As a self-appointed life educator, I find that the best way to help educate others is through personal experience. Therefore, I have a confession to make – I have cheated.
I make this declaration based on events that have unfolded over the past few weeks at our local pub trivia venue. Our team, the Joey Jo Jo Junior Shabadoos, has been the target of a potentially misconceived Inigo Montoya-esque plot (I have certainly never killed anyone’s father; but I can’t vouch for the rest of the team) by a team that has chosen to employ poorly disguised subterfuge in their efforts to wrest our title of trivia champions from us. For argument’s sake, I’ll henceforth refer to this team as Team Cheat.
If Team Cheat had been better sportspeople, they may have realised that the Joey Jo Jos were simply on a lucky streak and they didn’t need resort to cheating and booing. We hadn’t won for a few weeks and yet the animosity remained. Poor form, Team Cheat. Poor Form.
The specifics of Team Cheat’s actions and bad sportsmanship aren’t important to today’s post. I’m not bitter. Instead, I offer some simple advice. Resorting to cheating is bad for your karma. The sweet, sweet taste of victory is bitterly soured by the knowledge that you didn’t REALLY earn it. It may not happen immediately. It might be years before the cosmos rounds on you and repays your dishonesty in a suitable fashion but like Panteen, it WILL happen. Trust me – I know.
When I was very young, before I wanted to be a stuntman and before I found Indiana Jones, I wanted to be an artist. Picasso, Monet, Degas, Dali – I didn’t want to be any of them. No, I wanted to be a cartoonist. Gary Larson, Walt Disney, Osamu Tezuka and Jim Davis were my inspirations and I wanted to add my own name to the list of cartoonist legends in due course.
I doodled and drew wherever there was spare whitespace. I watched cartoons “for research” and tried to reproduce the artwork that I saw. My parents even bought me an instructional video by the legendary Australian artist Rolf Harris in order to encourage my creativity. One day though, my desire to impress my friends overwhelmed me and I did the unthinkable. I cheated.
For all my raw and un-channelled talent, I was impatient. I wanted to be excellent NOW and it can be hard to make a 10 year-old see sense sometimes. During lunch on that fateful school day I presented to my friends a picture I had “drawn myself” – a near perfect image of my favourite cartoon character at the time – Garfield. Naturally, my young friends were amazed by my talent.
I expected the adulation and the gushes from my peers. What I didn’t expect were the consequences of my actions. On this occasion, Karma was exceptionally quick off the mark.
Immediately, a request was made for me to draw it again. I panicked of course and agreed to bring another one to school the next day. Did I mention that many 10 year-olds are impatient? Instead of being granted the overnight reprieve, a pencil and piece of blank paper was thrust into my chest, accompanied by the words “No” and “now”.
I faltered. Taking the pencil and paper I knelt at the bench and began to draw. Under the scrutiny of no less than 5 young children, I created a less than fantastic reproduction of the “original” and the recipient was less than impressed. I blamed the bench, the pencil and paper and the fact that I’d had only a choc-chip muesli bar and fruit juice to eat before working but I knew the truth (and I’m pretty sure everyone else did too).
After that day I never
admitted that I traced anything again. Instead, I developed my own style of cartooning and then grew out of it altogether as I found other interests. I did, however, find respect for forgers. It’s a tougher gig than many people think.