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To start with, I really don’t know how many of these I will do.  But these are the some of the reasons, in detail, why I left the church.

I think part of this is was helped along by the fact that I have a very severe learning disorder. That I mostly didn’t get a hold on until well into my 30’s. I was ranked really high in some of the worst cases of ADD that the Doctor had seen at the time.  This diagnoses came to me in first grade, although I didn’t fully understand the statement. At least not until I pulled my medical records when I got cancer. I wasn’t just an audio learner, or even a visual one, I learn best by doing.  Ideally, I need all three. And being an 8 year old in the church who at the time was child number 3 of 5 in the house with a learning disability didn’t help matters. My mom tells me that she was at her wits end, she had 4 children under the age of 5 she almost lost it. I remember when both of my youngest two sisters were born.  I Remember being very angry that Pauline was a girl. I didn’t want another sister, I wanted a brother. because at least then maybe I’d have someone to play with. I already felt excluded in a house full of girls. When my youngest sibling was born, and was also a girl. I just kind of rolled my eyes. Figured I was cursed.

I knew I was different from my classmates, I was excluded from school events with my peers in first grade. no one wanted to sit next to me, I was bullied in subtext by being told that I Wasn’t cool enough to hang out with others. My mom said that I was “One cool dude”. But because I was being told by everyone else that I was a terrible person, I knew that I couldn’t’ believe her. I just figured it was the little lies that parents tell their kids to help make them feel better, like Santa Clause. This was how I was treated at school, you’d think an 8 year old would be treated better at church. Nope I wasn’t, because it was the same kids who were doing it. We lived across the street from a family full of boys who were bullies. They’d chase me and throw rocks at me. One of them shot me in the back with an overpowered BB Gun. He put a BB in my back that stayed there for a week before I told my mom, because I didn’t want to get blamed.  Because beyond my ability to understand how, but somehow, it would be my fault. Everything bad at school that happened was my fault, everything bad that happened  to other people at church was my fault. I knew this because I was told this, when I said I didn’t have anything to do with it, I was told that I was stupid for trying to hide it. and they’d concoct some kind of lie that no matter how many times I would say that I didn’t do it. I got yelled at for it. It went so far as to be a game to the people I went to school with. There was one night when I was high school I had jumped ship to get out of my house and got on some weekend evening. I got on my bike and just rode, I didn’t care where I went,  I did it to just leave, to just get out. Some kid, who was a bully to me in school saw me and started chasing me.  We will call this kid Jarrod. When he got close enough that he could kick me. he did. but he didn’t just kick me, he kicked me while I was riding, then turned around and ran over my arm. Told me that I had been talking shit about him to someone else.  The person in question I was afraid of, terrified actually. I wouldn’t talk to him.  Jarrod then punched me in the face and told me next time he’d hurt me. To which I said nothing. I learned quickly that fighting back made things worse.  This event was one of many that ended up with me telling my mom. My mom went into the school and talked to the school about it. This act, while it she was trying to make things better for me, had the exact reverse effect. This made things worse, much much worse, they were just better at hiding it so they couldn’t get caught. This was the first time when I realized that people were picking on me, because I was different, I was their punching bag of an easy target. But come Sunday mornings, I’d hear theses kids who tortured me, be praised about how much god has blessed them.  I couldn’t believe my ears, God blessed them. They were great children, both at home and at school and they were talked about as if they were the noblest of the most noble.  No, they were abusers, they were assholes, and I loathed all of them.

When I was 8 years old I went into for my baptism interview.  I remember being talked up how important it was, and that I was going to be quizzed by the bishop about what I believed. Quizzed? I didn’t know what that meant, nor did I understand what I was supposed to do. but for once I wanted to feel like I had done something right by someone. I remember sitting in this man’s very cold Cinder block painted pink office. He seemed really old to me,  I thought that he must have been a man of god because how was he still alive? he must have been over a hundred years old. I remember very clearly behind scared out of my mind. I remember being asked questions and thinking that I didn’t understand what he was asking, nor did I understand what it meant. But I knew, knew from years of being told how much of an honor it was to be one of gods chosen, that I had to pass this. Because it would mean that I was doing something right, and maybe for once I could do something right. So I did exactly what I thought he wanted to hear. Because that sounds like the right thing, like the right set of answers. I remember leaving his office and having him tell my mom that I did very well and I’d “passed”. My mom was beaming, it was a huge relief to me.  The only thing I got out of the experience is that, I would be perfect and all of my past sins would be washed away.  I remember the day that it happened.  My grandparents  stopped by and we had dinner outside.  And for some reason the power went out, I thought that part was awesome. that was a best part. I remember thinking that I could go to church the next day and get my confirmation and I would be treated fairly and stop being blamed.  Boy, was I wrong.  I remember the next day one boy hit me, and called me a name that was created for me from school last year.  I told him that I had just been baptized and he couldn’t do that anymore because all of that was gone. He reasoned with me that was school this was church it wasn’t the same thing, and so he could still do it. From that point forward, things got worse.  I remember being told that God didn’t make mistakes but people do. So I had to wonder, and began to think that Perhaps god forgot about me.  But then it occurred to me. That as far as I understood it, I was doing everything god wanted me to do, I didn’t question I just did.  But all of these kids who were terrible people to me were blessed by god. As their parents were so fond of telling each other. So I reasoned that I was being punished, I must had done something bad in heaven, and I was being punished. Which is why all of these children who were gods chosen, kept hurting me. At that point in my life, I believed that I deserved it

In 1997 I moved out of that town (for the second time) and to Salt Lake City, Utah. The only friend I made in high school that didn’t at some point, treat me like shit, helped me move. I was so grateful for him. One person in this world who accepted me for who I was. As it turned out, he was also gay.  I was told at the time by the church, that being gay was wrong. That gay people work for Satan, and that they were all inherently bad people. That they were all child molesters.  I remember when he came out of the closet. We were in the middle of no where in the woods, It was he and I, and my Girlfriend at the time. I remember she shrugged at him and said “okay, whatever makes you happy.” and carried on like it was no big deal. At this point in my life, I had met several other gay people. I was starting to shed this idea that all gay people were bad. I started to see that there wasn’t one thing about any of them, that made them good or bad. just like some people were just good people, while others just weren’t; and that regard they weren’t any different from anyone who was straight. I remember not saying anything for a long time while I reasoned this out in my head, I mentally fought against the ideals that I was raised with. He looked at me somewhat concerned, and asked if I was alright. My Girlfriend said that I looked shocked and I was.  I knew there was something different about him but I couldn’t put my finger on it. But I had decided years previous to this, that I didn’t care what was so different about him. I finally reasoned in my head that, here was this man. Who I respected, and as far as I was concerned he was my brother. He was more family to me, than my own family, and he was Gay. despite being raised with this notion that gay people are evil, and wrong, and should be persecuted, clearly they were missing something — they had to be wrong. I accepted that fact that he was gay, and that didn’t make him a bad person. I respected his courage, and to this day, I still respect him, and view him as my brother and my best friend.

In 1999 I  had my first child a little girl. I lived in western Wisconsin, I was married to a different woman. it was the week after the spring general conference sessions. I had my daughter who was only a few months old at the time was asleep in my arms, and I was sitting in gospel Doctrine  class. In the room was the bishop, the steak president, and the teacher of the class was the wife of one of the counselors of the bishopric. The week before the prophet had gotten up and talked about how The gays were destroying gods plan, and they they were an abomination to god. I found this very unsettling. She got up and started to continue to preach this. she spoke of them like they were less than people. I was quiet upset by this. I verbalized that she needed to back up because that was wrong. She was clearly aghast at the idea, I reminded her that everyone was considered one of gods children, and even if she didn’t like their lifestyle she needed to afford them that much respect. After finishing that sentence the Steak President who was sitting behind me, grabbed me by the ear like I was  6 years old, and dragged me out of the classroom into the hallway. I almost dropped by daughter on the ground due only to the sheer force that he used on my ear.   He yelled at me, told me that My blasphemous words had no place in the church, and I should be ashamed of myself. And he was considering excommunicating me for it. I told him to do it. I told him that I was upholding one of the tenants of the church that is taught to everyone starting in primary. And if my opinion on the matter, gets me excommunicated then fine, I didn’t care. He stumbled over his words and  then stumbled back into the classroom. I stayed in the hall nursing my ear which was bleeding. Within about a minute The Bishop came out. He told me that he respected my opinion, but then followed it up by saying that my opinion had no place in the church. I very clearly remember saying “So Church Doctrine, has no place in the church?” he told me that I was twisting his words, and this is the work of Satan, and he was instructed by the steak president to take my temple recommend. (which was fine, because I didn’t have one at the time.) I just walked off at that point, I was so angry and confused.  After the hour block was over, I was approached by the woman who was leading the class.  She said that she understands my opinion. Her brother is gay. So I asked her, is he a bad person? Does he hurt people?  She defended him.  I don’t remember if I responded to her at that point, I just remember being really confused. She loves her brother, and states clearly that he’s a good person, but then condemns him because of his choice of lifestyle. I told this story to my wife when she got out of her church calling, and I didn’t feel like she took me seriously. To the best of my recollection, her response was something a long the lines of “How else did you really expect them to respond?”

Up to this point in my life all of the stones that I’d thrown into the pond were pebbles, and the ripples were only felt by me, everyone else was on the fringes. This was a boulder, tossed by a crane into a puddle, and the mud splattered everywhere. I got scolded and talked to by at least a half dozen people from that classroom for my words. But just as many approached me stated that what I said made sense, and that the reaction of the people in that room was uncalled for.

Some people contribute, life events, or spouses, and children and luck, to God. Because clearly he made it happen, That’s fine, they have the right to believe that, that’s their fail safe. And if these people want to believe their silly ideas about how gay people cause natural disasters or are all child molesters, they have the right. But, they shouldn’t be allowed to use a public position to spread their hate. What the church did in 99 was hate and fear mongering. Pure and simple, hate discrimination.

No one should sit idle in a classroom and tolerate this kind of hate. it’s not okay. If you do not speak up when people are preaching hate and fear mongering, you are fostering the environment that’s allowing it to continue.


Co-worker 1: I hate my new password.

Co-worker 2: Why?

Co-worker 1: Because it’s not my old password.


No, really, that’s it today.

What a way to end a week

Dropping my son off to school this morning, I was given a view of fairly large woman who was wearing stretch pants that were clearly too small for her  body… as they  there stretched thin enough that you could see the G-string that she was wearing. I wonder if she has any idea what she’s doing walking into a High School dressed like this.


Dear Asshole with the MASSIVE compensation SUV in the Parking lot. That space you just pulled into and then back out of whilst scraping the cars on both sides, was marked “Compact”. You got out of your compensation vehicle, looked at the damage that you caused on your own Compensation device in a manner that would suggest that you were somehow wronged by someone else. Like someone besides yourself did this to you.  You’re a bad person, when you tried to drive away and I “Accidentally blocked you in” it was so I could memorize your license plate. I reported you to security; I hope you get sued by the owners of those vehicles that you carelessly damaged.  Screw you, and your self-righteous attitude.


Johnnie: Oh good you’re here! 6 people didn’t come in today

Me: *Exhale* Shit. I’m going home.

Ritz: Back to your desk ginger!

Me: Hey now! You’re no ginger you can’t call me that, that shit is racist.

Ritz: You all look like white devils to me.

Jeffery: So wait, I have a question, do you like collect souls? Do you and Karla have this pool that you share between the two of you?

Me:  You got it all wrong, we consume them, and without them we would die.


And then, I ran across this.

And it brought me to tears.

I went to go walk it off when…. I saw a lady in her pajamas. She was an employee. Listen, just because you can do this, It doesn’t mean that you should. You’re not in High school anymore, You’re probably pushing 40. Come now, you work at a professional company, act like it at least while you’re at work. (Says the hypocrite) At least, I don’t show up to work in my PJ’s. I know that I’m an “Unwashed heathen”, but damn it! I’m an unwashed heathen with standards.



And all of this.. was before 10:00 am…

You should be ashamed.

Yet another post that came from Reddit from a Utah Mormon, I started to put it on Facebook, and then got really long. Ergo.. blog time.

Mormons Regale themselves as the pinnacle of purity. The only “True” Church. They are taught to respect your elders and the laws of the land. Missionaries, are often looked up to, and respected for giving their life for 18-24 months to the church. They are also the biggest public facing side of the church. You’d expect them to hold themselves to church standard. However, this kind of thing seems to be very common.



These are a pair of missionaries dancing.. on the 9/11 memorial wall. This, as far as I’m concerned dancing on the grave of the dead. If you were to do this on Church grounds you’d get kicked out. I’d call this offensive, but I think disgusting is a much better adjective.  Disgusting because they should know better, and because it further illustrates the illusion that they live in. They are the “only true church be damned with the rest of you.” They frequently behave as being above reproach.

Missionaries, are children, 18-year-old children. who have not yet lived their life, and have not yet made their own decisions. Brainwashed into believing what they think is “the only true church.” Many of them live very sheltered lives with very sheltered upbringing, then released into the wild to “serve god”. Not surprisingly they often find themselves in trouble. The sad part is I am not surprised to find so many of them acting like immature little shit-heads. An 8-year old child is supposed to know the difference between right and wrong when they are baptized. But theses two “adults”, and the mother, who posted them to Facebook, obviously don’t.

I’ve been called, a Satanist, and a baby eater, this I can handle. But as much as I see crap like this, I almost feel pity for those who are true believers. Because they’ll see this as amusing, rather than embarrassment that it is

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My sister issued the complaint that someone took a w*rd and replaced a letter to make the word “Less profane” and she didn’t understand what the point was if you knew what it was in the first place. Then made the suggestion that perhaps you should just use a thesaurus.

Comments were made about how words are only offensive if you want them to be.

She said if we choose certain words than commit to it.  Because “People put in the asterisk because they don’t want to offend people. Yet we all know what they intend to say.”

I, as her brother, got snarky and wrote a whole sentence of nothing but asterisks, to which this got some humorous responses. I did this after I had written the response. so I changed it letter for letter. I have the actual sentence, it exists I wasn’t just being an ass. But she never asked for it.  So after the humorous commentary that I had received. I added the below response. it got so wordy that I decided that it shouldn’t be on facebook. So I figured I might as well post it publicly. I don’t know that she’ll ever see this, maybe I’ll email it to her.

This was my response

I’m going to get back to the point I wanted to make before I decided to have some humor at your expense.

about a year or so back, I made a post to Facebook that I dropped the F-Bomb. I got a nicely worded message from a woman whom you share a similar belief system with. She stated that she was offended at my use of language. And that the very least, I should be considerate enough to take out the middle letters and replace them with asterisks so she doesn’t have to “read” the word, even though she knew what it was..

So now you’ve established this double standard. If I don’t do it, I offend someone, if I do it, I offend someone. The funny thing is — and maybe this is the 18 months of therapy talking; the words “I’m offended” come off to me as ‘”I cannot control my emotions, so I need you to stop doing, whatever it is that you’re doing that makes me feel this way.

Now you could argue “You need to choose better words.” Better by who’s definitions? Yours? No, you cannot expect anyone to only words that you would agree with. I can go out side to the corner and scream “Bloody” all day long, and people might think that I was a little crazy. I live in Eugene, no one would care. However, Now if I was to scream ‘fuck’ I’d get yelled at. Pretty quickly too.

Now if I was to do the exact same thing in England, the reverse would be true. You can yell “Fuck” as much as I want, and again people would think I was weird, but not do anything about it. But if I yell “Bloody” ooooh no.. don’t do that.

You cannot have it both ways. You need to either accept the fact that people are going to omit letters for “Sensitive types”, or accept that some where in the back of your head, someone decided FOR YOU what words are bad.

Overheard at the office:

“I’m a terrible person I know.”
“That doesn’t make you a terrible person. Don’t get me wrong, I do think you’re a terrible person, I just don’t think that’s why”.


Creepy pasta host a ton of stories. the site itself, is a conglomerate of horror and scary stories meant to be mostly classified as satire. The most Popular one is one known as Slenderman. Slenderman started out as a Internet Meme created by the Something Awful Forums in 2009 who stalks mostly children, And since then has taken hold in vast media. The problem with the CreepyPasta site, where Slenderman is the administrator, is that it’s designed to look like, and report like an actual set of news stories.

And as happens in any form of media, there’s a fan base, And Slenderman’s is enormous.  Yesterday CNN aired a story stating that two young girls attempted the murder of another, Stabbing the girl 19 times, Missing her heart by a millimeter. All three of the girls were 12 years old, and were friends. They are being tried as adults. because, this was a premeditated murder that they had planned out since the beginning of February. Now the question remains, why? Why would they do this. Because, Slenderman required a sacrifice to Enter the realm. The Victim was left to die, and crawled herself to a path where she was  found by a biker, and is currently in stable condition in a nearby hospital.

I saw the story initially on the News Feed in my cafe, and sent it to my eldest daughter, who’s a fan of the site. Purely with the subject line of  “This is what happens, when people take things too far.”  The response I got back was that most of her friends,  think that the site is going to be shut down.

Unless the site gets sued by any of the families of the girls involved the site will probably remain as is.  Unless the site administrators decide to be proactive about it.  I don’t think that the site will get shut down. A warning label, maybe, If they get sued it will probably be that they will remove that content. Forcefully Shutting down the site could be constituted as a violation of the First Amendment, of both of freedom of expression and the right to satire.

This is the same type of scare that comes up when there’s a shooting and they find out that the shooters themselves enjoyed a violent video game. there is really no direct correlation between the two, although people will point fingers and place blame because they don’t want to own up to themselves. Recent studies have shown that people who do play the violent games are actually less likely to be violent in real life.  Two people who performed a heinous act, and murdered others and who also happen to enjoy a popular medium, doesn’t represent the whole of it’s millions of fans. To those that believe that, they are essentially stating that the deeds of the few represent the many.  To reasonable people, making that assertion  beyond ridiculous. To the news, it’s a story to report, and they spin it, to whip up a frenzy because it’s how they retain viewers. it’s how they make money.  I find that for most people, It’s easier to say “its not me” then to say this “it is”.  The parents of the girls involved will probably say that it’s the site. While the specialists will stated “it’s because the parents ignored their children.”  But that second opinion will be completely ignored by the media.

it’s sad, but a true story that we see all of the time.

It’s really hard for my children to get away with anything at school because we get tweets, text messages, automated phone calls, and emails about EVERYTHING. Any of my kids sluff class, get in a fight, get a toy that they shouldn’t have taken to school taken away for a parent pick up, and we get notified. As much as my child are growing up in an age of electronics, and so many things are so much easier. it’s so much harder for them to get away with it.  I’m seriously waiting for the day that I get some kind of notification that says something like “Your child is guilty of chemical warfare, He dropped a ‘dirty bomb’ on his classmates.” On one hand I’ll be going “That’s my boy!” on the other… Why would you do that?! Chemical Warfare is never justified!

Both myself and my wife would ditch out, and race home or to the post office, and pick up the phone and say “yes they’re excused from school” or in my case, I had an extra key to the mailbox. My school would mail out pink slips, I’d go to the post office before my parents and pull the slip out of the mail before they saw it. I nearly got caught once or twice trying to make an hasty exit.

Yes, kids now days have it so easy, ridiculously easy, and yet they get away with so much less.

Dude, Where’s my shirt?!

A few weeks ago I decided to Chaperone (read: My daughter begged) for my daughters field trip to an aviation and space Museum.  It seemed simple enough, just go stand around make sure that the kids don’t touch anything, and it’s SPACE! What’s cooler than that? Even if the kids got nothing out of it, still SCIENCE! I signed the form really without paying attention to details because, how hard could it be.  Besides! SPACE! A day or so later I’m researching on my computer and my daughter comes in, and says “You know how you agreed to go Chaperone my class.”

“Yes, I remember, are you excited?” I admit, I was excited.

“I’m very excited. But dad, you HAVE to come swimming with me.”

Still half distracted, I responded with something like “Huh?… okay.”

She squealed “YAY!” and hopped out of the room. About 10 seconds later it donned on me what I had just done. I thought she was talking about a different event for some reason. It wasn’t until I Googled the Museum and realized that it had a waterpark. Then reality set in.

Typically, when I do chaperone for my children’s school events, I’m the only male; it’s usually me and 3-4 mothers. Typically, when I’ve gone and done these things with my son, the parents almost never, ever, participate directly in the activities. On the extreme rare occasion when the fathers do show up, they are FAR more likely to.  My daughter is 11, and it just donned on me, that under these circumstances I’m going to look like a major, major pervert… Oh joy, because I needed that kind of stigma.  I already agreed, no backing out now, time to suck it up.

The day comes up and I made sure we were all prepared the night before; it was a simple matter of getting out of bed, eating and walking out the door.

When I got there I saw that the father of my daughters friends where there, AND he was coming with us. I had gotten to know him a bit back and forth with sleep overs and various activities that our children did together. He was a nice guy and I liked him. Inside I was relieved, at the very least; I’m not alone in this. In the next 10 minutes two more showed up. I’m not alone this time, I’m okay. This is almost completely unprecedented, but for once I’m not the gender minority for  male Chaperones.

I went in the school and met the kids that were assigned to my group; one of them was a major Batman fan. She had Batman Shirt, and shoes and backpack. I like this kid already, She was a bit hyper tho. Another brought a shatton* of candy. A bag of skittles… not like a small bag. Like two 1lb bags of it dumped into a brown paper bag.  I made a mental note that “Shatton” needs to be made a new unit of measurement.

Once we got on the bus, and got moving, one of my daughters friends asked me what my name was

“Clem” I responded.

My daughter rolled her eyes and her friends eyes nearly popped out of her skull.
“Wow… That’s a stupid name, I thought I had a dumb name, but you just made me feel better.” Wow kid, harsh.

My daughter exhaled sharply. “His name isn’t Clem!”

When they asked what it was, I put my hand up to my daughter and said facing her friends, “What do you think it is? “  Putting my hand up in front of my daughter was the silent signal of “don’t respond, let’s have some fun with this.” In the next 10 minutes her surrounding 5-6 friends who could hear the conversation, cycled through about a dozen different names. Then my Daughter who was getting perceptibly annoyed with the increasingly level of ridiculousness that her friends were showing, gave in, and told them my name. At which point Batman Girl gasped, because she made a correlation between my name and the Batman Franchise Said “That’s it, we’ll call you Batman.”

“Batman?” Now this was a name I could get behind.

“Well, if you can be Batman…  Always be Batman.” Then it was settled, they could use my real name, or Batman. I would respond to either.

By the time we had pulled up front I had donned my headphones and the girls had gone through my playlist which was 90’s Summer hits, and had noted that it was “old music” and that I must be an “old man”. but they commented that many of them liked a lot of the tracks. Particularly Nirvana, I was kind of surprised by that. Current 11 year kids still listen to 20 year old music.  mm hmm, we all listen to ‘old man music’. We had discussions about Alpaca’s and Pepe Le Pew, this seems like an odd correlation except for the fact that Alpaca’s run like Pepe Le Pew.  Most of my daughter’s friends had NO idea who Pepe Le Pew was. I was happy to educate, because it’s the important things in life that need to shared.

When we pulled into the facility I was kind of stunned to see an F14 Tomcat, F15 Eagle and an F9F-5 Cougar, otherwise known as a Blue Angel, parked out front. When I inquired about the planes, they were all decommissioned and real.  The 11 year old boy in me that knew the difference between an F-15E Strike Eagle, and a MiG was thrilled.  When Top Gun came out, the identified MiG-28’s were not actually MiG-28’s. Not knowing that information as an 11 year old boy for me was a major social faux pas! I don’t remember now what they actually were, because it seemed like a rather insignificant detail, but knowing that they were wrong was a big deal. I admit, I wasn’t allowed to see it when it came out, but I overheard the correction and held onto it like my life depended on it. (I looked it up; they were Northrop F-5E (one Seat) and F-5F’s (Two seats)) My Daughter seemed less than excited about a couple of planes, her loss.

The Tour Guide took us through the site, telling about the history of space travel. He explained to us as we went forward which county did what first, and what technological advancements we enjoy today were made possible because of the space race. The number of exhibits they had that were authentic, and not models were amazing.  For example, they had an authentic German B2 Rocket from WWII. This is a significant piece of history. As things tend to do with 11 year olds with things of historical significance, it seemed to go over their heads. That’s okay, I made a mental note that I need to drag my daughter back here when she’s a bit older.

After a lot of displays and talking, and the inner child in me who kept getting excited over planes (Such as an SR-71 Blackbird) and an I-MAX Movie about the creation of the universe, it was time for the waterpark. We walked over and got everything sorted and I went to the locker room to change, there was already a fair number of people there, and as I sat down and started changing, I took off my shirt and put it on the bench. Shortly, just seconds later the kid who sitting not 5 feet away, probably only 11-13 years old, grabbed something off the bench and bolted.

Ever have one of those feelings like something significant just happened, but you have no idea what it was, but you’re sure that it’s going to bite you in the butt later? Yeah that happened. I looked around and saw his shirt, thought maybe I was being paranoid, and continued on.

I was pleased to see that I wasn’t the first father out in the water, out of the 4 men that came 3 of us got in; I felt a whole lot less pervvy. Whew, bullet dodged. My Daughter seemed bent on hanging with her friends, and I’ve got no problem with giving her space. The park itself was kind of impressive. The most impressive piece was the 747 that was de-commissioned, and then hoisted on top of the building. Gutted and re-fitted as a Water slide. Easily 100+ Feet up with at least a 200+ tube.  Super cool. The wave pool was very shallow; I could stand flat footed while it was being wavy.

Then it came time to leave, I went back into the locker room and showered came out looked for my shirt and… hey… where… Crap. So that’s what that feeling was…  I looked at the shirt that the kid left behind. It was the exact same color as mine, the one he walked off with… Huh, what are the chances of that… Well this is awkward; I can’t get on the bus without a shirt. I got dressed went out and found my daughters teacher. Filled her in, she started laughing with that look of, “Better you than me.” I’m somewhat embarrassed at this point, so I checked lost and found… nothing. The staff asked what happened, as I explained the above scenario, they were heavily amused. I went and told the teacher that I was heading to the gift shop in hopes, that they have a shirt… They have to have a shirt; they need to have… something… Or else the whole persona of “I swear I’m not a pervy dirty old man.” gets blown out the window like a stolen t-shirt.

The gift shop was about 100 yards away in a different building. My mirror like chest, blinding cars on the nearby highway, nearby being defined as a half a mile, through trees; I’m a ginger, and I’m really pale.  I started what felt like the walk of shame, each step becoming increasingly more mortifying as I continued on. I picked up my phone and called my wife and shared my plight, I told her that I was only slightly mortified.

“Only Slightly?”  Was the first response she gave me. Well, actually it was the second response. The first was what seemed like controlled laughter.

With a sudden frame of emergency I asked “Should I be more so?”

“You hate being the center of attention.”

“Yes, I’m aware, I’m at the building, can I call you back later?”

I walked in to the front doors to be greeted by 80-90 year old volunteering women who had classic Football helmet haircuts. And boy, what a greeting I got, I got a severe case of the stink eye, like somehow my Shirtless body was a direct assault, and a violation of the core of their being.  Somehow I violated their personal space and their morals of ‘thou shall not kill’ all at the same time.

I looked around quickly… ah look Gift shop and there were shirts in the window. I’m saved! Wait… what’s that sign say. “No shirts, no shoes no services.” lovely.  Because that’s what I need, resistance to try and fulfill the requirements of their store. When I want nothing more than to be able to it. As I walked in, desperate to get out of there as soon as possible, with some self-covering — I was met with the stare of another patron who looked at me as I violated her sanity somehow. Was it the paleness of my skin? Or just shock? Was I growing scales and didn’t know it? I didn’t know, didn’t care. I looked around briefly and didn’t see anything that would fit.  Joy.  I approached the cashier…  She looked up startled; I didn’t even give her a chance to say anything.

“I’m looking for a shirt… everything is way too big, Or way too small.” She just pointed to a wall

“Middle Rack.”

I just grabbed, didn’t care what was on it, I’d turn it inside out I had to.

I brought it up to the desk and said “yes please.”

She picked it up and without actually looking at me.


“It was stolen.”

“Someone stole your shirt?” actually looking at me now.

“Yup, some kid took it.”

“How did that happen?”

I stated very quickly. “They were the same color, they got mixed up, I knew something was wrong, but couldn’t figure out what it was, and he left with it.” She just stared at me for a couple of seconds, unmoving. Not sure if she was trying to figure out if she had heard me correctly, or wither or not the story was believable in the first place.

“Can I pay and go now? My daughter’s school bus is waiting for me”

She gave me a shocked look, “How old is she?”  She actually started scanning the shirt now



“Not helping.“ She stopped and stared at me again. I threw my money on the counter, and she just picked it up.

I have to admit, this chick staring me down like this was making me a bit agitated. Could you please, for the love of god, just take my money, so I can get out of here?

The rest of the exchange was done in silence; she cut the tag for me, without a question.

“Thank you.” I put it on in the store and walked out, as quickly as humanly possible.  By the time I had gotten back to the bus they had been waiting for me for almost 10 minutes. My daughter was in tears because the teachers teased her that they’d leave me behind. The teachers both gave me a bit of grief over it, but I couldn’t’ expect less. Heck, I wouldn’t do any less.

I just hope that somewhere out there some kid notices that he has one of my favorite shirts and decides to actually wear it with pride rather than throw it away. I don’t think I’ll ever see it again, but at least I got a good story out of it.


Definition Shatton /Shh `at – ton/ ref: 1)  in regards to sweets, candy or other things that will rot your mouth. 2) More than what is necessary, this is a imperial measurement which is equal to the metric version of SHITTON; not to be confused with a diabetic amount.