I have a scapegoat, and you can too!


(Emily Stull)

By Claire Conger

Dear reader,

Last October, I exposed my secret identity to the world: The Trader Joe’s Virgin. I was left vulnerable by sharing my experiences with aggressions towards my lack of experience in the grocery fields and the off-brand industries. My bravery was met not with compassion, but with disgust. Teachers, classmates, parents, siblings, and everyone in between would side-eye me as I passed by, saying snide remarks such as, “I saw your article about Trader Joe’s”. Sure, they tried to hide their disgust with a smile, but they couldn’t hide behind what they really meant: “I saw your article about Trader Joes, you freak”. Where had I gone wrong? All my hard work had gone down the drain. Now, when I reveal myself as a journalist, I’m no longer met with the same “aren’t you the cutest member of the Tam News?” comments I had once been bombarded with. Now, people punch back with “You’re not a journalist, you’re just a Trader Joe’s Virgin.” 

But this is where I found a loophole. Luckily for me, my fellow Editor in Chief Claire Finch is also, of course, in the Tam News. Why wouldn’t my accusers believe me when I simply say, “no, that’s Claire Finch”. This excuse works everywhere. Sometimes, the fact that we have the same name just works on its own. If a teacher calls on “Claire” in class, the Claire responsible for answering is always the one who says “me?”, deeming themselves the scapegoat of the situation. Conveniently, Claire Finch is in three of my classes, acting as an easy and believable scapegoat for most of my doings, good or bad. If you’ve ever had a reputation following you that you just can’t shake, like mine with Trader Joes, a scapegoat is the only real way to clear your slate and get rid of those pesky rumors.

What you must be thinking now is, where do I get a scapegoat of my own? If you want a scapegoat you can probably only have one if your name is one of the following: Sophia, Bella, Josh, Sam, Chloe, or one of those other names that are everywhere. You might also be able to get away with it still if you have a name that sounds a lot like someone else’s name. For example, Alec could make Alex their scapegoat or Ella could easily do the same to Ellie. 

I’m not saying that you should run away from your problems, I’m just saying that pinning them on someone else is an easy test drive to see how you should deal with them in the future. Next time you think about coming up to me to harass me about Trader Joes, really think to yourself if you’ve got the right Claire because unless it’s Claire Finch, you’re at the wrong place.


Your’s truly,

Claire Conger

…. Or is it Claire Finch?