Saturday, May 21, 2011

Not Quite the Whole Truth

Understand that as a teller of tall tales, truth and fiction often merge for me. I’m mindful of a story about the late President Reagan who in a particular speech of his would relate seeing powerful documentary footage of soldiers liberating a death camp during World War II. As the years progressed, Reagan, who’d served stateside in the Army’s Motion Picture Unit, became one of those soldiers -- recounting in that breathl4ess way of his details of the sights and smells of that day -- liberating the death camp in his speeches.

Make of the following what you will but one thing is true, my brief plug for you gentle reader to check out the retro cool Green Hornet Casefiles out soon from Moonstone. The stories, of which I did one called “Soldanus, the Sultan of Crime,” are all set in late ‘60s, early ‘70s Motown. Sweet.

Oh, and to set our mood, this cat over to the right is the original Crying Man (take lessons John Boehner), the great fallen televangelist Jimmy Swaggert, first cousin to Jerry Lee Lewis. He had to admit his mendacious ways on the tube. Imagine I’m weeping like him as I tell you the following:

1. I was once wrestling on the roof of a house as a kid, fell to the ground, got up, went home and watched TV.

2. I was once in a party that was shot into. As bullets burst out the windows and people panicked, a couple of screaming individuals grabbed me to use as a shield as they climbed on the couch. Oddly I was calm, time slowed down and I flipped out of the way.

3. Once while pitching a producer on a project, he had some kind of seizure, fell to the floor and figuring this wasn't merely a caustic reaction to my idea, I administered CPR.

4. I was kicked out of the Hair Club for Men

5. Once, while in Cuba, I accidentally busted out the rear window of a bus while riding in it.

6. Down in the Mississippi Delta where my mother’s folks came from this small town called Shelby next door to Clarksdale, birthplace of the blues, I stood at the Crossroads and heard, faintly, the wail of Robert Johnson’s guitar.

7. Me and a friend once saw a creature waddling along the sidewalk that looked like a cross between a pigeon and a duck with a massive horned bill, grinning at us -- and it scared the holy bejezus out of us.

8. Once while snorkeling in Hawaii with my family, a shark brushed past me. This time I was not oddly calm.

9. I was once chased in a parking structure by two women in wheelchairs

10. When first married, my wife hit me with a folding chair. Then we made crazy love.

Yeah…that’s the ticket


Rebecca Cantrell said...

Here's a hankie to dry your tears.

Meantime, I'm guessing:
1 - because I'm a parent and we love hearing that kind of story, just not in front of the kids

3 - this had to happen to someone, and I think you'd have the presence of mind

5 - You are that cool

7 - Too weird not to be true

10 - No explanation needed

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Gary, each of these things could make a fabulous scene in a novel.

My votes for the truth: 1, 3, 7, 9, 10

(I love the visual of #9)

Michael Wiley said...

I'm intrigued by the consistency of the responses so far, Gary. I'm going to weigh in exactly as Rebecca does: 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10.

Gary Phillips said...


Reece said...

Here are the ones that I think are true: 1, 2, 3, 8 and 10. And forget Soldanus, I thought that you were the Sultan of Crime!

Gary Phillips said...

Yeah, I like that, Reece, the Sultan of Crime...and everytime I do somethimg bad, I'll weep like Jimmy..ha...