The custody quarrel continues

by Nita
For the Week of August 23, 2004
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Y&R Two Scoops: The custody quarrel continues
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The week of August 23, 2004
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By the end of the week, Ashley Abbott had caused the blood pressure of many fans to climb into the stratosphere.

By the end of the week my last nerve had been trampled on so many times, I stopped counting. The person most frequently causing my blood pressure to climb into the stratosphere was without question, Ashley Arrogant Abbott.

When it came to Ashley's antics, if I said all the bad things about her I could think of, it still wouldn't be enough. She had me so heated I swear steam was rising from the top of my head and I wanted to reach through the screen and slap her sensible. I wondered how long it would be before she started referring to Abby as "my" daughter instead of "our" daughter where Brad was concerned. Not near as long as it will take her to coo the "our daughter" words to Victor, I'm wagering.

As for embittered Brad, in his decision to abscond with Abby, to quote the meddlesome mumbling man, Victor, he certainly chose to lay the wrong cards on the table. If the now doting daddy hadn't gotten so caught up playing a silly game of "Na-na-na-na-na, I got Abby and you can't find her," he might have figured out he was handing Victor all the ammunition he needed to start the legal paperwork to strip Brad of his adoptive father title. "Why Ashley, my lovely," he should have exclaimed, his face all innocent, angelic lines as he strolled nonchalantly through the front door, "Didn't you find my note saying I would be spending some time with my adorable daughter? You thought I kidnapped her? Oh Pshaw! Whatever could have given you such a ridiculous idea?"

Instead, the dimwit showed Ashley every card in his hand, even the one hidden up his sleeve, telling her he wanted to show her how it felt to be without Abby. He'd already placed himself in a deep hole by giving up too much incriminating information, but his illogical announcement that he might not want Ashley raising his little girl, probably buried him in it right up to his fool neck. Have all those recent incidents of apoplectic anger fried his brains? Even with Ashley's illegal obtaining of Abby's beginnings and lengthy list of frequent mental malfunctions, plus Victor's less than father-like track record, although it would serve both of them right if Brad won full custody of Abby, does he really believe that could ever happen?

Hmm, I can't help but wonder whether the illegible handwriting has now been chicken scratched on the pristine white walls. Spelling out that the quarreling Carltons will finally be going their separate ways, followed soon after by a contentious court-sanctioned tug-of-war over Abby, of course. Not that Abby isn't worth fighting for. She really is the most adorable thing. Didn't you love her line, "Here I come, dollies?" as she went bouncing up the stairs. I know, let's keep her and get rid of her Mommy.

As for Victor, he's like a broken-down brown dog still chasing after Ashley's same old gnawed-up sticks. How many times has she put that rude, abrupt record on the surround sound stereo to cause ole Vic to come rapidly a-running? "I can't talk to you now, can't you tell by my stressed-out strident shrieking that I'm on the verge of another mental meltdown? Click." If Victor was even half as concerned about his own wife's mental state as he was about Brad's whacked-out, wishy-washy woman, Nikki wouldn't be running around in a constant state of near hysteria, visibly unraveling before any eyes that were paying even cursory attention.

Of course, I must give credit where credit is due. So while it's true Victor has purposely become infected with Abby-itis, he hasn't been totally blind to Nikki's tear-dripping distress. And neither have the other members of her recurrently in-crisis family. Since their crises are mostly over, they have tried to repay Nikki for her 24-hour support in their respective times of need; she just stubbornly refused to let any of them help, preferring instead to stew in her own bitter, self-pitying juices. So, since she's rebuffed Paul's, Victor's, and Sharon's attempts to help her talk through her turmoil, which close confidant's strong shoulder will she allow herself to lean her memory-buffeted blonde head on? Well, my money's on strutting stallion, Bobby Marsino.

If Marsino is the lucky listener, what secrets might he help Nikki remember? Who shot little Joshua? And how did Nikki's birthday earring get in his grave? Did she see her father shoot him and in her distress drop them? Was Daddy only able to find the one he put inside the locked file cabinet? Did Joshua see something he wasn't supposed to between lascivious father and innocent daughter? Did he try to "save" his tiny girlfriend?

As quickly as Nikki's mental state is deteriorating, will she remember before she loses her mind? If she turns catatonic, will Victor bring her out in a one-treatment session the way he cured Ashley? Is J.T. going to do as Paul told him and search the Internet and every phone book in existence for Joshua's younger brother? Or is he going to just keep strumming on his guitar, having mini concerts with Brittany and yanking on Bobby's chain until it snaps and Bobby chews him up and spits him out? Can anyone else already see J.T. and Brittany spot-lit on the Marilyn's stage, singing duets on Cabaret nights?

Rules of Office Etiquette for Dummies. If such an e-book exists, three copies of it should be emailed as soon as possible to the mailboxes of Phyllis and Dru. And perhaps it wouldn't hurt for Neil to receive a copy as well. I presume the scribes were striving to inject a little humor in our favorite hour of escapism; the problem was, at least in my opinionated view, it wasn't funny. When exactly did Phyllis and Dru become so immature? Are they regressing rather then advancing in age as well as mentality?

When Victoria was at the helm, Phyllis never behaved so unprofessionally or acted so stupidly. Flailing her arms and legs and screeching at the top of her lungs while banging away on the desk and computer! And Dru isn't going to escape my overcritical tongue either. I realize she allegedly has had little formal education, but enough already with the mispronunciation and incorrect usage of words in that silly-sounding pretentious tone of voice. By contrast, when she sat down to chat with Victor later, she spoke like a sane, normal adult. We all know that Phyllis and Dru are allegedly like oil and water; I just wish the scribes would think of some other hopefully more age-appropriate way to bring that out. Thank goodness the Rec Center subplot is nearing a close. Because it's time for Victor to retake the reins of his company before Neil in his incompetence drives it into ruin.

Speaking of Neil, could he be any harder on Devon or any less understanding? And perhaps he should have sat Lily down at the start and told her not to get too attached, because if he had anything to say about it, her new little foster friend probably shouldn't make himself too much at home because he wouldn't be staying. Big happy family breakfasts, lunches, and dinners notwithstanding, Devon is not a Winters, and Neil has no desire to have him become one. Especially after seeing for himself the teens sowing the seeds of a possible romantic connection with their linked fingers. And despite all Lily's brays of disbelieving laughter when asked by Dru if there were any flickering flames of romance burning between them, judging by Devon's frequent sidelong looks at Lily, I can't say Neil doesn't have some reason for his parental paranoia.

But for the most part, Dru has usually been able to wind Neil far enough around her finger to get most of her way, so I have no real reason to believe this time will be any different. So while I'm sticking with last week's guess that Devon will somehow save Lily from the danger Daniel, Kevin, and Alex will place her in, thereby winning Neil's eternal gratitude and perhaps a lifetime membership at the Winters family fun house, there is another interesting alternative: Dru somehow convincing Damon to become Devon's foster father. Besides putting a proper distance between Lily and Devon, as far as storylines go, there could be plenty of possibilities in Damon's direction.

Judging from Lily's lack of good and prudent judgment, distance is definitely what should exist between her and any member of the opposite sex. Will silly Lily ever learn? If Walnut Grove offers a course in common sense, her parents ought to make her take it twice. Would anyone but Lily actually be flattered by Alex's oily attention? Warning bells should have been clanging so loudly, she should have had to cover her gullible ears.

Daniel has no idea the demon he might have loosed at the Rec Center. What's the reason for the additive to Lily's orange juice? And what exactly is it? Sure seems like Alex has a lot more planned for Lily than Daniel could have imagined. Not that I think for one second Alex will be successful if nonconsensual sex is what he had in mind. The question is which white or black knight will swoop in to save the damsel in distress?

Anyone wanting a belly laugh or two certainly should have gotten them each time Gloria Fisher showed her scheming countenance. I can't agree with smitten John that she's a breath of fresh air, especially after she spritzed air freshener or perfume in the general direction of her, um, mature mantrap. I confess I lean more towards Michael's apt description -- as an alley cat who is most definitely in heat, but she is a funny feline. Poor Michael, after multiple months of inactivity, he finally has a chance for a small sliver of romance in his hectic all work and no play life, but before he could lock his sensuous lips to Lauren's, curses, he was foiled again. By Gloria cavorting through the condo with her half-dressed hired son in hot and enthusiastic pursuit, eager to sample more of the freebie he'd granted her. Of course, it was the straw that brought the camel to its knobby knees, and like a parent to his unruly, constantly misbehaving child, Michael shouted the dreaded directive, "Get out of my house."

With the minutes of Michael's 24-hour deadline already ticking away, it takes little pondering to figure out Gloria's next mailing address. Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it's to Grandfather's house she's sure to go. John was easily fooled by Gloria's hired 50-dollar-an-hour sons, so squirming her way into his home and most likely, eventually under his comforter, should be child's play for Gloria. Unfortunately, John Abbott has a very rude and unpleasant awakening in store for him once he takes his head out of those pale lipstick colored clouds he's thrust it in. With Ashley and Brad perhaps coming to a possible parting of the ways, necessitating Ashley's move back onto the grounds of the Abbott compound, John may find himself having to referee bitter bouts between his beauty and his bimbo. Could make for a lot of hissing and scratching across the Abbott breakfast table.

Children also sometimes behave more adult then their parents in the younger Newmans' hacienda as well. Sharon was the adult left in the care and under the direct supervision of her teenaged child. Probably afraid his wife might awaken and, finding herself alon,e wander down to the stables to fill her empty arms with Daniel or some other convenient male, Nick instructed Cassie to curl up on the couch in order to be close enough to keep Sharon from leaving the caretaker's cottage.

Okay, while I'm on the subject of Cassie, I have to say something that has bugged me for years, and my email proves I'm not the only one. It has always driven me crazy to hear Cassie constantly refer to Nikki and Victor by their first names. What's wrong with Grandma and Grandpa? Or anything other than by their first names. She doesn't call Doris by her first name. In spite of her claims to the contrary and her constant request to become her mother's confidant, she is still a child and should be attaching a handle to adult's names.

Do only villains like Cameron Kirsten deserve the more respectful Mr. or Mrs.? Whew! Okay, now that I've gotten that pet peeve off my chest, was any fan with me or was I all by myself cackling uncontrollably when Cassie's reply to Sharon as to why she hadn't noticed her daughter was all grown up was because she hadn't been paying attention. And what I found even more hysterical was that after Cassie said it, that glazed-eyed, dazed look of smiling incomprehension never dropped from Sharon's sleepy face.

In the Genoa City Book of Over The Top Life, following are some titles of the nail-bitingly exciting chapters we perhaps can look forward to: (1) Perfection Revealed: Britt's Bandage Comes off; (2) Religion in the Office: Paul, Michael, and Sometimes Danny Worship at the Shrine of St. Christine Five Work Days a Week; and (3) Lauren Hires an Exorcist.

Seriously, though, while I can't summon much interest in excruciatingly painful scenes starring Pristine Blair Romalatti Williams almost Baldwin and now probably back to Blair, as she's being adored and desired by her many male admirers, I'm hoping we'll be rewarded for sitting through those sickeningly sweet selections with some salty interactions between Michael and Paul tussling tenaciously over Lauren. It's too bad that when the scribes finally decide to give Michael a chance at love, he has to compete with both Paul and kooky Kevin for it. May the sexiest man get the girl. And, in case you're wondering who I think that is, you get two guesses and the first two don't count. No, I don't know exactly what that means, but Michael is my pick.

Damon's been pretty quiet lately, and no, that doesn't mean he's been working industriously from sunup to sundown in the Jabot Lab (you know nobody actually works at Jabot; they just use the company phones to take care of their endless personal problems), so it's about time for him to resurface in Phyllis' life and thrust his big self like a prickly thorn in Daniel's side.

The Chancellor contingent, including Jill, has also been silent in the recent past, so I expect a word or two from them. Unconfirmed rumors have been quietly circulating that Arthur may not be the paragon of goodness and virtue he has thus far appeared (in his case, it would be nice to have those rumors prove false for a change), and I trust no one will be surprised if Elliott Hampton proves to be everything he seems to be -- a man with nothing good up his crafty sleeves.

And finally, it's time for Jack to stop playing at life and get back to the business at hand. Which, as we all know, despite his earnest claims to the contrary, is making Victor Newman pay dearly for all his wrongs.

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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