Neil Patrick Harris’ “Choose Your Own Adventure” autobiography doesn’t come out until October, but you can pre-order it now if you’re so inclined. He’s also posted the first lengthy excerpt from the autobiography online, and the “Choose Your Own Adventure” aspect of it is more just a way to write the novel from a cheeky second-person point of view (it’s not as though you will actually be flipping from one section to others in search of Neil Patrick Harris’ underwear, although that’d be fun, too).
I read the excerpt, and it’s fun. Much of the excerpted portion deals with that early 90’s era when Neil Patrick Harris was still mostly thought of as a child-star and referred to in public as “Doogie.” There was a lot of lazing about, a lot of partying, and a lot of hanging out with other similarly aged child-stars, like Shannen Doherty (who NPH suggests became the bratty, glass-throwing pain-in-the-ass described in the tabloids in order to live up to that reputation). There was not a lot of alcohol and drugs for NPH, however, because alcohol dulled him, and cocaine and heroin were too destructive to appeal to him.
Among the stories he shared in this excerpt, however, was the loss of his hetero-virginity, which came during that time. It was not a particularly pleasant experience for him (or her, for that matter):
And here is another strike against you in the party scene, perhaps the biggest of all: you are the world’s ﬁrst and only Doogiesexual. Wherever you go in public you are reminded of this bizarre meta-reality. Every single woman you meet at clubs thinks of you as Doogie. More often than not, they call you that. You do occasionally parlay your doppelganger into some action. The loss of your hetero virginity dates to this time, a squalid, four-and-a-half-minute limp-dicked affair that was the direct result of one of the girl’s friends daring her to sleep with Doogie. (Given the quality of your performance, the dare could not possibly have been worth it.)
But for the most part your encounters with women are not so much ﬂirtations as bemused interrogations of a ﬁctional doctor. Your actual sexual identity at this time is a mystery, even to you. Especially to you. It’s not that you’re suppressing anything; you haven’t even evolved to that point. You’re not aware of anything. You know that Doogie is playing wingman for you, but you have no idea he is also your inner beard.
The better story, however, was the time where he almost got beat up by Scott Caan, whose ex-girlfriend — Eden Sassoon (daughter of Vidal) — NPH was dating. Despite the fact that Caan and Sasson had been broken up for over a year, Caan still threatened to beat NPH up for moving in on his territory. Caan at the time was in the cast of Broadway’s Newsies, and he approached NPH outside a club.
I’ll let NPH take it from here:
What’s up with the West Side, yo? What’s up with the West Side, yo? What’s up with the West Side, yo?”
You are terriﬁed and confused. Is this some sort of rap lyric? Children’s book verse? A government code for an invasion of Palestine? None of the above: it turns out that Scott is in “the West Side Crazies.” Is this a real gang? You’re not sure; your knowledge of thug life is not what it should be. To you it seems like a self-styled group of young hooligans comin’ straight outta Brentwood. This is a thing now: young stars who’ve grown up deprived of deprivation trying to transform themselves into street toughs by forming “”gangs”” so devoid of street cred it’s necessary to put the words in two sets of quotes. Again, pardon your ignorance—maybe these are real-life dangerous people—but you can’t help but wonder: What kind of criminal activity are they engaged in? Script laundering? Agent smuggling? Massive miscasting? Who knows? In your eyes, they think they have a posse when what they really have is a pose.
Anyway, Scott Caan’s dope-ass posse is named The West Side Crazies, and if you can extrapolate from him, his fellow street thugs are probably also the sons of famous actors. (Jake Busey? Kiefer Sutherland? Ed Begley Jr. Jr? Surely people like that.) And now, in defense of his honor and that of his gang, Scott Caan, whose father famously beat Carlo Rizzi to within an inch of his life in The Godfather, is repeatedly asking “What’s up with the West Side, yo?” and bumping his chest into yours, like some mighty ram bumping his horns against a small nerdy kid’s chest. Eventually your acerbic mind comes up with a simple, devastating response.”I don’t know, Scott. What is up with the West Side?”
The “fight” eventually fizzled out, as Caan began “acting like he desperately wants to take a swing at you if only his friends weren’t holding him back. Only it takes them a few seconds to intervene, so he has to improvise looking like he’s being restrained.”
Caan and NPH have since become friendly, but Caan never brought the subject up again.