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A buffet of ideas to explain your failings

I will now devote myself wholeheartedly/half-heartedly/one-16th heartedly to listening/reflecting/lying low for six months

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Facing damning allegations of misconduct? Just fill out this easy form to generate a public apology that satisfies absolutely no one and results in a fresh wave of criticism!

I would like to apologise for my actions/my behaviour/getting caught. Over the past several days/24 hours/six minutes (man, Twitter moves fast) I have felt deeply remorseful/regretful/afraid that my career is ruined. I am making this heartfelt/sincere/carefully vetted yet still somehow sloppily written statement in hopes of taking responsibility for my actions/acknowledging the pain of those who have spoken up/salvaging my reputation, obviously.

Though this is in no way/not at all/a transparent attempt at an excuse, it was a very different time in the 1970s/a few decades ago/last Tuesday. I have since learnt from helpful people on the internet/friends who for some reason don’t want to be named/my team of expensive lawyers that how I comported myself back then was inappropriate/hurtful to others/a felony and still within the statute of limitations.

I salute the courage of those coming forward despite a culture that refuses to hear them out/the personal attacks they may receive/my offer to settle out of court with a non-disclosure agreement. Regarding the details of the allegations against me, I do not recall them/my memory differs/I truthfully can’t remember because all the incidents kind of blur together. I can say only that I am imperfect/a work in progress/a powerful narcissist who would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for you meddling investigative reporters.

I hope this news does not overshadow my years of service to this country/my body of work that has brought joy to so many/all the charity galas I’ve attended for photo ops and the open bar. This might also be a good time to mention my orientation/that I’m donating money to causes you all agree with/hey, look over there! Behind you! Anywhere but at me!

I have also let down those who consider me an ally/an advocate/talented but, let’s be honest, kind of overrated and now a parody of myself. Rest assured that I will be reckoning with my actions/re-evaluating what I stand for/paying a quack in the Swiss Alps for a week of “therapy” at a spa. I will now devote myself wholeheartedly/half-heartedly/one-16th heartedly to listening/reflecting/lying low for six months and hoping everyone forgets about this little kerfuffle. It is my wish that this experience will make me a new person/better person/person who can still make a lot of money through either speaking fees or a much-ballyhooed comeback special.

In the meantime, I ask for privacy from the media so that I can beg forgiveness from my family/make amends with those I’ve hurt/duck your questions till someone else is in the hot seat.

Speaking of which, as my life completely unravels, just a little reminder that United States President Trump was accused of many things and 63 million people still voted for him.

— New York Times News Service

Teddy Wayne writes ‘Future Tense’ for Sunday Styles and is the author, most recently, of Loner.