Wednesday, May 1, 2013

No, Really....This is a True Story

As a writer, I look at myself as a professional liar of epic proportions.  I'm supposed to tell a story that is interesting, with people you care about, and somehow I have to make it believable enough so that you keep reading.  It's not as easy as it sounds.  Recently I was reading a book that was such horseshit I had to put it down.  Seriously.  It was so damned silly I could no longer wade through it.

Even fiction has to have some roots in reality.  This novel was so awful that it gave me a headache.  It was as if the writer just couldn't pile enough ridiculousness in each paragraph.  I like the guy.  He's on my Facebook friends list.  But I just don't have the heart to tell him his novel was crap and I can't believe it actually got published.

So yes, I'm a liar.  I would like to be a professional liar full-time and stop my other job as a telemarketer where I lie my ass off to people.  I'm shocked and amazed I haven't turned into a pillar of salt.  Sometimes it's not what you tell somebody, it's what you don't.  Either way, very little of what I say is the complete truth.

Some are better at it than I am.  And then some, not so much.
I work with a compulsive liar.  He lies so much he has become the running joke of the office.  I'm not even sure he doesn't realize this.  It's like he knows he's being made fun of but he keeps lying.  Maybe it has fueled his need to lie, I don't know. 

I had a roommate once who did that.  He lied constantly and his lies were researched.  I'm pretty sure he would concoct a lie in his head, Google it, then tell the lie with a few random facts thrown in for good measure.  His lies were grandiose and vivid.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I knew he was totally full of shit--but the stories were fun to hear and I'm a sucker for a good story. 

My ex-roomie, Rodger, lied about all kinds of fun things and he told very convincing stories.  And he knew how to use props to make it more believable.  It was great! 

Rodger's biggest lies were about his music career in Kansas City.  Rodger had a talent for taking slightly past-prime musicians and linking himself to them.  And he would play a music video from a small punk band that had a bass guitar player that looked a bit like him.  Because of the quick-change scenes and moving frames, it was impossible to disprove. 

Rodger was a great liar.  Sure, after a while it got tedious and like all compulsive liars, you just want them to shut the fuck up after a while because you know they're full of shit.  He would invent stories about being an EMT, a fireman, a cop and in the Secret Service.  And then he invented stories about being in Special Forces.  I blame myself for this.  Instead of shutting him down I let him continue because I do enjoy a good story and I didn't have cable. 

The best lie he told was how he had played bass in a band that recorded a song for a Quentin Tarrantino movie that was to be released soon.  He even had badly recorded outtakes of the songs on a cassette tape.  Rodger was waiting for a check and when it came, he would be rich.  Rodger was also waiting for a settlement check for being disabled  while on-duty in the Kansas City Police Department.  This is why he never worked.  In fact, I later found out he couldn't even hold down a simple job, because he was so nuts. 

I seem to run into these people all the time.  I once worked with a guy who paid cash for a brand new Chevy pickup with duelies and smokestacks.  But he couldn't drive it to work at the warehouse because his girlfriend needed it for her job as a model. 

The guy I currently work with lies about how he's a ranked MMA fighter nobody's ever heard of.  If you tell him a video game you like to play, he's already broken the record and defeated it all the way through.  It got old after the first day so now when he comes up to me I cringe. 

My tolerance for such things has really gone away.  I no longer even want to hear the great stories.  It's like I've heard it all before.  It's not even remotely amusing to me anymore. 

When I booted Rodger's crazy ass out, he left some stuff behind.  I mailed it to his mom in a box with a bunch of gay porn and a note that said he "left a few things behind." 

But since I'm old enough to have read a few books, I'm going to start creating a vast web of lies myself.  Only this time, it's going to be fucking glorious!  I'm going to be the best damned liar at work. 

First, I need to make sure everybody knows how vastly superior I am to them.  Therefore, I am Irish Royalty. 

Second, I need to appeal to the listener's greed and envy.  My family has a castle in Ireland and while my cousin lives there now, I'm next in line to have it.  Also, there is a guest cottage I can stay in for as long as I want.  Would you like to come?  (NOTE:  This offer is only for females who are decent-looking and men who might have something I want, like money, respect and a hot girlfriend.)

Thirdly, the lie I'll use to make the first two plausible is that I'm in America because I had been connected with Sinn Fien and raising money for Noraid.  I can't go back to Ireland just yet because there are negotiations currently underway and my presence would make certain folks nervous. 

The Fourth lie is the best one.  This is the Color Lie--the lie that makes women sigh and think you're a great guy with a big heart and how they need to comfort you.  I call this my Money Lie.  To accomplish this, I have created a story about how I was married to a beautiful woman.  We had a daughter and were expecting our second child in a few months.  My wife was going to church when she was hit by a drunk driver.  Our daughter died right away and my wife died a few hours later in the hospital.  Now, depending on whom I telling this to, I can embellish this a bit.  I can make it that she died in my arms at the hospital, or switch them around and have my daughter die. 

A good lie is more about your audience than yourself.

The rest of the lies are just for seasoning.  I was Irish Special Forces, etc.  And depending upon the audience, I can go into ghost stories from the castle.  Either way, I win.

So there you have it--how I plan to take over the world with lies.  I can't wait to go to work tomorrow.  I'm going to tell every female I work with my new Pack of Lies.  And if I can get just one to fall for it, I will be a happy man. 

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