frustrating. They constantly harass me and the cook says rather cruel things to me. ... What shall I do? Give me some advice please, Gary.

GARY: If you are not gay yourself, start documenting every incidence on paper REGULARLY. On top of that -- because some assholes need convincing -- get yourself a two-speed microtape recorder. Put it up front in a pocket where no one can see it. ... Now, once this is all done with a week or more of "evidence," make COPIES and give them to the highest manager available to you. If that doesn't work, give copies of the microtapes and written documentation to a lawyer that specializes in sexual and work-related harassment. As I said before and will say again, DO NOT PUT UP WITH THIS SHIT!!! Once management fails to respond, GET A LAWYER AND PUNISH BY DIMINISH! That means attack the wallet in court, get rich, own the restaurant, fire everybody, sell the restaurant, get rich again. This scenario is very, very possible if you really want the harassment to stop.

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