Sunday, August 30, 2009

Space Law

A favorite activity of mine when at a party is to find someone who seems to be either really drunk, dumb, or a combination of the two and start lying to them. There are two ways to go about doing this. I either go the completely ridiculous route or I actually try to convince them of something.

Ridiculous route:

I was leaving a bar the other night and a guy asked me which type of law I practiced. This may seem like a strange question, but I was hanging out with a group of law students so he figured that I was part of their club too. I mean, why would law students hang out with someone that isn’t in law school? That just doesn’t make sense.

Prior to being asked this question I had decided that I didn’t like this guy. He made some sweeping statements towards our table and I had him blacklisted basically right from the start. This includes calling him an asshole to his face, which is why I was surprised when he inquired about my specialty in law.

“Superheroes and monsters,” I told him.


“Superheroes and monsters. I represent superheroes and monsters.”

“Ha ha ha, c’mon man. Really.”

“Superheroes get in trouble a lot in comic books and I have to bail them out. It’s a necessary service.”

I walked away and caught up with my friends.

“That guy was an asshole, right?” I asked.

They all agreed.

Convincing route:

I attended another law school get-together a couple of nights ago. It was a get-to-know-ya engagement for all of the new students that started class last week. It was decided early on that if the question of what kind of law I practiced came up that the answer would be a lie.

The night got fairly far along before the question was finally posed. Again, I had decided that the questioner was a dumbass so I didn’t feel bad about lying to him.

“Space law.”

“What, really?”

“Yeah. There’s going to be a big to-do about the plots of land on the moon soon and I want to be at the forefront of that scene.”

He thought for a moment. Not about how plausible this scenario was, but how awesome it was. It didn’t take him long to decide it was top-notch cool.

“That is AWESOME!” he told me with a giant grin on his face before slapping me a pretty hardcore high five. He seemed genuinely excited about me working in space. I then decided to stop hating him and downgrade to just being annoyed by him. He meant well.

My favorite party lie came out a few years ago. I was sitting in a garage at my friend’s house in Appleton when I decided that the girl across me from wasn’t too bright. I decided to convince her that I was born in Africa.

We did the usual introduction questions: “What is your name?” “Where are you from?”

“Zambia,” I told her.

She looked at me as if I had spoken to her in tones instead of words.

“What? That’s not even a country,” she said.

“Yes it is. It’s in southern Africa. That’s where I was born before moving to Canada and finally here.”

“Yeah right. You’re not African.”

“I sure am.” No smile. No hint that I was making this up as I went along. The first rule in selling a ridiculous lie is to believe it yourself. As George Costanza said, “It’s not a lie if you believe it’s true.”

“But you’re not black,” she said.

I ignored this brief venture into rationality.

“And you know what? The crazy thing about moving to a different country is all the small things that you don’t think about.” Sell it with small, specific details. “Like traffic for instance. People drive in a completely different manner here than they do in Zambia.”

She looked at me for a moment with skeptical eyes, arms crossed. Her stern posture began to soften as I looked back at her with a confident demeanor as if I had just solved a math equation for her and was sure if it’s validity.

She finally leaned forward and said, “Wow, that’s so cool.”

It was at this point a friend of mine walked into the garage. She looked at him and said, “Hey, did you know this guy’s from Africa?”

He looked over at me and said, “What? Josh? No he’s not!”

I laughed and the girl walked away, defeated.

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