One night, many years ago, I was with friends at Pats Rose & Grey, enjoying an evening. Being introduced to strangers, and being somewhat inebriated, and assuming that the brief introduction would be my complete and total association with these strangers, I decided on a whim that I’d pretend I’m visiting from Scotland. And so I put on my best (bad) Scottish brogue.
Of course, the short introduction turned into us all getting a table together, so I was kind of forced to keep up the charade for quite a while. I can’t imagine I fooled them, but they seemed to take me at my word. If they did take me at my word it was probably only because they (rightly) couldn’t imagine someone being so pathetic as to fake a scottish accent for an entire evening. Seriously, how sad.
Since then, I’ve often thought of scnearios and lies I could tell people about me if I was in such similar situations (being introduced to strangers) and if the mood struck me. And I’ve come up with the perfect one (I think).
Saying you’re Scottish (or anything where you have to put on a tough accent or any affectation) is dangerous because it’s tough to keep the charade up. One needs to choose a lie which is easy to maintain yet fairly difficult to prove on the spot. The lie also needs to be of a nature that the possibility of the truth is within grasp. Saying you’re an astronaut is probably not going to be believed, and would be farily easy to disprove. The lie needs to be within the realm of possibility, yet of appeal uncommon enough to be remembered.
And I have the perfect lie:
If you don’t know me, and you get introduced to me, and if I am of the right level of intoxication and if the mood strikes me, I may tell you my lie: I am one of the writers of the little show description snippets in the TV Guide. If pressed, I have a whole backstory ready to prove that fact.
"See that guy over there," you’d say to others. "He writes those little blurbs about the shows in the TV Guide."
What’s your lie?
For years I have been continuing an elaborate lie to everyone. I’ve been pretending, not only to be human, but that I’m crazy and kinda dim. I pretend to forget people’s name and I get a stoned look in my face, so they’ll underestimate me, giving me an advantage. I can’t believe I’m actually admitting all this, but I’ve convinced all sorts of people that I can perform, somewhat normally, in society. I have had tons of jobs ( including acting ), where if I just let people think that I’m skilled at whatever job, they start believing it.Sometimes I feel like the world is made up of sheep, and if I told them I’m a writer from Norway or something they actually believe it.
Noone speaks norwegian anyway, so you can just spout some jibberish and they’ll think you said something cool in a different language.
I also tricked everyone into thinking that I’m an overdeveloped child, with a fragile capacity for romance and a cynical, lazy outlook on life where nothing is sacred except drugs and comedy.
I have them all fooled.
Once when I was working as a relief pharmacist all over Nova Scotia, I received a telephone prescription from a Dr. The doctor was speaking really fast and got mad when I asked her to repeat it. I said ” I’m sorry doctor, but I am hearing-impaired.” She apologized profusely and repeated the order for me. Sad I had to do that for patient safety, but I don’t feel the least guilty about the fib.