Tuesday, June 08, 2010

No Dye, No Beer, No Toes, No Youth On Parade

When last we met, I told you some lies. I also told you one true story. Your job at that time, if you chose to accept it, was to tell me which one of the stories was true. Guessing wrong, by choosing one of my fabulously fabricated fibs, would result in... nothing. There really wasn’t a penalty attached. I should have taken bets on it, though, because not too many of you guessed the correct answer.

Here, once again, are the choices I gave you, in condensed form:

1 – I have blondish body hair, but I once dyed it black.

2 – I shared a beer with Ronald Reagan back in 1983.

3 – My first girlfriend had no toes.

4 – I appeared on television playing a musical instrument called a flutaphone.

So, which one did you choose? The comments I received – that is, the answers you had guessed at the time of my writing this follow-up – broke down as follows:

Dyed my body hair - 25%
Had a beer with Reagan - 15%
Dated a girl with no toes - 20%
Played the flutaphone on TV - 40%

... and I thank you for giving me just the right amount of answers to make the percentages come out so roundly!

As might be expected, considering I gave you four choices to choose from and only one was correct, most of you didn’t guess right. Before I give you the answer, though, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Every one of the four had some element of truth to it. That’s why I could write so convincingly about them.

(Both Saz and Teacher's Pet - who has an 'invite only' blog, otherwise I'd give her a link, as well - espoused the theory that I told the truth on all four, so they were close to the truth.)

For instance, the one about me dying my body hair black? I never did that. However, I have thought about doing it, many times. Considering the comments a couple of you left, it’s a good thing I never acted upon it. I had no idea that I would have ended up dying my skin, too. Not that I wouldn't have made an interesting looking person of color, but being one from approximately the nipples downward would have been even weirder than the stuff I made up.

Now, as for the flutaphone story, that one was ALMOST true.

(I know some of you may have had it in the back of your heads somewhere that I wrote about the flutaphone previously, so your subconscious may have prodded you to choose this as the true story. I did write about it before, although I can’t for the life of me remember when. If I could, I'd give a link.)

My flutaphone class from the Gilbert Stuart School was chosen to appear on a television show, and the name of the show actually was Youth On Parade. The only part of the story that wasn’t true is the part about me appearing on the show with them.

I was adamant about NOT going on TV, and could not be convinced to do so. My parents wanted me to do it, and my teacher wanted me to do it, but I told my parents, in no uncertain terms, that I did not want to do it and would not do it. I cried, I threw tantrums, I did everything in my power to convince them that I would not appear on TV playing the flutaphone.

Imagine that. I make much of my living these days by performing, and – as you might have gathered from reading me for a while - I’m now an insatiable egomaniac. Give me an opportunity to appear on TV these days and I’d be in front of the camera as quickly as a greyhound might pounce on a nice rabbit steak. I was incredibly shy in those days, though, and that was one of the reasons for not wanting to be on the show. Also, it was being taped on a Saturday, and I felt it was my right to refuse to have anything to do with school on a Saturday. That was my day, not the school’s day. I had important things to do - watching cartoons and reading comic books, for instance.

I’m happy to report that, whatever my reasons for not wanting to go on TV, my parents did not force me to do it. Had it involved grading, and maybe had some intrinsic value beyond letting my grandparents see me on TV making an ass of myself, perhaps they might have pushed harder. As it turned out, I had the best day of anyone in the class. When I met up with my friends that evening, they told me that it had been a hideous experience. The lights were hotter than Hell in July, they had to hang around the television studio for about three hours waiting to be taped, and it was all just amazingly boring. Then, when they finally did perform, they were completely out of synch and kept bumping into each other. They looked and sounded like idiots, and they were embarrassed by the whole thing. Meanwhile, I had a great day in the company of Bugs Bunny and Superman, and I also bowled a few strings and played in a pickup baseball game. It was one of the best decisions of my life (which, considering the small amount of pain and pleasure actually involved either way, is probably an indictment concerning the general quality of all of the decisions I've ever made, but I digress.)

That’s two down and two to go. The choices left are the girlfriend with no toes and Ronald Reagan.

I have had beers at the Eire Pub, and I’ve had them in the company of a presidential candidate, but I wasn’t there when The Gipper was. Nor was I there a few years later when Bill Clinton stopped in while pimping for votes. The guy I had a beer with was named Andre Marrou.

Yeah, I know; you’ve never heard of him. That's why he didn't win. D'Oh! It wasn’t for lack of his (and my) trying to let you know about him, though.

I was running for state representative that year (a seven-part story, if you have nothing to do for the next couple of days) and Andre was the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party (which was, and still may be, the third-largest political party in the United States, which stature counts for about as much as holding the third-best hand in a poker game.) Anyway, I had a brainstorm.

(Hold your laughter until all idiocies have had a chance to be revealed, please. Thank you.)

Andre was coming to Boston and I was looking for a hook to get us some sort of press coverage – any coverage whatsoever, since then, as now, the media utterly ignores third-party candidates (unless the candidate is a millionaire, or an actor, or an ex-professional-wrestler, or is otherwise already well-known in some way, in which case they do everything in their power to make the candidate who needs no publicity even more famous than he or she already is.) Whether the candidate has something interesting to say, or might have some ideas that are fresh, matters not. All that matters to the media is that the candidate be popular before they report on him. If your candidate is not famous, you have to come up with something totally bizarre to attract them, and more often than not it ends up being a self-destructive stunt because then the scribes report that the candidate is a nut. Of course, if he didn't have to be a nut in the first place to attract your attention... ARRGGHH!

Anyway, Andre Marrou would be hitting Boston for some talk radio appearances and whatnot. Now, I thought it might be a clever hook to have him stop by the Eire Pub, the same place Reagan had a beer, and where Bill Clinton had whored himself. I worked up a press release and sent it to all of the media outlets I could think of - tv, radio, newspapers, telegraph, ham radio... I covered it all. I cleared it with the bar owner before it happened, telling him that it might be a crowded night at his place. His exact words, as I remember, were, "Who? Yeah, knock yourself out. I don't give a shit."

I thought it was a cute idea: We can do the same silly stuff the big boys do, etc.
At the least, I thought we might get a photo op that the major papers could use for filler. They could give it a caption like "Big Losers Stop At The Eire!" for all I cared. ANY publicity would be welcome, since they ignored us otherwise.

Turns out that the Boston Herald did think it was a cute idea, so they sent a photographer. The photo below was one of those their photographer shot. However, they never did run any of the shots taken.

Andre (who is the bearded one in the dark sports jacket in the middle of the photo) sat at the bar and answered as many rude questions as he could stand, while hurriedly grabbing a few bites of a pastrami sandwich. Such is the life of a third-party presidential candidate. You'll notice the lack of secret service agents in the photo. I'm the one standing next to Andre, in shirtsleeves and tie, with my hands in my pockets, since I have no brains when it comes to photo ops. Between Andre and me is a fellow who was at the bar when we arrived, and probably had been there since that morning from the look of him. We talked him into coming outside and posing with us so that it would look like a bigger group.

So, back to what's important, I had no beer with Reagan.

The absolutely, positively, no embellishment or varnishing whatsoever, TRUE story? My first girlfriend had no toes. It's true. She really didn't. And she was on her track team, and, yes, her real honest-to-goodness name was Eileen. Either her parents had a vicious sense of humor or were totally clueless as to the irony. Anyway, she was a very nice person, fun to be around, didn't in any way care that she had no toes, and wasn't truly handicapped in any way that I could see by her lack of lower digits. Her balance was great, and unless she took off her shoes nobody had any idea. I wish I had a funny story to go along with this, but I don't. She just had no toes. Last I heard - some 20+ years ago - she was living in Florida, happily married, a couple of lovely children who were born with complete feet, and that's about it. In all respects other than her lack of toes, she is probably much more normal than I am, and I hope that if this somehow gets back to her, she knows how much I enjoyed our short time together and how much I really do admire her.

So, that's that. If you want the award, I see no reason for you not to have it (so long as you complete the meme attached to it, and I hope you do because I'd love to have the opportunity to find out if I could detect your bullshit as well as 20% of you did mine.) Meanwhile, I'm going to the Celtics vs. Lakers NBA Championship game tonight. That was a true statement, so if any of you had thought outside of the box and chosen that one, you would have been correct, too.

Soon, with more better stuff.


Cricket said...

Very interesting. Who knew? Well, besides you and approximately 20% of your commenters...

You learn something every day. This might be it for me today.

Carolina said...


IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

So, I bet Eileen doesn't wear flip-flops?

Chris said...

Wow, I thought the toe one was the LEAST likely to be true.

Please tell me at some point you made a crack like, "Well, Eileen, looks like ALL your little piggies cried 'wee wee wee' all the way home."

Daryl said...


Elaine Denning said...

Yay! I won!

Anonymous said...

Well! Goodnight Eileen. We knew there would be a pinch of truth in them all.

lime said...

ya know, i ALMOST went with the eileen story because it was just simple but you got me with subliminal flutophone references in earlier posts. well done.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

That guy between you and Andre, he's a Narc. His M.O. is to hang around bars all day and befriend folks until they offer to sell him... whatever. The only way to avoid arrest is to distract him with good looking married women.

Hilary said...

Well this was fun and you did indeed have me fooled. I wonder if Eileen married Ben Dover..

Enjoy your game, tonight! :)

Craig said...

Wow; nicely done.

You're an even better liar than I thought. . . ;)

Saz said...

that was FUN!!!

saz x

Buck said...

...tv, radio, newspapers, telegraph, ham radio...

"CQ... CQ... CQ... The Eire Pub and ANDRE MARROU! CQ... CQ... CQ..."

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

CiCi said...

Never, ever heard of someone with no toes, squishy round things but not exactly toes. Huh. I did know a girl when I was growing up who has an extra toe on each foot, sort of like another baby toe on top of her foot over the toe next to the baby toe. Next time I will comment and vote when you do something like this. Like you said, it did seem like there was a smidgen of truth to each story.

Ananda girl said...

That was a good one! You are a wonderful liar. ;-)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh. my. gosh...screaming funny!!! Especially considering the fact that my BEST friend from childhood is named Eileen...and she DID have surgery on her feet...but isn't the same person obviously because she has no lack of toes...but too, too funny...AND LOVE THE political run...you are amazing!!! This was GREAT fun...let's do it again, sometime ;-) Hugs to you, my funny friend!! Janine

~j said...

what a fun meme...and you handled it excellently!

Unknown said...

That was so fun! I loved it. But I'd never have picked no-toes to be the truth! lol

Jinksy said...

How fitting I should show a shoe photo on my blog today! Toes are close to my heart, despite them appearing on the end of my feet...

Michelle H. said...

Huh? Now that's something! I'd never guess it, but the story screams you in its oddity.

Maggie May said...

I knew for sure that you couldn't have dyed your body hair black.
I guessed that the girlfriend having no toes was correct!
Glad her offspring have been born with all their digits.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Anonymous said...

Have fun at the game, I'm sure you will. I will be watching!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Um, isn't THE WIFE just a wee bit scared at your ability to lie so well? :) Cheers & hugs! (PS I'd have voted for no toes.)

Mariann Simms said...

I almost did pick the "no toes" story. I figured that one was so odd...it had to be true. But the Flutophone one sounded very plausible so I opted for that.

You know you could have combined the two somehow just to screw with us even more. ;)

Sueann said...

What fun!!! And who knew??!! Ha!

Jazz said...

In all respects other than her lack of toes, she is probably much more normal than I am

Sully, I hate to break it to you but pretty much anyone in the universe is more normal than you are...

Jeni said...

No matter what you write about -be it truth or lies -you never cease to amaze me!

Ruth and Glen said...

We're coming in late on this one. Geez, they were all so believable, EXCEPT for the one about the toes. Good job !

Janet said...

I hate that I didn't get a chance to vote (I was going for the body hair thing), but both posts were so much fun to read!
(PS - Don't faint, I posted today.)