A moment of mourning

by Nita
For the Week of July 24, 2006
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A moment of mourning
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For all fans whose fingers and toes had been crossed that Jack, by process of DNA elimination, might be declared the delighted Daddy of Phyllis' belly-bound bambino.

For all fans whose fingers and toes had been crossed that Jack, by process of DNA elimination, might be declared the delighted Daddy of Phyllis' belly-bound bambino. For those fans in particular, we pause now for a second or two of quiet contemplation in order that they might recover their composure after learning whose fingers are actually lifting the winning daddy DNA marker aloft. Because as almost everyone who resides anywhere on planet Earth is sure to know by now, Nick is purported to be the fortunate father.

Now, before I go any further, you know the motto I live by, that is, if I feel like it that particular day. Which is that fair is fair, so if Jack and Phyllis or Nick and Sharon fans are to have their moment of mourning, you know to weep, moan, gnash their teeth, rip their hair out by the roots, gnaw off their fingernails, or whatever other method of expression of grief they might so choose, so too, are Nick and Phyllis fans entitled to their jot or two of joyful time for expressing their backflipping, cartwheeling, leg-leaping, happy-dancing, jaw-cracking, moments of extreme merriment.

Thank you all for your participation. Now, depending on which couple you were standing behind, blot the sad, salty tears from your cheeks, stifle the last of your giggles or stop waving your I told you so flags, and let's continue.

All of you, of course, know exactly what I mean when I use the phrase "purported to be". Because although most of our favorite make believe characters do not often learn from any of their idiotic errors, thereby leaving them doomed to repeat them again and again, most of us fans have a bit more on the ball. So we know the frustrating futility of taking anything seen, said or acted out in this topsy-turvy town at face value or as an unimpeachable gospel truth.

And we also know it's a waste of time to point to the past in order to disprove the present. For instance, we know how unwise it would be to assume that just because Nick is Daddy today, he'll be Daddy tomorrow. And further, you certainly can't count on something being true simply because you or someone you know swears they saw it written on a glossy piece of magazine paper. Case in point: the scribe who insisted the question of Lily's paternity would never be raised or revisited. Ha! Guess that's a good enough reason not to rely too heavily on words written on the pages of a character's book of life. Because all it takes to change that is a little bottle of Liquid Paper correction fluid ... or the delete key.

And don't make the mistake of thinking that because a certain amount of time; in one particular case, 17 years worth, has gone by, that all that once was will forever be. Because in Genoa City, when it comes to determining daddy, much like crimes of murder, there's no statute of limitations governing when the dusty sheet shrouding the truth can no longer be wrenched away. For instance, Diane's baby, Christian, began as Victor's, but wound up as Jack's Kyle. Isabella pretended her unborn Ricky was Michael's, but he was really Paul's. Danny's Daniel, wasn't really his. The fruit of Ashley's alleged one-night stand wound up adopted by Brad, but was actually a lab-assisted product of Victor's. Then there is the tangled tale that resulted in Kay's near life-long enemy turning into her biological daughter. Forty plus years after the fact. And don't forget that John Abbott still stumbles around in the unknown, still unaware the snobbish blonde he calls his beauty is biologically someone else's. The truth of that one is apparently going to accompany Ashley (and the others in the know) to their graves. And that doesn't even take into account those babies whose fathers didn't know about them until they were fully or nearly grown. Like Jill and Mac. I guess when you come right down to it, in this town, babies who wind up belonging to the parents who originally claim them are the exception, rather than the rule.

But back to Nick. Is he really the Daddy? My guess is, absent a DNA test conducted under armed and constant guard no one can deny, only time and the continuing chemistry between Nick and Phyllis will tell the tale for sure. Speaking of that chemistry, one thing is certain. This one is sure to be milked until not a drop more can be coaxed from the cow. As long as the sparks continue to crackle frenziedly between Nick and Phyllis, you know once the forbidden factor has been removed and they move closer to happily ever after, then Nick will probably remain the proud papa. But, should the blazing comet now known as Nick and Phyllis one day smash into the dirt and sputter into ineffective sparks to which no fan pays attention, what has just been written in the present could very well be erased and rewritten so that Jack can be the father in the future.

On the other hand, I'm sure many fans are saying, done is done, Nick not being the father is just the futile, foolish hopes of fans who continue to cling desperately to any straw that might mean a Nick and Sharon reunion. And they could be right on both counts. BUT ... loopholes leaving plenty of wiggle room have certainly been left in this story. And I doubt very seriously any of them were unintentional.

Loophole No. 1: As we saw, Nick was the only person legally able to learn the DNA results. The only thing I heard were the words coming from his mouth. I didn't see him waving no official piece of paper as proof. As for Loophole No. 2, well that would be the fact that Jack never took a paternity test. And if none of those were deemed suitable for future use, there's always the DNA manipulated or mix-up material safety net to fall into.

But why would Nick claim a baby that isn't actually his? Yes he's admitted he's in love and lust with Phyllis, but would he really go so far as to claim Jack's baby on the off chance Jack might fight Phyllis for custody? Considering that Phyllis has been completely cleaned up and presented as this new and improved version in whose mouth butter wouldn't even melt, the chances of Jack being able to wrest her wee one from her are probably about none to none.

Nick being the father gave him a perfect excuse to leave his current wife and family in order to begin a new family album featuring pictures of Mommy, Daddy and Baby He or She. Of course, a decision like that wouldn't paint our Nickster in the most flattering of spotlights, now would it? Much better to shovel more black and worm-wiggling dirt upon Sharon's head, so by contrast Nick and Phyllis seem so pure and blameless, any day now I expect to see glowing halos positioned above their heads.

As for Phyllis, can't fault her for much of anything. Really, what bad can be said about someone like her, so soft spoken, so understanding, so silently long-suffering no matter what unkind comments Jack uttered at her expense? Why, she has locked her lips and tossed away the key to ensure that never a cross syllable shall drop softly from her mouth. And by the way, wasn't that brave of her to lift Nick off the hook and set him gently on his feet? I will raise this baby myself. I don't want you involved. Yeah, right, like she really believed Nick would stay away just 'cause she said so. Uh huh, just like she was going to keep the pregnancy secret as long as she could ... until she decided to blurt it out long before she had to.

Of course, when it comes to Nick, who knows why he does what he does. It's not as if he ever makes much sense. We are talking about a man who barely blinked when he tossed his father to the federal dogs, after first ripping the bejeweled bayonet of betrayal out of his back. The same man who couldn't tell the curves of his wife from those of his co-worker. I don't care that the room was in his own home or that it was presumably pitch black. I know it's been said that all cats are grey in the dark, but I still say he should have been able to tell that the squirming kitty meowing and purring in his arms was not the one he wed. And this is the man with so much sensitivity he found himself overcome by lust on both his daughter's birthday and his wedding anniversary. I guess to him, it was just another day.

And we are talking about a man who expected to be patted approvingly on the back for being willing to forfeit his love for Phyllis on the altar of obligation toward Sharon and Noah. Too bad obligation didn't keep him from accidentally slipping and falling into Phyllis. So, while he loves his Phyllis, he has magnanimously elected to remain in his marriage to Sharon. Yeah, just what I would want most for Christmas were I her, a man married to me, but ever directing his longing gaze past me at another. Can't you just close your eyes and picture it clearly? Nick's continued hungering for Phyllis while being tied to Sharon. Scene after scene of prolonged eye contact, stolen moments away from Sharon's suspicious eyes busily trying to read the mental messages Nick and Phyllis write each other between the lines. Long, long moments filled with Phyllis giggling, fidgeting and fingernail nibbling or Nick's debonair dimple flashing.

No thank you.

Let the Newmans go their separate ways. Yes, I said it, though I don't claim to be a Nick and Phyllis fan. If it has been the scribe's intent to murder Sharon Newman, I would say their mission has been accomplished. She might still be stumbling unsteadily around, but for all intents and purposes this character has been so severely savaged, the eulogy might as well be delivered over her still heart-beating body. Not enough apparently, the multiple infidelities, the family abandonment, the father-in-law kiss, the brother-in-law embrace and the sister-in-law betrayal. But bra-baring misbehavior with your brother-in-law in your car in the parking garage??! And could the look on Nick's face possibly have registered more disinterest? Clearly for him, the thrill has gone bye bye. Message to scribes in re: Sharon Newman. If I may mangle one of Dru's saying: enough is enough and too much is overkill. We get it. Phyllis is prime rib and Sharon has become rancid roadkill.

So, give Nick his Phyllis that he desires so desperately. Let them ride off into the sunset together, toting their baby whatever. Of course, some would say she's waltzing away with the booby prize, but it's a prize she apparently wants.

On to Sharon. I loved her moments of sputtering rage against Nick. A lot of Sharon detesters took careful aim at her shrieking, shrewish tone, citing the proximity of forever hall-wondering Newman employees and their excellent hearing. I don't know about any of you, but I don't know a woman in a similar situation who would give a rat's rear end if the whole world heard what she had to say. Had Sharon received the news with quiet grace, I'm sure she would have been equally vilified for not caring about Nick because she secretly coveted Brad. Anyway, without admitting I've walked in those shoes, and at the same time not swearing I haven't, I would imagine nothing burns the lining of the belly more than losing out to the other woman. And what a bitter, vile tasting brew it must be to choke down the knowledge that your man is offering you a mercy marriage. How hard and repeatedly Sharon must be kicking herself now for foolishly spurning Brad's heartfelt declaration of love. Of course, given Brad's less than faithful path of marital fidelity, a life with him could have been akin to leaping from the hot frying pan straight into the even hotter fire.

Even though admittedly Sharon has repeatedly searched for and found love in all the wrong places, Brad's arms being the most ill-advised destination of all, I do like that he's her biggest defender (sort of like Michael with Phyllis). Unfortunately, the dominant opportunistic trait in Brad's character will always trump anyone or anything else. When it comes right down to picking the nitty from the gritty, Brad is sure to throw Sharon immediately to the wolves to save himself. Without a second's hesitation, I would guess. I'm afraid Sharon will find herself standing all by her lonesome. With the Newmans and just everybody else in town lined up against her on the other side. And given her latest foolish parking lot act, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Nick took Noah away from her as well.

Over the course of this twisty tale, a few things have caused me a chuckle or two. Like when Phyllis told Nick she was pregnant by one of two. How quick Nick was to pledge continued caring and support to his mistress no matter the father. Yet I recall him constantly trying to coax his wife to snuff the life from her unborn babe, on the off chance it might belong to Matt.

Then there was Victoria. That was an interesting chorus she was crooning as she defended her brother for his unplanned affair with Phyllis. I couldn't help but wonder whether she'll be singing this same song when she discovers her husband participated in an unplanned pillage of Sharon. And remember, how she encouraged Nick to think seriously about following his heart to Phyllis? Does any fan wonder whether she'll be suggesting her husband follow his to Sharon's? I suspect Nick's vow of silence where Brad and Sharon are concerned is about to end. With Victor seeing visions from his head more clearly than what's going on in the real world, Victoria is head woman in charge of his empire. And I bet the first head to roll is going to be Sharon's. And I doubt Nick will be putting up a bit of resistance. It could be her only hope will be Jack and NVP. Where she'll be forced to look at and listen to Phyllis on a daily basis. Talk about swallowing down the bitter with the sweet.

I got two more chuckles when I heard Carmen say she regularly consults a deck of Tarot cards to make important life decisions. So which card whispered about the wisdom of an intimate relationship with Jack, a man she barely knew? I don't suppose it was the same one that pointed her in the direction of an unhappily married at the moment man?

Speaking of a married man, is anyone other than me not feeling old Bradley boy's pain a bit? I didn't even get my hopes up when I saw him with that case full of cash. Because I don't buy for a second that he's going anywhere. There he was, all hot and bothered and unbuttoned, making out with Sharon like they were in his dad's sedan sitting at the edge of Lookout Lane after a Friday night football game. Then he straightens his twisted knickers and trots to Victoria, who represents all three of the monkeys on that little knickknack Phyllis gave Nick. Plus One. Seeing, hearing, speaking and not knowing a darn thing. Brad, instead of being a murderer, is likely to emerge from this whole convoluted tale as a hero. But instead of smelling like a rose, to me, he's still going to reek of Sharon's perfume.

Okay, so I'm having a little difficulty suspending my disbelief when it comes to this whole Alex/Kevin/Daniel thing. Of course, I confess I wasn't much impressed with the storyline the first time around, so I'm not surprised that time and distance hasn't made me remember it more fondly. The first and most glaring hole in this hastily stitched together and brought back web of lies is the fact that Lily already knows about the big setup. Remember how quickly she forgave and forgot Kevin? No, she doesn't know that not only did Daniel have both hands in the plan, his was the tiny brain that conceived it. And yes, the past week or two she has spouted the Daniel and I never lie to one another litany about a million times (okay so maybe it was only 10). But this is Lily we're talking about. Who, by the way, just came clean about a little secret of her own. If disapproving, punishment-wielding parents, breaking of aiding and abetting laws, and banishment to a penal colony disguised as a high school campus didn't make her fall out of love with the bed-head boy of her dreams, the fact that he didn't tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but is not liable to send her scampering back to Daddy and Devon's hopeful arms. Daniel will just use one or all of the excuses many others have used when their pasts caught up and overtook their presents. I didn't mean to hurt you. That happened before I knew/loved you. Once I fell in love with you I was afraid if I told you, you would have left me. Or variations on any of the above. The bottom line is, Lily had no life before Daniel, other than watching old Colleen's sweet dalliance with J.T.. And without Daniel, she will return to having none again. It's not as if there are any other boys in town to choose from beside her foster brother. Daniel could save us all a lot of time and for some of us, the same amount of boredom and just bite the bullet and tell the truth. Yes, Lily will presumably be irate to learn his part in the date rape drug disaster, but surely it won't take her long to return to a refrain of those magic words. I love you baby. Promise me we won't lie to each other ever, ever again. And that will be that.

As for Alex, well, with Damon Porter off on a new adventure and Phyllis gone all soft spoken and gentle, it's for sure Alex needn't worry about another brutal beat down. He's certainly not going to get it from Daniel, Kevin or Jack. He's already intimidated the duo out of $10,000 from the Abbott vault. But perhaps Alex might want to think about having a pair of eyes implanted in the back of his head as well as peering around with the ones in the front. Because if he's not careful, Gloria might hit him with a batch of her tainted face cream. And like Mrs. Gibson, that could be the end of him.

Yay! Dru is home. And in the nick of time perhaps. Because Carmen seemed to have all the ingredients in place for an evening of out of wedlock play, with Neil enthusiastically and willingly about to play the out of wedlock part. Now I like Dru, though there have been times when she's irritated me. Most especially when she was pushing her sister to make a play for the married and not worth it then either Brad. So I'm glad she's back. Unlike a few other women who may not be able to see the forest because of the tall trees in the way, I expect, unless she's had a character lobotomy while she was away, it won't take Dru long to spot the naked interest and lust in Carmen's eyes. I hope she's settled down some next time I see her. Was the woman giddy with gladness or what? Maybe it was the effects of jet lag or something. I know many fans thought her return demeanor overly cheerful given what had gone on before she left, but it struck me as more nervous than clueless. Because even an elderly man with all the way turned down hearing aids would have been able to hear the lack of love in every word of the few brief conversations Neil deigned to have with his wife. Me, I wanted to smack Neil sensible. Yes, Dru was wrong for keeping her big secret, but Neil's walking around like Dru has been actively carrying on a hot and torrid affair with his brother all these years. Like Mr. I'm so Perfect has never made a mistake. If, as the Bible says, if you think it, so shall you have been considered to have done the deed. Very, very loosely translated, I admit it. Then Neil hasn't been a paragon of virtuous faithfulness himself. I watched closely, but I didn't see him shoving Ms. Mesta halfway across that tiny excuse for a basketball court trying to detach her lips from his. For his behavior, I sentence Neil to more years being bent to the capricious wills of all Newman-born and Newmans via marriage. And further, if life with Drucilla is so onerous, perhaps Neil should exit, stage left, before moving right on to Ms. Mesta.

It seems that the GCAC b-ball court has become the new in place to be. The only thing missing is the big barrel of water bottles. GCAG Court - the perfect private place to come for those intimate tete-a-tete's, first dates, medical collaborations, blackmail meetings, and the like. First there was Jack and Victor. I'm trying hard to root for Jack, but he doesn't make it easy. You might think he'd research the internet before dispensing advice about whether or not to take your TLE medicine. For the answer to questions like, oh I don't know, if you stop, will you die?

And how easily Alex slipped by the staff for his blackmail demand meeting with Laurel and Hardy either. If I go to the GCAC, even though I'm not a card-carrying member, do you think they'll still let me in?

Then there was Nick and Michael. One more chance for Mike to climb atop his soapbox to deliver another sermon about poor, frail, vulnerable, Phyllis. And I know everyone was watching Nick with his bare chest and backwards cap and hardly saw anything else. But I had time to notice a few things. Like, why the heck was Michael panting so darn hard, when he'd hardly done anything to expend that much energy? I guess all that Phyllis praise just plumb tuckered him out.

* * * * * * *

Okay, fans, it's your turn to speak your piece. As always, I enjoy everything you all have to say. I hope the rest of my fellow fans feel the same.

RENA - I think the biggest differences with Sharon & Phyllis are, Sharon has a thing for in laws, first she comes on to Victor and now Brad. I don't think that's what they meant by keep it in the family. If she would leave Victoria's men alone (father, boyfriend or husband) she would not grate on so many nerves. Phyllis has not gone there yet.

MAUD ANN - It's long been obvious to me that I have an untreatable (but why would I want to?!) addiction to Y&R, and your column makes it ever so much more fun. Your writing style and good humor (even when annoyed with a character!) are just delightful, and I really anticipate seeing what you have to say each week. And I absolutely love that you include fans' input. It's great to read what you and they have to say, comparing notes and making predictions about where storylines may be going. You obviously put a lot of time and thought into your column - and I'm so glad that you do! Thank you!

TREY - Great insights this week. You know pondering your questions about Sharon and Phyllis forced me to really examine why everyone is hating on Sharon, meanwhile feeling sympathy for Phyllis. I don't know about other fans, but I've been watching this show for about 16 yrs now and I have seen Phyllis do some really deplorable things. This leads me to my theory that the audience over the years is use to seeing Phyllis do crazy, underhanded, down-right despicable things. From lying to Daniel for years, to trying to run over Christine, or even when she kidnaped Michael. These new trials and tribulations that are pervading Phyllis are surprisingly normal to her. Not knowing who her child's father is remains a far cry from committed attempted murder. So its almost as if the audiences, has seen Phyllis come such a long way from who she use to be, and I think we route for that. We want Phyllis to get life together, although occasionally knowing she inevitably mess things up for herself like she always does. I think we feel sorry for that. We want Phyllis to find some stability. Sharon on the other hand. Well its almost the complete opposite. I've always routed for Sharon, since she and Nick started dating. I hated it when Nikki didn't approve of her, and her constant fight to prove herself to the Newmans. Now its as if, Sharon has finally come into her own. She appears more confident, and self assured, but im sure she still feels like that same poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks, trying to fit into a world she's not quite comfortable with. Sharon's evolution has been on of confusion and turmoil. A slut, no! A confused, scared woman who has seen her fair share of dark days and is clinging to all she knows, yes! My wish is that the fans cut Sharon some slack and understand that she has always been trying to find her place in the world of Newmans. I think the main difference between these two is Sharon, although hurt right now seems to genuinely feel bad for things she's done, meanwhile Phyllis has always been a self-absorbed basket case who never takes responsibility for her actions. Either way, I love em both!

GEG - Love Nita's noodlings on the dysfunctional Genoa City. It always cracks me up when Jack comments how he's the best businessman, knows everything and proceeds to run every business he touches into the ground. Then there is the kid comment - I would never abandon my child. Right ... where's Kyle? And Kevin working the coffee house AND the Jabot website? How many hours are there in a day? Come on writers, put just a wee bit of reality into a work day.

CABC - THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Couldn't have said it any better myself about all the characters! I love Phyllis the character, she's one of my favorites, however, this Nick and Phyllis crap is way over the top! A zebra can't change its stripes! Yea, chemistry, chemistry, they may have, but if the baby is Nick's and they get together, those Nick and Phyllis fans will grow to hate Phyllis, because her true colors eventually will come out. See Nick really is in lust, because things done in secret are always sweet and taste good. But wait until he becomes accustomed to the sex and she turns into just another old tired wife, she will chew him up and spit him out. The newer fans don't know the real Phyllis, but she has been consistent for years. I agree with everything you said about Sharon. Yea a little sleazy, but understandable under the circumstances. The real reason Nick continues to try to work on his marriage, even though he's in a mirage, is because in his spirit and heart, he loves her, but when you taste a bit of evil, it will keep you distracted, even fool you into believing the grass will be greener. So I say give the dog the bone, it will make a great s/l when the lust wears off, and Sharon and Noah move on, and he's stuck with the red hot, anything goes Phyllis. She will for sure dogggg the brother out in the end. They have no relationship, just sex! I love Victor's new role, it's about time, he's getting old, so let him settle down, I also like Michael and Phyllis' friendship, all the teenager's s/l are beginning to be exciting!

LAURA - About your question on Brad & Sheila - I believe at one point she kept Brad & Lauren in a cage for a month or so, back in the day. Can't remember what she has against him, but I am pretty sure about the cage.

BANDY - Right on Nita! And Write on! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has a problem with this adulterous pair. Apparently there are a lot of women out there who wouldn't mind their husbands 'getting it on' with another woman, as long as there was so-called 'chemistry' between them. I think that Sharon should kick Nick out on his butt - particularly since he can't seem to get over Phyllis anyway. Who wants to live with that? Also, she should have a problem with him exposing her to what-ever disease. The show allowed Colleen to taunt Victoria with it, when she slept with J.T.. But no mention of it was made with Phyllis and Nick's continuous deeds.

SANDI - I do love your commentary and the viewers comments, but must wonder, who is tending to running Newman, with Victoria caring for Abby and Victor, Nick out of town, Brad consumed with his past catching up with him, and Neil dreaming about Carmen? Why does every conversation revolve in Victor's office or the hallway? What about the Tarot Card reader? Do they pay her; I saw no money exchange, is she connected to Jenna? Is Jenna also connected to Alex? I know Jenna definitely was connected to Brad's house break in as she took the jewelry and conveniently returned them to be the hero and get an 'in' with Victoria and Brad. I really am getting tired of all the storylines, maybe because they keep dragging it on and on and on.

DEE - Nita, great job as usual - really hilarious. But I think you should forgive Phyllis just as you've forgiven Kevin. He DID try to burn a person alive after all! And what a hue and cry from people about Phyllis' age. Nobody says a word when the man is decades older, but heaven forbid if the woman is a few years older. Come on folks, stop the discrimination. And please stop talking about the fact that Lily calls her husband "baby". Victor calls Nikki "baby" and Victoria called Bradski "baby" a couple weeks ago. Terms of endearment are terms of endearment. But all in all, Y&R is the best thing on daytime TV and can hold its own with a lot of the nightime stuff, too.

DEB - I'm a fan of Young & Restless. When you brought Alex back, that was stupid. It seems that you're repeating the same thing when Tom Fisher was around. But most of ALL is when Sharon miss innocent got caught she is not a smart cookie she messed up four times and to get caught with Brad get real. What is this thing with Brad when Sharon is in trouble he is right there. He is a Snake and She should Grow up. What a Tramp she is...Phyllis is not any different So Miss Goody Two-Shoes she does not deserve NO body. What is it about redheads there just as equal as brunette. She should lose the baby and she should move away. Sharon a tramp, and A big Fake, The Phyllis is just a big flirt & look at Me. She needs to be by herself she can't keep men. She is just as bad as Sharon.

CAROLE - Hate Jack - I think he's one of the worst actors I've ever watched. His range is soo limited - one spoiled brat expression and another spoiled brat expression. That seems to be it for him.

BETSY (North Royalton (south of Parma), Ohio) - is it Sweeps Week of the Year? How much more can happen in one week? Now we won't be satisfied with the way things were which, I thought compared to 25 years ago, just zips along. I think it's cool that Cleveland is being spotlighted. Nice poster in the background - it pretty much looks like the Cleveland skyline with Lake Erie behind it although it could be anywhere. Too bad it's always sunny in the pic. That's not OUR reality. They are obviously downtown, (although there's no "Mayfair Hotel") and near our phenomenal public library. Paul & J.T. would do well to be researching there. It's a very fine library in one of those grand ol' buildings with wide staircases, brass handrails, and marble floors, steps, and walls. A Cleveland icon. So, I'd certainly remember if there was a fire 10 years ago. Not! However, a few years ago when J.T. said "Cuyahoga County," Bob and I 'bout died laughing. I guess if you're gonna' use a location, at least CALL someone to ask how a name is pronounced! (Ky - ah - HO - guh) It means "Crooked River." As for Parma, I live in the next suburb over on the West side of Cleveland. When Brad would have been growing up, Parma was kind of known as a hick suburb. If you said you were from Parma...well, you just didn't. That's no longer true - it's a very nice place. But for Bob and I, it builds a bit of depth to Brad's character that non-Clevelanders wouldn't get. The story that Brad was a Navy Seal explains Brad's usual taciturn, non-expression. Okay, I'll go with it for now. I really don't care who's on the screen as long as the plot is moving along. I didn't notice it had become the Stafford Show until I read your column. Like everyone else, I don't believe who the father is until I see the letter on the screen! If I were Jack, I'd have a test done anyway. Jack's is right - there's no easy answer for Daniel. 'Fess up now - we all know the truth will come out eventually. Let's hope Gloria doesn't screw it up. Although, as bad as he is, I think Alex is darling. Bob thinks he's going to end up dead. By whom? I get the feeling the writers have been thinking out of the box a lot and the storyline(s) is going to take some very unexpected turns. Nick catching Sharon is a pivot point. IT'S ABOUT TIME! (Yeah, although I've sympathized with her at times, it's also time for turnabout.) I thought it was strange that she didn't even stop Brad while she stared up at Nick. (Wouldn't you have jumped away and covered yourself and let the man know?) I was hoping that one marriage in GC would remain intact, but I don't think it's meant to be. That would make the divorce rate in GC 100%. ..LOL! I like that the scenes are including more normal stuff like we non-GC people experience...the janitor walking in on a private talk, Neil stumbling over right/left hand in Carmen's basketball lesson. And, they poke fun at themselves by saying what we, the audience, have been posting online (Like Victor asking Jack if he should go back to the driven, irascible person he was before.) I also like that they are treating us as intelligent viewers; they are using real life business scenarios (well, sort of) instead of ambiguous business deals that tell us nothing. Your comments on Sharon's rage were spot on. My life was a soap opera for a while, too, and I can relate. I could probably write a whole storyline just on my divorce from my ex. Could throw in manic-depression as a public awareness story as well! There's more, too! Even murders. Which is why I can also relate to Nick's loss of Cassie. And, I STILL think Y&R needs to be put on primetime - along with Oprah. There's slim pickin's this summer on TV except for Friday nights on USA. You're doing such a great job, Nita. I love your sense of humor. How do you come up with each week's twist?

RACHEL - Did Kevin actually ask Gloria to promise not to tell Michael about his problems with Alex? Uhh, hello Kevin! You know Gloria better than anyone and you expect her word to MEAN something still?? If she kept her word, I'm convinced the only reason for it would be because Christian LeBlanc is going on vacation soon and may not be around for Gloria to tell Michael about it and she doesn't get credit for that!

JAMIE - I am so laughing about two "hideout" places this week. When Nick said "let's go somewhere where we can talk" - the elevator!!! No better place than to dump someone I would say. Then the Sharon/Brad high school makeout session in the Newman parking garage! Are there no parks or other appropriate meeting places in Genoa City?

JOSETTE - You have such a gift of words. Love reading your column. OK, can someone please give Daniel a haircut? Glad after all these years we are finally getting into Brad's past. Maybe Sharon can relocate with Brad. (where is he going with all that money, and who was he talking to?) Don't you think Victor's epilepsy symptoms is stretching it a little? Tired of Phyllis putting her fingers in her mouth - pouting. Like her better with a stronger character line.

TAD - Nita, I happen to think that your column is ALWAYS well written, creative, and entertaining. Great observations by you this week as usual, and I almost always agree with your assessments on the Y&R characters. I also appreciate you giving Y&R fans the forum within your column to post our views. Some of these views are clearly contrary to what you write in your column, but you post them anyway. I think that's a point worth noting! I was really surprised by all of the support for Nick and Phyllis. Nick and Phyllis as a couple, I'm just not feelin' it. I know that Nick said he wanted Sharon, but I wouldn't count Nick and Phyllis out yet. The trump card is Brad and Sharon's adulterous relationship...I mean special friendship, which can be played at any time. There was a comment made last week that I thought was interesting regarding these two. The statement made was that Nick deserved happiness, and should be with Phyllis. I thought it was interesting, because if Nick were looking for happiness outside of the bedroom, he certainly wouldn't find it with Phyllis. Look at her track record. Admittedly, she just said that she's been less than successful in past relationships; although, that might be understating it just a bit. Now, it looks like Nick and Phyllis are expecting parents. With a baby on the way, things have suddenly become a whole lot more complicated than it has been prior to this revelation. Finding out who the baby's daddy is was the first big hurdle that the two of them have had to face together. What does Nick do? He takes off. He didn't handle the situation between he, Phyllis and Sharon very well either, when Sharon stumbled upon his dirty little secret called infidelity. It seemed that Nick did his very best to remain neutral in the friction between Phyllis and Sharon. He did a lot of talking, but as they say, talk is cheap! Unfortunately, Nick was emotionally unavailable to his family after the tragic death of Cassie, which ultimately led to him gettin' busy with Phyllis. Nick had the right to grieve for Cassie in his own way, and in his own time; however, I think his family had the right to expect his support at some point as this tragedy was not exclusive to he alone. Lastly, Nick exposed Victor's conspiracy to undermine Jabot's marketing of a new product, and rolled on his dad when he found out what Victor was up to. How did Nick handle that situation? He lied through his teeth. He didn't step to Victor like a man, and admit what he did when Victor asked him point blank if he (Nick) turned him in. Bottom line is when things get tough, Nick is emotionally unreliable. Phyllis, on the other hand, is unflappable. She does a superb job in crisis mode, and why wouldn't she. She's constantly putting out the proverbial fires that she generally creates for herself. With Phyllis it's one mistake after another; it's one tragedy after another. I don't ever remember a character in daytime TV that makes as many apologies as Phyllis does. She is who she is. This is the way her character has been written. As I see it, you have one person in Phyllis who's life is a constant battlefield, and you have another in Nick who is ill-equipped to deal with the fall-out. Nick and Sharon were a good match before Sharon received her unflattering face-lift courtesy of the Y&R writing crew. With that said, I am fond of the character, Phyllis as she always keeps things interesting. Phyllis Summers Abbott is deserving of her own theme song. Poison, by Bell, Biv, DeVoe in the late 80's fits her to a tee. Miss her, kiss her, love her, wrong move you're dead That girl is poison ...She's dangerous.

SANDRA - I absolutely agree with your comments on Sharon, Brad, Nick, Phyllis saga. Why is Nick getting a free pass on this story. I am relatively new to this show, started watching it seriously after AMC Lily and Jonathan stupid storyline, but I always heard of Nick and Sharon, and I saw the death episode with Cassie. Why would Nick turn to another women and not his wife or talk to his sister or Jack. They seem close. But Phyllis?? Makes no sense considering he thought her son was guilty. And what has happened to cause the writers to assassinate Sharon's character like that. She honors her marriage when Brad is single and sleeps with him 2 weeks into his marriage? I know that Sharon and Nick will be together in the end BUT they need to be apart at this time. I pray that the writers will redeem her somewhat and have her be strong and independent. They have taken that strength from Phyllis a little bit but I liked when she walked away from Nick after his blowup with Sharon. Why couldn't the writers have Sharon do the same thing and tell Nick to grow a set of nuts and get lost. Why have her with Brad? And what about the Newman family/ Bick told his father, sister, Michael, Phyllis and to some extent jack that he loved Phyllis and has yet to say it to Sharon. How did Victor and Victoria react "oh, my boy. I see" heaven help poor Sharon when they gang up on her about Brad. I hope this is where the writers will have her be a woman and fight back. Right now it is humiliating for me as a woman to see what she is putting up with. from what I read it seems that nick cheats on her whenever there is an anniversary. He certainly tried in Arizona, how can people want him with any woman at this point. Do you think the writers are destroying Sharon's character because Josh Morrow said he wanted to work more with Michelle since he spent all his time with Sharon? It may not be intentional but he seems to have gotten what he asked for. sorry I am so long winded but I loved your assessment and the other soaps at the moment sucks. Finally I think the baby is Jack's and if it turns out to be a boy we will know for sure. I still see Sharon and Nick with another baby although I am torn since I dislike him at the moment. Instead of jumping Phyllis' bones why not jump your wife's, I'm sure the audience would have loved it and he could still have interaction with Phyllis at the office doing some projects or something. He didn't have to cheat. Thank you for giving me the chance to air my opinion and I look forward to reading you again. I just happened to find you by accident

LINDA - I have just come to the realization in my advanced years that I must be a very amoral person. Perhaps not in real life but certainly in soapdom. Until Nick was with Phyllis I never once in all the years figured out why woman thought he was the bomb. But since Phyllis to me he exudes sex appeal in every scene he appears. This is just a story so I don't have to judge who is right and who is wrong all I know is I must like less than pure women because give me Phyllis and Carmen any day of the week in comparison to Sharon and Drucilla. Sharon has all the characteristics of what I dislike about females, including myself...snivelling, whining and hypocritical. Phyllis doesn't pretend to be anything except what she is and whether you like that or not, I respect people for admitting who and what they are. Don't even get me going on Drucilla because if there is a character I'd like to see written out in a vile, torturous way, it is that woman. I have never liked her and except for her family she is a viper. Please, please, please let her catch Neil with Carmen and make my day. Maybe then the loudmouth, blousy individual will have her comeuppance which she so sorely deserves.

JANET - Boy, what a week it has been! I screamed in absolute joy when Nick said he was the father, but then minutes later I wanted to slap him upside the head. He says to Phyllis, "I love you and I already love our baby, but I have a wife and child. . ." So he's going to stay with Sharon. Not once has he said that he even loves Sharon. Sharon said it completely right on Thursday-"You only want to be with me out of obligation" Nick, please cut the strings with Sharon. Hopefully after seeing Sharon making out with Brad will help Nick not to feel guilty when he goes back to Phyllis! Can you believe that Sharon didn't even pull away from Brad with an ounce of guilt when she saw her husband, which only concludes that she doesn't really love him anymore than Nick loves her! I'm totally caught up in their story and can't wait to see what happens next! Brad's storyline is finally heating up. So he's troublemaker George Caplan. So now he's relocating with a briefcase full of money! Can't wait to see where the writers will take us next. As for Daniel/Lily/Kevin/Alex, I feel sorry for Daniel and Kevin. Alex is a slimeball. I hate when writers use the whole blackmail storyline. Just tell the truth, it will set you free-literally! Okay, now Neil/Carmen/Dru-I like the character of Carmen, but must she sleep with everyone within a cubicle space of her her first month in Genoa City! I get that Neil is broken and looking for soft shoulder to lay on, but can't the writers make one character who won't cheat? At least separate from Dru, it's not like he doesn't have cause! Then there's amnesiac Dru. Did she forget what happened before she left to Europe? Did the cabin pressure suck out her memory? She waltzes in like nothing ever happened.The summer should be very interesting! YR ROCKS!

NAT - Well, I can't tell you enough how much I love your column, or how excited I was to see my response posted on your page when I wrote to you a while back. I have to say, although I love your column, I am somewhat bored with Young and the Restless this summer. I find not one or two, but practically all of the stories going on right now to be rather lackluster. Personally, I do enjoy the Nick/Phyllis/Sharon/Brad story, and I'm rooting for Nick and Phyllis. I've seen him and Sharon together ever since I've started watching, and I say it's time we explore something new. I'm not too fond of Sharon anyway. I'm also tired of reading from other fans about the fact that there is too much divorce portrayed on soaps, and Nick and Sharon should stay together. I don't know about those who believe that, but I watch Y&R to escape the dullness of other mundane programming. To me, soaps are supposed to be fun and different, not taken seriously. At least I don't. I truly believe that Nick and Sharon will find their way back to each other in due time, much like Nikki and Victor did, but at least for now, let us see something new! I have also stumbled upon a strong distaste for the characters of Jack, Carmen, and especially Colleen and Lily. I can't stand Colleen, and to be honest, have never liked her since she came back to GC. I fast forward through all her scenes, no matter who they're with. Oh, except Kevin. I always like to see him tell her off. There is something off about Carmen too. In the beginning, she seemed like a strong, capable woman. Now, in a very short time, she's been reduced to nothing but an executive, bed-hopping tart. Unfortunate if you ask me. Especially after blatantly seducing a married man. At least Neal, although he was seriously toying with the notion, didn't go through with it. At least for now. Moreover, this whole thing about Brad's past has been anti-climatic for me. He has apparently been associated with some heinous deeds, but I find that I am not as intrigued as I feel I should be. I just have not been roped in this summer, as I have been the past couple of years. I do hope things pick up soon, but I must say that Y&R is still the best, no matter how much I may yawn.

CAROLYN - Just wanted to drop a few lines about this past weeks epis. I screamed (literally) with delight at Nick catching Sharon and Brad necking in her car! I was hoping Victoria would catch them together...oh well, can't have everything, can I? Finally, Mrs. Hypocrisy has gotten caught! Now, I am not defending Nick at all, but I am so sick and tired of Sharon singing the 'woe is me' pity song and Brad condoning their affair, yet condemning Nick at every turn! Adultery is wrong, no matter who is involved. Just because Nick cheated, Brad and Sharon get a free pass? I don't think so! I can't wait until Brad Carlton-Not's past sins are exposed...the smug way he talks to Neil and tries to throw his weight around makes me nauseous! Brad is past due to get his comeuppance ...and I for one can't wait! Another person I do not feel sorry for is Jack! What goes around comes around...back in the day, Jack slept with his father's wife (Jack's stepmommy), and when John caught them in bed together, he had a heart attack! Only fitting that Nick would do to Jack what Jack did to John! Also, I despise how Jack is taking advantage of Victor and can't wait for him to get his comeuppance as well! If you're going to fight dirty, at least let the playing field be level! Enjoy life while you can, Jack...for when the day comes, you shall surely pay! Well, that's my rant for the day.

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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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