No one has ever entrusted me with a super cool, juicy secret before. And I don’t think that’s fair. I’m very trustworthy. I would never spill (unless your dish is good enough to make it into my tell-all, forthcoming in 2084, when my star finally begins to fade). Maybe my friends are too boring to throw any interesting hush-hush my way? Maybe their dirt is lame? But what if it isn’t? What if they’re in…witness protection! How dare they keep that from me. While I figure out which of my people are on the run, here are some secrets I’d be really good at keeping, like, totally to myself:
• You Ran Over Your Neighbor’s Dog But They Own Your Favorite Pizza Place: It’s a cold December night. You’re on the way back from getting free pizza at your neighbor’s restaurant because they love you and think you’re funny and know you can’t get enough of that cheesy substitute for human connection. You’ve got some tunes blasting–probably that new Bublé record because it’s the holidays and you’re no monster. You’re feeling great. You reach for a slice, eyes off the road just for a second. There’s a loud thump as your banged up Chevy collides with what a fleeting final glance tells you might be a rabbit. You get out of the car and scream because that tire fodder was no rabbit–it was Buck Jr., the pizza-neighbor’s Shih Tzu! Buck’s pasted to your right head light and you’re panicked. You call the only person you know who can help: ME. I answer on the second ring, rush over (also blasting that Bublé goodness), and we clean up the scene like two buddies who can never speak of this night again for fear little Buck Jr. may rise from his shallow, curbside grave and haunt us forever. Also you still want to get free pizza. Merry Secret Christmas!
• You’ve Been Taking Five Dollars From The Office Charitable Deductions Account Every Day For A Year & The Guilt Is Eating You Alive: Office lunch costs five dollars and you can never remember to bring that extra Lincoln. But you run the accounting department and it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to nab a crisp fiver out of the charity jar because it’s not like your company is really donating that money for good reasons. It’s all about taxes! And you really don’t want to eat out of the vending machine again. The first time it happens you say a nervous “never again.” But now you’ve got three hundred and sixty five scratch marks behind an Orange is the New Black poster on your cubicle wall. You can’t sleep at night. You develop a tick. One day it all feels like too much. You invite me over to catch up. But we don’t have time to catch up because the first thing you do is pour your shame out like last weeks wine: slow, sour, and then all at once. I comfort you like a champ. Those orphans don’t need that five bucks, they’ve probably got iPads. And really, it’s all about taxes. Trump’s gonna be President! You feel better and I feel full knowing you’ve entrusted me with your embezzling guilt.
• Your Evil Twin Is The One Doing All This Bad Stuff, Not You: There’s been a recent string of fires. Eyewitness pictures put you at the scene of at least three, but the police think you’re behind it all. You know it wasn’t you. You’d never hurt a fly, much less raze that sweet Mom & Pop creamery in candied-topping flames. This is where I come in, the friend who’s seen every CSI since 2002. I realize about three seconds into your plea that duh this is just you getting pyro-happy, but not exactly, because it’s sleepwalking you! And as great a CSI episode as that would be, you’d still be guilty. So instead I come up with something foolproof: you have an evil twin. We use my Photoshop skills and some YouTube tutorials to create a birth certificate and leak it to the police. We blackmail your parents into corroborating the story about a baby so evil they had to give it up to some monks in Tibet for fear it would burn down the world. They’d been watching the Tibetan papers and had seen a monastery burned to the ground a month ago. They knew it was that evil twin of yours, but were too scared to tell anyone. The police get anxious when they can’t locate this big bad identical, so after some discussion, we decide the only way to close shop on this whole thing is to tell the authorities that your parents helped this twin of yours into hiding. They’re arrested. It’s sad, but necessary. The case closes. Weeks later, the town wakes to a charred farmer’s market. We giggle together at the news, knowing we hold all the secrets.
• You Had To Get Plastic Surgery To Hide From A Crazy Ex But Hate Your New Face And Have No One To Tell: This is a good one. Your ex is a total psycho. They won’t stop calling. They show up at your door every night. They promise they can change. But you can’t take it anymore. So you pay thousands of dollars and get a new face, a new name, a new life. You hop in your mini cooper and head across the country, cheek implants swaying in the transcontinental wind. We work together at a gluten free bakery. Neither of us understands the concept of a gluten free bakery, but hey, it pays well. One day we’re talking about being young and beautiful. You start crying into the rice muffins we’re making and run to the bathroom. I follow to find you staring into the coconut flour marred mirror, tears streaming down your fake ass face. You let it all out. At the time it seemed like the only option to get away from that clingy loser, but you miss your old face. This one isn’t bad exactly, but you wish you had had someone to advise against that little up-turned nose. Or the “cute” dent in your chin. And your eyes! Why hadn’t anyone said anything when you asked for “kind” eyes! I take this all in like an old pro. I compliment your choices in earnest, even though the bit about the nose is true and your complexion doesn’t quite match head-to-toe. I promise never to tell anyone. We go back to mushing rice into flour like nothing has changed. But I know I will write a movie about you one day and it will be called Two Faced and it will make me a lot of money. But that’s years away and you may have a new face by then, so technically I will still have kept your secret!
• We Go On A Date & You Tell Me You’re A Serial Killer But Not To Worry Because My Incredible Personality Has Changed Your Mind On The Whole Chop Me Up Thing: At first I am very flattered. No one has ever told me that before. I blush and say your secret’s safe with me. But then when you turn around to show me a lamp made from your last date’s epidermis, I whack you over the head with a candelabra and call it a night. The next morning my name is all over the front page of The Times. You’re in jail. And I’m a hero. Go me!
So tell me your secrets. Because so far I can’t confirm that anyone I know is in witness protection. But if you are, you can totally tell me. Send me a letter, an email, a blood-inked postcard! In any case, your secret’s safe with me.