My friend, Sherri thinks I should find me a man. Not just any man, mind you. The kind Sherri’s thinking about is the sort who’s made a killing—though not necessarily in the stock market. Some might call them scalawags, rascals or just plain evil. But to my friend Sherri, they’re available and on the market. So unless I do something about it, Sherri tells me I could be missing out.
Men like Scott Petersen—the guy with the bad hair dye and goatee, headed for the border when the police found him. Scott, who was found guilty of killing his wife and unborn child, is now on death row. Then there’s Drew Peterson, whose fourth wife went missing in 2007 and is in prison awaiting trial for allegedly killing his third wife.
Or actor, Robert Blake, attractive in his youth, but who now has a grim-reaper sort of look about him and shaved-off eyebrows. Ironically, he portrayed a murderer in the film, In Cold Blood. Then later played a detective with a cockatoo sidekick in the TV series from the seventies, Baretta. Ah Baretta (He’ll always be Baretta to me), alas I knew you when. As it turns out, Baretta was acquitted of murdering his second wife, though later found liable in a civil trial for her wrongful death.
Then there’s Grammy Award-winning producer, Phil Spector, serving 19 years in prison for second-degree murder of an actress in his home. Apparently he’ll be eligible for parole when he’s 88.
I have to agree with Sherri. They’re all worth considering, especially since I don’t see anyone better on the horizon and frankly, I’m not getting any younger. Which is why I’ve decided, before I settle on just one of these rebels without a cause, I’m going to invite them all for Thanksgiving dinner.
Here’s how it’ll unfold: First I’ll write to the wardens from each of the prisons that are holding these eligible bachelors and, in my most persuasive manner I will convince the wardens that these prisoners deserve a special meal for the holidays, and that they should be released for the day. My rationale for their release will be so compelling (once I come up with it) that the wardens will have no choice but to release them to me no questions asked. Indeed, they will absolutely trust me and know that I will get them back before lights out. Pinky swear.
I’ll rent a van to pick them up (let’s hope they’re all located relatively near each other so that I won’t have to traipse all over California, which is rather a big state, after all). Picking up Drew will be a problem because he’s in another state, and as for Baretta, he will need to drive himself, since he’s not in prison but in seclusion in some top secret location.
For the occasion, I’ll prepare the best Thanksgiving meal, which means this is not going to be potluck (I know what they serve in prison and I don’t want any of that sop at this table).
I will have to put away all the items around the house that can be used as weapons. Phil will insist on wearing one of his striking wigs, which is ok with me as long as it isn’t that porcupine wig he wore during the trial and as long as he’s not hiding a knife or tweezer beneath it. I’ll ask Baretta to regale us with tales of his film and TV days and find out if he has any kiss-and-tell stories about Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds or Truman Capote.
Since Drew hasn’t had his trial yet, I’ll ask the other boys to help brainstorm arguments for his defense. I’m sure Scott, Baretta and Phil have a few tricks up their sleeves. I’ll ask Scott how his appeals are going (when you get the death penalty, there’s always a gazillion appeals). Phil Spector will no doubt want to dance so I’ll put on some records and play songs produced by Phil himself, the man who invented the Wall of Sound. I’ll even bring out the karaoke machine and serenade him with one of his songs, “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin,” and hope that he doesn’t take it personally.
After dinner, Drew will help me with the dishes. I’ll then bring out a board game such as Clue, which Scott will win when he deduces that Colonel Mustard killed Mr. Boddy with a gun in the conservatory. We’ll all have a good laugh over that one.
Finally, with our bellies full of turkey and pumpkin pie, we’ll get cozy and play a round or two of spin the bottle. As I look into the eyes of each of these hapless scoundrels, I’ll know. Oh yes, I’ll know which one is guilty of stealing my heart. Let’s just hope I don’t have to wait a life sentence for the second date.