I’ve been harboring this dark secret for most of my life and it’s time you finally knew. This is the single greatest shame I’ve ever brought to this family and, yes, that also includes the fact that I started a secret second family in Nebraska.

The fact of the matter is I didn’t tear my ACL and MCL while bravely defending our nation against terrorists. No, I did it during a long-form improv scene where I was portraying an effeminate genie.

I was thirty-one years old.

Sport, I can tell by the look on your face that you are confused and crushed to hear this news. Let me assure you that I’m just as confused and disappointed by my life decisions.

I suppose I justified lying to you all these years because I believed that improv, in a way, was a lot like war. If you ever did Monday night barprov upstairs at Slammers, then you’d understand. Let’s just say their regular patrons did not appreciate a ten-minute organic opening distracting them from their football game. Our “woosh” sounds went right over their heads.

While I’m confessing, I feel compelled to tell you that I did not fight in, nor was there ever, a conflict called the Thisméans War. I merely stole that name from one of my favorite Reese Witherspoon romantic comedies.

Truth be told, I’ve never even held a gun in my life. Unless you count miming one. But you shouldn’t. There’s a reason gun-license forms do not accept “took an 8-week improv class on object work” as proof of training. If a burglar broke into the house tonight and you handed me a pistol, I would hold it sideways in a comical manner. Then I would improvise a funny quip in the style of Arnold Schwarzenegger, like “The only thing you are going to take is a bullet to the leg.” Then I’d get shot in the face.

I’m a scared, feeble old man. As death’s cold hand inches ever so closer towards me, I feel like the least I could do is to tell you the unmitigated truth. As they say, there is truth in comedy. But based on those tears streaming down your face, I’m thinking that rule doesn’t apply here.

Hey, champ, I’m sorry I wasn’t the tough and heroic grandfather you thought you had. But one day I hope you’ll come to understand that I grew up in a different time. A time when people chose to get a liberal education over skilled training. A time when people were actually looking for a job in retail in order to sustain their “artistic” endeavors. A time when Mumblecore was a real film genre.

I know this is a lot for a twelve-year-old to absorb in one day. I’m gonna let you go back to your kickball game, but please just promise me one thing: that you won’t reveal the truth to my second family in Nebraska. I really love them and would be especially embarrassed and ashamed if they ever found out.