"They spend years searching for their natural parents, convinced their
parents will be happy to see them. I mean, really, can you imagine someone
being happy to see an orphan? Nobody wants them... that's why they're orphans!"
The speaker is Anne Baker, founder and guiding force behind
Orphan-Off, an organization dedicated to keeping orphans confused about the
whereabouts of their natural parents. She is a woman with a mission:
"Basically, what we do is band together to exchange information
about which orphans are looking for which parents in what part of the
country. We're completely computerized.
"The idea is to throw the orphans as many red herrings and false
leads as possible. We'll tell some twenty-three-year-old loser that his
real parents can be found at a certain address on the other side of the
country. Well, by the time the kid shows up, the family is prepared. They
look over the kid's photos and information and they say, 'Oh, the Emersons...
yeah, they used to live here... I think they moved out about five years ago.
I think they went to Iowa, or maybe Idaho.'
"Bam, the door shuts in the kid's face and he's back to zero again.
He's got nothing to go on but the orphan's pathetic determination to continue.
"It's really amazing how much these kids will put up with. Last year
we even sent one kid all the way to Australia. I mean, really. Besides, if
your natural parents were Australian, would you want to meet them?"
-- "National Lampoon", September, 1984