Wednesday, June 16, 1999

Bad Boys, Good Husbands?

I guess all the other guys were taken.

That's the only thing I can think of to explain why a woman married Erik Menendez this weekend.

Erik, you may recall, is doing a life sentence in a maximum security prison after he and his brother, Lyle, were found guilty of killing their parents several years ago.

His new bride is a woman in her thirties with two kids who became pen pals with Erik soon after his incarceration. When her husband died -- you can't help but wonder if she got tips from Erik on how to make that happen -- she picked up and left her midwestern home and moved to Sacramento to be closer to her inmate pal.

This weekend, they were married in a ceremony at the prison. And the honeymoon? There won't be one, since Erik isn't allowed to have conjugal visits. And you thought there wasn't enough sex in your marriage!

No word on whether Erik's pals in the cellblock threw him a bachelor party, but I wouldn’t be one bit surprised to hear about a little bump and grind session that went on in the shower room one day. Picture an inmate named Big Bubba jumping out of a cake and showing Erik how his shawshank needs some redemption. Talk about your penal institution.

What did this woman tell her kids when they asked the inevitable questions about their new stepfather?

Q: "Mom, what does Daddy do?"
A: "Well, he's with the government right now, son."
Q: "Where does he live?"
A: "He has a cozy room down at the Graybar Hotel."
Q: "Mom, how come we never see grandma and grandpa?"
A: "They're not around anymore, but I try to remember them everyday."
Q: "Is that why you never turn your back on us?"
What does this say about the rest of the men in the world, that this woman could only find her soulmate in a convicted murderer, whose victims were his own parents?

You always hear stories about women who are drawn to the bad boy, the rowdy rebel, the tattooed troublemaker, the Jerry Springer Show waiting-to-happen. And they're not just hanging around with these guys. They marry them and then are surprised when they can't tame them.

Of course, men are attracted to bad girls, too, but in the long run most men don't want to marry one. Example: Pamela Anderson Lee. In the male eye, she is a fantasy sex partner and wild weekend adventure. But a lifetime of wedded bliss? Nah.

If you doubt this whole “girls love bad boys” theory, let me introduce one other piece of evidence: there are women who still willingly date OJ Simpson. Granted, he’s not behind bars where he should be, so he’s not as enticing as the Menendez murderers, but women do still come on to him. Of course, they could just be in it for the free golf and the thrill of the hunt for the real killer.

Erik Menendez is in the top ranks of Bad Boys -- but he can’t hold a candle to his brother, Lyle.

Did you know that Lyle got married in prison, too? A couple of years ago, to a penpal named Anna. That one was never consummated either, and ended in divorce when Anna discovered that Lyle was writing to another woman from his jail cell. Yes, Lyle had not one, but two women drawn in by his charms. Anna considered that cheating (she's a lot tougher with the marriage vows than Hillary, apparently) and called the union off. On the grounds of Infidelity By Ink, probably.

What is the allure of these incarcarated romeos? Let’s check the positives and negatives.

MINUS: no money, because all of mom and dad’s wealth went to the lawyers and creditors at their trial.
PLUS: has learned to use cigarettes as jailhouse currency.

MINUS: constantly complains he doesn’t have access to the cellblock TV.
PLUS: never hogs the remote control.

MINUS: isn’t around to help with household chores.
PLUS: never leaves the toilet seat up at home.

MINUS: keeps talking about breaking out, like those cool guys in "Escape From Alcatraz."
PLUS: never have to watch that guy-flick "Escape From Alcatraz," and can rent "Steel Magnolias" again instead.

MINUS: spends every day with a mangy group of hardened prisoners.
PLUS: doesn’t stay out late and come home drunk after a night with his mangy group of ex-college buddies.

MINUS: no sex.
PLUS: no wet spot.

Wait! I have it! The secret to their seductive success! In the case of each Menendez bride, she fell for her man by mail, right? It must be their penmanship.