Our former editor Karyn Spory and I were discussing all the bad things we’ve done in the past, through our schooling and our young lives. We realized that both of us had small skeletons in our closets we had never admitted to. We talked about bad things we did in the past and lied about that were never exposed, and secrets we kept that we never confessed.
I made an oath that one day I’d write a column admitting to all my long-kept secrets. I would one day wipe my conscious clean and just spill it all out. This is that column.
One day in kindergarten, I gathered around with all my five-year old classmates for a game of pin the tail on the donkey. I was one of the last kids to go, and I saw child after child walk up with the blindfold and pin the tail in various funny places. I waited my turn and when I was at the front of the line, my teacher, Mrs. Mark, put the blindfold on me.
I walked up to the donkey, felt my way around with my hands and pinned it. I stepped back as I heard the murmurs of my classmates. Mrs. Mark quickly stepped in front of the donkey and as I took the blindfold off, she looked at me and said, “guess where you pinned.” I said I didn’t know and she stepped away to reveal that I pinned the tail right on the nose (and by the nose I mean the butt). A perfect display of athletic achievement.
My classmates cheered and I smiled and received my hi fives and taps on the back, but there was a dark truth inside of me that was growing, and it was one I never let out. I could see through the blindfold the entire time.
I don’t know if there was a gap in the blindfold, or maybe the fabric was wearing off. What I do know is I knew exactly where the donkey’s tail was. I pretended to feel around with my hands and stumbled around aimlessly so the class would think the blindfold was doing it’s job, but it wasn’t. I faked it all and they all bought it like a bunch of naive children and a lady who was battling the challenge of keeping a kindergarten class in line, all while carrying a child. Oh, I forgot to mention she was pregnant.
Flash forward to high school. The student council election was coming up and I thought it would be a funny prank to run for president.
I had never been in Student Council before and knew nothing about it, but I filed for the election and ran in a three-way race with two kids who had been in the system since they were in elementary school.
I never really wanted to win, but I received a big following because I made a bunch of funny campaign signs and would say things like, “What do they even do, anyway? I never see them do anything. Vote for me and maybe Student Council will actually do something.”
Obviously I drummed up a bunch of anti-establishment support. Every crumb bum and outcast in the school wanted Andy Krutsinger to be the new president.
It didn’t take long for my riled up base to go tearing down other candidates’ election posters, and that brought a lot of heat on ole Andy. So after school one day, I went and vandalized my own posters, a sneaky little trick that made everyone believe that every candidate had disruptive followers, not just me. Genius.
By the way if any of my high school teachers or principals are reading this, it’s time for you to confess to rigging that election.
I know I won. Everyone else knows I won. Everyone knows you rigged it against me, and maybe if you’d launch an investigation into it, you could sleep at night without being overwhelmed with well-deserved guilt.
Flash forward to college. I almost never paid the full amount for text books. Someone leaked to me that they keep the old editions of every text book in the library for somewhere around a dollar apiece.
Those text books were almost exactly like the up-to-date ones everyone was paying hundreds of dollars for, except the color was different, the pictures were different and some of the pages were off.
I chose to never tell anyone else because I knew the text books were limited. My conscious stopped me from selling those books for a profit.
And finally, for the birthday radio mishap of 2015. This is one I feel especially guilty about.
One day while my wife worked at Harmony High School, we were driving back home to Farmington from Chariton. One of the local radio stations was about to announce the local birthdays and gave a phone number and a website to enter birthdays for the day.
My wife was driving so I stealthily went on my phone and entered a goofy name, thinking it would make her laugh when it came on.
Quick note, she didn’t really think it was that funny. She just smiled and rolled her eyes as I laughed so hard tears came out of my eyes. The guy on the radio laughed too, and it was all good and fun. But then, something terrible happened.
The guy on the radio put all the birthday names in a hat and drew for a free meal at Sonic, sponsored by the radio station. Of course, he ended up drawing my fake name out of a group of 13 people, thus shafting the other 12 entrants.
I did not know there was a drawing, but as it is, I catfished people out of free fast food on their own birthdays. To make it worse, the radio station sung happy birthday to the fake person I created.
I obviously never went to claim the coupon, but that means I also never confessed. When I worked at a different radio station just one year later, I found out that unclaimed birthday coupons just sit there on a desk for an entire month before they finally give up and throw them away.
Wow, that felt great! This was very therapeutic. No more secrets. I challenge the rest of the Tuesday Troupe to confess their horrible secrets on a public forum this week, that way we can all get out of quarantine with a guilty-free conscious. Also please write to your congressmen to investigate the 2007 Chariton High School Student Council race. Thank you for reading.