Honest Stuff I Make Up · · San Francisco

Because None of This Is My Fault

A lifetime of excuses. 

I blame the guy at the gas station and the sophmore in the dorm. Then the Mormons. After that I blame my grandmother and the phonics box-set. The Mountain Bell activity book didn't help either. Nor did the chocolate cake and bare feet on the elephant slide in Pioneer Park. Sand and blood everywhere. I don't know whose fault the crayon incident was. The thing at naptime though I blame on irrigation day and the neighbor who always mowed his lawn without a shirt on. I'm still unclear about my brothers and me in nothing but underwear up in the fig tree and later eating pork chops in front of the television and wondering why we were so itchy. Now tell me: Whose fault was that? Please don't let me forget to include Ben Gazzara, shag carpet tiles, bunk beds and a genuine simulated wood-grain cabinet. Guilty, guilty, guilty. Not long after that, I blame my nine-year-old stepsister and her ulcer and their combined obsession with Patty Hearst.

Consider, if you will, Abraham Lincoln and the theory of elasticity.

I do, of course, blame the dog that bit me and hold personally responsible the sheriff of Tombstone and Radio Shack nine-volt-batteries. The first one is free, but they know you'll be back. Of course you will because the 99-in-1 kit is in on it too. I blame model helicopters, flammable glue and roadside firecracker stands. I blame girls with Now-and-Later candy bars and abandoned lots and Hustler magazine. Paul Barresi. The cheap pendants from the mall had nothing to do with it, but Karla and Chad and the Western Auto cassette recorder they saw before I did at the swap meet? Definitely. As did the back room at Spencer Gifts.

I blame Reddington Pass, Madera and Sabino Canyons, Boy Scout camp, "bug juice", the M-80 (along with whoever lit it) and the asshole Park Ranger. After that, it's the Space Shuttle on the back of a TWA jet on a runway in Utah that is most responsible. Then I blame Timex-Sinclair, Tandy, and the DEC-10. But not Commodore. I'd like to say I blame punch cards, but I was out that day. Probably home feverish and reading Penthouse Forum. The one thing unrelated to the other.

While I'd like to present evidence against the drama club, the gymnastics team, and my art professor, it would all be hearsay because I was never around long enough. Instead, allow me to present my case against the yearbook staff and Advanced Darkroom Technique — it's a solid one.

The jury is still out on the latch-hook rug kit, but Kraftwerk and Soft Cell all but confessed, as did the German exchange student and the bottle of Lubriderm. After that, I'd like to meet in the judge's chambers with fisticuffs and room service ramekins, pig poppers (something I'd never even heard of yet) tanning butter and a loaded handgun.

When that's done, I'll blame a man on a train, the doctor he shared an apartment with and the merchant marine who often stopped by. I'll call him Pepe. Yes, Pepe. Anyhow, the couple's cat died that week, so it was probably very sick and therefore I'll assume too weak to be anything but uninvolved. However, I am afraid the Mazda Z car and the Polaroid camera in the glove compartment will have to be impounded. Indefinitely. I also blame Carlos Fuentes and public transportation, both of which were in cahoots with the Diego Rivera mural at the time, along with an entire poker hand of twenty-five cent playing-card themed coffee cups. Oh, it's true.

Then, as much as I know you don't like to think about it, but someone is going to have to reckon with the many pots of potato lentil soup.

Eventually, I'll also get around to blaming: the government, Netscape, Apple, the Jesuits, Carmen Maura and Ricardo Cucamonga. But not for a while yet.