Don’t blame me; it’s your fault

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 13, 2009

Don’t blame me if you don’t like this column. The folks at the newspaper have given me too much to do.

Yeah, that’s right. They must think I am Superman to do everything they ask.

Besides, my alarm clock didn’t go off this morning and my cat has been sick this week. No, make that this month.

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And if that wasn’t enough my wife has been asking me to do things like the laundry, the dishes and, God forbid, picking up after myself. Never mind the fact that we have a baby on the way.

How in the world would you expect an average guy like me to have enough time to even think about stringing together some profound words for this space.

To top it all off, neither the aldermen nor the supervisors has been kind enough to throw me some tidbit of controversy about which to write.

So if you don’t like this column, don’t blame me. It is everyone else’s fault.

And if you do like this piece, I can’t be blamed for that either. Blame it on Anne Moeller of Clio, Mich. She started it.

Moeller must have recognized a deficit in our culture back in the early ‘80s when she started naming the first Friday the 13th of each year as “Blame Somebody Else Day.”

Back then, politicians must have been willing to point fingers at themselves before looking for others to blame for the world’s problems.

Children must have stopped using their dogs as an excuse for missing homework. They must have thought, “This excuse is getting kind of old,” and must have suddenly started telling the truth to their teachers.

Husbands must have realized the futility of fabricating falsehoods and owned up to the real reasons they forgot an anniversary or came home late.

The early 80s must have been such an idyllic world for Moeller that she thought to herself, “This has got to stop. We can’t have a world where everybody owns up to his or her mistakes. What will we do if this catches on?”

So she devised “Blame Somebody Else Day.”

Like most good holidays, it stuck.

And wouldn’t you know it, like Christmas and Easter, people loved “Blame Somebody Else Day” so much that they started celebrating almost year round.

Open a newspaper or switch on the televisions these days. It seems as if everyone is in the celebratory mood. The Democrats blame the Republicans; the city blames the county, and vice versa.

Read the Internet. Everybody has an excuse for practically every one of the world’s problems, from taxes and government to obesity and racism.

And why not? We all have the right to shout at each other, don’t we?

That first “Blame Somebody Else Day” must have seemed lonely for Moeller as she was making excuses for her tardiness at work. She must be proud that it has turned into a national pastime.

So have a great holiday and place the blame where it really belongs this Friday the 13th.

But remember, if you forget the candy and flowers tomorrow on Valentine’s Day, you have nobody to blame but yourself. The day of celebration will be over.

Ben Hillyer is the Web editor of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3540 or