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  Texas : Features : Humor : Column - "A Balloon In Cactus"

True Confessions

by Maggie Van Ostrand
Maggie Van Ostrand
The public is certainly getting more than its fair share of apologies lately. Some say today's celebs are following the lead of Bill Clinton who didn't exactly apologize for not having sex with "that woman." And it wasn't his first time at bat.

Even before that, on a recording of Bill Clinton's conversation with Gennifer Flowers he was heard saying that then-New York Governor Mario Cuomo "acts like" a Mafioso." First, Clinton denied it was his voice on the tapes, then he sent Cuomo a letter of apology, suggesting that, if elected, he might appoint Cuomo to the Supreme Court. Twice elected president, he never named Cuomo to the court. Mel Gibson also has flowers of apology.

Today Mel Gibson is apologizing and sending big flowers to a female officer, one of the cops who arrested him on a DUI. Apparently, her ire was raised when Mel allegedly called one of her body parts a sweet name. Mel also apologized to the male cops, but neglected to send flowers. He then apologized profusely by phone to Hollywood biggies for calling them names not in keeping with Christian beliefs. Seems as though everybody's still mad at Mel, even though he's trying to mend fences almost as hard as Tom Cruise.

Tom surreptitiously drove to the home of Brooke Shields to make a "heartfelt apology" for having said publicly that her post partum depression was exaggerated, if not totally untrue, based on his religious non-belief in psychiatrists and anti-depressants. He must've been better than Mel at saying he's sorry because Brooke Shields told Jay Leno "... and through it all, I was so impressed with how heartfelt [Cruise's apology] was, and I didn't feel at any time that I had to defend myself, nor did I feel that he was trying to convince me of anything other than the fact that he was deeply sorry. And I accepted it." In good faith, she probably also apologized to Tom for being so much taller.

History should pay attention to Clinton, Gibson and Cruise. What if Grant and Lee had just apologized to each other at the beginning? We could've bypassed the Civil War and it wouldn't be unlawful today to fly the Confederate flag. Besides, kids would have shorter history lessons to memorize.

What if McDonald's had just told 79-year-old Stella Liebeck they were really sorry she burned herself when she placed a hot cup of their coffee between her knees? They could've saved half a million dollars. That's a hefty portion of the $1.3 million sale of coffee they make every single day.

In 2000, the Pope apologized for all past sins of the Roman Catholic Church. I would've been happier if he had just had Sister Andrea call me up and say she was sorry for knocking my knuckles back at Sacred Heart in New York.

President Bush ought to apologize to the American people for mangling the word "nuclear" even though he married a school teacher. I suppose we could tell our children he's not very good at words, right after we tell them President Clinton's not very good at oaths.

Speaking of President Bush, there's a thriving business directed toward tourists traveling abroad. It's the manufacture of the "American Apology Shirt" that says, "I'm sorry my president's an idiot."

The President of Harvard apologized to women everywhere for sort of saying he thought women in science were less capable than men. He said nothing, however, about science's findings that the brain of a woman is smaller than that of a man. He must have assumed science was referring to head size.

Apologies are extremely important in America today proven by the fact that, in capital crimes, the jury can find the defendant guilty because "He didn't show remorse." One man was so broken up over his crime that the jury didn't even want to acknowledge his confession.

There are quite a few online websites devoted to anonymous confessions. This would presumably alleviate the need to apologize, since whining is so much less embarrassing than groveling. One of these sites, www.notproud.com, calls itself "a delicious and compelling catalog of shame." They have subsites named after the seven deadly sins: Pride, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Anger, and they've added an eighth: Miscellaneous. I don't know what would go under "miscellaneous," unless they're leaving room for things like being on your cell phone while driving in traffic, intercepting a friend's IMs, or telling people you're booked on Oprah when you're not.

There are quite a few apologies on these websites, and some use rather dicey language but that's okay -- these confessions are anonymous and some of them seem to have been written by people with minds of cement.

Another confession website is www.RawConfessions.com, whose motto isn't as catchy as notproud's. Theirs is "Confess or Digress." Each of their categories seems to have the same confessions by the same people. Apparently, they know what they did, they just don't know where it goes.

www.GroupHug.us/ assigns random numbers to people eager to confess. Someone wrote, "It actually feels kind of good to know that someone will read it." Sure, if the someone who reads it isn't Sister Andrea or she'd find you, whoever and wherever you are, and give you a knuckle sandwich.

People get quite earthy with their language so if you check out these sites, be prepared for a quick exit. It's surprising how many randy people are out there who want to look in other people's windows. Everyone seems to want to confess something, and I'm no different.

I confess to wanting a karmic fusion with Kiefer Sutherland. Maybe if I send him some big flowers, he'll call me. Then I can apologize.

Copyright Maggie Van Ostrand

"A Balloon In Cactus" >
September 13, 2006 column
Email: maggie@maggievanostrand.com
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