Richard Farrell Saved Me

I killed my dad. And then I killed Richard Farrell’s dad.. And then I killed my mom. And then I killed Richard Farrell’s mom. I didn’t blow any of these people away with a gun. Instead, I let them die. I pulled a kitchen chair up next to Richard Farrell and watched him struggle to come up with a tough and gritty narrative. I punched him in the face fifty times, and said, “Live, you bastard! There’s no room for the commonplace! If six of your family members don’t die within the next three days, then there will be no op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, much less a book to promote.” Then I cut off my left hand and began bleeding all over Richard Farrell. Then my left hand grew back. It took a long time, but it was a long night and there was time to kill and plenty of blood in me to let plop on the parquet floor. Then I cut off my right hand and I scattered the blood equally over my parents and Richard Farrell’s parents. I wanted them all to have a taste. And then my right hand grew back. All ten of our hands clutched tightly to their chest. And suddenly, the white in my eyes became flush with the possibility of tall tales mined into memoir.

Why did I do all this? It’s complicated.

You have to understand something about Richard Farrell. I loved the son of a bitch more than anything on the planet. You see, 28 years earlier, Richard Farrell chopped off my four little limbs and put the remainder of my body into a cardboard box. Years later, I would sue Kim Basinger for failing to perform the court-ordered fellatio upon a part of my body that I would refer to as “the first leg.” In my box, I did not move for thirteen years. I was home schooled and asked to memorize every passage in the Bible. I was then asked to memorize every passage in the Qur’an. I was then asked to memorize every line written by L. Ron Hubbard. Richard Farrell, who became both his own father and my father, was my educator and he forced me to eat lots of fiber. When I brayed for ice cream, Richard Farrell would come around and cut off a piece of anatomy. When I ran out of interesting anatomical parts, Richard Farrell would kidnap another kid in the neighborhood, get the kid hooked on heroin, and then start hacking away his body parts.

When I was 3, before he cut my limbs off and put me in the box, Richard Farrell brought me to the Bronx Zoo for answers. He threw me into the bear cage and laughed when I was mauled by the bears. I learned how to speak bear. The bears told me I had cerebral palsy. A loss of oxygen to my brain had destroyed my ability to communicate with other humans. But the bears understood my sensitive nature. They did not take pity on me. I tried pleading with the bears not to maim me. But they knew that Richard Farrell had taken me to the zoo.

My Aunt Helena tried to rescue me from Richard Farrell. She said that she hadn’t seen any relative bleed as frequently as I had. For a time, I was bleeding breweries in blood. The government became interested in my preternatural abilities to generate so much blood. Perhaps if the American population became tired of beer and more open-minded, they might consider my profuse bleeding as an alternative beverage.

Richard Farrell told my Aunt Helena and the government that he had sole legal dominion over my blood supply. He then made himself my Aunt Helena’s dad, and decapitated my Aunt Helena’s head three times, watching it grow back four times over a chilly December.

But back to the box. Ironically, it was easy for Richard Farrell to engage in an uncommon act of discernible love. He mutilated me because he loved me. He tried out eight thousand knives upon my tender young body. All of them were different models. He then asked me to co-author a large book chronicling the history of knives between 1982 and 1993. I agreed to do this because it would mean living out of the box.

My limbs grew back. But Richard Farrell became meaner. I thought he was faking. I reminded him what had happened. And he didn’t believe me. The Richard Farrell left me and boasted about his journalistic conquests.

While Richard Farrell covered Bosnia, I sniffed glue. I became addicted to mescaline, heroin, cocaine, E, meth, and nearly every upper and downer that you could buy in three states. I bought a wheelbarrow at a garage sale for $12 and rolled it around the neighborhood so that people would know how intense my drug habit was. Surprisingly, nobody arrested me. And then I got bored with drugs and became a blogger. Despite the incredible nature of my tales, I have been told that I am a boring person.

Richard Farrell never knew the whole truth. But all that counts is the bottom line. The small happy moments in your life can’t possibly top the intense melodramatic moments that some other author can exploit for greater attention. Living hard is better than writing well. And if you can’t live hard, you may not be a cripple. But you won’t get that book deal.

Edward Champion produced, directed, and starred in the HBO documentary “Boxed Like Me: A Story of Lost Life and Lost Limbs” and is the author of a forthcoming memoir, “A Billion Little Pieces.”


  1. Jesus, Ed, where do you find these appalling articles to parody? “I’m not a cripple,” indeed. I’m sure my parents were disappointed that I was born a Jew, but they didn’t abuse me for it!

  2. Wow, unless you think it’s fictional that’s kind of a douchebag thing to parody. Did we have some shortage of detached bitter irony and a surplus of heartfelt sentiment that escaped my attention? Do you feel completely awesome for making fun of somebody’s dead dad?

  3. “In this kingdom of illusions we grope eagerly for stays and foundations. There is none but a strict and faithful dealing at home, and a severe barring out of all duplicity or illusion there. Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves, but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Illusions”

  4. Well Ed, I hope you contacted Chris Brogan and Robert Scoble to learn how to monetize your box existence. (And set up time and place of your boxing match with Scoble.) But per your box existence, here’s a tip: even if you are in absentia as you go on what you might want to call The Torso Tour, I believe (as I think you have mentioned here before) that you possess a detachable penis. Use it to your advantage as many who may visit your box will appreciate the phallic reminder of your dynamic presence that you’ve left behind. Also, contact the folks at SNL to see if you can get permission to use the “Dick In A Box” song, for a real multimedia experience. And while we’re talking about boxing, lets not forget, that what is twitter but the thoughts of a bunch of dicks in a little box?

  5. I just read Farell’s oped piece and found it full of bull shit. He’s inserted half-truths and lies into his real life story line, just enough truth to avoid outright discovery.

    Then I found your parady–good fun.

    There must be a special place in hell for people who create lies about their dead relatives in order to make money from the public deception.

  6. great piece, i loved it…came up in my google..just so you and your readers know…i wrote my memoir in light of the james frey era of memoirs with one thought always in mind…”here is my story, come fuckin’ prove i made it up, i’m ready.” and that is just what the la times fact checkers did…edward, somebody has to break the ice for what frey did to us!!!!!but i love parody…keep up the great job!!!

  7. You see this guy, the guy who made the film, HIGH ON CRACK STREET , he supplied Dicky Eckland and BOO BOO Jafrita with CRACK COCAINE ,and the money for it ,while he was filming these poor guys as they were hoplessly addicted to crack cocaine, this guy goes on to write more lies and people buy his crap, well Dickie Eckland and BOO BOO are clean and sober and remember the scum bag who took advantage of them, read his book, Whats left of my lies, oh im sorry but those who dont think rich Farrell isnt a piece of dog shit and should be stripped of his prestigious Du Pont award from columbia University for making that film, while he was feeding dickey and boo boo crack, should check themslves into BelllVue Hospital , cause your as insane as Farrell, i loved this post by the way, glad to see im not the only one who knows the truth about farrell, spread the word, Dickey and boo boo are mad as hell at Farrell, why? cause they have clear heads now and realize what Farrell was doing, lining his pockets, and helping those guys ruin theirs, and his lifestory, amazing bullshit, like P.T Barnum said theirs a sucker born every day, keep up the good work Mr Champion, im with you 100 percent, i walked the streets in those days knew all the tough guys ,Junkies and mental cases, and i never seen Rich Farrell anywhere, thing was he wasnt hoping dickie or boo boo would be sober again, and mad as hornets at Rich Farrell, you can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time , good job Edward, tell us more

  8. Great story. My brother read the other fable. He said that all the character’s are dead next time use the same technic and no one will ever prove you wrong. I called Kim Basinger(next time mis-spelling the names may help, follow Richie’s example) She told me she performed fine., It was you that didn’t and that’s why the law suite was dropped.

  9. Thanks Ed. Made me laugh. Unfortunately it’s Farrell who’ll have the last laugh – all the way to the bank. Lesson learned: any future enemata from this fool will be a must to miss.

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