Muse for Monday

Mantra is not taking to this whole school situation very well. In fact, she has managed to find some of the troublemakers to showcase.

One of the first lines of defense when any troublemaker is caught is the tried and true:

It’s not my fault!”

This has many meanings:

  • I did not do it.
  • I only had a hand in it.
  • I just did not stop it.
  • I did it, but under duress.
  • If it weren’t for ________, I would never have done this.

In the end, it is, more often than not, a diversion from the truth of the matter. No one wants to take credit for the bad behavior.

Meet Reginald.

Reggie seems to have gotten caught in the switches. He is rather adept at shifting the blame, but cannot find a way around the forensics of this disaster area. It has his name written all over it, as it were.

Let’s see what is going on in the detention hall, shall we?


Stuck in the corner again.
Third day this week, but I know,
It is surely not my fault.

That mean rat fink snitched on me
To old Mrs. Flanigan.
It is surely not my fault.

Patty Ann’s pigtail must be
Better now that it’s all green.
It is surely not my fault.

The tack on Peppy’s desk chair
Looks just like the ones I have.
It is surely not my fault.

The balls in the gym are flat,
But they can’t prove I was there.
It is surely not my fault.

The fence is missing a slat
Near where I park my bike.
It is surely not my fault.

“Reginald, do you think we
Can’t see your name in spray paint?”
Oh, well. It is my fault.


Did you ever get caught with your hand in the cookie jar and blame it on someone else? Was your invisible friend the troublemaker? Was detention an effective punishment or inhibitor of bad behavior? Did you ever get caught tagging (graffiti to those of us old enough)?

(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. Lol.
    Angela Young recently posted..The Power of a SmileMy Profile

  2. This is a brilliant poem Red and it certainly had me chuckling away after the first few lines, yes I was a bit of a naughty, or should I say fun loving youngster and actually got caught several times doing this, that and the other too but we won’t go into the other, just the this and that will do for this instance I think? 😉 lol

    I remember when my friend and I were caught at the old graffiti, of course these days it is often classed as an art form however we did not come off so lucky after our garage door offerings, well I only had a telling off but my friend’s punishment was to have all of his hair shaved off and this was in the mid seveties when long hair was fashionable, I think his father was too unkind but it definitely stopped his artistic scrawls that is for sure 🙂 How do you mean what about mine? 🙂 Well I don’t recall scrawling anywhere else after that one either so I guess the lesson was learnt 🙂

    Hey I hope that you are
    getting some rest this evening 🙂

    Andro xxx

    • I just have a hard time reconciling graffiti and art to be honest. I realize it is the larger version of air brush, yet somehow, I have a hard time wrapping my brain around it. One thing I do tip my hat to, though, are the fonts created merely for tagging. Some of them are beautiful. Many of them are unreadable, though, in their intricacy and dependence on other letters.

      I have to love the punishment. There were quite a few boys I grew up with whose fathers chose that form of punishment. Good thing you learned without such drastic measures 😉

      Have a wonderful evening, Andro.

  3. HA! Caught Red ( 😉 ) handed, and STILL not man enough to stand up and take the credit… oh the wimpy, the weary, the weak…

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  4. It wasn’t my hand in that cookie jar! Even though it might have looked like it.
    Binky recently posted..Stomach Vs. BrainMy Profile

  5. I “borrowed” (meaning lifted) the Oxford Book of Quotations in High School, and was given so many chances to give it back without punishment. I sat on the detention bench and was only angry at myself because after a few days, it felt too late to be honest. My girlfriends and I also drew on parked cars with soap in the neighborhoods at Halloween time, figuring we could have our prank, but not make it too difficult for the car owners to wash it off.
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Poem – Drunk as Drunk on NerudaMy Profile

    • I have to say, I really do not think we should feel the necessity to keep up a lie. Chances are good it was the last thing you liberated. 😉

      All of our Halloween fun was far more geared to scaring the pants off people than simple property damage 😉

  6. PS Mantra’s poem is wonderful, because it is full of the fun and on the flip side, the bullying that is a hallmark of being young. I had both. I had my pigtails pulled more times than I can count, but I also challenged a girl to a fight that rode the bus with me. I’m so happy she didn’t show up!
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Poem – Drunk as Drunk on NerudaMy Profile

  7. Ah, the unsophisticated excuses of youth. You’ve captured that essence, Red. Love it.
    Tess Kann recently posted..Awards? On My!My Profile

  8. I think the worst I ever did was hang around with an older lad who was into shoplifting.

    I never stole anything, but by being with him instead of at home I still got a beating! 🙁

    Love and hugs!


  9. I am uncertain who I love more, you, Mantra or Reggie
    Valentine Logar recently posted..On My KneesMy Profile

  10. The crappy thing about dishonesty is carrying it with me years and years later. I can’t remember the good things, but I’m still kicking myself for taking my friend’s comic book.
    Barb recently posted..The Marvel of Your NoseMy Profile


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