Do your friends, your relatives, the nephew you pay six figures to for keeping your enormous butt unbitten think you should apologize to an individual, a community, a nation or an entire planet for your stupid social and/or criminal transgression?
Have you whined “I’m not apologizing because this is America and I have rights?” Have you bragged that you carry a copy of the Constitution in your wallet — but haven’t actually read it because the printing is really small and some of the words are hard to understand?
Has your mother heard about what you did and called you on the smart phone she’s had for four years but never used because who knows how to work one of those damn things, and shouted “Are you out of your firetrucking mind?”
Specifically, have you
• Told someone to take immediate liberties with a duck.
• Sounded the muted trumpet in close quarters and slapped your hand over your head, indicating it wasn’t you. But everyone knows it was you because only you or a dead yak have that distinct eau de stinkbad.
• Done something that seemed okey dokey smokey to you but makes you look like the dark opening of a coal mine as viewed from outer space.
If you answered yes to any of the above, what a numbnuts you are. You must apologize with convincing sincerity (Note: you don’t actually have to be sincere.) Here are a few apologies you might consider:
The basic apology: Oops.
The basic apology, limited edition: I’m only going to say this once. My bad. Get over it.
The basic apology with a but: Okay, you got me. But come on. People are dying in (country where people are dying) and people are starving in (country where the food is bad). Those are real problems. Taking a few bucks from a lobbyist — I mean, less than 50k, a mere bag of shells — to pay a pole dancer to misremember me is so nothing.
The shifting blame apology: Sorry. I did it. Sort of. I don’t want to cast asparagus on my (coach, parents, wife, mistress, urologist, former best friend) who know in their hearts what they did or didn’t do and how much they were paid to do or don’t. I accept full responsibility because it costs so little to say that. I pray I will be exonerated and my (coach, parents, wife, mistress, urologist, former best friend) will be blamed and subsequently struck by lightning.
The moving-on apology: You have no idea how much it grieves me to know some people may have been hurt or offended by my actions. In fact, I myself have no idea. All I can say is gee I wish I wasn’t in so much trouble. I’m anxious to put this whole thing behind me and spend more time with my family. Check out my carefully choreographed You-Tube video of me playing catch with Junior, helping Suzy with her homework and assisting the wife in the garden with her pansies or rutabagas or gnomes or whatever.
The hedged apology: Look, I know that thing (I did/said) has caused a (waste product) storm of controversy. If anybody took offense, all I can say is I never meant to hurt anyone so bad that they would rat me out. I just want to get back to (football, manipulating the stock market, dating exotic animals). Okay? All right already.
The abject apology: I am so, so sorry for (whatever). I know I let down my (parents, pals, fans, pope) and I will have to work hard to regain their trust. Which I will do as soon as my pole-dancing fiance and I get back from Vegas. I pledge this will never happen again and if it does, I guarantee it won’t happen a third time. Certainly not a fourth time. If it does then you can just bite me.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013, all rights reserved.