Most people know that I'm a huge fan Maury Povich paternity testing. Always having been a keen observer of the human condition, I just find this raw-based drama intriguing. I also enjoy how they condense everything into 5-6 minute intervals. This way you get the instant gratification.
I can already hear the complaints. "Oh Saf, you probably hope they're all "not the father" and hope the woman have to test more than 10 men. Not even remotely true. While I do like the women who come on and are 1 million percent positive they know who the daddy is only to be sadly mistaken, that's not really my angle. Remember, I'm a connoisseur of the more subtle moments. Sometimes, it's the little things that go unnoticed. Allow me to elaborate on some of these superior anecdotes. I'll touch on a few specific incidents and then reveal the conceptual nature of what I like to call the "Maury progression."
I'll start it off with a true shining moment from the early days of Maury. I'd like to think this kind of set the stage for great things to come. Maury's haunting intro...
"One night LaRhonda met James at a party. Later that night, they fell in love. Well guess what. After that night, LaRhonda claims that James abandoned her. And then 1 month later, LaRhonda finds out she's pregnant with her baby girl "Jamelia."
On the screen, they flash a smiling 5 month old baby girl with massive pink loop earrings and a onesie outfit that predictably reads "DADDY'S GIRL."
Anyway, LaRhonda has the studio crowd amped up. She's demanding pampers and wipes. James needs to step up and be a father. James emerges from backstage to a chorus of deafening boos. James is equally adamant, "I ain't the daddy! Yous a hood rat! Holla! Holla!" The place is going nuts. Maury confidently stands up and retrieves the sacred envelope. He opens it and reads, "When it comes to 5 month old baby Jamelia; James, you are NOT the father."
LaRhonda runs off the stage screaming and James takes off into the audience doing a variety of calisthenics and giving out a series of high fives. Then, the moment of truth - James runs backstage. At this moment, I'm expecting a taunting barrage of "I told you so's." Not going to happen. James completely ignores the sobbing LaRhonda and runs toward an elderly white janitor. Then, in one swift motion, he grabs a mop from the old man's frail grip and begins to spiritedly mop the backstage area! A rare, unprecedented exhibition of janitorial excellence after a tumultuous paternity situation deserves recognition. James, much like 9/11. We will never forget.
Another one of my favorite "not the father" moments was when a white married couple from rural Georgia were on the show. I'm not sure of the names, but we'll call them Tex and Trisha. Well, they met at church bingo and fell in love. They flash the wedding picture and it's painfully obvious that she's about 8 months pregnant. Maury is beaming. But here's the problem. Let's take a look at their baby Houston. Baby Houston's pic shows up on the screen amidst the heckling and jeers of the audience. The baby is obviously mixed. Now Tex weighs about 280 lbs and has red hair and freckles. Tex's complexion borders on alabaster with a hint of eggshell albino. So he probably has a valid point. "Maury, I don't make black babies."
But here's the interesting twist. Tex doesn't seem angry, just sad and confused. He's blubbering all over the place. Trish reassuringly tells Tex she loves him about 6 times in a row. And here's Maury with the result, "Tex, you are not the father." Tex's heart is ripped to shreds. He hits the floor as Trish tries to comfort him. She's trying to embrace him but her bony arms are basically strangling the poor slob in a UFC chokehold gone awry. Still weeping uncontrollably, Tex gets to his feet and says to Maury...
"Maury, anyone can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a daddy. I don't care if I'm not that baby's daddy, because that baby's mine. I'm his daddy. I change his diapers. I'm Houston's daddy, Maury. He might not be mine, but I wanna see my son! Maury, where's my son?" I'm thinking to myself - what the fuck? Tex makes no sense at all.
They bring out the baby and Tex embraces him and Trish. Then, Maury wraps his arms around all 3 of them. But what can we gain from Tex's cryptic, blubbering comments? It's my contention that Tex already knew his fate. Somewhere in the back of his rednecked brain, he had already deduced that he was not the biological father. Then, he mentally prepared himself and had a premeditated response for when he was told that he wasn't the father. But when the moment of truth came, his comments were all disjointed and confusing. Personally, it was during that instant, I fell in love with Tex. You wouldn't think that him and I would bond via the satellite waves, but it happened.
This post is making me realize that I have an abundance of Maury Povich observations. Technically, they're called MoPo's. MoPo is the ingenious name for his production company. I just might make this an ongoing theme for a few more posts.
Here are 2 novel ideas for future paternity shows. Block off the backstage area. It's way to easy to run off the stage screaming in a fit of despair. Then, these women always seem to find the couch where they can bury their head. This robs me and the entire viewing public of the best part. I want to see the tears. On several occasions, I've noticed that the women really aren't crying at all. They just bury their head and scream., "NO!, NO!, It's not right! Maury, that can't be right!, NO! NO!
My solution to the problem - when you block of the easy backstage retreat, you're only left with 3 viable options...
A. Seek comfort from the man in question (not likely, since he's busy dancing and performing urban gymnastics).
B. Seek comfort form Maury. This is the more likely avenue because she can bury her face in his sympathetic shoulder.
C. Or, and this is my personal favorite, be forced to seek comfort and solace from a random stranger in the studio audience. Preferably a large black woman. She would be forced to wander through the aisle until this mythical woman named Hazel appeared. Hazel would embrace her and say, "Don't worry girl. I'm gonna help you raise that baby. Hazel gonna make everything alright. Shhhh. Shhhh. It's ok."
My other thought for today involves the "Maury progression." There's one thing that has become painfully obvious with these paternity shows. Hypothetically, let's say there are 3 guys (most likely they're brothers, or at the very least, cousins) on stage waiting to hear the results. We can definitively make the following assessment. The first 2 will NOT be the father. The third guy will either be the dad or none of them will. So the second Maury mentions the first two guys, they should be instantly relieved or heartbroken (depending on their desired outcome)? Maury's not going to announce who the father is right off the bat. That would destroy his whole game plan of trying to heighten the level of excitement/tension as he runs through the progression. It's the equivalent of celebrating your arrival at base camp when you climb Mt. Everest. Makes no sense. So obviously here's the lesson, the second Maury chooses your name first, you can prematurely jump for joy or collapse in misery. Why sweat it? It's not like Maury is suddenly going to break with this sensible time honored tradition.
I'll have more on this crapulence in the future. Honestly, I've always wanted to put this shit down.