A Grapevine Grievance (or Revealing the Goose in the Gossip)

I have a confession to make.  Long has the world suffered because of my mischievousness.  Innocents have been accused, wars started, marriages have fallen apart, treaties broken, elevator buttons have been pushed out of order and even bunnies have been run over because of me.  I have been responsible for bar room fights, missed appointments and the most recent recession.  Yes, if it weren’t for my carefree ways peace would reign, steaks would be consumed without guilt and gasoline would be twenty-five cents a gallon.  I’m ready for whatever consequences you choose to impose upon me.  I, dear reader, am the source of all rumors.

I’m the one that said that daddy long leg spiders are the most poisonous of all their kind, and that we are all spared from agonizing death by the fact that their mouths are too small to bite us.  I told someone years ago that if you go swimming right after you eat you’ll cramp up and drown.  I blamed a classmate, Majesta Finger, for putting marbles and peanut butter in the tubas before State competition.  I did it all.  Why?  Well, somebody had to do it or the entire world would spend eternity in boredom.  Imagine the fun that would be lost if there was no rumor that the manned space missions to the moon were really done outside of Albuquerque.  Imagine how dreary this world would be if we didn’t wonder if Elvis really was still alive and working as a milkshake operator at the Five Points Burger King in Kalamazoo.  Blame me or thank me – it’s up to you.

Oh, sure, there are multiple scientific studies that claim gossip is as old as time itself.  Cain told Adam that he heard that Eve was the one who bashed Abel over the head with a rock.  I’m not claiming that I invented rumors, although there are a few folks in Martha’s Vineyard who are convinced I’m immortal.  No, rumors have been around far longer than my lifetime.  I’m just saying I’m the one responsible for the ones floating around the world now.  Like I said, someone’s got to do it.  Better me than some schmuck in Bangkok who doesn’t know the fine art of innuendo.  Believe me, as messed up as I’ve made the world, it could have been a whole lot worse.

I’m the White House source that chooses to remain anonymous.  I was the White Horse Souse called Deep Throat from the Watergate debacle, too, for that matter.  I started the hearsay about J. Edgar Hoover wearing women’s clothing – well, that one was true, actually.  I’ve got photos to prove it, but it’ll cost you to see them.  Any rumor disseminated after 1960 is mine.  I’ve actually got Master’s Degrees in Misinformation and Disinformation.  This makes me the absolute best candidate for the job.

The key ingredient in successful rumormongering isn’t coming up with believable hogwash – any bullshit artist can make a lie sound like the truth.  If you don’t believe me, watch C-Span for awhile.  The thing that makes for good scuttlebutt is in knowing who to tell.  We all know someone in the workplace who’s better than the internet with spreading information.  I call them ‘butter knives’ and have a comprehensive list of the top one hundred rumor spreaders around the world.  Remember Baghdad Bob from the first Gulf War?  He was on my list until that time he said on camera that there were no U.S. tanks in Baghdad while they could be seen wandering around behind him.  I had to let him go.  I learned my lesson about getting propaganda sources from the government.  They just can’t be trusted.  My list is a fluid one, because at any given time about a third of my butter knives try to embellish or alter the rumors they get from me.  I can’t abide a dull butter knife.

Why am I stepping up to the plate now and admitting my responsibility to rumors?  Simply put, I’m tired of riding the whole gossip rodeo by myself.  I’m not getting paid a dime for all the work I do.  Yeah, it’s fun, it’s rewarding, but it doesn’t pay the bills.   You have no idea how much time it takes to make sure a good rumor gets cultivated, how many ears I have to bend or how far I have to go to make them believable.  I’ve been trying to convince the Department of Labor to create an occupational job title for me so I can qualify for small business loans to help expand my rumor mill, maybe hire a management team that can brainstorm and take some of the burden off me, but they keep telling me the job already exists.  I don’t think the job description for a Public Relations Specialist comes anywhere close to what I do.  Actually, I could probably qualify as a Gas Compressor and Gas Pumping Station Operator (SOC #51-8092), or – God forbid – a Lawyer (SOC #51-4192), but then I’d have to compromise my personal values.  No, I think it’s time to step down and let someone else run the party line.  Or better yet, let anarchy reign.  Start your own rumors.  I hear you can do a better job of it, anyway.

About jaytharding
Christian Mystic-in-training, burgeoning Apologist, Writer, Poet, Philosopher, all-purpose curmudgeon Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 11 Corinthians 5:17

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