Houston's Alleged Amnesiac, Coming Soon To Inside Edition

The case of the Curmudgeon and the Amnesiac Drifter has legs. Inside Edition, the hard--hitting news program that launched blowhard Bill O'Reilly on an unworthy America, has picked up the story, putting it alongside such Frontline-esque headlines as today's vital (also Houston-tied!) scoop: "For the first time, Inside Edition is hearing from Barbara Bush's mysterious Speedo hunk!")

Yesterday John Cramer, the misanthropic Galleria-area Barnes and Noble employee whose tip helped police ID the amnesiac, was snagged by an Inside Edition crew. The producer staged a meeting between him and Janene Nicewonger, the professed amnesiac whose life Cramer may or may not have helped put back together. Cramer was also made to reenact key scenes of his role in the drama.

"They got some shots of me walking around outside of the building, and told me to walk around the corner as if I had just spotted the car," Cramer tells Hair Balls. "I was thinking, any minute now they are gonna tell me to 'act surprised.' That would be where I would tell them I was through."

Cramer said his girlfriend had always doubted the veracity of Nicewonger's amnesia claims -- and her doubts have since been echoed by both Nicewonger's mother and one of her former husbands. Cramer isn't quite ready to join the dubious, although after meeting Nicewonger, he confessed to some puzzlement about her behavior.

She's an odd woman all the way around, he says, much taller than he expected and a big ol' nerd. "When she heard I worked in a bookstore, she wanted to know if we carried any manga," he says. "She is a manga fanatic."

But Cramer thinks her demeanor vis-a-vis this bizarre situation she is in is odder still. "She said she would be so relieved when all this was over," he notes. "But then there she was allowing Inside Edition to interview her. If she really wanted it to be over, she could have ended all this three weeks ago."

Cramer says the Inside Edition segment is slated to run sometime next month. After that, we imagine, the story will be grossly distorted by some Lifetime network screenwriters into some "loosely based on actual events" movie with a name like Only A Memory: The Janene Nicewonger Story. Which of course would end with Cramer and Nicewonger riding off into the happy suburban sunset together...amid reams and reams of manga.

But that's all in the future. Right now, Cramer is just enjoying the ride, his mordant sense of humor intact. "The best part of this whole thing is how uninteresting it all is," he chuckles.

Inside Edition (and Hair Balls too) would beg to differ.

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John Nova Lomax
Contact: John Nova Lomax