You can read it here:
Usually, I wouldn’t know any of the people that I was reading about in the obituaries, but occasionally I’d run into the parent or grandparent of someone I knew. Or a customer at the convenient store I worked at when I was in high school. And sadly, on a few occasions, I’d even read about someone I went to school with who died before their time.
I understand reading the online obituaries might be seen as a little morbid and disturbing, but I’m a morbid and disturbing kinda guy, so it doesn’t really bother me. But anyway, a few years later, the Sun Journal started doing something even better -- and arguably more disturbing -- they started printing the notifications of Sex Offenders and Child Molesters in my hometown.
If any of you have ever watched To Catch a Predator on Dateline NBC , than you’ll understand the voyeuristic guilty pleasure involved when Chris Hansen busts would-be child molesters who don’t realize that they’re being busted on national television.
Reading the sex offender notifications in the Sun Journal was a lot like that -- except there was something even extra voyeuristic about it because not only were these people real life, honest to god, sex offenders -- but they were real life sex offenders in my hometown.
And if that wasn’t good enough, the Sun Journal even posted sex offender notifications of people I graduated high school with.
I’m not shitting with you. There were like four or five people I went to high school with -- from my class in 1995 -- who were busted for being some kind of sexual predator -- whether it involved molesting a kid, assaulting a woman, or reading child pornography.
The saddest case is a guy I like to call Ronald McDonald. And I call him Ronald McDonald not so much to protect his identity, but more because, much like the cheeseburger-pushing clown, he had a large red afro:
And in addition to hairstyles, it seems they both also shared a love of children.
Apparently, Ronald McDonald was busted for possessing “obscene material” which I can only assume is code for “kiddie porn.”
And when I read that he was busted with kiddie porn, it broke my heart. I'm not kidding. It really did. I felt like all that was good in this world had ceased to exist.
Although I maintained a friendly “school relationship” with Ronald McDonald, he and I were never friends. We never sat together at lunch. We never hung out after school. And we never went to the same parties. He was just someone who I had a couple of classes with in the six years we both attended Auburn Middle School and Edward Little High School.
But despite the fact that we weren’t close friends, I was always fascinated with him.
I met Ronald McDonald for the first time in the seventh grade. The class structure at Auburn Middle School was designed so the kids were split up into groups based on their learning levels -- and Ronald McDonald just happened to be one of the kids in my group that I spent seven periods a day with each week. Because of that, I spent much of that time observing and studying him.
For starters, I could tell that Ronald McDonald came from a very strict home. He was very proper and appeared very neat with his shirts always tucked into his pants.
He was also the only person I knew in Maine with a Maine accent. Let me explain…
You know that Maine accent that you hear when you watch really bad Stephen King movies? The worst example is Fred Gwynne in Pet Semetary:
In case you’re not aware -- no one in Maine talks like that. No one. But for some reason, Ronald McDonald did. He was the only person in Maine who talked with that stupid accent. In fact, I remember on the last day of school in senior year when he asked me to sign his yearbook, he said to me, “Steve, you’re the same as the first day I met you -- you got a weird sense of humah!”
Ronald McDonald was also a career Boy Scout:
When I met him he was already a Boy Scout and he rode that train all the way to the age of 18 when he was an Eagle Scout. And coincidentally enough, when we were in high school, there was an article about him in the Sun Journal for saving a choking victim with the use of the Heimlich Maneuver.
From class presentations, and journal entries, and other bullshit of that nature, I knew that Ronald McDonald wanted to be a police officer or secret service agent when he grew up. Sadly he could never be either of those professions because he was flat footed and cock-eyed. You know, the kind of cock-eyed where you never know which eye to look into.
Unfortunately, the best job he could settle for was being a security guard at a local strip mall -- and that’s what he did after graduating from high school.
The last time I saw Ronald McDonald was a few years before he was busted for reading kiddie porn. I saw him at my five year high school reunion. And all I remember about our conversation was that the only thing he was excited about was attending the ten year reunion in five years -- which is funny because he wasn’t a popular kid by any stretch of the imagination, and I think he’d want to get as far from high school as he could.
And that’s what I’ve noticed about all the people that I went to high school with who are now sex offenders: They were all socially awkward loners who never fit in. They were the kids who everyone made fun of. They were the kids everyone put down…
I’m the furthest thing from being a child molester -- which is supported by the fact that when surfing the internet for porn, I tend to pleasure myself to “M.I.L.F.” or “Cougar” related spank material -- but the weird thing is, on some kind of a level, I relate to these guys -- or at least I related to them back in high school.
I may have been a “popular” kid because I was the “class clown”, but I still felt like a loser every day of my life. I never had a girlfriend in high school. My family was borderline poor. And back hair and love-handles prevented me from enjoying the beach. In all honesty, I wasn’t much different from the kids who would grow up to become sex offenders.
But something tells me those guys dealt with something else at home besides the usual, garden-variety, teenage insecurity issues that every kid goes through. Something much darker.
I remember one time, Ronald McDonald cried like a little baby after he received an after-school detention in the seventh grade. At the time, I thought he was a pussy for crying in the seventh grade about detentions because we all know you stop crying about detentions in the fifth grade… But now, I wonder if he was crying because of the punishment that awaited him at home…
Sure my parents verbally berated me any time I gave them an opportunity, but I was never physically abused in anyway. And although I was an alter boy at church, I was far too fat for my Priest to even consider making a move on me.
I guess I’m one of the lucky ones.
Anyway, I never made it back to Maine for the ten year reunion -- and I have a feeling that after being notified as a sex offender in our newspaper, Ronald McDonald didn’t make it either.
And what the fuck -- since we’re sitting here talking shop about child molesters, I might as well use this opportunity to shamelessly self-promote my sketch comedy troop -- the Malcontents’ Cookbook’s ode to child molesting entitled Child Abuse Support Group: