Here’s the problem, friends.
The wrong people are feeling guilty.
The guilty people don’t feel guilty at all.
I feel guilty, and I have no reason to feel guilty.
And I’m not alone.
All my friends feel guilty, too.
In other words, the not-guilty people feel guilty, and the guilty people are yachting.
Of course, I’m talking about recent headlines, which revealed all manner of cheating scandals.
Let’s begin with the college admissions cheaters, in which rich people allegedly paid to have their kids take the SAT with fake proctors, who would correct the kids’ answers. One of the parents allegedly wrote in an email: “Ruh Ro! Looks like (my daughter’s school) wants to provide own proctor.”
The parent should feel guilty, but she doesn’t.
Another parent allegedly paid $200,000 for his daughter to get into USC on her rowing ability, but she had never rowed.
The parent should feel guilty.
He pleaded not guilty.
Meanwhile, I was actually a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s first women’s crew, and they would not let female students row out of the men’s boathouse. We rowed out of a boathouse so dilapidated that my roommate’s foot went through a rotted floor. We were made to feel guilty, as though my roommate’s foot broke the floor.
You know who didn’t feel guilty?
The administrators who denied us use of our university’s boathouse.
Not to mention the coach of the men’s crew.
I asked him if I could use the bathroom in the men’s boathouse, because the women’s boathouse had no bathroom.
He said no.
I felt guilty for even asking.
I should have peed on the floor.
Today, I would have.
Do not deny a middle-aged woman a toilet. She will water your foot.
By the way, you can see how long I hold a grudge.
Forty years and counting.
There’s a reason vendetta is an Italian word.
These days, the wrong feel people are still feeling guilty.
Let’s move on to Paul Manafort, who was just convicted of not paying more than $50 million he owed in taxes.
He cheated all of us.
Yet he doesn’t feel guilty at all.
In fact, after his first conviction, he didn’t even apologize.
How many convictions would it take you to apologize?
For me, it would take 0.0000000000191 convictions.
I apologize if someone looks at me funny.
I have already apologized three times today.
Not even to people.
I apologized to my dogs. I stepped one one’s paw, I didn’t realize another had to go out, and I forgot to add water to their water bowl.
The water bowl wasn’t empty, mind you.
The water wasn’t high enough, and they like it high.
I’m sorry all the time.
I’m even sorry that I apologize.
Yet Paul Manafort cannot apologize, even threatened with prison.
He was found guilty, yet he doesn’t feel guilty.
That’s some world-class denial right there.
And because he didn’t plead guilty to cheating on his taxes, he had to be tried at taxpayers’ expense.
So we paid for his tax cheating and we paid for the trial to convict him of what was completely obvious to everyone.
The man needs our guilt, doesn’t he?
I myself have never cheated on my taxes. I would never dream of cheating on my taxes. Not even for fifty dollars, much less fifty million.
You know why?
Because I would feel guilty. I have a reputation to uphold for telling the truth even when it hurts, like when I write about finding a gray hair on my chin and realizing I’m turning into an Amish man. Also for eating too many carbs, crushing on Bradley Cooper, and kissing my dogs on the lips.
And how about those rich guys who allegedly went to a strip mall to exploit impoverished women for sexual favors?
I’m being polite here.
The women weren’t doing them a favor.
And they’re not doing the women any favors.
Do they feel guilty for one minute?
They pleaded not guilty.
There should be a new category of plea.
Guilty as sin.
I believe they’re all guilty as sin for not feeling as guilty as they are.
I can’t explain how the guilt in the universe has been so badly distributed.
I’m not sure why guilt was delivered to so many guiltless people.
It’s like a whole truckload went to the wrong address.
My friends and I are bound together by our love, and our guilt.
We’re constantly guilty and constantly apologizing, yet we are angels on earth.
I suspect you’re an angel on earth, too, because that’s the kind of person who reads me.
The truth is, none of us needs to feel guilty anymore.
No more guilt for the guiltless.
That’s my plea.
I’m sorry, but it’s the truth.