I Spelled “I-C-U-P” and Suffered the Consequences


I was tricked. Fooled, grifted, bamboozled, any and all of the above. I considered myself pretty clever, enough to not fall for any petty tricks. They played upon my insecurities. Of course I know how to spell things, to imply that I can’t spell a simple, four-letter word is an insult to my intellect. Little did I know, I was playing right into their hands. They knew I could spell it, and they used it against me. All along, they just wanted me to admit to one of them that “I see you pee.”

Children. That’s what they are, both figuratively and literally. It’s all a game to them. They don’t know the repercussions of their actions. They just think they can play a “joke” on a random guy in an Arby’s and everything will be hunky dory.  I couldn’t face my family after this, they would never accept a fool as a son or husband. My fiancé was at the scene of the crime. She saw me at my weakest and wasn’t prepared to catch me as I fell. As word spread, I even lost my job at the accounting firm. All my coworkers were too afraid to go to the bathroom, for fear that my gaze would catch them in the act. My friends couldn’t even look me in the eyes anymore. I lost everything. All to a stupid children’s joke. Why me?

Under normal circumstances, that phrase should condemn the subject, never the speaker. Why is the witness at fault, and not the exhibitionist scum on display? I had to witness the funny colors, not you. It’s trauma, not crime. I’m not a bad person. I’ve lived a virtuous and kind life; I’m not one to seek out voyeuristic activity. Why should my utterance of this forever place me into some sort of database, akin to a sex offender? I’m forever attached to my perceived crimes; no one will ever forget.

Paint me as a villain if you want, just know I never wanted to do this. It was thrust upon me by those who knew better. If I could go back and stop myself, I would by any means possible, even fatal methods. The agony of one word has lasted me an entire lifetime already, and I’m ready to shed this coil. You look down upon me, for you think you are safe. You know what I did and you think you can live your life and avoid this tragedy. Well let me tell you, you’re never safe. And, if I may ask, what are the first letters of each paragraph? 


Article by Sam O’Brien

Art by Cornelius

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