Until today, I was impervious to iPad newspaper The Daily's slow dance of tabloid seduction. Oldest dog in America? Whatever. Stripper psychologist? Ho-hum. But today, everything changed. Today I read "Guys and Doll," a feature by Michelle Ruiz about an eccentric gay couple that has spent the last 20 years pretending a baby doll named Digby is their son, and I am now The Daily's biggest fan:
Mark Kirby and A.J. Sapolnick raised their 20-year-old son Digby on a series of fantastic voyages—riding camels in the Canary Islands, mingling with monks in Myanmar and glacier-gazing in Antarctica.
"Here he is on his first cruise—to Tahiti," Kirby said proudly, lingering over Digby's baby album in the couple's New York apartment. "Eartha Kitt was on board."
Digby has a Louis Vuitton baby bag and a Cartier watch. He had a bar mitzvah. In the words of Jezebel's Sadie Stein—who has, on occasion, matched outfits with a large doll that she carried to fashion events—"That's some Lord Tod Wadley shit."
The duo decided to become a trio after their straight friends starting changing shape. Spontaneous dinner dates were dashed by sniffing toddlers and flighty babysitters. Gay people were just beginning to adopt, Kirby recalled, but the couple agreed they didn't want a human baby.
"We didn't want to have to change our lifestyle," he said. "So we came up with the idea of having an inanimate baby."
In the words of Gawker's Brian Moylan—a mustachioed gay New Yorker who does not have a baby doll for a son—"Gays are just as weird as everyone else."
"They used to love us at Le Cirque," Sapolnick said with a twinkle in his eye. "Digby would always create a buzz in the room."
"It was as if a celebrity had walked in," Kirby added. "One time they sat us next to Sarah Ferguson."
In the words of Sapolnick's niece—who "grew up dresing her cousin in her teddy bear's clothes" and is now Digby's godmother—"They are really, really loving people, and Digby gives them comfort." (Various party photos of Kirby and Sapolnick suggest they don't bring Digby everywhere. There is a time and place for doll babies.)
Rupert Murdoch, your investment has paid off. Now give the Digby a reality show, a Twitter account, diet pill endorsements, a hit single, and a custom perfume line. You can finance the next decade of the future of media with it. [The Daily, image via The Daily]