Monday, March 31, 2008


Like him or loath him, Jerry Springer provides a service to the American public, or so it seems to my nonresident alien eyes. It provides a mirror. The program shows what the U.S.A. has become, a nation without dignity.[1] Twice a day Jerry Springer, America’s number one television show, airs. We were wondering if we aliens could better integrate ourselves into American society by appearing on Springer’s program. The thought came to mind one Saturday morning when my husband was cooking pancakes for the children.

“Jeez pop, do you have to wear that shrunken dressing gown?” my eldest daughter asked.

“Yeah dad, it looks so queer,” her sister added.

“Well, didn’t you know? I am gay!”

“Oops!” I said, aghast. “Now they know. We’ll never get on the Jerry Springer show.”

“Oh, he is not, mom. You’ve been married sixteen years!” my fifteen-year-old piped up.

“Should we tell her?” I asked.

“How long we’ve been married? Why not?”

“Kid, we got married just after you were born,” I announced.

“Haw, haw, haw, haw,” her younger sister sing-sang.

“Guess she hasn’t seen the adoption papers yet,” her dad remarked.

“Now you’ve let another cat out of the bag!” I added, horrified.

“No fear, we still have an ace up our sleeve.”

“We do?”

“Yeah, we can go on Springer yet!”

“We can? Mind letting me in on the fun?”

“Sure but not here and now.”

“So you think only an appearance on Springer’s show can truly Americanize us?”

“Something like that.”

“You don’t want to be an alien anymore?”

“Well, it’s not exactly part of the American Dream, is it?”

“You guys are crazy!” my youngest daughter said.

“Yeah, we want a divorce.” announced her sister.

“Don’t be silly. Kids can’t divorce their parents,” I told them.

“They can in America!”

“And we’re gonna!”

“Yeah, and we can get a pretty good settlement too.”

“Is this true?” I asked my husband.

“No doubt.”

“So we’re leaving.” The little one said shoving a last hunk of pancake in her mouth, maple syrup dripping down her chin.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“To call our lawyer.”

“You guys got a lawyer?”

“Sure mom, every kid does. This is America, ‘member?”

“Don’t sweat it,” my hubby reassured me. “They’ll have to prove paternity first.”

“Yeah and I don’t think grandpa will cooperate.” I added.

[1] This piece was written during Kenneth Starr’s investigation of President Clinton’s behavior in the Whitehouse.

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