Thursday, November 08, 2007

Who's the daddy?

I never knew that the daytime talk shows essentially drive the DNA paternity testing industry. It seems like everyday at least one show features are paternity testing special. And as sick as this is, I never get tired of it. I watch a lot of talk shows while nursing a baby. And while I'd like to say I spend my time watching documentaries - that just wouldn't be true.

I'm getting pretty good at guessing if daddy really is the daddy. Mostly by judging the demeanor of the mom. On American shows, they often show a picture of the child next to the daddy which does provide a clue. On British shows, small children aren't shown or brought out, so it's all down to the body language of the purported parents.

Recently I saw a show where the baby was cute as a button. He was about eighteen months old and dark as a berry. I mean this kid was black. Well, that's fine. But momma was white and so was daddy. Both parents were blue eyed and dirty blond. I know that genetics is a weird and wonderful thing, but I really think that maybe Daddy ain't daddy. Mom had brought him on the show to reveal the secret and dude was shocked. I mean shocked. And when the DNA results were read out, the man was devastated. The power of denial. I know it's a tragedy and to this man, in a way, it was like his son had died - or at least the dream of his son. But I had to laugh. There weren't no way that kid was his - at least not in a biological sense - and he'd managed to convince his heart that his eyes couldn't see. Of course, the really sad part is that the apparently the bond was broken and he no longer sees the child.

Sometimes more than one man is tested, and none of the candidates is the father. Ooops. That's got to be pretty embarrassing - unless, of course, you have no shame. No shame and the desire to see New York one more time on Maury Povich's dime. Do you feel sorry for the fifth man tested, the poor schmuck who's alleles match up? Maybe you shouldn't - I mean if you don't want unintended consequences maybe you should keep your trousers zipped. But I know a guy this happened to. One of my brother's friends got tested in the third round up of suspects. The one night stand with the extra strong swimmers. And he's a nice kid*.

*Well, actually he's coming up to 30 now - gosh, I'm old.


andrea said...

Ah, the beauty of British tv, where you can watch reruns of Maury, Ricki Lake and Sally Jessie Raphael, two of which have been off the air for years. I find myself sucked in too!

Sinead said...

I saw the same episode whilst feeding Zach and i couldn't help but wonder why his family or friends hadn't pointed out the obvious. Some of my favorite episodes are the ones where Maury tries to clear people of their fears of peaches, mustard, mice etc.

Vol Abroad said...

I can't watch those phobia ones. Freaks me out.