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C’mon folks. Make those fish stories believable

March 30, 2012 at 09:44 AM

The State Journal-Register

The headline read, “27 People Who Lied To Me Last Week.”

The column written by Gene Marks, a writer, public speaker and small business owner, detailed what he called a partial list of the prevaricators he encountered in a single week. Among those on his less than truthful list were customers who said they would pay in 30 days, the vendors who promised delivery on time and his teenage daughter.

“I’m not sure what it is she lied to me about, but all I have to do is wait and see,” he wrote.

Others included the guy who sold him the seamless plug-and-play device for his computer, Gallup Polls that indicate business is getting better while his bank balance is shrinking, and the sales rep who always promises that he’s getting the best price available.

It is interesting that among the 27 people or organizations of questionable veracity that Mr. Marks encountered, no fishermen appeared on the list. Of course, it’s possible that he doesn’t know any anglers, or didn’t encounter one during the seven days before writing his column.

It is also possible that aforementioned group is so good at making stuff up that he never suspected that he was being deceived.

If you’re having a little trouble getting the audience to swallow your fish tale hook, line and sinker, here are some tips for making the untrue believable.

Your story must have a grain of truth in it somewhere. For example, you actually have to have gone fishing that day.
If you ran over one of your rods in the driveway and broke the tip, it can serve as a visual aid when you describe the “hawg” that snapped it.

Most of all, the “one that got away” story must be told with disappointment bordering on desperation. Don’t smile. Body language is important. Slouch, keep your head down, and keep direct eye contact to a minimum. You are overwhelmed with despair. You never hope to hook such a fish again. If you can’t blink hard enough to work up some tears, try peeling an onion just before story time.

The most believable fabrications are not verifiable. You must be alone when the event occurred. Keep it simple.

Spin your yarn so that some computer savvy listener can’t do a search on his smartphone before you finish the story.
Avoid social media postings. Don’t even think about manipulating a picture in Photoshop. We all know that in the cyber world that seeing is not necessarily believing. If you’re standing there holding up the fake fish in the photo, that immediately begs the question, “Who took the picture?”

I’ve been told, the act of deception, and setting the hook so that gullible listeners spread the tale of your disappointment, can be more satisfying than actually catching fish. It’s the stuff of legend.

Of course, I have no firsthand knowledge of such things. But then again, Sunday is April Fools’ Day.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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