It's the last week of the Month of Bad Decisions, and I have for you today a new story by Heather Mann!
Heather Mann, originally from Waterloo, Ontario, is an award-winning graduate student in psychology, who has been known to perform brain scans of people. Thanks Heather for submitting a story!
Another reminder, if you want to submit something for the site check out the guidelines and email it to me. Please enjoy today's bad decision!
Went by Something New
by Heather Mann
I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.
I was feeling a little ragged after floating for hours in hypothermic water, having my throat punched in by a theatre crewman, and getting well-acquainted with the cement floor of a prison cell, so I thought I might spare my body this time. I decided to change my name.
I spent some time brainstorming all variety of terrible name choices. I thought about “George Bush”, but I figured some folks might view it as hip irony. Next, I considered names like “Jackass”, but again, that seemed like it could almost be cool. In the land of bad decisions, I didn’t want to live in the suburbs; I wanted to be right downtown. I decided to go with “Pervy Creep”.
Who knew that changing one’s name entails a jungle gym of bureaucracy? The legal forms took hours to fill out, and the government kept sending them back, thinking I’d misspelled or something. Then try convincing the ID issuers you’re for real. Even my colleagues didn’t really buy it; a few made cracks about how Pervy suited me, but they soon reverted to calling me by my former title. And it’s harder than you might think to train yourself to just ignore the name you grew up with. I think there’s psychological research on that.
So, I felt like in my journey to get to the land of bad decisions, I was just waiting around at the bus stop. It was time to get going, to go for broke. I walked into the first tattoo parlour I saw, and gave the dude my order: “I answer only to ‘Pervy Creep’,” in easy-to-read black font, across my forehead.
Amid the sheer agony of the tattoo needle, I imagined my future grandchildren, gazing up at me with cherubic faces, and begging, “Grandma Creep, tell us about another bad decision!”