People I’ve Angered

Just so you know, this may be my last column. I am a fugitive.

First of all, I wrote a column a few weeks ago that irritated the Elsinore High School football team because it implied — and I hope the team will pardon my presumptuousness here — that they weren’t doing so well, football-wise. I also discussed at length the subject of bottom-patting in high school sports. Both subjects were apparently unamusing to the football team.

Let me just say here and now that the last thing I wanted to do with that column was offend a group of people who, collectively, are larger and more powerful than a neutron bomb. I may be stupid, but I’m certainly not stupid. All I was doing, in regards to the comments about their record, was making a joke. That’s what I do for a living. I see that something isn’t going as well as it might be — the government, the City, the football team — and I make humorous, light-hearted little comments about it. I kick them when they’re down, as it were. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that the football players were worthless, either as human beings, which I am sure most of them are, or as football players. This is last year’s UNDEFEATED C.I.F. CHAMPS, for goodness’ sakes! Of course they’re a good team! That’s why I made those jokes — it’s so ironic that a team that good would have such a poor record, I HAD to say something!

Also, some of the players apparently thought that I was implying they were gay when I talked about the bottom-patting. Let me assure you — actually, more importantly, let me assure THEM — that that is not at all what I meant. I am sure that none of them are homosexuals, and I certainly wouldn’t be the one they’d tell if they were. All I was doing was saying that patting one another’s behinds is a little silly, coming from a group of rugged, manly, macho individuals such as themselves. But they’re free to continue doing it! (I may be kissing butt, but at least I’m not patting it.) (Ha ha! Another little joke there! Ha ha ha!)

So I want the football team to know that I am sorry if I offended them, and that that was not my intent, and that I personally enjoy football, particularly Tiger football, and that I admire their dedication to their sport, and that I wish them the best of luck in the game this Friday, and that I really hope they don’t beat me up and throw me under a bridge. Thank you.

The other reason I am a fugitive is that I killed a baby. It wasn’t an actual, human baby. It was actually a sack of flower with a head attached, but you’d have thought it was a real baby when I dropped it on the floor and the flour spilled out and the “mother” — who was actually a girl taking a Child Development course at school who had to take care of this thing for a month as an assignment — screamed in horror and called me a filthy name. Everyone else in the room grew very quiet, as though they were awaiting the jury’s verdict as to whether or not they were guilty of mass homicide, and then the “mother,” upon examining the child, announced that I had, in fact, broken it, and boy, was she going to be in trouble.

I apologized profusely, explaining that I hadn’t realized it was a sack of flour when I dropped it. I had thought it was just a Cabbage Patch Doll. That’s why I dropped it, for crying out loud, because I think Cabbage Patch Things need to be dropped as much as possible. But she was inconsolable. She was also unamused when I suggested she tell her teacher that it wasn’t flour leaking out, but that she had applied baby powder because the child had a diaper rash. She also didn’t like my crack about donating the baby to Home Economics. I just hope she is as good a mother when she has real children.

The next day, I was informed that she had been convicted of child neglect by her teacher (who is apparently a judge, which I didn’t know before), and that her grade had been dropped, just like her baby. I again apologized, but the fact remains that I did kill a baby, and I really need to get out of town. See ya.

I still remember that horrible day, the day I dropped the baby and cracked its butt open. The girl didn't really like me anyway, and killing her pretend baby just made things worse. Sigh.

Still, this column has a line that I think is absolutely priceless: "The other reason I am a fugitive is that I killed a baby." Because just for a second, you think that I not only killed a baby, but that I also think killing a baby is funny. In reality, neither is the case.

Is it fair or right for a teen-ager to be the subject of so much hostility and anger? Did I somehow lose a part of my childhood by being involved with the media at such an early age? Did the slings and arrows of the people I upset pierce my heart and produce a hard, cold shell around my feelings? What do you care?