b3ta.com user BrokenCoccyx
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» Lies that got out of control

Mistaken Celebrity
I have the type of face that reminds people of somebody else; can’t tell you how many times someone has come up to me and said that I was a dead ringer for their brother, father, uncle, cousin, dog, ex-boyfriend. I figure I was cut from a common mold and God gave everyone else distinguishing features.

A few years back I went to a conference in Las Vegas and was waiting in the terminal for the flight back home. In my line of work, I can usually dress how I want so I was a black button-up shirt, tight jeans and harness boots. My hair was shoulder length and curly. Since it was a conference, I dressed it up with a black blazer. I had also just bought a bunch of American Indian jewelry so had some new necklaces, rings and bracelets that I was going to distribute on my return home, but that I didn’t want stolen from luggage.

So there I am in the endless tide that is the McCarran airport alternating between reading my book, standing, walking around and being generally bored. Up sidles a 50-something lady with short purplish-brown hair and large behind who plops herself down in the seat across from me. I look up, smile politely and she says, “You’re not who I think you are, are you?” Somewhat bemused, I replied, “No, I must be someone else.” She giggles as if we’re sharing a private joke and says, “I bet you have to tell people that all the time!” Now, initially, I figgered she thought I looked like a relation, but given her wink-wink, nudge-nudge attitude, I realized she thought I was someone well-known. So, in a moment of bad decision making, I play along: I’m bored, she looks harmless, what can it hurt?

So I say, “Well, you know how airports are, a person can never get a moment’s peace.” She looked at me knowingly as she empathized, “It must be terrible to have such inconsiderate people not allow you to even relax a moment.” “Yes”, I reply. She then goes on about how she loves Vegas, loves to go to the shows, but really wishes that I would’ve been on while she was in Vegas. “You’re not playing here, are you?”, “No”. “I thought so,” she continues, “because I would have been the first one in line. My girlfriends just love your music and my husband even liked that special you did over Christmas.” Oh crap, this is uncomfortable I’m thinking and start looking around for an escape hatch! She notices and says, “Oh, don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.” “Good because I’m really not who you think I am.” She giggles, fake smacks me with her magazine and says, “Oh you!” Groan. She chats about herself and family and how she loves to come to Vegas and meet people that she would only otherwise see on TV and find out that they’re just as normal as everyone else. Although I did not affirmatively bear false witness, I am silently pleading for forgiveness for not quickly correcting my batty new friend.

Now people within earshot are pretending not to listen, but quickly look away as I furtively glance around in utter embarrassment and fear that somehow I’ll be blamed for this woman mistaking my identity. This only makes it worse. I excuse myself to use the restroom and when I return, I see her a few rows over chatting with several people. I think, good, now I can lay low. It was not to be. I had just enough time to read a few pages in my novel when she trundles over with another lady and she says, “We just wanted to say hi.” “Good afternoon ladies,” I reply, putting on my most diplomatic smile. First lady turns to her friend and says, “He says he is absolutely not famous, and that he would tell us if he was.” For some reason this causes great fits of laughter, and people around us are starting to look at us. In my mind I am regretting not simply saying “piss off!” in the first instance. Then lady says to friend, “Can you take a photo of me and this totally anonymous stranger? Hee hee, hee hee.” It gets worse when she says, “This is only for me, and to prove to people back home that I wasn’t lying.”

So photos are taken, friend wants her turn, more giggling, bystanders are staring and whispering. I am trying to be gracious, saying few words, like “hello”, “yes, I end up travelling a lot”, “No, I haven’t met Simon Cowell, but I’m sure he’s nice”, “I prefer the Beta 58 to the SM58, just personal preference”, etc. I turn down a request for an autograph from one of the five or so people who have scooched closer and my batty friend whispers loudly, “He’s trying to keep a low profile!” I heard things like, “He’s so down to earth,” “He’s just like he seems on television,” “I liked him before he was really popular,” and the like.

My flight was called and because I had enough frequent flyer miles, they automatically bumped me up to First Class, which only convinced these people that they were absolutely right about me.

The lie? As I said my goodbyes and walked away I heard batty new friend tell her admiring throng, “He is the nicest guy. My husband and I met him last night at the Bellagio and he bought us really expensive champagne and we traded email addresses. You should have seen the two gorgeous ladies he was with.”

To this day, I still have no clue who I was supposed to be, but if someone shows you a photo of some “famous” person they met in Vegas and he looks slightly nauseous through his smile, it just might be me.
(Fri 13th Aug 2010, 20:38, More)

» Redundant technology

I still have my original wife
Some of my friends have traded in theirs for flashier, more expensive models, but at the end of the day, I like what I have. Some of the newer ones come in a variety of colors, have higher suction, can be smaller, but I'm not sure if the advances are worth the cost.

Some are sold as new, and it's only later when one finds out a previous owner has made them undrivable. Plus, the new ones are DAMNED expensive and are prone to being stolen.

You can take a cheap car and put alloy rims, a new paint job, tinted windows and a nice sound system in it, but it still is a cheap car.

Compare that with, say, a 1967 Corvette Stingray. Sure, it's getting on in years, and there may be some cosmetic irregularities, it may not have all the new-fangled add ons, but the thrill you still get when you drive it just can't be beat, especially since you know its moves like the back of your hand.

The classics cannot be improved upon.

No, I will stick with what I have. I got her for a reason and to be honest, after the breaking-in period, I really like the comfort of the ride and am looking forward to a looonnnggg road trip.
(Fri 5th Nov 2010, 16:10, More)

» Narrow Escapes

Guns and Closure
My dad was a Special Agent for the FBI. Back in those days, we weren’t allowed to tell any of our friends what he did for work, just that he worked for the government, then playing stupid like we couldn’t be bothered to figure out what part of the government.

Anyway, he grew up in northwest New Mexico, where the people are as hard as the land. Had many siblings and essentially was a tough son of a gun. He refused to use the standard issue pistol at the time because the barrel was too long and wouldn’t be good in a scuffle, so he always had a Saturday Night Special tucked into a holster behind his back. He was not a man to be messed with: though not huge, he was mean and determined. He had a doctorate degree and when he left the FBI and after his death (more later) I heard from many people what a great guy he was, how classy he was, and what a damn good agent he was - I never knew that guy.

He was involved (I have gathered) in counter espionage, counter terrorism and narco-terrorism. He is reputed to have helped a Russian general defect in the early 80s, had one of the largest drug busts in US history and worked (I have gathered) on the mysterious cattle mutilation cases that plagued the US southwest for years.

At home, he was difficult. He had been raised rough and felt no problem giving you a whack with knuckle, belt, hot wheels track (they really hurt when you’ve just stepped out of a shower), the occasional 2x4 board, or a well-deserved kicking. He also was an expert in getting a small lock of hair, lifting it and controlling whatever child into coming where he wanted them. I admit to never wanting to be around him, be like him, talk to him, see him and shamefully would often ask my mom, “why did you marry him?” It was like nothing I ever did was good enough and he told me at three years old that I was too old for hugs, so it stopped.

This story is how I almost died and how I had a moment of pride in having the dad I did.

One late summer during high school I was coming home from two-a-day football practice. In US high school football, you usually start these up a month or so before the school year starts to condition and weed out the, well the weeds. So, I had to be there at 6:30 am, practice until 10:30 am, then home, then back for 2:30 – 6:30 pm practice. Summers in New Mexico aren’t as hot as some places, but it is the desert and you lost much of your water content. Plus, it was hard work and just plain sucked. I was usually picked up after the afternoon practice by my dad, who would usually ask, “how’d you do?” and I would grunt, which would make him mad, which would result in a good yelling and occasional fist.

One evening, I was walking the two miles home because he didn’t show up. I was hot, dehydrated, had on my football pants, cleats and was carrying my helmet and shoulder pads. I was muttering epithets the whole way. Then, it happened. I suddenly heard the screeching of tires, and yelling on the road behind me. Turning around, I saw two cars, speeding up and slowing down in order to stay in line. One of the drivers held a pistol out his window at the two occupants of the other car and was really pissed off.

This frightened me because people in my city, which is the largest in New Mexico and is known for people handling disagreements with chains, bats, knives and guns. Often, after the intended target was shot, witnesses were shot as well to clear up any loose ends. I freaked, looking around for any cover or concealment, but, hello! desert! There were some knee high juniper bushes, but by this time the cars had arrived and pulled into the street right in front of me. The guy that had been waving the gun leaps out of his truck and points his gun through the window, yelling and cursing up a storm. I could hear some “sorry man” and whimpering from the car, and was almost frozen in place.

It’s at this moment that I hear another car coming, look back, and lo and behold, it’s my dad in his “Bureau” car. I run in front of him, which pisses him off, but tell him “there’s a guy over there pointing a gun at two other guys and he’s gonna kill them!” It was at this moment, that my opinion changed of my dad. He told me to stand where I was, pulled ahead and parked his car behind one of the other cars. He stood up without haste or unnecessary movement, put his hand on his pistol and walked forward to engage the man yelling through the window.

In a voice that was as authoritative as it was calm, he told the man to put down his gun. The man, startled at my dad’s proximity, looked up and said, “who the hell are you?” My dad repeated, his right hand still on his gun, but behind his back, “give me the gun and let’s talk about it.”

Unbelievably, that’s exactly what the guy did. He flipped the pistol around, gave my dad the butt end and started explaining how he had been at a stoplight on his way home from work and these two guys pull up next to him. One gets out of the car and kicks his truck for no reason, then the other pulls out his pistol, points it in his face and says, “I’m going to kill you!” So man in truck ducked down (presumably shat himself) and drove the wrong way through traffic to get away. Then he got really, really pissed off. He retrieved his own pistol, which was much bigger than the thugs’ pistol and chased them down. Not the preferred way of handling such a situation, but it happens.

My dad called in police backup because such things are really not in a federal agent’s day to day jurisdiction. Meanwhile, the two thugs’ were conversing in Spanish about having consumed large amounts of cocaine, how they still had large amounts of cocaine in their car and how they had other weapons as well. Little did they know that dad was fluent in Spanish and was slyly listening. When the police arrived, they took all men into custody, got a warrant based upon the testimony of the nearby federal agent and made a huge drug and weapons bust.

What was really funny was that with all the guns they had in their car, the one they pulled on Mr. Truck Guy was unloaded. Idiots.

Epilogue: Not long after, my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. They gave him only weeks, but he was so mean that he lived for months longer. Seeing this hard man who I had never known to have a cold or allergy screaming in pain, losing hair and wasting away changed us. No longer did I want to return the beatings I’d received. He became considerate to my mom and attentive to the kids who were still home. We began to speak as friends rather than as master/servant. Cancer is a terrible scourge that gets far too little attention from those who could do concerts and have telethons, but for me, it gave me perspective that my dad was a lot like me, just a few more years down the road, trying to get by the best he knew how. It also gave me a dad who I love, who was able to say he loved me and rescued me from the caustic, acrimonious self I was creating in me.

Length? about 11 months.
(Wed 25th Aug 2010, 18:04, More)

» The B3TA Detective Agency

It has always mystified me why certain B3tans mock the current question of the week as beneath them
But spend so much time criticising with unfunny posts or complaints.
(Tue 18th Oct 2011, 19:31, More)

» Crappy relationships

My Mom told me after my dad died years ago.....
"Sure, your dad and I fought a lot, but there's no one else I'd rather have fought with."

Remembering this has cured me of the "grass is greener" syndrome many a times.
(Wed 27th Oct 2010, 23:37, More)
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