One thing about being snowbound is that, in addition to taking long, guilt-free afternoon naps, you can find yourself frittering away even more time than usual reading junk news online. Why stop with the Daily Mail, when you can also check out the NY Daily News and the NY Post?
Why stop, indeed.
So it’s thank to all the snow that I cam e across an article in The Post that broke the news that the wedding of the century, i.e., the nuptials between Charles Manson (age 80) and his blushing bride, sweet young thing Afton Elaine Burton (she’s 27), have been called off. Apparently by Charlie.
I must say that, when I read about this proposed marriage a while back, my first thought was that there is no such thing as touching bottom. That just when you think you’ve plumbed the depths, a new low is found.
What, I asked myself, could this young woman possibly be thinking?
We’ve all, no doubt, seen marriages-in-the-making that we had our doubts about.
But one that involved in mass-murdering, completely insane psychopath?
Well, there was the marriage of Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler.
I guess that rests my case…
Anyway, at least according to journalist Daniel Simone, who’s shopping a new book on Manson, the Burton-Manson marriage was not so much a fine romance as it was a business opportunity for Burton:
Manson’s engagement to a woman 53 years his junior was part of a wild scheme of hers to profit by putting his body on public display after his death, says the author of an upcoming book…
Burton and a pal, Craig Hammond, planned to lay out Manson’s remains in a glass crypt, Simone says. The pair figured their bizarre California version of Lenin’s Tomb would draw huge crowds and make big money.
But Manson, 80, does not want to marry Burton and has no interest in spending eternity displayed in a glass coffin, Simone told The Post. “He’s finally realized that he’s been played for a fool,” Simone said.
Another reason the madman balked at the plan is because he believes he is immortal. “He feels he will never die,” Simone said. “Therefore, he feels it’s a stupid idea to begin with.” (Source: NY Post)
Trust Charlie Manson, that shrewd-ie, to spot a stupid idea…
But just the thought of this wedding.
Does the bride say yes to the dress? How do you honeymoon when the groom isn’t allowed a conjugal visit? Does the happy couple register at Williams Sonoma and Crate and Barrel, or are they more the Walmart types? Just what does one get for the couple that has everything, or nothing, depending on how you want to look at it.
How about a Jack and Jill shower, in which the cash gets put in Manson’s commissary account? And, while it’s too late for Manson, how about putting the money towards mental health counseling for the bride?
But back to the, errrr, business opportunity.
Sure, there is definitely an audience for such a “product” – or is it a “service”. And, since it’s the largest state, California probably has the largest segment of this audience.
But, seriously, “huge crowds?” “Big money?’
Hey, let’s do a stay-cation right here in the Golden State. We can do Knott’s Berry Farm, Fishermen’s Wharf, and Charles Manson’s Crypt.
Oh, we’ve already been to Disneyland and Grauman's Chinese. We could take the ferry to Catalina, but it might be really interesting to see Manson’s body.
Can we go to that swell Manson crypt again? Please, Mom. Please, Dad. I promise to eat my legumes and make my bed.
In terms of marketing, Burton and Hammond could make it part of an overall package.
A bus trip that includes a drive-by of Sharon Tate’s home in Benedict Canyon, and the home of the LaBiancas, too. The full day tour could take in the Spahn Ranch, the old western movie location where the Manson “Family” hung out. Maybe get one of the gang who’s out of prison – say, Squeaky Fromme – to provide a bit of insight and color.
Oh, Burton and Hammond could be on to something, that’s for sure.
Just the other day, I read an article that mentioned some Whitey Bulger memorabilia that’s for sale on eBay. All sorts of Nazi-related “souvenirs” are for sale. I remember my mother telling us that, as a kid in Chicago, she read in the news that some movie-goers who were at the Biograph Theater when the G-men managed to take down John Dillinger came out of the theater and dipped their popcorn in Dillinger’s blood.
Anyway, we all know that there are folks out there who marry for reasons other than love. Mostly those reasons are practical ones.
But this crypt exhibit idea doesn’t even pass the practical test.
What’s love got to do with it? Not much. But good sense, tastes, and common decency don’t seem to have much to do with it, either.
Am I the only one reminded of Tom Robbins’ Another Roadside Attraction? Does anybody read Tom Robbins any more?