Whatever happened to baby Benny? Growing up, his family thought he was destined to be a billionaire. Now he may be a 38-year-old alcoholic and opiate addict, but he’s also a solid inventor who even goes through the trouble to acquire U.S. patents for his ideas. His most successful venture to date is the “Diapey and a Wipey”—a unique holder for diapers ideal for the mom on the go! For the most part, however, his ideas have dissolved into nothingness because every time Benny would experience a setback, he’d abandon the entire project.
Things that may not surprise you about Benny: His father was an alcoholic, he had a child with his long-term girlfriend only to find out he wasn’t actually the father, he’s prone to depressive rages and has a creepy vibe that extends beyond the whole “addict” thing. On the surface, he’s amiable and funny, but make a little dent and he becomes a human piñata that’s ready to break into a million pieces.
Things that actually may surprise you about Benny: He has been arrested on charges of domestic violence for getting physical with his wilted flower petal of a mother. As is usually the case with addicts on Intervention, she’s Benny’s key enabler, providing him with food, shelter and money. The fact that 38-year-old Benny would lay a hand on his mother though is completely terrifying and what’s worse is you can tell that she has become conditioned to it all. Sitting stiff and upright, she sits next to Benny on the couch consumed with terror. it must be strange to be scared of someone you carried in the womb for nine months. That’s something you probably didn’t expect to feel towards your spawn, but life can be a cruel bitch, I guess.
Like some other people featured on this season of intervention, Benny is in denial of his addiction, which confuses me. The whole show is predicated upon getting someone who believes they’re an addict and duping them into believing that they’re participating in a documentary only about their drug use. If the person doesn’t believe they have a problem though, what kind of documentary do they think they’re filming? In Benny’s case, he might think he’s agreeing to be on a show called, The Great Underappreciated Inventors Of Our Time. The producers may have told him that they were tracking his businesses on eBay and were impressed with his innovative products. Since Benny is prone to delusions, he might’ve flashed a sheepish smile and actually thought to himself, “Well, well, well. Look who’s finally taking a notice to little ol’ Benny. Honestly, I can’t say I’m surprised. I knew spending 45 minutes a day on eBay in-between my coke binges would eventually pay off. Everyone thought my career was over. Now being featured on this new reality TV show on A & E will bring me the fame I so rightfully deserve!” Or something like that.
At the pre-intervention, we’re introduced to a new interventionist named Rod who’s consulting the family. I don’t know about you guys, but I wasn’t really ready to see a new person. Where’s Candy or Jeff? Were they held up at the Interventionists Conference of The Americas—a day interventionists spend drinking punch, reminiscing about their junkie days and intervening on one another? Rod is strange. Rod is different. I don’t like Rod. He has frizzy hair, big glasses and reminds me of someone who would work in a record store and talk about Pulp all day. He also talks directly to the camera, which is unnerving. But since Jeff and Candy are at their conference, I guess we’re stuck with him.
At the pre-intervention, Rod mostly focuses in on Benny’s mother and tell her she needs to cut the cord. She understands even if the voices in her head tell her differently sometimes and agrees to delete contact with Benny if he denies treatment.
Benny arrives at the intervention confused and agitated. When everyone finishes reading their letters, he turns down treatment and whispers into his mother’s ear “Don’t do anything stupid!” which is probably the scariest thing that has ever happened on this television show. Dude, you just threatened your old mother on camera. Please go directly to jail. Do not pass “Go”, do not collect $200. Anyway, when Benny turns down rehab, his family scurries off to file a restraining order against him and Benny is pissed. After spending 45 minutes alone, he decides to accept treatment and goes to a 90-day treatment center in Austin, Texas. In the follow-up, Benny is clean and actually aware of the fact that he had a drug problem. He has been sober since December 8, 2010.