All the other ruthless commentators can quote the soccer teamâs worth of lads (okay, thereâs only two so far, but one of âem reckons all of his mates have had a crack) now bragging, or fearing, that they may be the actual father of Masie, the baby born to 15-year-old Chantelle Steadman. Thereâs 16-year-old trainee chef Richard Godsell, whose own mother claims baby Masie has his eyes (whatever that means â incredibly puffy when not perpetually closed, like all new-borns). Thereâs 14-year-old Tyler Barker, whose mates are all teasing him about possibly being the dad, but who also insists âany one of them could beâ also.
All the other ruthless commentators can relate the interview given by âGrandpaâ Patten. His son Alfie, the 13-year-old who looks about eight, is prepared to take responsibility for Masie. But Grandpa is busy bragging about making a bundle selling son Alfieâs story to the tabloids, while poor little Alfie sobs in the back seat. Alfieâs prepared to take a paternity test now. Only to shut the mouths of those mean, older boys, mind.
Iâm not even gonna point out how Conservative Leader David Cameron, MPâs âchildren having childrenâ quotable quote was lifted from one of the Reverend Jesse Jacksonâs soundbites during his attempts to nominate as a Democratic candidate for the American Presidency. Or how Jacksonâs sounded much more effective since he was bemoaning âbabies having babiesâ â a little more outrageous image to conjur â and not just pinching some other politicanâs soundbite and fobbing it off as his own.
But I donât have time to get stuck into all that, let alone to try and find those clips online.
Iâm having too much fun re-watching this excellent snippet of Alfie and Chantelle being interviewed. That point, 17 seconds in, when the interviewer asks what Alfie intends to do, to care for the baby, financially. He replies, âWhatâs âfinanciallyâ?â
Donât you just love Chantelleâs embarrassed reaction? She ever-so-briefly has anâElaine-and-Ben-on-the-bus-at-the-end-of-The Graduate-momentâ when the realisation starts to dawn: okay, weâve pulled it off. My god, what do we do now?
But itâs just an instant. Rest assured: Chantelle at least knows what âfinanciallyâ is: itâs how sorted you are after you get the payout for being a single, teenage mum with a kid. It enables you to buy that plasma television set.
But itâs neither Alfieâs immature ignorance, Chantelleâs popularity with the lads or the final dawning of the Elaine-and-Ben-on-the-bus-at-the-end-of-The Graduate-moment that amuses me most about these kids. Nope. Itâs the fact that, with her hair done the right way, Chantelle could actually pass for a convincing Wednesday Addams. And with nothing done to Alfie at all, he is definitely Eddie Munster.
Wednesday Friday Addams, aka Chantelle Steadman
Edward Wolfgang Munster, aka Alfie Patten