On Wednesday, April 11th, Charlie Manson is going up for parole again. I think my penchant for crazy people is well-documented, but ol' Charlie is completely off-the-charts looney. 43 years after the Tate-LaBianca murders, he remains the ultimate American boogeyman.
The crazy people I am attracted to are like the ones I grew up with. Some families hide their crazy relatives; not my family, we flaunted them. Made sure the craziest ones were front and center at family dinners, vacations, weddings, funerals and all other kinds of familiar get-togethers.
My grandfather was married six, maybe seven times. Nobody really know for sure. One Easter, he had invited all of the grandchildren to his house for an Easter egg hunt. Right before we got there, Grandpop and his then-wife, Grandma Teet, had had whopper of an argument, so Grandma Teet forcibly removed his dentures from his mouth and hid them.
Grandpop didn't miss a beat. He offered us kids a quarter for each Easter Egg we found, and a whole dollar if we found his dentures. As I drove home that night in the family Buick, with an entire $2.25 to my name, I remember thinking that when I grew up, I wanted to be an Easter egg/Denture finder. I should have stuck to that plan. I'd probably be making more money.
Crazy people also married into the family, like the guy who married my cousin Betty Jane. Guy was a skinny little white kid from Dundalk who got "politicalized" at Dundalk Community College. In 1970, he hijacked a plan to Cuba. Guy sent a list of demands that had to be met before he would release the plane's passengers from the Cuban runway.
1) American capitalism is over. Americans must change to tried and true Socialism.
2) All American Banks will open their vaults and distribute money to the poor and downtrodden.
3) Cousin Betty Jane will STOP harping on him to appear on "The Newlywed Game." He will not sell his soul for a refrigerator.
Cousin Betty Jane responded that it wasn't just a refrigerator, numb nuts. It was a FRIGIDAIRE! Then she promptly filed for an annullment. Guy stayed in Cuba, taught Socialist History at a Cuban University, and now is laid to rest in a very nice plot overlooking Havana.
Anyway, lots of luck on Wednesday, Charlie. You are too nutzoid for even my family, and that's saying something. I don't anticipate seeing you on the streets anytime soon, but, should that happen, let's just keep walking past each other. And one more thing....don't go callling on cousin Betty Jane, either. You just might find yourself in a fresh, new hell called, "The Newlywed Game. "