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The painful post-confessional symptoms

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I wasn't listening very closely to the radio, so I thought at first that I heard the announcer talk about "post-confessional symptoms." I listened more attentively. Hmmm. Post-confessional symptoms. Now, what could that be?

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My first conclusion was that another politician/football player/international figure/high school teacher/television personality had been exposed in another splash of antisocial behavior, behavior usually involving the opposite sex. Or booze. Or racial bigotry. Or something self destructive.

We do, you will admit, seem to be living in such an age. So, imagine my slight disappointment when, upon further listening, it turned out that what the announcer really said was "post-concussion symptoms," and they were talking about a football player, and whether the knock in the head he had gotten from some game had healed up enough for him to play.

I liked my version better.

However, if you're a high school or even more frightening, an elementary school athlete, and your bell is rung enough that a concussion is obvious, then you have my sympathy. That is truly unfortunate. I played high school football. At that age, you are still convinced that your elders know more about stuff than you do, and when a coach tells you that you need to hit someone harder, well, what do you think the result is? My football coach told us that the harder you hit someone, the less likely it is that you will be injured. Most of us were injured.

Hence, I'm sympathetic to this point. Contact sports in developmental years generally give us the situations involving professional sports that we have today. It's not surprising that we get the pampered, self-delusional athletes that come with those sports. It would be nice if we could blame their aberrant behavior on too many blows to the head. It is hard to come up with much sympathy for someone who is making millions of dollars a year, and gets hurt doing it. Most of us would live quite nicely for quite some time with a million bucks in the bank.

It's more fun to picture these people as suffering from the "post-confessional symptoms" that they exhibit, the "they" being egomaniacs who, for example, send naked pictures of themselves around on the internet, or on their smart phones.

Now, there's a contrast in meanings: "Smart phones." Without a doubt, the IQ of a smart phone is definitely higher up the bell curve than some of the operators.

There have been a few "post-confessional" moments in my life, like, for example, the time I came home from a band job, having been cornered in a smothering kiss from the drummer's girlfriend.

Here's the dilemma: If I told my wife, it means that this might be construed to be a meaningful event, the meaningfulness of it directly proportional to the fact that I had to tell about it. Obviously, the female cognitive process leads to the obvious logic that something worth telling about is important, and meaningful.

So guy logic says don't tell about it.

The side of my brain that says do tell about it, says so because it's really such a meaningless event, dear, that it could, for instance, be mentioned merely in passing.

Such a confession could be worked in at the breakfast table, right after the statement: "It looks like it's going to rain, doesn't it, and the drummer's girlfriend pecked me on the lips last night after the gig."

Pretty smooth, you have to admit.

The logic that won out is classic guy logic: It's not even important enough to mention, so I didn't.

SHE FOUND OUT! It took about three days. I still don't know how she found out. It's like women have some kind of telepathy about stuff like this. They must have some kind of submerged grape vine powered by progesterone and estrogen and stuff. Oh, boy, and when she found out, it was bad.

So, you see, I know a little bit about post-confessional symptoms, and there are several.

First, there's denial. The legitimacy of the denial, believes the one doing the denying, is proportional to the length of the denial. I didn't do it I couldn't have done it I wouldn't have done it I wasn't there to do it I was in the kitchen when it happened I wasn't even on that boat with those naked women That wasn't me in the airport bathroom -- someone Photoshopped me naked with those girls I did everything I could when I told my superiors That woman's claim that that is my baby is absurd, and finally, I have no recollection of anything like that.

And so forth.

Then comes the apology. A good apology involves tears, and television, and religious leaders next to you.

Last, there's the post- post-confessional period.

It's very cold out. Chilly. For a long time.

Until the next guy screws up, at least.

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