Monday, May 01, 2006

Better Than a Shot of Wheatgrass

Darfur. The proposed 700 mile anti-immigrant wall. Iraq. Gas prices. It's enough to get a girl down. But whenever I need a little pick me up about the state of the world, I just turn on Maury, the feel-good daytime talk show hosted by Maury Povitch, who's in a hell of a lot of hot water right about now owing to being slapped with a 100 million sexual harassment suit. But we're not going to dwell in the gutter of the negative today. This is about being uplifted.

What an exhilarating ride! Hardly a show goes by without a physical fight, hurling of chairs, name calling and women running backstage and collapsing in humiliation. The security detail on this show is no joke. These are the people I want screening luggage at the airport. Or the person who bleeps out the curses--that's a person paying attention. Long minutes go by with only Maury's voice making it past the vigilant bleeper.

Wikipedia has a thorough description of the show if you want to read up. Typical shows include, Mom, You Need to Know ... My Sister and I are Prostitutes; We Both Slept with You ... We'll Prove Our Two Kids Are Yours; I Cheated with Two Men ... Our Baby May Not Be Yours. Etc.

If you've seen Maury, then you know that "desperate moms" and "devastating paternity results" are his specialty. For some reason I'm working to comprehend, women unsure of their baby's paternity think network television is a good place to find out. Maury interviews the moms and alleged dads, then dramatically reveals the results of DNA testing by saying, "In the matter of Joey, 19 months, you are/not the father." Chaos usually ensues; often the mom runs backstage and faints/swoons/cowers in a corner while the cleared man whoops, cheers and calls her a ho. Sometimes the man doesn't care and still wants to be involved. Those shows are full of teary heartfelt promises, and sue me, slightly boring. Other shows trot out the baby to meet their 'new dad,' and the kid understandably cries uncontrollably. Even more fascinating, when the alleged dad turns out to be the bio dad, the mom appears to be strangely let down, as if she was hoping for a dramatic end to her relationship.

Ah, Maury. I sure hope this lawsuit doesn't sink you. When I'm full of despair I watch Dwarves Finding Love, or Girl or Dude? or Tameeka bringing a tenth man onto the show in hopes of finding her baby's daddy and I realize, hey. We're okay. We're really, really good.

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