This morning at Starbucks, I met with a former student. Her real name is Chedrah Stalawog but I will call her "Anna Jones" to protect her anonymity. This is what she told me:
"About a year after I was in your AP Lit class, I married a guy from Dubuque after knowing him for just a few months, so that was dumb, and once I got pregnant he turned out to be a royal asshole, acting like my pregnancy was a burden on him, like it was all my fault, like he was the one lugging around a small unborn human body and puking several times a day and growing a belly like Chris Christie's after a pizza binge.
"Didn't take long for me to have enough of that shit, so I bolted, moved back in with my mom till the baby came -- I named her Pardubice, but will refer to her hereafter as 'Patrice' to protect her anonymity -- then found a job making sweaters out of Golden Retriever fur for minimum wage.
"Don't laugh, Doc! That's all I could find! Believe me, it's not fun scraping wads of dog fur out of vacuum bags first thing every morning. Anyway, I finally saved up enough to get a cheap apartment in a neighborhood rife with drug wars, but, I don't know, it just wasn't comfortable, so I started searching online for job openings and I found one that would pay me a decent salary even as I went through training.
"They hire women only and pay us handsomely -- oh, by the way, Doc, you can't tell anyone this and you sure as hell can't write about it in Starknotes -- to seek out famous men, preferably celebrities, politicians and Supreme Court nominees, then get a working knowledge of their respective profiles and medical records, esp. testosterone levels, then accuse them of sexual misconduct.
|"She works with us, and only moonlights in cinematic erotica."|
"If you're wondering about Kevin Spacey and James Levine, their accusers go to the school across town, just for boys. Different kind of training. Plus, because they're men, they get paid a helluva lot more than we do.
"I'll tell you a little about the application process and the training, then I'll let you go.
"I sense you are disappointed in my career choice. #FakeMeToo anticipated that, so we have to sign a waiver in which we accept the possibility that we will be scorned by family and friends, receive death threats, be verbally abused for the rest of our days, be cruelly interrogated by aging male Republican senators, found repulsive by the pious and respectable, asked embarrassing and humiliating questions by news media to which we must give even more embarrassing answers (memorized in training, of course), crucified daily on FoxNews, and endlessly accused of making it all up.
"We're trained never to accuse just a regular Joe -- like you, for example -- because this is purely a money-making proposition for us, and, for the Democrats who are paying us, some potential political gain in the midterm elections.
"I hope you don't look down on me now. There's really no reason to. Nothing sexual happens, and even though all our victims are innocent, decent, upright, punctilious (you taught me that word, remember?), uxorious (that one, too), church-going, faithful men, rich in family values, our pseudo-Siren tactics -- if we succeed -- liberate them from the spotlight with its many temptations and return them to their homes accompanied by the priceless gift of humility.
"And they'll stay there until they personally feel they've paid their debt to their victims!
As I sat stunned, taking it all in, not sure if this was good news or bad, I heard her ask the barista, "Excuse me, Miss, could you get Roy more?"