People often tell me things. Or reveal themselves when I happen to notice. I’m a fairly good listener. Or at least, I’m quiet, which is often mistaken for listening. I tend to listen and evaluate and pay attention a lot more than folks realize, I guess. It’s a learned mechanism, for the most part, from feeling awkward in new social situations and having the experience often since we moved a lot when I was younger.
Most of the time I think they are telling me the truth, at least as they know it to be.
I only know of one person that I caught out in a blatant and complete untruth. Mostly because he made up a story based on something that I said, but he wasn’t listening or wasn’t familiar with a term I’d used and so his premise to the story was completely off base.
When we were in our teens my best friend and I became involved in Rennaisanse Faires. She started going out with a fellow she met at a faire who went by the name of Fidget. I can’t remember his actual name, though I’m reasonable sure I knew it at the time.
Over the course of their relationship we began to suspect that he was something of a pathological liar. We mostly felt that the real proof that he was not a member of a top secret Japanese martial arts gang was the fact that he told us about it. He had a couple stories that he liked to tell that we had a fairly good idea weren’t true but since he was mostly amusing, no one seemed to be getting hurt, and she really did like him, we just sort of went along with it. He was one of those guys who would hear your story and have a “me too” and “I was there” amendment.
When I was 13 or so, I went with my grandma on this fantastic trip to Africa with long layovers in New York and London coming and going. One of the things that we did while in London was to take a tour down the Thames River on a boat called The Marchioness. A few weeks after we returned home there was an accident where a garbage skow* rammed into The Marchioness, tearing it in two and sinking it. This seemed like quite a coincidence and certainly lucky for us that it didn’t occur while we were there.
*if you, like Fidget, don’t know, this is a boat that carries garbage.
We were talking about this weird accident that happened with the boat in London. He picked up the “me too” ball and ran with it. According to him he was sitting on a park bench overlooking the river when it happened. He was close enough to see the truck driver’s look of horror as he careened out over the river and crashed into the boat. It was very exciting and traumatic.
So, yeah. We knew for sure after that that he was full of it. We would laugh about it, but for whatever reason never called him out on it.
Eventually the bag of things wrong with him became heavy enough that she let him go. Not specifically for the bs he would say, but I’m sure it was a factor.