Sex addicts' tale will make her life of any party

Sun Columnist

LET'S BEGIN with the premise that most injury stories are inherently boringand will put you to sleep faster than a tire iron upside your head.

Fell off the treadmill in the gym and sprained your ankle? Who cares?

Rear-ended at a traffic light and now you have whiplash and one of thosegoofy neck braces? Yawn. Happens to a dozen people before breakfast every day.

Then there is Sascha Wolhandler's injury story.

Sascha's story will draw a crowd at a cocktail party, I promise you.

Because Sascha Wolhandler is the only one who can rake a cracker throughthe crab dip and casually say: "I broke my foot playing a sex addict in thenew John Waters film."

To be perfectly honest with you, just the words "sex addict" are enough toget my attention at a party.

Now you throw in a broken foot, and the possibility of all sorts of steamyacrobatics - it's enough to melt the Amstel Light in my fat little fingers.

Anyway, in a moment we'll get into how exactly Sascha was injured - look,I'm not about to reveal it right here and have you blow off the rest of thecolumn for Doonesbury or the TV listings. What, you think I'm some kind ofrube?

But first we should mention that Wolhandler runs a well-known cateringbusiness in town and owns Sascha's 527 restaurant on Charles Street with herhusband, Stephen Suser.

She's also a long-time pal of John Waters, having done catering for hisfilm sets and appeared as an extra in Pecker.

And she has a terrific sense of humor, which you sort of need to play a sexaddict, it seems to me.

This time she was appearing as an extra in Waters' new film A Dirty Shame,which stars Chris Isaak and Tracy Ullman and is billed as a comedy about sexaddiction on Harford Road.

(I know, I know ... hasn't everyone done a comedy about sex addiction onHarford Road?)

The film just wrapped up shooting - it's scheduled to be released sometimenext year - but not before giving Sascha Wolhandler a story she can milk forthe rest of her life.

OK, we're getting to the good part now - well, as good as it's going to getin a family newspaper. (Look, I'm not about to lose my job just so you peoplecan have a few cheap thrills.)

So last month, they were shooting this scene at a convenience store wherethe "neuters" - people opposed to the sex addicts - are outside protestingwith picket signs and the 30 or so sex addicts inside are doing, well, whatsex addicts do.

(C'mon, who doesn't go to the convenience store to have sex? Hey, if you'restill pulling up to the 7-Eleven for bread and milk and lottery tickets, youbetter get a life, my friend.)

Things were going along swimmingly when all of a sudden the actor whoplayed Wolhandler's sex partner - "my young boy-toy" as she calls him -tripped and fell on Sascha's foot.

She doesn't know whether it was the guy's elbow or knee that landed on her.But whatever it was, it hurt like hell.

Sascha cried out in pain. This brought the filming to a rather dramatichalt.

It would be one thing, I suppose, to hear a cry of ecstasy during thefilming of a sex scene in a convenience store. You pretty much figure thatwould be part of the script.

But this was a rather different cry altogether, and the fact that Saschawas now crumpled on the floor definitely indicated a veering off from the plotline.

"However, as a true star," laughs Sascha, "I got up, Mr. De Mille and Mr.Waters, for my final take."

This shining example of being a trouper did not go unappreciated by Watersand the rest of the cast and crew.

"Sascha, it's great," Waters told her. "You're suffering for art."

A few minutes later, though, Wolhandler had enough of that suffering forart business and appeared in the emergency room at Union Memorial Hospital.

When you limp into the ER and say something like "Well, that's the lasttime I play a sex addict in a movie and have a 25-year-old stud fall on me,"you tend to get noticed.

"They certainly looked up from the front desk," Sascha recalled. "It's abetter story than `I fell off the curb.'"

Oh, you betcha.

X-rays revealed a fractured metatarsal, and after she saw her orthopedist,Dr. John Namen, the story of how she hurt her foot was already office legend.

After a week on crutches, she's been getting around in a walking cast. Thecast is supposed to come off next week.

For the self-described "stiletto queen" - the Manolo Blahniks won't comeout of the closet for a while - a few fashion adjustments have been necessary.

But don't cry for Sascha Wolhandler.

John Waters has called several times to see how she's coming along, and thewhole cast sent her beautiful flowers.

"It hasn't hurt too much," laughs Wolhandler of her injury, "and I got alot of bang for my buck from this story."

And I got a column out of it.

I'm telling you, if more people got hurt playing sex addicts in films, thiswould be an easy gig.

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