Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Liar, Liar Pants On Fire

You know what the world needs? Another, reality show.

I'm not kidding, but not just any old reality show. Yes, I have a concept for a new reality show.

Still working on a title but maybe Liar, Liar Pants On Fire, The Biggest Liar, or The B.S. Test.

Here's how it would work. In the beginning stage you give each persona scenario they have to carry out. A mission that only a skilled bullshitter could carry out. Maybe he's gotta talk his way backstage at an Oprah taping. Or maybe a woman has to talk another woman into revealing her true dress size. Or maybe it as simple as talking their way into getting their money back for a Whopper at Burger King. This stage would be a way to introduce the major players and weed out the pretenders. I'd compare it to those horrendous early auditions in American Idol.

Then the real fun would begin. The lie off.

Through a series of challenges each week two contestant would face off in an elimination battle. The first would tell a totally made up story. The other would have to top it. This would go on until one one contestant failed to top the story or the audience drowned them out by yelling bullshit. Entertaining stories and humor would be needed to keep the audience off your back.

Sure it sounds ridiculous but I'd rather watch that than a bunch of grown men cram fifty-bajillion hotdogs down their throats in a five minute span. Or the Rock, Paper, Scissors national championship live from Vegas. Yes, ESPN does show both of those.

And yes, I want to be a contestant. Heck, I think I'd be one of the favorites. Now a brief story, which is a true account of my abilities to spin a tall tale.

Several years back me and group of friends headed north to Colorado for a week of Elk hunting. For those who've never spent time in a hunting camp let me tell you, the truth gets stretched tighter than the waistband of an Elvis suit in the later years. A bit of bragging and boasting is not only acceptable but expected. Stories are swapped and everyone tries to outdo the other hunters. Feel free to sing the song from Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

No one hunts like Gaston.

No one dances like Gaston.
No one fights likes Gaston.

Be sure and throw in adequate fist pumping.

So there were six of us. Five all knew each other and the sixth was a friend of the newest member of our group. We shall call him Gaston. He flew in from Florida to joint the hunt.

Problem was he was a jackass of the highest order. He spent all of the first day giving me marital advice. In all fairness he did have more experience than me since he was on wife number seven whereas I've only ever had one.

The second day he told all of us how stupid we were for hunting this particular area of the mountains. Sure, he'd never shot an elk but he had gone once before some ten odd years ago.

Day three he talked about how bad the food was that we ate and brought along. Never mind the fact he didn't bring anything but his own clothes and hunting equipment. Oh and his gun was far superior to the crappy weapons we carried, and his walkie-talkie reached twice as far as ours.

By day four we were tired, cold and hungry so we headed to town for a steak dinner. While Gaston got ready I told the others that I was going to have some fun with him tonight.

So we sat down and sure enough Gaston started in with a story of how wonderful his hunting lease in Florida was. I one-upped him and spoke of the monstrous mule deer in Texas.

Back and forth we went and ever time I took his outlandish story one level higher. After a gang got to snickering so I had a hard time keeping a straight face, but I maintained control just to see how far this idiot would go.

So finally he tells this ridiculous story if a guy he knew he kept a pair of deer antler with him at all times that had screws inserted into the basis. That way he could shoot a buck or doe and simply screw the antlers on to fool the game wardens since only bucks were legal game.

His tale had more holes in it that a desolate stop sign in redneck country ... but instead of questioning him I launched into my own sordid tale.

This guy I knew was out hunting on the last day of Elk season. He hiked seven or eight miles up into the mountains. Dark was closing in a storm was moving down from the north and he was all alone above the timber line. He should have quit and turned back hours ago but he'd been trailing a monstrous bull elk all afternoon. Finally he stalked within rifle range, but then it hit him. He could never drag such a large animal all the way back to his truck by himself. Not before the storm hit. So he pondered the situation until he began to shiver and then it came to him.

At this point I'd lowered my voice and Gaston leaned closer to hear more.

So he raised his rifle, took aim, and shot the huge seven by seven Bull Elk.

Gaston nodded as if he'd known it all along. Smugly he leaned back as if this story held no merit. "Bet he had fun dragging the big bastard all by himself. He probably got frost bite before he made it back to his truck."

I smiled. I'd reeled my fish in.

Oh, he didn't drag the elk back. He only shot to wound it enough so he could catch it. Then he hopped on its back and rode the things down to his truck where he finished it off with a shot to the head from his pistol.

Gaston opened his mouth to speak and for one brief moment I though he was going to try and top the story then he stopped and said, "Awww, Bullshit. You expect me to believe a story like that?"

Of course everyone else dies laughing, but I merely raised my hand in victory and said yes, "Finally a story that not even you are willing to try and one up."

He never went hunting with us again.


Mom In Scrubs said...

First - love the idea for the show. I think America could relate; we all know these people.

Second - I hope you kicked out the "newest member of the group." Shame, shame for sullying a perfectly good trip!

Third - Kudos to you for putting the guy in his place.

But you know, really, I have a better story....

ha ha.

Jess said...

Market that idea and send it in. It worked for a Superman script, it can work for you. (I learned about the Superman script from an Uncle John's Bathroom reader, thankyouverymuch).

Travis, Travis, Travis- only you could write a blog like this and have me compelled until the very end.

A wonderful tale, my friend.

Stephen Parrish said...

Travis, Travis, Travis- only you could write a blog like this and have me compelled until the very end.

Took the words right out of my mouth. Travis, you have chosen to be a writer, and although you don't need to hear it from me, I'll say it anyway: you've made the right choice.

alex keto said...

Sadly, my best hunting story is about going out 13 times one season to bow hunt and coming back with squat.
Elmer Fudd has better luck and skill than I do

Monnik said...

Travis - that's a GREAT idea for a show. Seriously.

We all know those 'one uppers'... I can't deal with them. And for a newbie to the group to have the audacity to do that makes them even more irritating. I'm glad you put him in his place.

Erica Orloff said...

No joke. You should market that show. Get an agent.

Charles Gramlich said...

You think YOU'RE Gaston was bad. Let me tell you about this guy "I" know....

Brooke said...

Damn! I would be SO GOOD on a show like that!

My dad has a good hunting story about wild turkeys...or maybe it was hunting with Wild Turkey...

In any event they didn't hit anything...

Shauna said...

BWAHAHAHA! Loved the story! And I would love to see a reality show like that. After reading your story, I am assured you would do very well. ;-)

March2theSea said...

i am perhaps the only person that has not watched a single reality show..just don't get em..but your idea is pretty good...

Phats said...

ha I think you should pitch this reality show! i love reality tv haha :) can't wait for American Idol.

I also love that you threw in a beauty and the beast reference

kat said...

OMG that would be a reality show I would actually want to watch.

Kristen Painter said...

I would totally watch that show! I'm addicted to reality TV anyway. I love watching people make fools of themselves.

And your story about the elk was awesome.

Chris Eldin said...

Hmmm... Re the show. I posted about Paul Eckman a while back. Very interesting person.
I now have a pretty good (okay, excellent) ability to tell when someone is lying. It is a science that one can learn. And it is fascinating. I can point to the precise second when Bill Clinton lied about Monica. I knew that Wayne Gretksy was lying about gambling.
I love this topic.

Sherry said...

I love this story!!! Playing chicken with story telling....it's great!! Especially the fact that "Gaston" never joined you again..he'd been played!!!

Love the idea for the game show...gonna pitch it to someone??

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Travis,

They already have that gameshow - America's Psychic Challenge... have you seen that one - kind of like a train wreck, you don't want to look but you can't turn away.

Hysterical - what happened to the new guy that brought him, have you all finished torturing him yet?

Danette Haworth said...

Wonderful storytelling! You wrote so many good lines here, but I think this one is my favorite: the truth gets stretched tighter than the waistband of an Elvis suit in the later years.

Great ending!

Lana Gramlich said...

I had a couple of friends who were horrible liars. Once I considered getting them together to see who would win the "golden shovel" award.
As far as a new reality show, I'm still waiting on Celebrity Survivor; The Moon.

CamiKaos said...

damn it... now the song is stuck in my head and if I'm still singing it in the morning my five year old will think I watched Beauty and the Beast with out her and then I will be in deep shit.

Barrie said...

"The truth gets stretched tighter than the waistband of an Elvis suit in the later years." Did you make that up? It's brilliant.

Skiingred said...

I know it's wrong of me, but when I'm in company of the Gaston's of the world, I can't help myself... I have a tendency to instigate and antagonize because I just want to see how long I can irk them...

Beautiful buck story :)

Bernita said...

I think there is a Liar's Club somewhere.
Get them to go live.

Bubblewench said...

that is freakin hysterical!

I might possibly watch your reality show cause that sounds better then anything else! And i'm not a reality show fan.

the truth gets stretched tighter than the waistband of an Elvis suit in the later years - I have to say your imagery in your writing is faboulous! I was dying when I read this! Awesome!!

Clare2e said...

Oh, Travis-

You crossed the streams and found a new dwarf of drunkenness: Gaston! I hated having blowhards like that draped over the oak apron, but trapped with one in a cabin for days?

I shudder...

There was an old game show called Liar's Club that my friend's mom was on in roughly 1977. They presented weird objects (ala Antiques Roadshow) and the contestants had to choose the true ID among the many wacky definitions of their functions presented by a persuasive celebrity panel.

Your version is totally 21st century, and I love the mob yelling angle. I think it would also be great to have celebrities have to determine who's lying. We're already used to them being fake, and it would be an amusing turnabout. Your modern celebutards practically demand their accountants and PR flaks, spiritual gurus, stylists, and staff bamboozle them with BS, why shouldn't normal people get the chance? For charity, of course.