Nutty Mother gets a piano so that Norma Jean can take lessons from some creepy pervy neighbor guy who drinks whiskey and tickles her and blows in her ear. (Please don't make me recap the tickling and the ear-blowing, Mommy! No!) Nutty Mother starts spouting off Biblical mumbo-jumbo when wildfires break out in the hills above Los Angeles, and she tries to take Norma Jean to her "father's" house, but they can't get past the police barricades. Nutty Mother gets fired from her job and locks herself and Norma Jean in her room. Nutty Mother gets paranoid. Nutty Mother thinks she's being poisoned. Nutty Mother gets extra nutty with a chewy demented nougat center. "I have to cleanse you," she says to Norma Jean, dragging her to the bathroom. "You're afflicted…you're a deformity." Norma Jean protests -- like, for some reason -- and manages to escape and pounds on the neighbor's door. Nutty Mother sets the apartment on fire, and guys in white coats come to take her away. This is in the good old days when they had those guys in white coats. She gets the straitjacket and everything. Seriously, it's kind of cool.
Pervy Neighbor Guy takes Norma Jean to the orphanage. Mean orphans wearing sassy "Hard Knock Life" pinafores and pigtails ransack her suitcases. "I'm not an orphan!" she protests. "My mother is in the hospital and my father lives in a big mansion in Beverly Hills." The Head Orphan tells her that what she says is bullshit, and her parents are dead just like everyone else's, and everybody's dead, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the sun won't come out tomorrow.
Random Poignant Orphanage Moments. A couple of actors visit the orphanage to put on a Christmas play and hand out presents. Norma Jean gets to pose for a picture with them and gets a stuffed baby tiger toy and feels all special. Norma Jean looks in the bathroom mirror late at night and talks to her daddy and calls the mirror her magic friend. Norma Jean is a good little non-orphan and wins the institutional heart of the headmistress. Norma Jean meets with a teary-eyed couple who wants to adopt her and recites a poem for them: "Where do you go when you disappear?/ Wherever you are, /are you alone?/ You can endure any pain/ if you have a family and a home." Not to put any pressure on them or anything. The couple gets all gooey. But then later the headmistress sadly tells Norma Jean that Nutty Mother refuses to sign the adoption papers. Again. Because apparently this whole adoption dog-and-pony-show has happened before. Because apparently this is the Disappointment Acres Orphanage.