Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

Busted Stories

You should never ask someone to tell a personal story that you wouldn’t be willing to tell yourself. So, with Fray’s current call for “Busted” stories in mind, here are some of the many times I’ve been busted:

  • That time mom caught me with shoplifted candy and made me go back to Vons and apologize.
  • That time I shoplifted 35mm film from K-Mart. My childhood rationalization: Buy one roll, steal two. It worked great until I walked out the sliding glass doors and there was a security guard waiting for me. Busted, right in front of my mom. They let me go, but told me I could never step foot in a K-Mart again. And I didn’t. For years.
  • That time as a kid when I, so desperate to fit in, pretended I knew what the hell the guys were talking about when discussing football (I’d never watched a game). One of the guys knew I was faking it, and said something about a team that didn’t exist. “Yeah, I love that team,” I said. Busted. In front of everyone. I never faked an interest in sports again. Now, when it comes to sports, I’m proud to not give a shit.
  • The one time, in my entire life, that I cheated on my girlfriend. I felt so bad, I busted myself and told her all about it. She dumped me like a hot rock. I deserved it. It took me years to get over. I never cheated again. (I was cheated on, but that’s a different theme.)

Looking back, I realize that all the times I’ve been busted have led me to where I am today. Each time, I got caught being someone I wasn’t – a thief, a jock, a liar, a cheat. And each time, the embarrassment led me to be a better person. In a way, the times we’ve gotten busted are the defining moments that lead us to who we are.

So. When have you gotten busted?


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Hi, I’m Derek. I make awesome community-centric web stuff. I sometimes post things to Flickr and Twitter. I’m mostly harmless. More.





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