As the world desperately waits for word on the whereabouts of missing Growing Pains actor Andrew "Boner" Koenig, Hair Balls asks what about the others?
We're afraid Boner may not be the only casualty of the 1980s sitcom kid character diaspora, and we won't be able to exhale until all those listed below are accounted for. We hope to open a confidential tip-line later this week. Remember -- we don't need your name, only your information.
Name: Buddy Lembeck
Last seen: Hunting "talent" for his friend's plan to direct a so-called variety show featuring impressionable young women
Description: The dim-witted accomplice of Charles, a seemingly ageless man with no last name who lived in a basement and was charged with meting out discipline and reward to a stable of teenage girls, Buddy Lembeck was most likely what would have been described in the 1980s as "learning disabled." Terribly prone to powers of suggestion -- he was once tricked into believing he had extra-sensory perception -- Lembeck was always at his mentor's beck and call.
Possible whereabouts: Suburban New Jersey malls, TDCJ/Death row
Show: Facts of Life
Name: Blair Warner
Last seen: Buying Eastland Academy, her financially troubled alma mater
Description:Heiress to the Warner Textiles fortune and great-granddaughter of a Ku Klux Klansman, Warner was a materialistic narcissist whose sense of entitlement bristled the more liberal contingent of her immediate social circle, especially the intellectual but glandually challenged editor of the school paper, and apparent votech-transfer financial aid case with latent homosexual tendencies. Blisteringly self-centered, Warner was jealous of anyone who stole the limelight from her, including a twitching, wheelchair-bound cousin whose damaged cerebral cortex harbored aspirations of comedy stardom.
Possible whereabouts: Eastland Academy; River Oaks
Name: Brian Tanner
Last seen: Waving goodye to a furry 229-year-old cat-eating alien.
Description: Ironically, the kid with perhaps the least amount of personality was in the greatest amount of danger. The younger child of the Tanner clan was forced by dictatorial parents Willie and Kate to keep mum about a strange creature they welcomed into their home without question. Maintaining an outwardly dull, whitebread facade was the Tanner parents' modus operandi; no teacher or other authority figure would think twice about why young Brian might show up to school with black eyes and fur in his mouth. Horrifyingly malleable, Brian learned at a young age to keep deep dark secrets and to trust even the most hirsute, naked drifters. From the moment Brian was born, his life was in peril.
Possible whereabouts: Shallow grave in the Tanners' back yard
Show: Head of the Class
Name: Dennis Blunden
Last seen: Graduating high school after five years
Description: A virginal, overweight computer wizard who occupied most of the back row of a classroom comprising a group of academically gifted but often socially inept high school students, Dennis masked deep-rooted insecurity through sarcasm and the passive-agressive psychological torture of his "friend" Arvid, the only kid in class more vulnerable than himself.
Possible whereabouts: Microsoft offices in Redmond, Washington; parents' basement
Show: Just the Ten of Us
Name: Marie Lubbock, Cindy Lubbock, Wendy Lubbock, Connie Lubbock Sherry Lubbock, Melissa Lubbock, Graham Lubbock Jr., Harvey Lubbock
Last seen: Battling over the fate of a cow
Description: The octet brood of a possessive high-school coach father who seethed with disproportianal rage if a boy even looked at what he considered his female chattel, the children attended a Catholic school, even though they were clearly the spawn of a fundamentalist Mormon patriarch and one of his subservient sister-wives. Their father was often seen with a gym whistle around his neck, an apparent warning mechanism to corral the litter into the basement, where the semi-automatic machine guns were stored, when state and federal authorities finally closed in.
Possible whereabouts: Eldorado, Texas; Children's Protective Services