Brian’s Secret Shame (Part of a Continuing Series)

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, not only am I a hypocrite, but I am a hypocrite!. Wait, I already bolded it. I need to bold it and italicise it (full on British italicisation, too, not that cheap American knock-off): I AM A HYPOCRITE! You should know how knees-on-cobblestones I am with this whole thing since I don’t use a WYSIWYG editor and actually have to type the tags for those embellishments, and <strong> and <em> even, not the sissy <b> and <i>.

You see, my very first op-ed was in favor of a tax increase.

Behold, the St. Louis-Post-Dispatch letters to the editor from sometime in January 1986:

Brian's secret shame, one of many

In my defense, I was 13 years old at the time (almost 14!), and Mrs. Weissflug made a pretty compelling case that if the taxes didn’t go up, Northwest R-1 and maybe even North Jefferson Middle School might have to let teachers go.

25 years later, I’ve seen a little more of the world and untold similar cases presented pretty regularly on the ballot.

But that does not diminish my sin. Wait, no, I’m not a hypocrite!; I am actually a hypocrite who is also a WAFFLER! FLIP-FLOPPER!.

You may discontinue taking me seriously if you haven’t already. And if you’re that way.

Also, please note that even in 1985, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s fact-checking and knowledge of St. Louis was lacking. Northwest R-1 covers part of Jefferson County, including Murphy, which used the Fenton post office (hence, my address at the time used Fenton as the town). However, Fenton itself is in St. Louis County and was unaffected by the levy. However, they titled my letter based on my address, not, you know, knowledge.