Friday, August 19, 2016

On Tall Tales

Prompt: "What do you think of people who tell tall tales that are meant to entertain but not deceive?"

It depends on what's meant by "tall tale". Are you legit telling me an actual made-up story and presenting it as a work of fiction or are you exaggerating something from your life that I'm expected to accept as fact even if there's no earthly way it could possibly be true? I'm going to assume for all intents and purposes that it's the latter.

People that tell tall tales (a la Edward Bloom in Big Fish) honestly really irk me. I grew up around pathological liars that you couldn't trust to tell you the truth about anything. Sometimes the lies were malicious, but other times it was just about making something sound better or more exciting than it really was. My brother in particular really made a habit of this and would often lie just for the sake of lying. You took him at his word at your own peril because there would always be facts left out and other facts embellished at the very least. Every so often a story he told you would be a lie from beginning to end.

I personally don't really care what the person's intention are. I don't like being lied to. Period. Presenting me with a fish story I'm expected to accept in lieu of the actual truth doesn't entertain me or amuse me. It insults my intelligence and it wastes my time. If you're someone I know and I ask you to tell me how you met your spouse out of genuine interest in you, it's because I'm trying to get to know you better. Don't spin me a yarn about daffodils and circuses, for fuck's sake. If what you want to do is entertain, then write an actual work of fiction and present it as such. It's rude to do otherwise.