Many a fascinated viewer of This Is Your Life has often had the fond dream that the treacle might some day explode in gladsome Ralph Edwards' face. In the dream the couch of honor is occupied by someone like Mary Pickford's former hairdresser, and Edwards, clutching the Book, tremulously introduces a long-lost loved one. At this point (in the dream) the honored party looks up and cries: "Why, it's my first husband. I hate the sight of him. Get that heel out of here!"
It may never happen, but The Netherlands last week offered heartening evidence that it could. Last year an Amsterdam entertainer named Max Tailleur got a letter from a couple named Cornelis and Margaretha Muylaert. Emigrants to Canada eight years ago, the Muylaerts wrote that they were longing to see their country and their daughter, her husband and their grandchildren. Glowing at the humanity of it all, Tailleur got KLM to agree to fly the homesick couple over, arranged for the dramatic reunion to take place on Radio Nederland.
To keep the surprise element, daughter and son-in-law were not told that the old folks were actually back in The Netherlands, were given to understand they would only be chatting on the transatlantic phone. With the stage thus set, the old and young couples were brought together before the microphones. Seeing her mother, daughter Tine Mak, who is pregnant, promptly collapsed. Seeing her son-in-law, Margaretha Muylaert cried: "I think he's a horrid fellow." Son-in-law Adriaan Mak, a headwaiter, turned to a KLM representative and said angrily: "I told you this would happen, but you wouldn't listen."
At show's end shattered airline and radio officials at last found time to listen to Adriaan Mak's story. His wife and her mother Margaretha had fought so constantly that Margaretha had become "psychologically labile," his wife had lost their first two children through miscarriages (apparently due to nervous strain). Mother Muylaert, who seemed about ready to scoot back to Canada, added a final touch of endearment. Holland, she told the press, is "a horrible country."