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Monday, June 6, 2011

Who's Your Daddy?

For an entire lifetime, I have been whining about the devastating effects of growing up fatherless. I probably will still continue to do so, although the older I get the more I realize things could have been worse. A LOT worse.

For example, I read recently in England’s seedy, albeit legitimate tabloid, The Sun, that a guy who was born in 1967 and was given up for adoption decided, later in life, to go hunting for his birth parents. Matthew Roberts found and began corresponding with his birth mother, and he eventually got her to admit that his dad was none other than Charlie Manson. He had been conceived, she said, when Charlie raped her at one of his famous drug-laden orgies.

This startling discovery could spawn (Spahn?) at least two TV events that I can think of: 1) A public service announcement to scare the pants off any adopted kid who’s hell-bent on finding his or her birth parents; 2) A game show called Who’s Your Daddy?

Based on Queen for a Day, Who’s Your Daddy? would bring out 3 adult male adoptees who would take turns telling their tales of woe before a live studio audience. All the contestants share their mournful memories, such as sitting alone on father-son lunch days at school; sleeping in a one-man tent at pop-and-son camp-outs in Boy Scouts, and the humiliation of jockstrap shopping with mom. The contestant who has had the saddest life, based on the results of the Applause-O-Meter, gets to meet his dad and also receive a year of all-you-can-handle psychiatric services. The losers get fifty bucks and some lovely parting gifts. And of course, they all receive a copy of the home game.

So yeah, things could have been worse. Instead of growing up without a dad, I could have been the proud son of a man with a swastika tattooed into his forehead. Imagine how popular he would have been at PTA meetings.

I also picture this familial introduction:

Mom, Dad, I’d like you meet my future in-laws, Harriet and Marty. Harriet and Marty, these are my parents, Charles and June. We want to thank you so much for including us in your Seder this year.

Frankly, I think it would be endearing to watch Charles Manson try to shovel down a plateful of cold herring in cream with a side of gefilte fish. I suspect the food in prison is much more stomachable.

The news report said that Charlie’s son had sunk into a serious depression after learning that his dad was one of the most psychotic people on the planet. Call me crazy, but when I’m depressed about something, the last thing I want to do is alert the media about it. I just want to stay in bed.

The Sun article goes on to say that Roberts had written to and received replies from Dear Old Dad, and the article includes the obligatory images of undecipherable, meaningless, nutcase sentences and signed with a sad attempt at drawing a swastika, which looked more like nothing more than a zigzag. They were written on college ruled notebook paper that had been ripped from the three-ring binder.

Charlie’s boy also said that Daddykins gave him his prison phone number, but Roberts couldn’t bring himself to call his pop. I am guessing the end of that sentence would be “…until the Oprah Network offers me a million dollars up front, half of the pay-per-view and live audience’s gross and a really good speakerphone.”

Well, of course he’s depressed. Who wouldn’t be with that kind of thing in your genetic soup? And how would you go about finding a support group for children of famously horrible parents, and who would be present? Well, for starters: the two dozen Bin Laden kiddies, the Qadaffi Nine, Sitha Pot, Iman Amin, the lesser-known Palin children, Donald Trump’s kids, Miley Cyrus and the Bush twins. Unfortunately, there would be serious language barriers, especially when it came to making sense from what spewed out of Miley, Jenna, and Little Barbara.

Although I sympathize with the biological son, I’m curious as to why he decided to go public with it. If I had received that news, I’d have cut my long black hair, shaved my beard, found a good plastic surgeon who could make me look more like, I dunno, the Pope, maybe. And I would find a really good psychiatrist to help me deal with it.

Like his dad, Roberts is a poet and artist. They are unmistakably similar in appearance. With a little makeup, he could make a fortune jumping out of the darkness and yelling, “Death to Pigs!” and scaring little children at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Night. I’m sure they would pay him top dollar, and Roberts would be on every Florida billboard on I-95 during the month of October. But other than the monetary rewards, what good could come out of going public with this? Maybe it would make you attractive in some women’s eyes, but I would think that most of these women would be more interested in the cash they could rack up by prancing around the talk show circuit with their firstborn, the third generation of Manson.

Will you just look at those eyes? He looks just like his grandpa on the cover of Life.

Maybe his hope is to find other Manson offspring, his half sisters and brothers. I read that Manson admits to three sons, and according to eyewitnesses, Manson was notoriously, tirelessly virile, so Roberts isn’t the only Charlie-bastard running around depressed. Probably more than a handful of them are scattered around the country. They could all get together, commiserate and, with a little musical coaching, form the Manson Family Singers. On Ice. They could sing some of their dad’s tunes, old Country favorites, remakes, and their own compositions. What else could piss off their dad more than making it big in the recording industry, which was Charlie’s biggest dream, but just one of his thousands of failures?

I recommend these tracks for the playlist of their debut CD, with the working title of “Meet the Mansons.”

Hey, Hey We’re the Mansons
Papa Don’t Preach
Nothing Compares to You
We are Family
Love Child
I Don’t Know How to Love Him
Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word
Medley: The First Cut is the Deepest/Cuts Both Ways
Have Mercy on the Criminal
I Fought the Law (and the Law Won)
Killing Me Softly

Read the article.

Thanks to Mary and Chris for their contributions to this post.

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