Tales....

.... it is no secret around my neck of the woods that my family's bullshitting lying story telling skillz border on the epic..... mostly on my Mother's side of the family, of course..... my Father wasn't much of a storyteller unless it was a bedtime story.... and then?.... good god, he'd get so engrossed in a story that my Mother would end up wandering through near midnight to drag him off to bed...... Eric the Red and his sidekick, Toothless the Alligator were always the ones that enjoyed making up best.... Eric owned a grape vine, you see..... and Toothless could only eat grapes due to his teeth all having fallen out..... anyway, you get the point...... Eric and Toothless were the bestest of pals and got into all kinds of adventures...

... but on my Mother's side of the family, I grew up listening to the Uncles on that side spin some real, out-of-this-world doozies..... my Father would just squat down by the fire or swing, smoke his cigarette, and grin as he listened..... knowing good and well that what was going on around him was pure Entertainment and definitely NOT meant to be taken as The Truth...... and I like to think that I learned more from him than I did my Uncles when it came to telling tales....

... there is a time and a place for everything, I suppose..... and just trust me, no one on this earth can tell a story like a Southerner when he has a rapt audience and the correct props - a covered swing, a few shade trees, and a pint of moonshine (or a gallon of sweet tea - depending on the time of day and if there happen to be children present.).....

... this past Independence Day found most of my Mother's siblings gathered with their various broods at HER house for hotdogs, pulled pork sandwiches, swimming in the pool, etc... and while the wives lazed by the pool reading their magazines and the children splashed in and out of the pool, the menfolk, as usual, gravitated towards the old covered swing that my Father had made.... and it was there that the bullshit began to be spread thick and fast....

.... I did learn one thing this year, though..... and honestly, it had never really crossed my mind before (and it should have), but telling yarns is a Generational thing.... see, one can only tell a lie so many times before the audience can clue in, butt in, and then re-tell it better than The Teller was doing.... for some reason, that had never been truly shined out to me until this past 4th of July......

.... my Uncle Jim and Uncle Tony (fully ensconced in the swing with legs crossed) represented the "already been bullshitted" generation, and my young Cousin Calvin was telling a tale (as we'd all been basically taught to do.).....

Calvin: I was reading in the Vonore Democrat the other day that some fella had rented out a parcel of land around Loudon to do some deer huntin' on this fall..... the way I heard it, he'd strapped his chainsaw to his 4-wheeler and was clearing out the path up into the woods where he was going to put his stand.... anyway, he ran over this log and continued on his way...... a few hours later he headed back home came upon that log across the path again.... this time he decided to clear it away with his chainsaw...... and just as he cranked his saw, it MOVED!.... he sawed it in half and killed it.... evidently the guys at the University of Tennessee identified the remains as a 22-foot long anaconda!.....

Uncle Jim: ..... is that right?....

Calvin: Evidently...seems that after the folks identified it they gave it back to him and he disposed of it in the river...

Uncle Jim: .... I guess he didn't figure that anyone would be wanting to see the remains of a Volkswagen-eating snake from South America living right here in East Tennessee, eh?.....

Calvin: Guess not..... the paper didn't have any photos or anything... but they offered a thousand dollar reward for anyone who would bring in another specimen and let them photograph it....

... it was at this point that Uncle Jim stretched his back, spit, took a sip of sweet tea (it wasn't dark enough for the moonshine yet), and lit a cigarette......

Uncle Jim: ..... see, first off, I've heard variations of that story my whole damned life, Calvin..... it's interesting, sure.... it's mildly amusing, sure..... and it's completely un-provable - which is the most important part...... but, Goddamn, boy, if you're going to tell a good lie, then you have to sell it properly!...... for instance, you say he ran over it on the way UP the road?.... and it lay there waiting for him to come back?... to be run over again??..... c'mon, boy, use your noggin....... and just how do you think YOU would react if some redneck sidled up to you while you were lazing along a roadbed and decided to cut you in half with his chainsaw?..... wouldn't you wiggle just a bit, hmmm?.... or perhaps fucking FLEE?..... or maybe even try to bite the leg of that which was chainsawing you?...... I call bullshit on this one....Complete and Utter..... and damn, I wish it was dark enough to have a drink right about now......

Calvin: Well, maybe so, but that's what I heard read...

Uncle Jim: ..... well, if you're going to tell that story from now on, you need a bunch of better damned twists... and I mean a BUNCH.....

Uncle Tony: ... yeah, I'd ditch the whole chainsaw thing and say that he tripped over while walking up the path and ended up stabbing it to death with his car keys while he fought for his life...... hell, Calvin, ain't NOBODY going to believe that it lay there and let him cut it up with a chainsaw.....

Me: ...... that car keys idea is hardcore, Uncle Tony..... I'd have believed that....

Calvin: .... *leaning back on his rock and sipping more sweet tea looking a bit disgruntled*......

... and thus ended that vein of conversation for the evening..... I ended up taking the floor and yammering on about pachinko machines, but I believe that their listening abilities had gone off the boil by then..... but that was ok, really...... my stories seldom involve errant anacondas or chainsaws.....

... it's not that I can't make up a good lie when I want to, you know.... it's just that I find it too tiresome..... I'd much rather do like my Dad and just sit back and listen to them rather than make them up myself.........

..... I've never been much of a liar, I guess...... but I certainly appreciate an entertaining one when I find him... hell, I grew up in a whole NEST of them....... and it was a great way to grow up.....

by Eric on July 05, 2010 | Bullshit (7) | TrackBack (0) | Ummm, Ok....
Bullshit So Far

I think the car keys make for a better story.

Bullshitted by Lou on July 6, 2010 07:15 AM

Ain't nothing like a good tale...we should have a tale-telling round-table in OCT, if you do OCT again. That would be interesting. I'll make a Court Jester, or something like it, out of glass, for the best tale prize. Of course, it will probably drunk voting.

Great post...reminds me of some tales I've heard, and told.

Bullshitted by Yabu on July 6, 2010 10:11 AM

Over the weekend we were with this couple and I started telling a bullshit story about how hard it was growing up and being poor made us tough. I related that my Mom only made three supper plates for the family of four and me and my brother had to fight for the meal...You got tough or went hungry.

The female of the other couple asked me in comlete seriousness how my Mom could do something like that. Why didn't she just give everyone a little less?

I think she was having a blond moment, 'cause I never thought my storytelling skills were all that good.

Maybe I was inspired by your Uncles.

Bullshitted by hoosierboy on July 6, 2010 02:06 PM

Tall tales .....
http://keeskennis.blogspot.com/2010/07/tall-tales.html

Bullshitted by keeskennis on July 6, 2010 08:08 PM

Somehow, this post puts me in mind of a long story involving chipmunks...

Bullshitted by Elisson on July 6, 2010 08:48 PM

Heh. Sometimes it's the color comentary that saves a chipmun... I mean a random long story.

Bullshitted by K-nine on July 7, 2010 02:50 PM

That's the funniest thing I have read in quite some time. The old boys dissecting Calvin's effort and providing critique.

Beautiful job. Great story within a story. Awesome description. And I sincerely mean that.

I could instantly see my Uncles doing the same thing.

Bullshitted by Andy on July 11, 2010 01:31 PM