I had a perfectly good time telling the best lie at a party the other night and I wanted to share the experience.
It seems that every time I show up at one of these things and start mingling with people I don't know (and, in most cases, will never see again), somebody always uses "So what do you do?" as an ice-breaker.
Granted I'm guilty of using this tired old question myself, but it's usually the best way to get people to talk about themselves, which results in them thinking that I'm a nice guy. Go figure.
Last night I decided to try something different when two very nice ladies named Dianne and Cathy asked the question.
"I dropped out of school to become a professional gambler," I said. "I go between Reno and Vegas and every now and then make a run to Atlantic City. I'm like Matt Damon in the movie Rounders."
Their blank stares told me they weren't sure what to say.
"I stick to the tables," I continued, "never play the machines. The machines are rigged against you. I like the feel of the cards in my hands."
Dianne asked if I was getting rich.
"No," I said.
Which, I think, sealed the deal. If I said I was making money hand over fist, they would have thought I was lying.
Then we moved on to other topics. Dianne said she was an attorney and Cathy a cab driver - I assumed they were telling the truth, and didn't really care. A good time was had by all.
Some of you are going to write and say I'm contributing to the downfall of society (I've certainly been accused of worse) by engaging in this awful form of behavior. What should I have said? Perhaps something like this:
"I'm a very boring person who works a very boring job who hangs out with very boring friends and we all have the same boring conversations every time we meet."
To which they'd have said:
Where's the fun in that?
From now on I'll come up with a different line of work each time the "So what do you do?" question is asked. The possibilities are endless:
"I'm a window washer in downtown San Francisco - you wouldn't believe some of the stuff I've seen."
"I'm the prince of the unknown island of Gomacima."
"I race cars."
"I'm a male model." (Taking one look at me will destroy that one, however.)
"I'm a stripper." (See above.)
Try it the next time you're at a get-together and don't want to admit who you really are. You'll need to prepare in advance, though - don't try making it up as you go.
Parties are supposed to be fun, right? Toss in a few creative lies along with the booze and you're in for one heck of a treat.
Contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org