Yes, I drowned a bag of kittens in the town lake. But at least I’m apologizing by not apologizing for it.

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I would like to address the whispers around town from Tim at the coffee shop, Dan at the gas station, Susan at the local middle school, and apparently another lady who was too much of a pussy to speak up for reasons I can’t begin to imagine but must not have anything to do with my track record of drowning kittens.

Look, I’ll just come out and say it — it’s all true. Over the years I have taken adorable, fluffy, and innocent kittens that never asked to be stuffed in a garbage bag full of holes that was tied to a cement block then flung into the lake. But there you have it. I think we can all agree that I deserve to be lauded right now for admitting what everyone already knew was true and not at all punished for what I actually did. Which, again, was drowning a garbage bag full of kittens in the town lake. I mean, those kittens are dead. They’re not coming back. They better not come back.

You should identify with my struggles because I am basically admitting that I drown kittens on a regular basis but know what’s different? I am actually admitting it now. That’s different from before. I deserve your praise. Praise me. And just to be clear, I have never put kittens in a garbage bag in a lake without asking them first. “Kittens you wanna go in a garbage bag in the lake?!” “Mew mew mew mew!” Sounds like consensual drowning to me, guys.

But what I learned, too late, like last week when all the kitten drowners in every town were getting dragged into the town square for events like This Isn’t a Witch Hunt This is a You’re an Actually Guilty Piece of Shit Hunt is that you need to come up with an excuse and fast. Let’s face it, these kittens admired me. They relied on me to be a comfortable climbing post for their little claws and a cozy and dangerous place to rest their delicate little heads. I want you to absorb how adorable that image is — kittens, resting their furry little faces on my powerful shoulders. They admired and loved me so, so much. And even though I had plenty of opportunities to raise my hand last year and say, “You know what guys, I’m totally the drowning kittens guy” I did not. Because what am I, some kind of a fucking idiot? In fact, I believe I said something like, “That’s nothing to me. That’s not real. I don’t even know what kittens are.”

But right now, let’s keep the focus away from the kittens I drowned and review my track record of being admired. Admired by the community, admired by kittens both alive and dead, admired by everyone I pay. I’m so admired it’s almost as if I never drowned those kittens, isn’t it? I said, ISN’T IT.

I know I have work to do. First, I have to forgive myself, which I’ve actually already done. And I also have to forgive my co-kitten drowner, Tim. Whenever someone down at the diner was talking about me probably drowning kittens he was all like, “Shut up, cunt. I’ll burn your motherfucking shack to the ground.” Thanks, Tim. I admire you.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I have a book coming out in December! It’s the third book in my This Isn’t Even Close to Being an Apology trilogy and you can preorder it now. It’s called So Admired I Don’t Need to Say the Actual Words “I’m Sorry.” I’m available for book club video chats and for guest appearances at local lakes. Bring kittens! Ha ha! Just trying to move this redemption narrative right along and get straight to the Inside Joke Phase.

Thank you for admiring me through the years and especially for admiring me now for doing nothing more than admitting I repeatedly drowned kittens in the town lake. That’s literally the only thing I have done just now, admitting that last part. Thank you for praising me for that. And thank you for reading this. I have so enjoyed the attention.

Kimberly Harrington is a copywriter and creative director, a contributor to The New Yorker and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and is the co-founder and editor of parenting humor site RAZED. Her first book, AMATEUR HOUR: MOTHERHOOD IN ESSAYS AND SWEAR WORDS, is out next May from Harper Perennial. Follow her on Twitter if you’re always ready for a knife fight.

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AMATEUR HOUR (2018) and BUT YOU SEEMED SO HAPPY (2021) | The New York Times, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Cut | kimberlyharrington.me

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