On May 1, Representative Vito Fossella (R-NY) was arrested for drunk driving in Alexandria, Virginia, after running a red light, and was released into the custody of a former Air Force officer named Laura Fay. The New York tabloids started to raise questions about Fossella’s past, which led to the married father of three admitting on May 8 that he’s actually a father of four — an affair with Fay, who lives in Alexandria, produced a daughter who’s now three years old.

I … am … shocked! Not because another Republican congressman revealed a damaging secret that could cost him his job — we’ve all seen this rerun more than once — but because a DWI arrest could force such damaging secrets out into the open so quickly. I mean, everybody’s been arrested for a DWI or two in their lives, right? The cast of ABC’s Lost have racked up at least three dozen between them since 2004. (To be fair, the intricacies of the Emmy nomination process could drive anyone to drink.)

Last week I was arrested for impersonating a police officer while jaywalking. See, I like to take my time crossing the street, even when I’m crossing on a red, but most drivers don’t think I deserve such a luxury. Luckily, I saved my “Village People motorcycle cop” costume from last Halloween, and now I use it to stop traffic whenever I want. (You could argue that the assless chaps that came with the costume are what’s really stopping traffic, but you should see my hand signals — they’re authoritative yet inviting.) But when I stopped a police funeral procession last Wednesday so I could pick up a quarter in the middle of the road — well, I’m sure you can imagine how well the 37th precinct took it.

My girlfriend, Aimiee, bailed me out, and my lawyer/friend Dave-o has agreed to represent me in court, or at least pay me $100 if I represent myself and somehow get the charges dropped, but I’m nervous — will all of my dirty secrets become public knowledge once those jackals from the media start cross-referencing my various police reports? I admitted last week that I’m the serial killer who murdered 3,100 record stores over the past five years, but there are other dark corners in my past, and I feel it’s my duty to shine some light on them if I want to stay one step ahead of the media.

I now present a VH1-style countdown of my ten most awesomely outrageous secrets that may force me to resign my post as Co-Managing Editor of Popdose.com:

1. I didn’t vote in the 2000 presidential election, causing George W. Bush to be elected. Plus, I was having a huge fight with my friend Antonin Scalia at the time about that movie Requiem for a Dream and how I thought it was a masturbatory exercise in style over substance. Naturally, he thought it was one of the best movies of the year, and he hates when people disagree with him, so he totally went ballistic: “I’ll show you what happens when you don’t vote in a tight race that could lead to an endless war in Iraq and insanely high gas prices, Robert!” You think your eerily prescient foresight is so impressive, Antonin, but it’s … well, okay, it is pretty impressive. Just don’t expect me to return your DVD of The Pelican Brief anytime soon, okay?

2. I accidentally lost the film reel containing the last minute of the last episode of The Sopranos; David Chase didn’t really want it to end the way it did. I said, “But this way no one will see it coming, David. It’s perfect!” He stared at me for a few seconds, then kissed me hard on the lips and said, “You broke my heart, Robert.” Then James Gandolfini made me drink two gallons of his sweat. Lesson learned.

3. I killed the electric car. I also killed the radio star.

4. If it weren’t for me, Guns n’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy would’ve been released way back in December 1999. Earlier that year frontman Axl Rose invited me over to his mansion and played me a few tracks from the upcoming album without telling me anything about them beforehand. After the last one ended I said, “Wow, Poison’s really beefed up their sound.” Axl didn’t take that comment too well, but how was I to know? I needed context, fool!

5. I’m responsible for the last 20 minutes of Ang Lee’s Hulk. In 2002 I said to the Oscar-winning director, “What if, instead of ending the movie right after the Hulk’s rampage in San Francisco, you extend it for another reel so the audience can watch this big-budget superhero movie suddenly turn into a two-character stage play with Nick Nolte foaming at the mouth about his tortured relationship with his green-skinned son right before he turns into a monstrous beast himself?” Ang was drunk, so he said, “Let’s film it right now!” Sorry about that, everybody. Aside from those 20 minutes, Hulk really is a good movie, even if it takes itself a little too seriously.

6. While agonizing over my receding hairline in the final days of August 2001, I questioned the existence of a higher power. I immediately regretted it, but just a few weeks later it seemed like everybody was doing it. Swear to God!

7. My recent arrest wasn’t the first time I impersonated a cop. Remember when George Michael came out of the closet in 1998 after he was arrested for “engaging in a lewd act” with an undercover officer in Beverly Hills? Look, I just like hanging out in men’s rooms in L.A. so I can ask for autographs from famous people when they’re at their most vulnerable, but somehow “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours and now you’re under arrest” came out of my mouth instead. Next thing you know George was on CNN declaring his sexual freedom. I think he’s happier now, but if I had to do it all over again I’d out him in a gentler way, like with a blog called George Michael Wants My Sex.

8. In February 1996 I was a little distracted while driving and failed to signal a right turn onto a one-way street. I would like to take this time to apologize to the driver who was behind me.

9. You know how morning radio DJs tend to laugh at everything they say even though nothing they’re saying is anywhere close to being funny to anyone? I’m the guy who originally brainstormed that technique. It’s probably my least forgivable sin.

10. One day back in the late ’90s a 25-year-old male said to me, “I should probably stop playing video games 18 hours a day now that I’m a grown man.” I was out drinking with Ang Lee at the time, so in my drunken stupor I told the 25-year-old, “If it feels good, do it.” Boy, was that bad advice — last week the video game Grand Theft Auto IV made half a billion dollars in its first week of release, and apartment dwellers everywhere are wondering how they can break into their neighbor’s place and destroy his game system while he leaves for a few minutes to seek out basic nourishment and new underwear.

So now you know all my secrets. I’m not proud of what I’ve done (though the name dropping is always fun, of course … okay, I’m not proud of that either), but I hope history will judge me fairly. I also hope Judge Farrelly will throw out my case in court next month if I offer to let him borrow my Village People costume. (Antonin, you’ve got no jurisdiction here, so butt out.)

The English Beat, “I Confess” (from 2000’s Beat This! The Best of the English Beat)
The Thrills, “I’m So Sorry” (from 2007’s Teenager)
Village People, “Hot Cop” (from 1988’s Greatest Hits)

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About the Author

Robert Cass

Robert Cass lives in Chicago. For Popdose he's written under the Sugar Water, Bootleg City, and Box Office Flashback banners, and in 2013 he spearheaded 'Face Time, a collaboration with Jeff Giles and Mike Heyliger.

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