Following on from my recent post on the art of bending the truth, I caught myself in the act yesterday. It turns out that I’m not just a liar but I am a dirty, rotten, filthy liar of the highest degree…and that’s just my opinion. It all started as I chatted with two friends of mine and we were talking about one of my buddy’s favourite fantasies, winning the lottery.
The thing is, he has this theory. As he puts it, the winning lottery ticket is always purchased in some small sh*t-hole of a shop in the arse-hole of nowhere. Whether or not he has any scientific evidence to back this theory up is irrelevant. Perception is his reality. The upshot of this is that anytime we end up in some God-forsaken, back of the beyond outpost on the road to nowhere in Ireland together – and we do occasionally – he insists on buying at the very least, a scratch card. It is something he does with great gusto.
The first time I experienced this was when we were travelling through the wilds of Donegal and we stopped for a toilet break after a long drive at a service station. There was a Lotto sign outside and as he rubbed his hands together he explained his middle of nowhere lotto winning ticket selling shop theory.
Now it really was a tiny place with only one toilet so I decided to buy us a couple of coffees to go while he went for a wazz. We hit the till at the same time and as I paid for the coffee I did my usual flirt with the auld dear taking my money (Can’t help it – what can I say)
“We were just wondering why all the local shops around here employ models to work for them?” I gave her a twinkle.
“Go away outta dat” says she, her false teeth nearly falling out of her mouth. “You fellas from Dublin would try to charm de burds from de trees” She’d sussed the accent straight away. We both smiled and my friend chirped in..
“Don’t mind him, he’s outrageous.” I smiled and changed the subject.
“My young friend here has a theory that the winning lottery is always sold by beautiful women in far flung places.” She giggled. The poor woman looked like an auld wan who hadn’t giggled in years. “You’d better give us a couple of scratch cards.” She actually blushed as she Zimmer-framed her way to get them.
Now here’s the thing. I’m not a lottery ticket kind of person. I couldn’t be arsed. But apparently there’s a whole lottery ticket buying etiquette that I was completely unaware of. She handed me two tickets and I pulled them apart giving one to my pal. Well Fup me if he didn’t look like I had stood on his mother’s grave.
You see the shopkeeper has to decide who she gives the ticket to… did anyone reading this know that? I sure as hell didn’t. If you didn’t, let me explain. By all accounts there is an actual chance that one of us could win money on the stupid things and while that would be a good thing, by me taking charge of the distribution of the two tickets, I interfered with the random nature of the mystical world of good and bad luck. What if I won? Maybe that ticket was destined for him…and vice versa of course. I told him I’d share. He said I could fup right off if he won. He’s a good friend that way.
It was all good fun but I learned just how seriously people can take such things, which brings me on to my earlier reference to me being a good for nothin’ low down two bit varmint of a liar. You see the two lads were chatting with me as I sat at my desk and reminiscing about the self-same lottery story I just told you, when I kinda went into ‘let’s run an auld fable up the flag pole and see how far I can hoist it’ kind of mode. They started talking about Winning Streak lottery cards, where if you get three stars or some such nonsense, ( I’m not really sure I only really zoned in at that point) you get to go on a TV show and win prizes. Good old Roberto start complaining because he’d saved up a bucket load of qualifying cards and sent them in, yet he still didn’t get on the show.
Now I’m not a bad man and I’m not religious, but if there is a God who made me, he endowed me with certain gifts, so I can’t help myself.
“Sure you’ve feck all chance of getting on there – it doesn’t matter how many tickets you send in. It’s weighted.”
Now for the inexperienced yarn spinner, or for the suckers out there who have fallen for such a line, this is what we call the bait.
“Weighted?” they both seemed very sceptical and it’s at this point a lesser man would falter. Not me.
“Of course it’s weighted – by county.” I watched the sneers of disbelief and then I tossed a shiney lure into the water. “Sure otherwise with a quarter of the population in Dublin- then throw in Cork, the poor auld Culchies (Country people) would never get a look in.”
“I could see them thinking about this, they needed more persuading. “Have you ever watched the show?” Says I who never watched the show but knowing full well they did…and here’s where I took the gamble to nail the story. “Its wall to wall Culchies. Lads from Monaghan and Cavan, Rosscommon and Leitrim for feck’s sake. I mean Leitrim! Sure there’s only 12 people in Leitrim and half of them are in the one family.”
Now in fairness to lovely Leitrim and the lovely people of Leitrim, this is some way from the truth, but the hyperbole worked.
“Now that you mention it…”oooh I had them. But you see here’s where I caught myself.
As I was filling the pair of them with a load of auld guff for no other reason than my own amusement, I found myself googling The National Lottery. Before I knew it I had searched for how draws were made for Winning Streak and if they were weighted by county, like I had told the lads ever so convincingly. Well I’ll be damned! It had finally happened.
After all these years, I had told a tall tale so feckin’ convincingly that even I was starting to believe the tripe coming out of my own mouth. I was googling a non-fact to see if it was true – I doubted myself. I was wondering if what I had just said was true! When you can make up stuff of such quality that even you begin to believe it, you’re in trouble. I’m telling you, I am going to have to repent and change my ways. If there’s a Hell, they’re down there rubbing their hands thinking, “That one’s in the bag.”
But what will I do if I can’t tell the odd innocent tale, albeit a little far-fetched at times. I can’t help it if I have the gift! I’m so full of sh*t that if I don’t let some of it out from time to time …sure I’d explode and no one wants to clean up that mess let me tell you. Now I’m afraid I have to go, there is a limo waiting outside to take me to an awards ceremony. Apparently I have won an award for best looing and most desirable Irish male… no seriously…It’s outside now… Really…
Haven’t read a Max Power book yet? I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –