Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cheat Shots

I've cheated. Admission. Yep. C-H-E-A-T-E-R.

Those odd numbers in the back of the math book back in high school? I totally stole the answers and then acted like I did the work by erasing and scratching up my notebook--you know. The even numbers were just luck or fail. CHEATED.
Yeah, I totally understand that now. It's so clear.

State history class? Knowing where the counties are on the state map and putting them in the right place? I know I looked at some girl doing a superb job of coloring in each county and labeling them in big letters. Ohhhhhh, I couldn't resist a look at her fine Attala! CHEATED.

And did I assist others in cheating? Yep.
One kid got me to write his weekly current event reports for a fee. He got more demanding on the timeliness of the work so I would just produce 3 pages of unadulterated fantasy. Knowing that the teacher would never ask us to read them and only counted pages, I figured I was safe. Until that one day she actually asked him to read his report. And he diligently read about Big Bird being named Secretary of the Interior. I don't remember if later there was a country @ss-whooping or not. Let's just say there was and I won.

I didn't cheat in seminary. Under certain circumstances, I may have had temptations to but during the '90's, when you got to seminary, you got an envelope with your first exam. In the envelope was a card that said, "Congratulations! You are a priest! Now shut up and just go with the flow for the next 5 years." Amazing, how little I knew going into theology and yet aced Spiritual Autobiography I and II and Catholic Anthropology.
I still don't know what those things are.

I cheated. For this.
A foreign seminary student did steal my term paper and presented it as his own. Somehow, with the logic only known to frequent viewings of "Back to the Future", I was accused of writing my paper a year before from a paper the foreign student wrote in that year anticipating the next year's assignment. However, he pulled the ol' "make it look like I did the work" and left out a paragraph but cited the footnote. I had the paragraph in my paper. He did not.
I was vindicated. And what became of  the student? We call him "Father" today.

Remember, the envelope.

I cheat today too. In the middle of a video game if I'm frustrated, I'm all about IGN. Or I'll go Godmode and if they offer, of course, there are cheat codes. They almost beg you to use them.

Another cheat? I was tempted to not tell the cable service that I am not a PREMIUM HD subscriber so I could continue to watch free HBO and SHOWTIME but I decided to 'fess up. They immediately killed it off. But, mea culpa, not until I recorded a few episodes of "Eastbound and Down".*

Why is cheating, the good ol' fashioned 7th commandment cheating (there are other kinds too..wink, wink, chikka-chikka-bam), so bad?
Well as a recovering cheater, I can tell you:
1. It fosters laziness which is another name for one of the Seven Deadlies. It makes my mind and ambition sluggish. It makes me complacent. I don't want to achieve. I just want to make it through. That's bad.
2. It frustrates the natural law. Seriously. If I am waiting on someone else to do my work, or vice versa, then it makes one person responsible-unnaturally so-for my work. And doing someone else's work makes that person frustrated. They end up writing papers about Muppets taking Federal positions because they freakin' DESPISE YOU. Which creates a void in charity. Natural law disrupted.
3. Scripture tells us that cheaters should starve. 2 Thessalonians 3:10, look it up. We do starve when we cheat or don't carry our load (haha, load). We deny ourselves when we cheat. My checkbook is constantly in shambles because I didn't do the work in 8th grade. That's why I don't have nice things. If only I learned how to solve for "y", I could have a silk pocket swatch. Just 'cause.
4. Cheating is addictive. It works like gambling. You get away with it and then you keep doing it until you get caught then try it again. Like all addictions, the addiction doesn't know any satisfaction until you are dead.

And you can't cheat death.
Death likes chess. Therefore, Death is pretentious.

Have a good exam week!

*I actually was subscribing to HBO so not a total theft.