Tall Tales and Other Flat Out Lies
As we get older, memories of notable accomplishments in our lives have a way of becoming bigger, better or more exciting than they actually were. It’s only human nature. With the passage of time and constant retelling of a story it’s bound to be refined to a point of being unrecognizable as truth if it were told at the time it happened. OK, so maybe we lied a little bit!
Grandfathers are masters of this art. At least mine was. I think the secret lies in their keen ability to sound so serious and keep a straight face as their yarn unfolds. What begins as a true story suddenly becomes a full fledged tall tale…a real whopper of a fib.
For instance, war stories, where naturally he was the hero. “There I was with only a pistol and two rounds left…surrounded by seven tanks.” That could be true, of course. I wasn’t there.
Truth streched a mite
However, sometimes there comes a point when you know for certain truth is being stretched a mite. Like, “Now let me tell you about the time me and ol Davy Crockett were down at the Alamo…!” I was a gullible little kid but even I wasn’t buying that one.
Then there was the time he went bear hunting and met up with a grizzly bear. That could be true, of course. I wasn’t there. But wait, there weren’t any grizzly bears in that part of the country were there? Anyway, according to him he put such a scare into that old bear it dug a hole in the mountainside and pulled it in after him. That one’s a little hard to swallow also.
And of course we can’t leave out any “the one that got away” fishing stories. “I wrestled with that man eating shark for two hours before he finally slipped out of my arms and swam off!” That could’ve happened, of course. I wasn’t there. I’ve heard of sharks swimming up into clear water rivers before. But wait; there aren’t any oceans around Arkansas, are they?
Yep, my grandfather could tell some whoppers. He was a retired welder on the renowned “Katy” Line Rail Road. And you just know he had some wild adventures there. Here's a whopper about his railroad days.
“That ol steam engine just quit and the train started rolling back down the mountain. I had to single handedly push that train back up the mountain!” That could’ve happened. I wasn’t there. But wait; did the “Katy” line even have steam locomotives back then?
Maybe we’re all guilty of exaggeration at one time or another. I suppose it is only human nature. But I’ll tell you this, if I had any grandchildren…I could make up stuff even better than my grandfather! Did I tell you about the time I was a professional gorilla wrestler in Africa?