DON'T you just love celebrities? I do. I like them fried, boiled or fricasseed. I particularly like to see them on the "court proceedings" page of the newspapers, and some look really good on the obits page.
Celebs were on my mind after a reader set me an interesting challenge. "I just read an article saying that "celebrities make great dads. Can you comment?" he wrote.
After giving the matter a great deal of thought -- almost two-billionths of a second -- I came to an important conclusion. One should never read emails before your first coffee.
I raced to the nearest Starbucks for an espresso. "Gimme a double," I said. The barista went into the back room and came out with this guy who looked exactly like me. No, actually, I'm waiting for that day.
But after fortifying myself with legal drugs (good grief, when and how did I become a responsible adult?), I went back to my desk and read the article that the reader had attached.
It came from a Canadian magazine called Sympatico and it said: "Everyday dads can take tips from celebrity fathers." (I took this personally, realising that the word "everyday" in that sentence meant "pathetic non-celebs like you, Mr. Jam.")
The piece went on to list male movie stars who had been seen in their presence of their children, sometimes more than once. Some celebrity dads had been heard to call their children by their first names, occasionally even getting them right. Wow.
Reading this left me open-mouthed with admiration. It must take an astonishing amount of skill to write a feature so irritating that it was almost impossible to read without actually murdering the next person you see.
An hour or so later, after mopping up the blood of the unfortunate people who crossed me, I made a list of celebrity dads.
1. Sports star OJ Simpson chopped off the head of his children's mother.
2. Woody Allen loved his partner's daughter. A bit too much.
3. Actor Ryan O'Neal recently went to his wife's funeral and promptly started flirting with someone he later described as "a beautiful blonde woman." He thought she looked Swedish and asked if she had a car so they could go somewhere. She stopped him by pointing out that she was his child. "Daddy, it's me," she said.
4. Singer Pete Doherty's two children have different mothers. He sees one child occasionally but never refers to the other. When a reporter asked him to say something about his secret second child, he said: "Poor #$%&-er."
5. Michael Jackson liked children. A lot. All his children (even the girl) were given the name Michael and removed from their mothers. While promising to be a good father, he blew his entire fortune on useless items such as statues, fell into debt, and got himself addicted to deadly drugs. The picture below shows him dangling a baby out of a window.
6. Singer John Phillips loved his daughter. Let's not go there.
7. When the daughter who rock star Steven Tyler had ignored her whole life grew into beautiful actress Liv Tyler, he said: "I wish I'd changed her nappies."
So, in conclusion, there's a lot to be said for being a poor nobody. Celebrities often make terrible parents. Almost as bad as journalists. Now don't get me started on them.
For more parenting tips visit our columnist at: www.vittachi.com.