I no longer watch The Price is Right when I am home on a weekday. I have closed the book on that chapter of my life. Instead I watch Maury. Maury has three specialties: out of control teens (send 'em to boot camp!), unfaithful spouses (send in the sexy decoy!), and men who may or may not be the father (take a paternity test!). Today is the best kind of Maury: the paternity test. There is even a catchphrase:
"DeShaun: when it comes to the case of two-year-old Clarence... YOU ARE THE FATHER!!"
The reveal of paternity is, in most cases, the anti-climax. The best part are the testimonials by each party, alternately assigning or denying paternity of the child in question. The women are typically between 100 to 1 million percent sure that he is the father. The man, for his turn, will accuse the woman of having unprotected sex with friends and neighbors.
The question of the baby's appearance will also feature prominently in the discussion. The baby does or does not have his nose, or his eyes are squinty like a Chinese person, or his skin is too light/too dark. Michael, in his denial of Alicia's three children, hit the trifecta:
"The oldest girl? She looks like a Mexican. The second one? We wasn't even together then! And that third baby? He must be a space alien!"
Before revealing the results of the test, Maury will, in his smug,
faux-caring manner, demand that the father agree to "step up" and "be a
man" if the result is that he is the father. Maury behaves as if he believes what he is doing is actually helping bring these families together and helping these children. Maury is, as you imagine, completely full of shit.
The only time that the reveal is not an anti-climax is when it is revealed that the man is... not the father! The woman, publicly shamed as a trollop, will begin to sob and streak to the recesses of Maury's backstage while a cameraman trails her to get every last tear of camera. Meanwhile, the man, cleared of all charges, will strut around the stage, arms raised in triumph, reveling at his accomplishment in not impregnating a woman he was nonetheless foolishly having unprotected sex with.
This show is like a 72-car pile-up of humanity, and I'm just another rubbernecker observing the damage.
By the way: Michael was the father of the space alien and the baby born via immaculate conception. However, the oldest girl may indeed be Mexican, as it was not his.