Las Vegas. Just the name itself ignites imagery, emotions and reactions that generally involve a nervously sick stomach or a feverish anticipation. As we rolled over the final desert hill in our hire car and the Vegas lights hit us, Wood Dog felt compelled to warn us’ “Remember this feeling boys, because you will not be feeling the same way when we leave”
Besides what I can only presume to be the usual mass of carnage that ensued within the swirling lights of America’s Adult’s-only Disney Land, things certainly took a new direction by the time my shaking hands were back on the steering wheel and heading towards San Diego…
It had been almost two months since I had played my part in a DNA test to verify that my father was… my father. Things had become extremely difficult as the company I had paid to authorise the test slowly fed me new information that made it almost impossible for Bob (said father) to submit his own saliva for testing.
Not until I was far from New York was I informed that I would need a doctor’s prescription faxed to the lab stating both the names of Robert G##dale and myself. It would also need to be backdated to cover when I had been swabbed. Shite! Try explaining that to a random doctor as you pass through their town; as far as they knew I cold be bluffing evidence in a murder trial or a rape case. Try convincing them that it won’t blow back in their face with a lawsuit at some point. I had finally convinced Bob to take the test and now the logistics were blowing back in my face like a piss in the wind.
But Vegas had a plan. A plan that involved a random meeting, a bottle of grapefruit-infused vodka and one of the world’s most thumb-rubbed android apps; Tinder.
Meeting people over the big bad Interweb has its various levels of uncertainty and caution, so when Kasey and I ‘matched’, with our generally normal introductions, along came the underlying and subtle inquisitions to make sure we both were who we said we were. There was a cloak of mystery shrouding her though, and while she was happy to invite me to her house for dinner, she seemed less generous in opening up about herself through initial conversation. This could only mean two things: 1) She was a tad shy and preferred to talk face to face, or 2) She was an insane man-hunting serial killer and my kidneys would be sold on the black market by sun up.
Backing out of a 50/50 love-or-death situation just doesn’t seem reasonable when you’re on a road trip – not to mention the fact that I had blogs to write and they needed to maintain some degree of interest. Before too long I was in a taxi and at her front door.
“Well you’ve got nothing to worry about mister,” exclaimed the cab driver as he pulled up outside her mini-mansion. After hearing the background story he had offered to hang around in case I needed a lift to the hospital. “This is the most expensive area of Vegas, I am more concerned that you will be robbing her!”
The night rolled smoothly from there and the cab driver had no need to hang around. Kasey turned out to be a perfectly sound human being and the conversations rolled with ease, her initial caution quickly being justified as she explained that being a top doctor in Vegas gave her a reasonable amount of concern that her patients may see her on social media and dating apps.
As the vodka sank in, words were shared, stories were told and soon enough she knew the whole ‘Who’s your daddy?’ story up to the minute.
The next morning as she drove me back into the madness of the downtown strip to my hotel, she generously gave me the news, “I’d happily write you a DNA prescription and backdate it with both you and your father’s names, no problem.”
Flash forward to San Diego. Two weeks later. Everything had been set in place, Kasey had faxed the prescription, the appointment had been made, Bob had stepped up to the plate and donated his saliva for the truth to be known, it had simply been a waiting game. Finally proof was being delivered. Finally I would have a simple certified document to bring closure to the years and we could all just move on knowing that family was family. My years of knowing this man through photos would finally be sealed with a stamp of full awareness and we could all just get on with knowing each other.
When the email arrived I was almost too scared to look. Scrap that. I was too scared to look. I opened the attached document and immediately spun the laptop around to face Wood Dog. “Read it out dude, let’s hear it!”
A moment of silence.
“Holy shit, I don’t know what to say,” he blurted.
“Not the time for jokes!” I snapped back as I lunged forward to see for myself, eyes widening.
“The alleged father is excluded from paternity. Robert G##dale is not the biological father of Athron McCann. Probability of paternity 0.00%”
Holy… shit … indeed …