The first time I remember being a victim of a tattler was in first grade. I was hanging out with a couple of kids who grew up to be drug addicted Goths. They were picking on some kindergarteners. One of them ran off and told the black kindergarten teacher. It’s a big deal to mention that she was black. Our school didn’t have any black students, but we had one teacher, Ms. Quotafiller. My future burnout companions got news that we were being tattled on. Being malnourished thus more swift-footed, they bailed and I was trapped on a piece of playground equipment that could only be described as the bone structure of a penis. Yeah, that probably doesn’t help much for you to get the image. Just pretend this happened on the monkey bars. The black teacher came over and yelled at me not to pick on her students. I was the fat first grader who was too slow to back off of the equipment. For her to think I was dumb enough to pick on anyone is blasphemy.
Being tattled on continued. I never did anything too bad which means it was rare. A girl told on me for saying “this sucks” in second grade. The teacher didn’t believe her. I was a good boy. I would never cuss and say that going to the library “sucks.” The moment where tattling was no longer acceptable came 3 years later. Columbine had just happened and us fifth graders began to develop our sick senses of humor. I had heard the words hit list put together all over the news. Me and everyone I knew thought (and still think) that’s a silly term. I sat next to a friend and said “You’re on my hit list.” I paused and lightly punched him in the shoulder. “Now you’re off it.” We giggled then the room went silently. The teacher demanded to know who just said the gentle ribbing with a friend. Everyone knew it was me. Whether it be fear, loyalty, or laziness, nobody confessed that it was I. She gave a brief speech about how inappropriate that was then apparently made a sex tape with a follow fifth grade teacher with the same last name. Is it tattling if I mention that someone claims to have seen a tape of them having sex? I didn’t give out their names, so no, it’s not tattling. It’s finding a way to end a paragraph.
Once you become a teenager, that’s when tattling becomes a sin. Really, it should be once you feel like a goose saying tattle tail. Problem is, people still tattle on others. A woman who gets a paycheck from the same place I do once went up to her supervisor and said talking about someone else “He’s slacking off. He’s going on the Internet and not making phone calls.” This woman was on the same level as the person she was telling on. She had nothing to gain from tattling. I’ve hated her ever since. She cannot be trusted. She also says words that begin with “tr” wrong. The day she was telling people about the trade show near the train station and how much of a travesty it was hurt my ears.
To do believe tattling is fine if someone is in danger. That’s not tattling. That’s protecting. My definition of tattling is getting someone in trouble when you have nothing to gain. Sure. If tattling on someone can get you extra money or a girl I can understand it. That doesn’t mean it’s right. I had a boss who would try to get other people to get us to tattle on each other. I hated that guy. The man he tricked into tattling on me felt so bad that he took me into a small closet and apologized. Straight men never get into a small closet together unless some serious business is being conducted. I could tell he was sincere. That’s probably an even worse crime. Trying to turn people against each other with no incentive. I love crossing bad guys. I told him one time that I would be his lookout and since I didn’t care, I warned everyone else about my allegiance. Doing things like this makes me feel like a secret agent. I’d start off as a good guy, become a bad guy, then at the very end sacrifice myself to save the good guys. Maybe I shouldn’t do this anymore. Everyone who does ends up diving in front of a knife and dying in a man’s arms. There are a lot of places I wouldn’t mind dying in. A man’s arms is not one of them.
My suggestion for tattling is not to do it. Unless a psychologically or physically damaging crime is being committed, keep your mouth shut. Nobody likes a nosey person. Even worse is a nosey person who gets you in trouble. We all make mistakes. The good thing is most tattle tails eventually get their comeuppance. They end up alone with nobody to tattle on anymore. Don’t let this become you. Tattling is informing everyone of your opinion loudly and obnoxiously. You’re saying something is wrong and it shouldn’t be that way. Shut up. I hope someday you tattle on the wrong person then end up dead. Remember, snitches get stitches.