Saturday, May 8, 2010

Not So Pure

Well it seems that now is the time when the heinous untruths I have been spreading across the internet (well at least on my own blog) are un-masked.

Given my wicked nature, I have woven an element of truth into all my falsehoods to more easily ensnare my victims.

So which are the lies? What is the truth?

1. I have a very rigid routine. I have so much happening in my life the only way I can keep it all flowing is if I diarise absolutely everything.

This is my first LIE. I have a terrible tendency to fly by the seat of my pants. However, I do use a diary fairly consistently at work. Otherwise, my natural tendencies to random behaviour would be fatal to my credibility as a manager.

2. During my surfie period in my youth I was waiting to catch a wave when suddenly a huge shark burst out of the wave next to me. I have never been so frightened.

This is true – almost (but not quite). I was once sitting on my board out behind the breakers waiting for a larger wave. As a wave began to build, I saw in the water a massive shadow racing directly at me.
Naturally I thought “shark” and was expecting to end my short life in a patch of blood soaked foam. Then out of the building wave popped a bottle-nosed dolphin, I swear it laughed at me, before disappearing back into the wave. So the fear was real, but technically the shark is a LIE.

3. When I was a toddler I lived in a house that had no less than 20 of the deadliest snakes in the world in residence. They didn’t frighten me because I was simply too young to understand the danger.

This is actually the TRUE yarn. Although taking a little poetic licence I have made it sound much worse than it was.
My dad was a herpetologist, probably one of the leading experts on Oz reptiles in the field.
His passion – snakes. My Dad had literally dozens of Eastern Browns, Copperheads, Red-Bellied Blacks, Tiger Snakes, Bandi-Bandis and Death Adders all living in the house. Fortunately for little me they were all enclosed in cages.

4. Again on the subject of houses, I have lived in a large number of places over the years. In fact the total number of houses I have now lived in is nearly 20.

This is also a LIE, although only technically. You notice I said “…nearly 20.”
My eldest daughter E has already lived in “..nearly 20” houses (18 to be precise). I have in fact lived in 58 houses I can remember. If my Mum is to believed (and I always listen to my Mum), there were at least a dozen in the first three years of my life.
Why so many? It’s a long story probably best reserved for a post of its own. My throw away line is “I have a gypsy for a mother and I married a gypsy too.”

5. Deb and I first met when I sat next to her in a lecture hall on our first day at university.

This is also a LIE. In fact I sat next to a guy who was at that stage Deb’s boyfriend. So I met a certain charming young woman through him, again it’s a long story.

6. I was on a ship in the Suez Canal when the 1967 Arab-Israeli war broke out.

Fortunately this is also a LIE. However, I was actually on a ship crossing the Indian Ocean bound for Suez and London when the 1967 war broke out. Can you believe people actually travelled the world by ship back then? My Mum’s Dad had just died so she took us to England to visit our Grandma. Because of the war we were diverted around the Cape of Good Hope and went to England the long way.

7. When I was 18 I wrote off (totalled) my first car by crashing it into a tree.

Again this is a LIE. I did write off a car when I was 18, but it was my Mum’s. Also, I didn’t hit a tree. It was much more dramatic. It was wet, the tires weren’t great and I was young and silly. Very silly.
I was driving much too fast on the Pacific Highway when I skidded across in front of oncoming traffic. I hit the table-drain on the other side of the road and cart-wheeled the little FIAT 850 I was driving end over end. I didn’t touch the roof.
I have a vivid memory of looking down through the windscreen as the car was flipping over. I was absolutely convinced that I was about to die. I felt no fear, just a profound regret that it was all over so soon.
To my total surprise, when the car came to a halt (right-way up), I was still alive. The driver’s seat had collapsed so I was lying on my back. The engine (in the back of an 850) had pushed partway through the firewall and was sitting by my head. I thought “It could catch fire, I’d better get out.” Amazingly, I got out of the wreck under my own steam. I had severe bruising (one on my leg as big as a dinner plate) and whiplash, but other than that I was uninjured.

So there you go, Al is revealed as a terrible liar! Only Anne the Piedmont Writer guessed correctly that Number 3 was in fact true.

Or is it? Do you believe me?

A random photo: Harbour 2008


Kristen M. said...

Well, I was "technically" wrong by saying number 4 but right with "you seem like you could have moved around a bit". :)

I love your stories!

Al said...

Hi Kristen,
I'll give you a half point for your answer! :)
As you said I did move around, and more than a bit but as I phrased it it wasn't true.
Thank you for the complement, I enjoy sharing!

KarenG said...

That dolphin story is pretty dang cool! Omigosh that would have been so scary.

Al said...

Hi Karen,
The Dolphin story is dang cool! It was scary, but something to laugh about afterwards. Mind you I think the Dolphin had a laugh about it too!

Anonymous said...

hahaha aww I should have gone with the snakes, I liked them first. :o))) I enjoyed your lies and truth well done.

Old Kitty said...

Oh thank goodness you weren't actually surrounded by all sorts of slithery creatures!

Well you certainly fooled me!! Like that dolphin fooled you! LOL!

But the truths behind these "lies" are FASCINATING!! You sat next to your current wife's bf, you living in 58 places, you were nearly caught up in the Suez crises (and your travelled by boat to England the long way!! wow)and your car accident - good grief.

I need to lie down now.

Take care

Christine said...

Fascinating Al, and I'm still shuddering at the house of snakes.

Looking forward to the story of your journey from house to house - all 58 of them!

Jaydee Morgan said...

This is such a fun tag and I loved hearing all the answers revealed. I was right on one part, you have lived a very interesting life :)

Lisa said...

Oh my God--you are a really good liar! It's always said that the best lies contain an element of truth. I'm going to have to put some serious thought into my take on this!

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow - that's a lot of houses! I've only lived in 4! You've sure had an interesting life! :)

Michele Emrath said...

No way! Snakes everywhere? That's crazy. I have lived in five houses--are we counting apartments and college dorms? If we are, then 12!
I never would have guessed the snakes...Too crazy!


Indigo said...

This was a fascinating read into who you are, as a person and the Dolphin story fit perfectly with their playful nature. I'm in awe, you grew up with such fascinating reptilian creatures around you. Snakes do unnerve me. Strange enough the snake is prominent on my totem. (Hugs)Indigo

hmsgofita said...

Haha! Well, a story is always better than the truth! Fascinating! Snakes are great...but I think I would've been a bit nervous with so many in my house!

Talli Roland said...

Sheesh! You must have been a very brave boy. Great lies, by the way!

Brinda Ravi said...

I am terrified of snakes but at the same time, I find them so fascinating to watch. Your home must have been a very interesting place to live in.

I write short stories which I put up on my blog and I welcome any sort of feedback or criticism that's necessary for my improvement. I do hope you enjoy my works.

Al said...

Hi Niki,
You should have stuck with the serpents! Thank you, I’m pleased they were good enough to keep you happy.

Hi Kitty,
I made it sound very nerve wracking didn’t I?
I must be just wicked. I hope you enjoyed having the wool pulled over your eyes.
I still believe after all these years the dolphin was playing with me. We often used to see them surfing the waves apparently for the sheer fun of it.
I'm pleased you liked my stories. I guess I have had a few “adventures” along the way. I have been very lucky in so many ways.

Hi Christine,
Snakes don’t make me shudder, I guess I got used to them. Although, I do have the greatest respect for them.
Oh my, all 58? That would make a very long story, even just listing them would take a couple of pages.

Hi Jaydee,
I have seen others doing this meme, and it has always looked like great fun.
Pleased you enjoyed my stories, it has certainly been interesting so far.

Hi Lisa,
I am a story teller, so I guess that helps weave a good lie from the truth. If you take the truth and change a couple of details then suddenly it isn’t the truth any longer. Have fun spinning your own yarns!

Hi Jemi,
It is a painful number of houses. I wish I had only lived in four. I have had the odd interesting moment, that is for sure!

Hi Michele,
My dad was mad keen on snakes. I guess he still is, although in subsequent years he has broadened his interest to cute, furry possums.
I did count one apartment in my total, but other than that they have all been houses where I have had my official address.
I partly picked the snakes to make my “truth” because I am well aware most people are stressed by them. So most people are going to say “no way”, especially if I omit to say they were in cages.

Hi Indigo,
Thank you I am pleased you enjoyed my stories. Dolphins are gorgeous creatures. As I said above we used to often see them surfing. Frequently, they would share waves with human surfers. Sometimes the even seemed to take turns on the waves.
Dad was as keen as mustard about all reptiles, particularly snakes, so I got used to them. Most people are taught they are dangerous (which they can be if you don’t treat them with respect) so they are nervous. Australian indigenous people usually have only one animal as a totem spirit (if they have a totem at all). So yours is a complex of spirits?

Hi Heather,
Stories are fun, especially if they are tall stories. But then I had great fabric to form my “lies” from.
I was too small to be worried by them at first, and later on they were just something I was accustomed to.

Hi Talli,
They weren’t scary because I wasn’t taught to be afraid of them. Pleased to liked my tales!

Hi Brinda,
Welcome to my blog!
My homes were fascinating in so many ways.
Sure I’m only to happy to pop over and have a look.

Myrna Foster said...

I wondered if it was the snake one. You have so many poisonous ones in Australia. I loved the dolphin story. Thanks for sharing so many interesting bits about yourself!