Friday, April 1, 2011

Would I Lie To You?

The Great LieImage via Wikipedia
So since today is April Fool's Day, I've decided I want to have some fun.

Based on idea I got from my blogging friend Laurie over at HibernationNow, I am posting five tales about myself today. Here it the kicker: only one of them is 100% the truth. The other four have elements of truth in them, but all contain a falsehood.

So have fun guessing which story below is 100% true and leave me a comment with your best guess. I've leave this up all weekend long for you to ponder and reveal which one below is the 100% true story sometime next week .

1) Lost In The Cornfields

My aunt lives in a small town about an hour and a half south of Chicago. One summer during my college years, back in the 1980s, I decided to go and visit her. That trip was a real adventure.

What I didn't realize is that her location is right in the middle of America's corn belt. There were literally miles of of cornfields stretching out in every direction. My cousin, her daughter, was gracious enough during my visits to drive me around to visit other relatives in the area. However, on a day she needed to work, I decided to venture out on my own to visit one of my uncles who lived in a small town a few miles away.

Armed with the directions she had written down for me, I headed out the door with my aunt's car keys in hand, confident I would have no problem finding my way to my uncle' s house. Boy was I wrong. I hadn't noticed when I was sitting in the passenger's seat that street signs for the country roads I was traveling on were few and far between. Without any mountains in the distance to use as a reference point, I got a hopelessly turned around. I stopped the car and got out in an attempt to figure out where I was; I even climbed onto the car in an attempt to get a better look over all of the cornfields and wound up putting a small dent into the roof of her car.

I was about to start panicking when I saw a truck coming towards me. As it got closer I started waving my hands wildly to get the driver to stop and help me figure out where I was. Turns out, the driver was my uncle who had gotten worried when I hadn't shown up and decided to come looking for me. He led the way back to my aunt's house, which took just a few minutes to get there.

Turns out, I had been driving around in a big circle because my cousin had written down the wrong directions!

2) Miserable In The Greek Isles

The summer after I graduated from college I decided to take a solo trip to the Greek islands.

On the first leg of my trip, I joined a tour group, which departed from Athens on a seven day cruise through the Greek islands and to ports in Turkey. My roommate on the tour was a young woman from South Africa who befriended me. We hung out with several other young people from Canada who were also part of our tour group. We all had a really good time together.

After the tour, I plan to travel by myself to a group of Greek islands we had not visited while on the cruise. I took a two hour bus ride north from Athens and then jumped on a ferry for a eight-hour ride to my destination. Tired and hungry I arrived on the island at two o'clock of the morning. All I could do at that hour was secured a hotel room. After I got settled, I collapsed on the bed and fell promptly to sleep.

The next day I woke up famished, so I headed down to a café for breakfast. It was there that I realize that I had traveled so far off the beaten path that I wound up somewhere where it seems no one spoke English. I went to the local tour office, the only place where I did find someone who could speak English, and learned that this island was actually a vacation destination for the Greeks.

At first I thought to myself ,'I'll just try to make the best of this.' But after several days without someone to talk to, homesickness hit me hard and I decided to head back to Athens early.

After that experience, I decided that I never wanted to travel all alone by myself ever again.

3) An Encounter With a Cactus

My recent trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, reminded me of the trips we took as a family when me and my siblings were growing up. We actually made several trips to Arizona to visit places like the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest and the O.K. Corral.

Seeing the tall saguaro cactus in the Sonoran Desert out the passenger's window of the car reminded me of an incident with my brother on one of these trips. Our mother told us that if we messed with a cactus and got the spines stuck in our skin we would have to go to the hospital to have them removed. My brother, however, seemed to not be paying attention. On the hike we took on a trail through the desert, he decided to kick a piece of dead cactus that was in the middle of the trail. Since he was wearing canvas sneakers, the spines went right through the fabric and into his foot.

I saw what happened and reminded him what our mother had said. He pleaded with me not to tell her. Instead, when we got back to the campsite, he headed to the restroom to work on removing all of the spines in his foot himself. I'm pretty sure that he got them all out himself, because he never complained about having any pain or needed to fess up to what he did because his foot got infected. Which made me wonder why, in the first place, our mother warned us about the whole cactus spines and needing to go to the hospital thing. Maybe it was just a ploy on her part to keep us from messing around with those plants.

4) Our Dog Nixon

When I was a teenager, my mother took us to a hairdresser who worked out of his home in Northridge, California. I'm not sure how she found him, but he did an okay job cutting my hair. After going to see him several times, he let us know that he was moving.

Now I can't remember this hairdresser's name, but I do remember that he had several big dogs and I guess he couldn't take all of his pets along with him when he moved. That's how we came to own a German short-haired pointer named Nixon.

Now I was always a little scared around bigger dogs, having been bit by a standard poodle while selling YMCA Christmas tree tickets in our neighborhood. German short-haired pointers are what I consider a big dog. But Nixon had a pretty laid back personality and, once I got to know him, I wasn't scared at all.

The longer we owned Nixon, the more we realized he wasn't the smartest dog on the face of the planet.

One particularly funny story has to do with Nixon and our sliding glass door. That door also had a sliding screen which we kept in place when the glass door was open. The four of us kids were sitting inside the house when the glass door was open and the screen door was shut. Nixon was on the other side of the screen door on the back patio. We all decided to call Nixon at the same time and he came running full tilt towards us. We all burst out into laughter when we saw the dent a stunned but unhurt Nixon left in the screen door.

Our dad, who had to repair the screen door, was not amused.

5) Fall Down, Go Boom

My sister will never let me live down this moment and to this day she bursts into laughter whenever she remembers it, much to my chagrin.

My sister decided she wanted to go to the local library and I decided to join her. She had just gotten her driver's license so of course she wanted to drive. The trip to the library was uneventful and we spent about an hour combing the stacks for books we wanted to read during our summer vacation.

After checking out, we headed back to the car, jumped in and were ready to head home. She pulled out of the parking lot and up to the traffic light which was red. Now at this particular intersection, which crossed Ventura Blvd., it seemed like it took forever for the traffic light to change so we could go. My sister got impatient and asked me to jump out of the car and head towards the traffic light pole so I could hit the walk button and trigger the light to change. It was no big deal, so I unbuckled my seatbelt, opened the door and headed out into the crosswalk.

I was in the crosswalk almost to the curb when all of a sudden the light decided to change without any intervention from me. Seeing the light change somehow sent a signal to my brain that I needed to turn around and get back into the car, pronto. Apparently there was some confusion getting that message from my brain to my legs, which resulted in one foot turning back towards the car while the other foot continued heading towards the sidewalk. This resulted in my legs getting all twisted and me falling to the ground in the crosswalk.

Embarrassed, I dusted myself off and got myself back on my feet as quickly as I could, while in the background I could hear my sister saying, "Hurry up! Hurry up!" between her giggles. By the time I got back in the car and put my seatbelt back on, she was laughing hysterically. "Stop laughing and let's get out of here," I said to her, as I started getting really annoyed. "And by the way, how about asking if I'm okay instead of laughing at me?" I chided her.

She says there was something about how I was standing one moment and on the ground the next that just makes her laugh uncontrollably. Over the years, I've learned to just be a good sport about it.

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1 comment

ashpauls said...

I don't think 1 and 3 are real. Only bc I don't think there are mountains (that I know of) near Chicago, and I didn't think you had ever been to Arizona. So I'm going to guess and say number 2, but I could definitely see the last one happening too bc it's a typical funny thing siblings share. Great April 1st blog!