Quite some time ago, back in the early days of my youth, I performed a vile and felonious act for which I have never come to terms. To alleviate the horrible burden of guilt I have carried all these years, I am going to reveal my crime unto your eyes, and then you, the reader, will carry my secret with you to the grave – or try to blackmail me. In any case, let me begin my tale of woe, my clinical admission, and I shall move myself further into the bosom of catharsis and away from the bothersome contrition pursuing me from the malfeasance of my indiscretion.
I returned home from my schooling, as was typical in those years of my youth, with a headful of conceptual abstraction, lusty thoughts about the young women I had been exposed to, and an accelerated case of a troublesome affliction best termed as boredom. My parents were not present upon my arrival. Their efforts to obtain capital with which to fund the family business required their dedication and focus until the time for the evening repast came nigh. My brother, a popular athletic child, had remained at the school to engage in the repetitious discipline of one recreation or another, and so it was that I found myself alone with the television, and, alas, also my paren’ts liquor cabinet.
A locked cabinet presents no barrier to a creative lad with motivation and desire in their heart, and I had long since discovered the poorly conceived hiding place of the key, a silver chalice that lay atop the cabinet itself. Opening the golden filigreed glass cabinet, I pursued the libations and assessed the best way to construct a concoction that would produce the greatest effect without revealing my rash thievery. To this end, I determined that the easiest target was the crème de menthe, as it was 75% full, and by virtue of its unpalatable nature, surely to be one of the least used of the aperitifs in the collection. Mixed with a quantity of vodka and cheap Canadian whiskey, I was certain that it would provide me with the mind-numbing buzz I sought.
After mixing my palliative, I examined the selection of television fare and discovered, to my great delight, that “Mad Max – The Road Warrior” was currently in progress. This epic post-apocalyptic tale never failed to engage my imagination, and its influential scenery and riveting dialog held me enrapt with thoughts of sawed-off shotguns, maidens dressed in plastic armor, and homemade vehicles cruising about the wastelands of Australia – or wherever it was the creators had determined to use as a set. Unfortunately, there was one thing missing to complete my after-school enjoyment of this monumental screen play for the fourth time, and that was popcorn. No movie is complete without a large quantity of greasy carbohydrates to consume during the action.
After some minor culinary artistry, I returned to the living room clutching a large bowl of over-buttered popcorn, and took a seat in a gigantic bean-bag, fully anticipating my enjoyment of the movie. Guzzling my beverage with one hand, and devouring the greasy carbohydrates with the other, I let my conscious mind sink into oblivion, absorbing myself in the classic tale of glory and despair. As time went by, a familiar mild euphoria came upon me. I completed my repast, and it was then, during the speech by the Great Humungous, “LORD of the wasteland, the Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rolla,” that I sensed a great disturbance in the force. A rumbling came from deep within me, an unmistakable message from my internal organs that the abuse I had lay upon them was both unappreciated, and pernicious in its toxic extremes. Truly I had exceeded my test capacity at this time, and the price to be paid would be paid in full for the malignant, mischievous, and deplorable act I had wrought upon myself.
Vomiting violently, I aimed for the bowl and missed, dousing my mother’s carpet with great blobs of partially digested neon green popcorn. As the nausea passed, some portion of my mind came to an awareness of a future in which this mess was discovered, and the reasons for its existence identified by proxy of its composition and placement before the television. It was then that I came into a panic that overrode my need to enjoy the classical work of fiction I had been engaged in, and forced me to strike forth with great zeal in an effort to eradicate the evidence of my misdeeds.
Despite my great nausea, and the swirling vestibular dissonance staggering my motions, I obtained the necessary reagents and proceeded to extract the fruits of my gastrointestinal system from the shaggy fibers of the beige carpet. Unfortunately, crème de menthe is a deeply difficult substance to extract, tainting anything subjected to it with a tarnished emerald tinge that resists all efforts to expunge no matter how determined the dilution or scouring the abrasive action.
So it was that when my mother returned home, a patch of greenish carpet was clearly visible upon the floor before the family television, and it was at this point that I was forced to engage in the base dissemination of a contrived fantasy in order to protect myself from her retribution. When questioned about the stain, I explained that I had spilled a common soft drink upon the floor, and that the results of the stain were due to my attempts to remove it. When asked why it was green, I further compounded my lie by claiming that in my ignorance, I had used Comet to clean the mess, for there was no other excuse I could imagine that would create such an emerald affect upon the fibers of her carpet.
In the passing decades, the lie would haunt me. For in it were the seeds of stupidity – and the presentation of this mistruth gave to my mother the concept that perhaps I was mentally deficient in the determination of the proper chemicals to obtain the best results when cleaning carpet. Many were the times when she would remind me that I was not to use Comet upon fabrics, and I would hang my head in shame, knowing full-well that the blame for her dim perception of my mentality lay squarely upon myself.
And so I leave it to you to know, good readers, that I am not, in fact, that inept. I am well aware of the staining effects of Comet. I am also aware of its similarity to the glistening verdant glow of crème de menthe vomit. Therefore, I beg you, do not judge me harshly for my crimes. I seek only absolution for my misdeeds, and hope that in the coming years, I shall be able to purchase for my parents a significant amount of crème de menthe to atone, at least in some small way, for the vile wages of my misspent youth.