The Odyssey of Anna NicoleWhat the hell???!! I've been determined not to jump on the Anna Nicole bandwagon, but I saw something today that was truly amazing.
As I ate my lunch this afternoon, I flipped on the TV and tuned to the cable news. I always like a dash of death and destruction with my meals. I find that it aids digestion.
The screens of all three major cable news outlets had the usual BREAKING NEWS! THIS JUST IN! OMIGOD! SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED! banners up while crawls about Anna Nicole ran across the bottom like the out of town scores on a ballpark Jumbotron. At first, I barely noticed the banners because they're so often there. Remember newswench Rita Cosby croaking on for over a year about the murdered teen in Aruba? Each night the banner said the same thing - "Developing Story: Natalie Holloway is still dead". I hadn't seen anything like that since Chevy Chase used to give us, "Generalisimo Francisco Franco is still dead," on Weekend Update back when it was still funny.
Banners r Us
As I became vaguely aware of the banners, I realized they laid over an overhead shot of some building. This seemed a bit odd to me. Had she died again and this footage depicted the arrival of a hearse at the hospital? Had Howard K. Stern committed suicide by jumping off the roof of the building after realizing he'll have to drag his lazy ass off the couch and work for the rest of his life? Perhaps Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson had stolen Anna's body and were holed up in a warehouse negotiating with the SWAT team for extra coverage on E!
Suddenly, the helicopter shot gave way to a courtroom where the usual legal talking heads whispered in the background, "The judge is about to announce his verdict concerning Anna Nicole Smith's body. Let's listen in." Yes, let's!
Damn, I thought. She did die again! Then I remembered the dysfunctional cast of crudely drawn comedic characters were still fighting over a disputed inheritance from a dead 90 year old..er, what should happen to the baby...I mean where Anna should be buried...or was it who was taking over the Trimspa franchise?
Just Dust and Implants
It turns out this was just this particular case was about the body. After all, she'd been laying around for a week and if somebody didn't make a decision soon, Anna be reduced a pile of dust topped by a pair of silicone implants. Just ask James Brown's body what that's like. "HUH! Good Gawd. I don't feel good!"
The judge began reading his legal mumbo-jumbo and I started to eat my PB&J. As I chewed, I heard the Skippy-muffled sound of crying. It was eerie. I thought someone was in the house before I realized it was the judge. There on national television sat a judge, looking like Alan Rachins from LA Law, bawling his eyes out. He whimpered and simpered and broke down several times.
I began thinking, "Maybe this isn't about Anna Nicole. Maybe they just left the banners up and this was really a story about something else." But no, Howard K. Stern was there banging his head on the table and bawling right along with Judge Teary McRedeyes. Over in the corner, Anna Nicole's estranged mother was blowing her nose like a moose with hay fever. In fact, everyone in the damn place was howling like...well, like attendees to a funeral. Talk about a lack of judicial decorum.
Through a snot-blowing, tear-laden delivery, the judge said Anna Nicole's kid was the legal heir and would be in charge of making the decisions about Anna's final resting place.
What the Hell Are You Smokin'?
Huh? Um, judge? You are aware the kid's only a few weeks old aren't you? I mean I hate to question the wisdom of your honor, but what the hell are you smoking?
After stopping the reading of the verdict for another nice long cry, he croaked that the kid's guardian would make the decision. Then, he wrapped the whole case up with, "You people get together and work it out amongst yourselves." He said, literally, "I have completed all my tasks in this case," apparently not remembering that the main task was making a damn decision.
I never figured out what was so traumatic about this case. Unfortunately, the world is filled with dysfunctional people who relish picking the bones of their dearly departed. This guy is a family court judge, surely he must have seen similar cases many times before.
Oh yeah. This one case was on television. I guess you just can't pass up exposure like that. I thought Lance Ito should have gotten his own series after his over-the-top display of courtroom thespianism. I guess this guy was just angling for a spot on Dancin' With the Judges.
When the cameras went back to the studio, legal beagle Dan Abrhams asked the recently airbrushed Susan Filan (who actually looks pretty good now - I'd hit it), "Susan, what was all THAT about?"
"Dan, I'm not sure."
Neither was I. I mean weird legal decisions are the norm in this country, but I can't recall a judge breaking down like a schoolgirl while reading a verdict and I can't remember a case when a judge essentially said, "I punt. No decision for you! I'm outta here." Stupid decisions yes, no decisions, not so much.
So the Anna Nicole tragicomedy will continue. The dueling fathers will fight over the kid until she follows Mom off to Forest Lawn. Big Daddy Oilman's disputed fortune will continue dwindling through leeching legal fees until the 13 Dads and 6 grandmothers agree to equally split the $2.57 that's left. And Anna will finally get what she no doubt wanted while she was alive - an inexhaustible supply of publicity without the trauma of having to live with it.
All I have to say is, "Britney! Are you paying attention to this?"
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, February 22, 2007