A Bad Deal

by Rich Moreland, February, 2013

“Cancer is a rollercoaster, but he’s ridden with grace, dignity, and great good humor.”

These are the words of Melissa Palmer, Christian Mann’s support person, passionate companion, and overall good hope. She is gracious beyond belief in answering my recent inquiry about Christian’s health.

I’ve not known Christian Mann very long, having met him just a few months ago. In an earlier blog entry, “Deeper into Their Fantasies,” posted December 22 of last year, I recount my adventure at Evil Angel’s L.A. offices where I interviewed Christian. He set aside an hour of his time, but we went way over. He was more than generous with his thoughts and patience in helping me with what I wanted to know.

Of our conversation, what sticks in my mind is the image of Christian impersonating the late Reuben Sturman, one of the most colorful characters ever in the adult business. One day in 1987, Rueben called Christian into his office for a quick meeting. Using his pen as a cigar to flavor the story, Christian imitates the legend’s unique style. He leans forward and with captivating humor quotes Reuben’s advice on the best way to regard a proposed deal.

“No deal is better than a bad deal,” Christian says, never imagining that a nasty deal is already on his doorstep. Christian explains that Reuben’s advice was invaluable because “a young man’s instinct is to force a deal.” Christian has learned the patience needed to take his time.

Before I leave Evil Angel, we arrange to meet again in Las Vegas during the Adult Entertainment Expo. I have ideas in mind for my next book and I want his input.

Christian and I meet again on the convention floorPhoto Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.

Christian and I meet again on the convention floor
Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

Fast forward to Wednesday of convention week, Christian invites me to the Evil Angel suite after floor hours to chat. John Stagliano sticks around and joins the conversation. It is, as the TV commercials say, ‘priceless.’

The rewards for the evening are all mine. I get a copy of Voracious and have the pleasure of reviewing it for my blog and Adult Industry News. But most important, my photographer takes a classic shot of Christian, John, and a life size poster of iconic performer Bobbi Starr.

In the blog post about my visit to the Evil Angel suite (“As the Night Settles In,” January 28, 2013) the photo is there. It is also ‘priceless’ and will remain in my personal inventory for a lifetime.

Christian in the suitePhoto Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse

Christian in the suite
Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

But there is an ominous presence in the room that night.

Christian is using a cane and mentions almost apologetically that he has back pain and needs help to ease his getting around. I sense something is wrong and it eats at me for the rest of the week.

Then quicker than a wink at a pretty girl, the announcement knocks the industry for a loop a few days later. Christian is seriously ill.

I am shocked and share the news with Bobbi Starr, who is equally stunned.

So, where are we now?

Having heard nothing for a couple of weeks and doing a good bit of worrying, I contact Melissa. Meeting her on that fateful evening turns into good fortune multiplied in spades. She is upbeat and looking forward to a positive swing of events that further marches Christian to a cure. She also alerts me to Christian’s newly created blog, http://www.christianmann.com/, to keep everyone informed of his progress.

As I sit here a continent away from Los Angeles, I know Christian’s response to this new very personal bad deal is to figure out a way to come out on top. Cancer can be conquered with a positive attitude and the support of friends vital armor in the battle.

Keep Christian in your thoughts or prayers, whatever your preference.

By the way, I’m due to make another trip west within a few months and I fully expect to visit a healthy Christian Mann. After all, he is destined to show Reuben Sturman how to overcome a bad deal.

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