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Posted on January 4, 2012 - by writerman
have I told you the one about…
I am descended from a long line of compulsive storytellers.
Seriously, my Grandpa James was the World Heavyweight Champion of talking shit. Get a couple of whiskeys in the man, and he would hold court for the rest of the night. Fish stories. Tall tales. Jaw-droppingly-inappropriate jokes. Dirty limericks. You name it. And my dad – my dad could have filled a dozen books with his bedtime stories about the wild adventures of Skreed Pailin and Rudd Major on the Black Planet of the Vos. Every word of which he generated spontaneously, on the spot, night after night.1
This is what my people do. We get sunburns. We make sandwiches. And, we tell stories.
I suffer from the same affliction2 – I’ve been telling (and retelling) stories for as long as I can remember. In fact, aside from the obvious physical discrepancies like longer legs and smaller ears, the only real difference between me and my forefathers is that I can type. Which is exactly where all of this is going. I’m carving out this little corner of the internet in an attempt to get all of the stories I’ve been collecting over the years down on paper, so to speak. The DMV Story, That Thing That Happened at McDonalds, the one about how I got Punched in the Face by a Girl, and all the rest.
But first, a couple of disclaimers:
- 90% of what follows is 85% true. Chalk the rest up to a selective memory, wild exaggeration and artistic license. After all, I’m the Writerman, not a historian.3
- These are not in chronological order. I’ll just write ’em as they come to me.
- I have no idea how this is going to work out. I’ve told some of these stories hundreds4 of times, but this is my first attempt to write any of it down.
- Names may or may not have been changed to protect the innocent. If your name hasn’t been changed, you probably aren’t innocent.
There, now that all of the formalities are taken care of, only one question remains:
Which story to tell first…?
- I emailed my youngest brother, who heard the most of these stories, to check the spelling of the character’s names. His reply: “How would I know? Dad never wrote any of it down.” [↩]
- Case in point: once, while out on a first date with a Very Pretty Girl, I got very nervous during a lull in the conversation and started filling the void with a wild and wooly tale about The Time I Went to the Movies with Harvey Keitel. Now, this is a great story – practically guaranteed to win friends, influence people and impress first dates. Full disclosure: I totally stole it. The story in question actually happened to an ex-girlfriend (a fact I may have neglected to mention on that fateful first date). To be fair, the Ex tells it way better than I do, especially the part about how a jet-lagged Jeff Goldblum stumbled into the theatre during the screening, promptly fell asleep in his seat and then almost immediately began hitting on her when he woke up. Some would say this behavior makes me a “liar.” As I mentioned before, I prefer “compulsive storyteller.” I won’t make excuses for my bad behavior, but will say two things in my defense. One: I eventually came clean and fully confessed my crime to Very Pretty, even if it took me almost a year to get around to it. Two: she married me. [↩]
- If you would care to dispute the facts in any of the stories that follow, please get in touch. I can’t promise I’ll change anything or print a retraction, but if you were there when any of this happened, it would be great to hear from you. [↩]
- Not exaggerating. Ask my lovely, patient wife. [↩]
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