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This is a question Bullshit and Bullshitters

We've had questions about lies and liars in the past, but this time we're asking about the sort of fantasist who constantly claims they've got a helicopter in the garden or was "second onto the balcony at the Iranian Embassy siege". Tell us about the cobblers you've been told, or the complete lies you've come out with.

Thanks to dozer for the suggestion

(, Thu 13 Jan 2011, 12:55)
Pages: Latest, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Had a friend who was into serious studies of THE OCCULT, yah
Reckoned he did madgickalle rituals and conversed with demons and all sorts. When I ridiculed him, as I always did, he'd threaten to send SOMETHING to my house to intimidate me. Yeah, go on, I'd say, scare me!

He did manage to frighten other people though. Mainly those of a less robust disposition, often teenagers, who I think he hoped would see him as a sort of Svengali.

Interestingly, one strand of his bullshit did seem to work. He said that as Satan is the master of all material things, you only have to ask him for whatever you want and he'll give it, for the minor price of your eternal soul. I tried it and it worked, ooer!

Lost touch with him many years ago. He's probably still out there, spinning yarns, the fat ginger Aleister Crowley-wannabe bastard.
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 13:49, 2 replies)
Weapons of
mass destruction.
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 13:13, 4 replies)
actually, I'm not sure what IS the truth here...
so.... this is a very hard one to work out what the actual truth is, so I'll tell you the story as our entire year heard it, and then the follow up so you can make up your own minds (apologies in advance if anyone from my school recognises this story!)

Back when I was in secondary school, a popular kid (let's call him "Dave") held a party. Almost the entire year turn up it seemed, and one lad in particular (he shall be named "John" for the sake of this recanting) was in attendance, and went to the toilet. Now... the next day, the rumour mill was in overgrind mode - someone had caught "John" having a wank in "Dave"'s bathroom!

As you can imagine with a bunch of 14 year olds... this rumour went round the school so fast I'm surprised the gym teacher didn't sign it up for the running team! YEARS (and I mean absolute YEARS!) of the poor bloke being known as "That lad that had a wank in someone's bathroom!" and it took it's toll on our hero. "John" was clearly hurt by it all, and a few years later when Friends Reunited started up, he posted one legend of a post on his profile, lambasting EVERYONE at school.

Some key highlights (names removed to protect the innocent!) included mocking someone for his half-German family and accusing him of being a Nazi like his granddad, multiple insults against the sluts of the year (we had a lot of unplanned teenage pregnancies before our GCSEs) and even going so far as to highlighting another guy's terminal illness (I think it was leukemia) and posting something akin to "I hope you die soon so I can dance on your grave!"

Again... this profile posting went round the groups of friends everyone kept in touch with, and apparently (according to a friend of a friend) "John" had turned into a very bitter and upset person, clearly created after years of abuse.

Now.... he then retracted this legendary post by writing an apology, and I know someone who has seen him since and he's got a nice life now, nice girlfriend and a decent job etc.. but I still wonder whether or not it was true!!

Kids can be very cruel sometimes, but this one time, I think our entire year fucked "John" over royally by pretty much ruining his formative years by labelling him as that kid who had a wank in someone's bathroom. On a serious note, I do know that he was depressed and possibly so emotional that suicide probably was a genuine option in his mind, and that alone makes me feel pretty shit inside, so I can only sympathise.

I have no idea whether it was one lie that got out of hand or not, but it genuinely strikes me to this day that we should have laughed it off and moved on a lot sooner than we did
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 11:35, 1 reply)
Sy.
The first year of uni, I lived with Sy. A guy who seemed to be the expert at everything, and tell the most bizarre stories. His best claim was that he supported the Kaiser Chiefs before they were famous in 2002. (In 2002, they had a different band name, but, you know, whatever).

All his exploits can be found on a blog I kept a few years ago, including diagrams to help visualise the stories and claims.

imsyandthishappened.blogspot.com/
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 11:17, 3 replies)
Aircraft engines in the lockup
I know a guy, let's call him "Jez".
He's been heard on a number of occasions claiming he has TWO, yes, TWO! brand new crated up Rolls Royce Merlin engines in his lockup - you know, the ones used in Spitfires, Hurricanes, Lancasters, Mosquitos, and even in the occasional Mustong or even Messerschmitt BF109.
The same guy also makes ridiculous accounts of his "alleged" time in the RAF about ejecting froma Harrier (he's not even a pilot!)
When he's not doing that, he claims to know Kate Bush personally, and that he's got loads of rare records - not that anyone's ever likely to see them.
Perhaps he'll stun us all one dat when every one of his stories actually turns out to be true...but don't hold your breath
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 11:05, Reply)
Honest officer....
this is my niece, she's just pretending she doesn't recognise me, you know what kids are like...
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 10:49, Reply)
my diary
I made it all up, I was actually in Skegness the whole time!
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 10:41, 4 replies)
I told fellow pupils that my dad had won 2 million on the pools
And that we had a Ferrari Testarossa. So when my dad turned up in a Peugeot to pick me up one of the kids bounded over and asked my dad straight up 'where's the Ferrari' I thought I'd been caught out, until my dad turned around with a perfectly straight face and said 'its in the garage having a service' got in the car and off we went.

Kept that up for ages, still don't know why I said it in the first place though??
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 10:14, Reply)
master thief
a lad who worked with me in a wetherspoons was well known for spouting lies when one day he came out with a cracker.
For weeks hed told us how hed travveled round europe with nothing but his guitar, playing his guitar in bars etc making money. fair enough we thought he played teh guitar quite well and could sing a bit. then he told us how hed been recruited in germany by a gang of mafia types who pursueded him to rob a german store a bit like house of fraser here in the uk. eevryone in the rooms face just went into ok heres some grade a bullshit coming mode.
he then told us how he staked out the place and noticed that they had pressure pads on the floor so he placed euros on them to stop them going off, he then broke in through a skylight mission impossible style and landed on the floor. unfortunatly a guard had picked up said coins and he didnt know which were the alarmed floor tiles. he stepped on one, alarms went off and he was arrested but was let off because his gangster friends knew people in the police force.
We all agreed hed had bad luck but at least he wasnt locked up, he agreed and said one day he will go back and do it as it annoys him he has to complete the challenge!!!!
twunt!!
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 8:03, 1 reply)
I smile at people
But only because they smile at me. I do it just to fit in. I never want to smile anymore.
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 7:48, 1 reply)
Bullshit Dave
once told me that he'd sired a son from a woman on an extended holiday in Jamaica where his brother had been working in a bar. I didn't see Bullshit Dave that often but when I saw him again a few weeks later I remembered he'd become a father and so asked him what was it like being a dad. I could see his brain working as he tried to remembed the bullshit and he came out with 'yeah, the twins! They're fine!'
Cock
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 2:43, Reply)
When I was a teacher a few years back
there was a new kid who joined. The family was fuhing minted but for some reason the whole family except one (not the one in my class) were bullshitters. The one in my class was about 10 or so but told me he had an interest in boxing and trained at one of the local gyms. I had no reason to not believe him. After a few weeks he came in with a black eye which he said he got while training. Again, it happens, never happened to me but I have a few mates who got the odd black eye sparring. Then one day he tells me he has a fight coming up. By now I was interested and was planning to go along on the saturday afternoon as I lived near the gym.
Just to make sure, I thought I'd ask his older brother if it was all going ahead. His brother burst out laughing and said that his little bro had a very active imagination. Turns out the black eye was from chasing after his dog and running into a tree. I didn't bother confronting him as he was a kid but week later he was the 'Star of the week' and got to bring in something to show the class on friday. As he was always going on about boxing he brought in his boxing kit, which was just a Mike Tyson dressing gown and a plastic belt his dad had picked up from somewhere. The rest of the class tore it out of him for weeks after that.
The dad was no better. He would boast about how he knew this celeb or that one and when they had parties he'd pay these Blist slebs to attend and he'd treat them as guests of honour and shower them with gifts and food and hugs and kisses etc. It was painful to watch.
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 2:14, Reply)
I wasn't masturbating,
I was just cleaning it and it went off.
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 1:37, 2 replies)
A mate of mine
was told a lovely story one night.
A journalist from a local listings magazine met him one evening and tried to pull him with his witty entertaining story.

Apparently he was working in a bar on Bristol's waterfront, and as time was called and everyone kicked out, it became time to lock up and leave. There is a string of bars down there most with industrial size bins out the back. Sometimes you have to walk past them to get home. As himself and a mate were leaving they heard a bit of a kerfuffle. On closer inspection they saw a couple of locals getting down to a bit of drunk sexy time.
A fine young Bristol man was giving it very energetically to a fine young Bristol girl who was splayed over said bin face first, enjoying her drunken munchies.
His pants were round his ankles and she was arse facing as he went for his life. Bum chicca wow wow and all that.
They were in fits watching, apparently, as it's not the most private of places.
The only thing heard apart from bin hinges squeaking was

'Don't fuck I too hard Gar..I'll spill me chips..'

Thing was, said friend being pulled had been the one to ACTUALLY see this a few weeks earlier and sent the story into the local listings magazine. He won letter of the week.
The journo in a desperate attempt to get into his pants had claimed it as his own. To the very worst person he could.
(, Sun 16 Jan 2011, 1:32, Reply)
at primary school
The headmistress had some weird ideas. In assembly, she would scan the entire school, about 150 of us, to see who had a twinkle in their eyes. If they did, it meant that they had had enough sleep based on some arbitrary bedtime rules. One 8 year old actually got told off in assembly for not having said twinkle because he had 'clearly stayed up past his bedtime watching Jaws'. She said that late nights will lead to imbecility and eventually madness and blindness.
She also decreed that the boys' fringes must be above the eyebrows. Any longer and it will cause a squint.
I don't know where my twinkle came from because I never went to bed before 10pm
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 22:50, 2 replies)
When younger,
my parents got me very into music of all kinds. One such artist was the late Bob Marley.
Now, I knew he was dead, but how he died? Nope.

My darling mother convinced the young me that Bob's career was on the wane, and that he quit Reggae to work in a bank. Apparently, his death was caused by cutting his hair, and apparently his strength was sapped, a la Samson & Delilah.

Yes, for most of 20 years, I believed the King of Reggae was killed by uniform regulations.
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 22:25, 4 replies)
Captain Smith
as some of you may know, Edward John Smith was captain of the ill-fated Titanic. as children, my uncle would tell us that Captain Smith was our great-great uncle. of course, we never believed him. just because the family surname happens to be Smith and that side of the family has a long-standing naval heritage, we really didn't think it was any more than coincidence-laced bullshit of the highest order.
that was then.
five years ago, one of my aunts started on our family tree. as my mother has 11 siblings and my grandparents came from large broods, it has taken some time. however, thanks to records that my aunt has found of births, marriages and deaths, it now seems extremely possible that my uncle was right all along.
bit weird, really.
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 21:46, 12 replies)
Parent Bullshit
Is the worst kind of bullshit, and my life has been a long slide of disappointment as I have discovered more of the things I hold dear are actually bullshit, that my Dad would say ANYTHING to keep us kids quiet.

Just 3 examples to give you a flavour of the nonsense I took as FACT, because, well, my Dad had told me, and Dad was always right:

1.I was nearly in Middle School before I had to accept that my Dad hadn't been a Roman Legionnaire, despite having had many years of interactive bedtime tales, telling how he and my uncle hacked, cut and parried across Europe at the head of Rome's very secret, one and only Welsh Legion, fighting a giant octopus and "the Turks", amongst other fiendish foes along the way.

2. That when that Legion was disbanded (sometime after they killed Hitler, I think), he had moved into Caernarfon Castle, which was actually our ancestral home before my Grandmother decided she actually preferred to live in a house in a small village down the road.

3. The Khyber Pass is in Wales.

I'm going to leave it there for now, and just plead with you parents not to bullshit your kids as a quick fix when they are bugging you.

The thing is, when they go to school, like I did, and the teacher asks where the fucking Khyber Pass is, your kid's hand will shoot straight into the air:

"It's in Wales Miss"
"Um, no, good try. Anyone else?"
"IT'S IN WALES!"
"No, no more messing about. Anyone?"
(Getting angry now)"It IS in Wales. I've been there, several times. My Dad had a hideout in the rocks and would shoot Turks with his bow and arrow, back in the Black & White days."
"Riiii-iiiight. OK, let's move on then, shall we?"

Now the teacher will steer well-the-fuck-away from this minefield, I mean how exactly would you tackle a kid who thinks his Dad is a seasoned killer with pre-firearms weaponry? Ignore it, that's how, confirming in the kid's mind, that the bullshit is actually the truth.

And would Dad take me to one side and say "Hey, you remember all that stuff I told you about when I was a notorious cut-throat pirate on the Spanish Main, before I went to work at the GEC? Well, it was bullshit". Did he fuck. He just let me wander round waiting for the day he'd find his Centurion's helmet and sword in the loft, then all the nay-sayers would see the truth.

I'm sure there'll be a story already posted here about a kid who used to bullshit that his Dad was a Medieval Warlord. That kid was me, but I honestly believed it. Thanks Dad, you twat!
(Ha, I've just remembered that he told us kids that Mum went to the "Special" school up the road. We would go to school and repeat the lie, I can still see the bemused looks on the teachers' faces. They must have thought we were a family of fucking nutters)
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 21:29, 10 replies)
like all cabbies... a story of epic bullshit and massive redemption
Bernie was a consummate bullshit artist. I was on a work trip to Boston and having my first go at corporate entertaining.In due course, bladdered and loving everywhere, everything and everybody, I stumbled into a cab and proceeded to tell the cabbie how great Boston was, how great the people were, how, in particular, I was going to come back one day and run the marathon there...

So of course, Bernie had not only run the Boston marathon, but he'd won it. And he's won the London marathon, and come third in Athens, and was designing special gel-filled shoes for Nike.

Well, of course, we got on like a house on fire; Bernie was from the same street as a mate of mine in Bristol (stunning coincidence) and we couldn't let such serendipity go un-celebrated. In Boston, you couldn't get a drink anywhere after 2am, so we went to a little chinese restaurant somewhere and drank 'cold tea', basically whisky in a teapot with prawn cracker chasers.

So, the evening winds on, with Bernie too pissed to drive and me behind the wheel, hilariously lost around the 'big dig' roadworks, even picking up a fare and taking him to MIT for his first night of college: I still have the $10 bill he gave me as a tip.

So, I took Bernie's number and slithered into my hotel and all was forgotten; a great beery tale of a bullshitting cabbie.

Until, something like 18 months later, I happened to do the London marathon for save the Rhino (in the suit) with a friend. As a bit of an added challenge, we decided to fly out to Boston that night to do the Boston marathon the following day: thinking that nothing could possibly go wrong, I called Bernie and arranged for him to pick us up at the airport.

Following a very relaxing flight (business class upgrade, god bless you BA) my friend and I rocked up on a cold, rainy night in Boston, pretty achey-painy and stiff, and hada rather terse exchange if views on the sanity of my plan. Still, fuck me sideways with a rhino horn, but there was Bernie. Another epic night of drinking ensued, followed by a trip out into the suburbs to his home where he insisted we stay the night.

On the walls: framed front pages of 'Runners' World' with Bernie's grinning mug, Cups, medals, you name it. And on the sofa I slept on that night? About two dozen golf shoes with custom gel inserts at various stages of development.

The following day got, if anything, even more bizarre, but we raised over 20k for STR and didn't spend a penny of it on accommodation or food or drink. Bernie, you fucking legend, I've dined out on that story for nearly a decade now. I hope, wherever you are, you got back on your feet and finally made good.



*I have googled Bernie many times since, trying to track him down, with no luck. I know he was a world class runner, albeit that maybe some of his race-placings suffered a little inflation in the telling. Still, cast not the first stone, and all that.
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 21:09, 2 replies)
Maaaany years ago, I worked for a few months as a guide
at the Blue John Cavern in Daaarbyshire. The guided tours were meant to be based on the guide book, which was not the most carefully researched and verifiable document in the first place.
To cut a looong story shrt, over a period of time the information from each guide began to diverge from the official party line, until you could have gone down with three consecutive guides and believed that you were in a completely different cavern each time.
We became competitive. We set each other challenges. We had a contest to see who could get one of the punters to ask the ladies in the shop for a copy of 'The Epic of Gilgamesh' (because the Blue John Cavern is, of course, mentioned several times in this antidiluvean masterpiece :p ). We span theories to our hearts' content about Coriolis forces and helical cave markings, polar reversals and whatnot.
Two things of note came from this.
1) Despite occasionally provoking a smirk or conspiratorial grin, at no time was I ever challenged on any of my outrageous lies by any teachers in charge of school field trips.
2) We were all completely outclassed and frankly had to acknowledge one particular guide as 'The Master'. The lowest cavern in the series is a fairly impressive space, and in the artful lighting looks even bigger than it is. It's pretty big by the standards of most natural caves in Britain. Nevertheless it's still a cave, so we were awestruck to hear a middle-aged couple in the shop after a trip with 'The Master' asking in all seriousness for two tickets to the forthcoming 'UK Underground Hang-gliding Championships'.
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 20:45, 2 replies)
My Housmaster was a troublesome sort.
I remember the day he got caught in the privates by a beamer from Bunty Farquharson. Of course, he fell like the French government, and was only revived after persuading a particularly pretty first year to "Suck out the bruising".
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 20:22, 1 reply)
I was trapped on a train with a Street Fundraiser
who spent 15 mins telling me all about how he had stolen the crown jewels, in super-autistic detail.

My favourite part of his tale was the bit where the police let him off when he explained that he didn't want the jewels, only to demonstrate that he had stolen them.
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 18:59, Reply)
When they say no
They really mean twice, with no condom, and a knife held against the throat.
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 18:48, Reply)

Its just a blister from where its rubbed on my new underpants.
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 18:34, Reply)
Wedding Vows
Last summer at a bar in Belfast (Maine) I wound up talking to a young guy and his best man who were out on some kind of 2 man bachelor party mission, and they were about as drunk as I've ever seen anyone. I happen to really dislike long conversations with people I've never met, and my normal reaction is to start saying the most confused senseless bullshit I can think of, hoping that the other parties involved will give up. I am aware that this is a real dick type of move.

The groom to be was worried about reading his vows, which he had yet to finish composing, so I told him not to worry and that I'd just given a best-man type speech a few weeks before and it was easy. I said he should try to keep it simple, and anything over 45 minutes would probably start to lose people at most weddings. My speech was closer to an hour, but I had practiced it more and it had lots of quotes from Cicero, Noam Chomsky, Oprah, and some others. I thought they would be chuckling and walking away at that point, but they seemed kind of paralyzed, with fear I guess, and they started asking for more details and advice for what to say. I kept it up for a good long while, until it became clear that my plan had backfired as we were still talking. In the end they were relieved to hear that vows were not hour long epics, and I was relieved that they did not break my legs.

Does being completely hammered turn off everyone's bullshit detectors like this?
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 18:22, Reply)
Bullshit detector test
I am related indirectly to Barack Obama.

Bullshit or truth? Betting begins.
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 17:54, 7 replies)
Local crazy
In the village I live in there is this old chap who is always around and is pretty eccentric as he is often seen wearing a dress and begging for money (he always claims that he has a leak in his roof and the cash is for that - yeah right).

He comes out with some pretty fanciful stories and I think that many of the folks in the village just humour him but I swear that some of them actually belive his tales.

There is one particular story that I've heard him tell a few times which seems very far-fetched to me, hence this post. He says he has this mate who is always around the place (I've never seen him) and who has done a lot of travelling as he seems to have been everywhere at some point in time (maybe he was in the navy or something).

Apparantly a good few years ago his mate was in a foreign country (he never said where but I think that it was somewhere hot and not known for its leniency) and he managed to knock up this local bird who was already married. This did not go down so well with the locals but he managed to wriggle his way out of it and did a runner.

Anyway, this kid is eventually born and, growing up with an absent father, becomes a bit of a tearaway, causing all sorts of trouble and eventually becoming leader of this gang. They used to get wasted on the local brew and get up to all sorts.

Before long, the authorities got fed up with this gang and slung him in jail. At the time, there must have been some sort of coup as the whole place was run by the military. As the story goes, this country had a pretty poor human rights record and this chap was treated so badly while he was locked that he actually died in custody.

This is where the real bullshitting starts but the local crazy swears that it is true. Apparantly, the authorities wanted to cover this all up (they didn't want Amnesty International all over them) so they hid his body hoping that people would think that he just ran off. All kind of believable so far I guess. However, he goes on to say that a few days later the 'dead' guy just woke up and walked away. Assuming that the authorities would do him in again, the chap quickly made himself scarce and tracked down his long-lost dad and went into hiding with him. I would imagine it must have been a pretty uncomfortable reconciliation between the 2 of them, considering his dad was a serial shagger of married women and then buggered off and left him to his fate.

Call me cynical, but I smell bull!
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 17:06, 1 reply)
I know the bloke mentioned in this link.....
www.popmatters.com/pm/review/how-soccer-explains-the-world

There are other lies too, but that lot is enough to be going on with....
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 17:05, Reply)
The Jack-of-all-trades
About a year ago there was this guy briefly employed at my workplace. I use the word employed in a loose sense: he was turning up and they were paying him money. But besides being completely useless at the job, we pretty quickly sussed out that he was what one of my coworkers called "a Billy Bullshit". He reminded me of that Fast Show character who says "That's a young man's game", because whenever any skill, hobby or profession came up in conversation he would claim to have done it, or at the very least that a close friend or relative had done it. "Oh, you play the piano? I used to play myself you know..." "Oh, your dad was in the army? I'm from a military family myself..." He would generally sound quite convincing, until someone questioned him on some detail, and then he would become very vague and say something like "Oh it was all so long ago, I can't remember now". Despite all these claims, he didn't seem to be an especially worldly man, apparently living at home with his mother (Which I envisaged to be some kind of Norman Bates type situation).

Anyway, here are a few of his greatest fibs:

- One time he was telling me and one of my colleagues about this charity he set up which delivered aid packages to Romania in the early 90s. The story became quite colourful, involving driving a truck through a warzone, having guns pointed at him on checkpoints, a woman dying after putting her baby into his arms, etc, etc, etc. During a lull in this blistering narrative my coworker asked him what the charity had been called. He hesitated for a second, obviously caught out, then came out with the dazzlingly original response: "Romanian Aid".

- Another time, he began telling me how he had fought a court case for the right of his disabled daughter to go to a certain school. He waxed lyrical about all the time, effort and stress involved, the boning up on law so he could meet the lawyers on their own terms, not to mention his personal money he had put towards it. He mentioned several times how as a result of his winning the case, the law had been permanently changed. Were it true this would have actually interested me quite a lot, so I asked him exactly how the law had been changed. Quick as a flash he dropped the courtroom warrior facade and replied "Oh, I can't remember now. It was all legalese anyway".

This is my absolute favourite though:

We were talking about healthy eating, and he began telling me how his sister ran a health food shop. But not just any health food shop. This was a business she had built up from nothing, and it had gone on to become one of the most prestigious and respected health food shops in the country. "It's quite posh stuff she's selling" he said, "You have to be quite well-off to shop there". He even went as far as to rattle off a list of celebrities who were regular customers. This all sounded relatively plausible when compared to his usual material, and I couldn't find a gap in his logic. I was used to him by now though, and just out of curiosity I wanted to see how big a lie he was telling. He had been quite clear that the shop was called "Purity" and that it was in Guildford. I reasoned that such a high profile place would certainly have a website or at least be heavily referenced, so I stuck "purity guildford" into Google. Absolutely no reference to health food. However it appeared there was a very prominent business in called Purity in Guildford... a lap dancing club.
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 16:25, Reply)
Steve, his parents' car, the M25 and other shenanigans
I don't know why they do it. I can understand that people are often insecure about the way others perceive them, I can understand that we may often embellish stories and exaggerate details for a better response from our audience. What I don't understand is why people fabricate ridiculous and incredible stories from thin air...and then defend them when challenged.

We knew Steve at secondary school. One of Steve's wonderful claims to fame was that, despite his fairly unassuming appearance, he was an absolute hotshot behind the wheel of a car. At the tender age of 15, in Britain, there was no way he could hold a UK driving licence, which he freely admitted, but it wasn't inconceivable that he'd maybe spent a bit of time driving a car round some isolated spot under the supervision of a friend or relative, and just gathered an over-inflated opinion of his own ability.

Feeling that this was not winning him enough admiration, Steve felt the need to expand upon his point with anecdotal examples of his driving prowess. The first howler was his claim that he'd managed to nip twice round the M25 in "about half an hour." Not satisfied with simply pointing out that the M25 is not a complete loop, one of us decided to further rubbish his claim with a simple calculation:
The M25 is approximately 117 miles long.
Twice round this would therefore be 234 miles.
Steve's journey time was "about half an hour."
Steve would have to have travelled at 468mph.
The speed limit of the M25 does not exceed 70mph.
For further perspective, the speed of sound in dry air is 768mph.

To be fair, once questioned on how he could travel at over half the speed of sound in his parents' modest family car, Steve backed down. Well, a little:
"Oh, well maybe it was only once, then."
So that'll be 234mph then, Steve?

His other superb anecdote involved an argument with his parents. Apparently after a flaming row with them one night, he stormed out the house, picking up their car keys on the way and started up the car.
"I was so angry I just decided to drive down to Bristol. Motorway was fairly clear at that time of night."
Was it really. How close did you get to the sound barrier this time, Steve?
"The police actually pulled me over, so I was shitting myself 'cause obviously I don't have a licence..."
That would be a fairly good reason to worry, yes.
"...but they just wanted to complement me on how good my driving was."

A short one to finish - not car-related this time. During an afternoon out with us in the town, Steve received a phone call. Not a lot was said, but he returned to us with a panic-stricken expression and blurted out,
"I've got to go - Ben's been stabbed!"
And off he ran. Ben was Steve's friend, none of us knew him that well, but one of us happened to have his number. Rest assured Ben was very surprised when we called to ask whether he was alright, and, if he were actually sporting any fresh stab wounds, seemed to be taking it very well. Surely if Steve just wanted to get away from us he could have come up with a better excuse than that?
(, Sat 15 Jan 2011, 15:17, 5 replies)

This question is now closed.

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