January 05, 2006

Expunging A Guilty Conscience

I have a confession to make, and it's a confession about something that has eaten slowly at the guilty section of my brain for over two decades. It's a confession so dark and insidious, so scandalous, I've never, ever told another living soul.

For those of you with strong moral fibers, you may not want to continue reading, because the confession I'm about to reveal could very well shock you into a catatonic state.

Despite the ramifications of this vile confession, I know that I can never fully be at ease unless I come clean, so here goes. . .

*deep breath*

I used to lie during "Show and Tell."

I'm not talking about little white lies, mind you, I'm talking about big, gargantuan whoppers, the kind of sustained, full throttled lying that would have grown Pinnochio's nose long enough to double as a trans-Atlantic cable, or as a stripper pole to the moon.

The problem with "Show and Tell" in first grade was that the teacher didn't require the students to actually bring anything in to tell about. Oh, sure, if you could swing it and bring in your favorite toy tractor to jaw about, you could certainly do that. But for those students who either forgot or were just too plain lazy to bring in an object, we had the option of telling interesting stories that happened to us.

The thing is, I was in first grade: nothing interesting had happened to me yet, and I didn't remember being born, so that was out. So, when my name was called, and I stood there in the front of the room, facing my classmates, I just kind of opened my mouth and started making shit up like you wouldn't believe.

And oh my Lord could I spin a yarn! I would make up stories about cousins I didn't even have and how we all had these cool guns we made that could shoot walnuts as ammo, and how I knocked my one cousin out of a tree with an awesome shot from across town. I could go on and on about how I modified my wagon to be a miniature tank, and how I rolled it down a hill and hit a car, but my wagon didn't get damaged, but the car was totalled.

And the thing I discovered was that the more amazingly impossible my stories were, particularly those stories that involved the slapstick injuries of my fictitious cousins, the more the rest of the class laughed and hung on my every word.

I could tell by the wry look on the teacher's face that she knew I was full of it, but she never stepped in to stop me, so I just ploughed ahead during every show and tell, going into ever more fanciful detail about stuff I never did, and the class drank in my lying narratives like Ted Kennedy at an open bar.

Yes sir, by the time I wrapped up my tale about how I used a telescope lens to focus sunlight to cut down a tree, little Andy telling about his pathetic jar of grasshoppers was about as uninteresting as, well, a jar of grasshoppers.

So, there you have it. I lied during "Show and Tell." I told long, fake, entirely fantastic stories simply because my classmates positively loved them. I fashioned complete fabrications because they played so well with my captive audience.

I could tell early on, in other words, that I was destined for journalism.

Posted by Ryan at January 5, 2006 03:36 PM | TrackBack

Oh hell no, you can be a politician! Go for it dude, don't hide your light under a bushel!

Posted by: Donna at January 6, 2006 12:29 PM

oh how i wish someone would have videotaped that.

maybe one day you can write a series of spoken-word pieces and get an 6 year old that looks like you did to perform it for you.

Posted by: amy.leblanc at January 13, 2006 12:46 PM
StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!