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Tara's Advice

[whitespace] Tara

Tara Comes Clean

Dear Tara,
I'm a second-year M.B.A. student at Stanford, and, well, I've been plagiarizing most of my papers for the past year and a half. No one is on to me--in fact, professors routinely praise me for my originality--but I'm beginning to feel guilty. Tara, I'm thinking about coming clean. What do you think I should do?
Signed, Caught Between a Xerox and a Hard Place

Dear Xerox,
Metropolitan doesn't like me to get all self-referential in my columns, but screw them. I'm not getting paid enough to jump through hoops like some enslaved dolphin at Sea World!

Anyway, Xerox, I was once like you--brain-dead and desperate. When I was first hired to write this column, I was under tremendous pressure to regularly produce works of genius, but I just didn't have any inspiration. The Muse, if you will, wasn't returning my calls. WHERE were my columns going to come from?

Seeing as how I was already shoplifting at the time, and forging prescriptions, I was only a hop, skip and a jump away from plagiarism. Like most criminals, I started out small, at first just "borrowing" a choice phrase here and there from published authors. Then the borrowed sections started getting longer. By the time I bottomed out, I was clipping out Dan Savage or Isadora Alman's weekly columns and faxing 'em over to my editor with "Dan" and "Isadora" crossed out and my name scribbled in. I was also strung out on heroin and turning tricks with old WWII vets to support my habit, but that's neither here nor there.

Anyway, Metropolitan never figured out what I was doing, but my own sense of guilt was unbearable. I could no longer face myself. So I stopped my no-good, cheatin' ways and became a Satanist for a brief while. (Detoxing SUCKS!)

I guess what I'm trying to say, Xerox, is that if you LOVE hell, hooking and heroin, then by all means, purloin the thoughts of others. But if you want to be like me, Tara Limbaugh, stay in school and get an education.

Either way, you can always write for local papers.
Hope that helps, Tara

Want more Tara? Check out her "Most Spiritual Show Ever" at www.SpiritShow.com. Video horoscopes, wacky misadventures and then some.

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From the June 29-July 12, 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

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