Things That Should Not Have Happened

Where do I even start?

The First Amendment does not cover burping.

The prompt: If you could take back something you did to someone, what would it be?

Indeed, where do I start?

I’ve done many things that I’m not proud of. Like most events, I remember them more than the other person. In part because immediate reflection made me realize that the action was (take your pick) cruel, boorish, obnoxious, harmful, silly, etc. Some are minor, others are major.

  • I would take back one or two crank calls (not all of them)
  • I would take back hanging up on people, but acting like the telephone had a “problem”
  • I would take back snotty, teen-aged notes laced with judgment and superiority
  • I would take back quips that I found funny and shocking, but which helped build a wall between me and my extended family (and sometimes, friends and colleagues)
  • I would really make sure that I wouldn’t burp directly in someone’s face and then laugh uproariously about it

However, I would definitely take back the time in 2nd grade where I moved a girl’s chair back from behind her during the Pledge of Allegiance.

I don’t remember her, so she’s really not important. The only important things are that I wanted to see if someone would really not check to see if their chair was behind them, and she sat in front of Tracy Stoneburner. He, unfortunately, was always in trouble. I knew that he would be the one blamed if the chair moving was successful.

I don’t even know HOW I moved her chair, just enough, to allow her to miss it. It seems that I went to ask Tracy a question and moved it with my foot. Again, where was she? Neither she nor the teacher ever thought it was me (or accused me of it, if they did think it). I just remember her going to sit down and missing the chair. Tracy was accused. I don’t know if he got into trouble, but we were all sternly reminded to check our chairs before just sitting down.

I would take it back because I didn’t find it funny. It hurt the poor girl’s ego. Tracy got yelled at, which I came to realize was a regular occurrence, when it wasn’t his fault. And I’ve always felt like a right sh*t for doing it. Even now, and it’s been 35-36 years later.

The only good that came from it is my innate realization that sometimes “good” kids do bad things when they think the “bad” kid will get blamed.

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