I learned at a fairly early age than when you tell a story, you should make it as far out as you possibly can-- go big or go home. Besides being more entertained, this also make you listeners question whether the story can really be true and I have found, the more they question it-- the easier it is to believe. People think, "That's crazy enough that there is no way he could make it up!"
MLW and I had our first real fight about one of my stories. Without getting into a lot of details (because I promised her I would never tell the story again), I told her that I was allergic to strawberries because I didn't like them. I don't think I would have been in that much trouble but I had an elaborate story that went along with it. It was a very funny story and parts of it were actually true but most of it was made up in my head years and years before we had ever met. I took some creative liberties each time I told the story until it was a joke-- a joke about me, that I became very good at delivering.
Although, the basis of the story was true and little white lies were thrown in here and there, I had been doing the bit so long that the line between the truth and the lies became blurred. I felt really bad lying to my future wife and that's why I came clean. (Well that and because I knew that I was going to be caught in the lie.) After all, I didn't mean to hurt her, I was just telling a funny story.
I have since made a vow that I would never do anything like that again. I want, so badly, to gain her trust back but I know it is going to take a little while. I am still paying for the incident, not only anytime that we see a strawberry, but in that I cannot tell any story without her questioning if I am, again, taking some amount of creative licence. If MLW were a man I could expect payback but, from what I have learned about women (which is not much), I will just be tortured through my own guilty conscience for the rest of my life.
I don't think she would ever make up a story to get even with me. That is why I found the story she told me over the weekend so amazing. I found myself saying, "You gotta be kidding me!", but knowing the person that told her the story and knowing my wife would not make it up... I have to believe it is true.
This boy was nine or ten years old and had his birthday coming up. His Mom was known for throwing pretty elaborate parties and the kid was into animals (especially reptiles and stuff) so she arranged for a sort of petting zoo at their home on a Saturday afternoon. The boy and his friends got to see and hold small animals of the reptile and amphibian families like frogs, snakes, lizards, turtles and such. For the grand finale, the keeper brought out a long boa constrictor and let the birthday boy hold it.
We aren't sure if the small boy provoked the large snake in any way but, suddenly and without warning the boa bit the boy-- clamping down on his pectoral muscle, close to his shoulder-- and began to wrap it's long body around him trying to squeeze the life out of him. The startled mother, wanting desperately to help her son, grabbed the reptile and struggled to force the monster to release the child. This only further incited the snake as it got a hold of the mother also and started constricting around both of them.
I wish I could have been there to see what the snake handler was doing up to this point because he isn't mentioned at all until he takes out his machete and chops that big old boa in two while it was still putting the squeeze on mother and child.
If it wasn't MLW that told me this tall tale, there is no way that I am ever going to believe it, but considering it was-- I've got no other choice.
Talk about traumatic? Do you think the snake handler had something in the contract to cover something like this? Do you think the mother was responsible for paying the snake handler for the value of the snake? Do you think that boy will ever have another petting zoo at a birthday party-- or another birthday party, at all?
How do you one up that party? Alligators? Bull Fighting? Bungee Jumping of the roof of the house? Pistols at twenty paces? Kids' parties are getting out of hand!
Buy T-shirts. Peace.