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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)
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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)

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