Weekend assignment #209 – Lies, all lies!

The Weekend Assignment is posted each Friday at Outpost Mâvarin; a roundup of responses goes up the following Thursday, so if you’d like to join in, you’ve still got some time.

April Fool’s Day is coming! Are you all set to trick your friends and relatives with some elegant and elaborate hoax?

Me neither.

Nevertheless, in honor of April 1st, the BBC spaghetti harvest, NPR’s exploding maple trees and the whoppers told by certain political candidates and their detractors, let’s exercise our capacity to tell each other some original, harmless fiction:

Weekend Assignment #209: Tell us a story about yourself, something that is plausible but definitely, outrageously false, while containing a kernel of truth. Since we don’t want to create any work for Snopes.com, begin your tale with the words, “This is not true,” and don’t say anything defamatory about any companies, products, celebrities or politicians.

Oh, yikes. Creative writing is so not my thing. That’s why I blog. I can write an essay or an editorial pretty well (if I say so myself), but a story? Fiction? This one’s going to be a challenge, so let’s just jump in and make it as quick and painless as possible. Here goes:

This is not true. I seem to have an unlikely gift for avoiding traffic citations. This may because I’m small, female, and usually sincerely confused and distressed when confronted by police. There was the time that I was pulled over for an expired tag, and was able to produce it at the stop – it was in my glove compartment, still attached to my current, paid-up registration, where it had been for almost six months. (Oh, yeah, I was supposed to detach the tag and put it on my license plate, wasn’t I? Oops.) There were a couple of self-reported rear-enders that I was never contacted about. And then there was the illegal U-turn that I pinned on my mom…

My family has a place in Northern California, in a small lakeside town between Mammoth and Lake Tahoe, where we’ve gone on vacations for years. A couple of summers ago, we were driving through town when Mom mentioned that she wanted to visit a friend’s gift shop. “Just remind me where it is,” I said.

“Oh, sorry, I think we passed it – it’s just back there, across the street,” she said.

Grumbling a little about the late notification, I checked for clearance, shifted over, and turned the car around, heading back down Main Street in the other direction. Of course, I had just come through the turn when I noticed the police car behind me, but I thought it was probably just coincidence. Unfortunately, the kids noticed too, and they turned around to watch. “I think the police car is following you,” came from the back seat.

“What for?” I replied, but I checked my mirror anyway, and eased over to the curb, just in case the cop was actually trying to pass me. No, he wasn’t; he stopped behind me, got out of the car, and walked up to us.

“Are you really pulling me over?” I asked him.

“Yes, I am,” he said. “License and registration, please.”

I took out my license, but as it happened, we were in Mom’s car, which required a little explanation – the fact that Mom was also in the car helped make that more convincing, I think. “So do you know why I pulled you over?” he asked.

“No clue,” I said.

“You made an illegal U-turn in a business district. Didn’t you see the double yellow line?” Now, this is a really small town, and the idea that it even has a “business district” is actually pretty funny. After ascertaining that the hometown on my license was near Los Angeles, he added, “You wouldn’t do that in Los Angeles.” (You couldn’t do it in Los Angeles; no one would let you through.)

“But my mom told me to turn around there!” I burst out.

“Yes, I did, Officer,” Mom spoke up. “Don’t you listen to your mother?”

“Not for awhile – she’s dead,” the officer replied.

But I guess he hadn’t heard that excuse many times – or at least not from a driver over the age of seventeen, let alone one clearly well over forty – because I was let off with a warning, and so was Mom.

So what’s not true? Every event in this story actually happened, but the names were changed to protect the guilty. The expired-tag incident happened exactly as described. My car was the on the receiving end of both rear-enders, so I wouldn’t have been ticketed for them anyway. And the illegal U-turn was perpetrated by my husband, not me, at the behest of his mother, not mine, but otherwise the details are pretty much the same. We all still give him grief about that one…

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9 other subscribers

Scraptacular – “birthday weekend” edition

New in Google Reader this week Bookbabie, courtesy of the “six-word-memoir” meme Defending Pandora, via Working Girl Candid Karina and Cafe Karina (same Karina), both via Literary FelineWere your lights out for Earth Hour last night? I had intended to observe it, but as it turned out, our participation was inadvertent; we weren’t home! We did leave one light on, since I don’t like coming home to a dark house, but it was a 3-way […]

A random thinker and an excellent speller

A random thinker and an excellent speller

Hey, it’s my birthday! Taking it easy on the posting front today…have a great weekend! Just sharing a couple of my most recent adventures with Blogthings quizzes. This result seems apropos, and is also reasonably on target for me: Your Thinking is Abstract and Random You are flexible, adaptable, and creative.There’s many ways that you can learn – and you’re up for any of them. You relate well to other people, and you do well […]

Double up: BTT + FFI

Double up: BTT + FFI

Cover-Up This week’s question comes from Julie, who asks: While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.? Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves! […]

Just one month till the Festival of Books!

One of my favorite annual local events will be held over the weekend of April 26 and 27 – The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books! This free event (there’s a charge for parking) on the UCLA campus celebrates books and reading with author talks, panel discussions, book signings, book-selling, and more. There’s a great kids’ section, and many activities geared for them too. Aside from browsing the exhibitor booths, one of my favorite things […]

The Proust Questionnaire, James Lipton version – Literary Feline variation

One of my favorite bloggers, Literary Feline (aka Wendy), recently posted this on her blog: My husband and I were fans of Inside the Actors Studio for several years, and our favorite part was when the host, James Lipton, would pose the following questions to his guests. He borrowed the idea from Bernard Pivot, a French journalist and interviewer. She decided to answer the questions in tandem with her husband, Anjin. Following her lead, I’ve […]

Home alone

The week after Easter is spring break around here, and I’m spending it on my own. Back during the first week of the school year, my stepdaughter Tall Girl brought home information about a trip to New York City that her drama teacher was organizing over spring break. The group would spend four days in the city, sightseeing, shopping, and seeing two Broadway shows, Wicked (which she’s seen once already, but in Los Angeles) and […]

Tuesday Ten, times three!

Since one of my other weekly memes decided to do a ten-question format this week, I decided that I’d mix them together into one post… There are tons of things to do before you get married – and the more time you spend on those wedding-planning websites, the longer your list will get. I speak from experience, and I didn’t even have a big, complicated wedding (either time – but the first one was way […]

Weekend Assignment #208 – Spring!

The Weekend Assignment is posted each Friday at Outpost Mâvarin; a roundup of responses goes up the following Thursday, so if you’d like to join in, you’ve still got some time.Weekend Assignment #208: Meteorologists define spring in the Northern Hemisphere as beginning March 1st; others define it according to the vernal equinox, the return of warm weather, or the appearance of a groundhog’s shadow. What does spring mean to you, and what, if anything, do […]

The six-word “meme”-oir

This has been making the rounds for a little while now, but I have officially been tagged by Madame Meow to participate in the “six word memoir” game. I’ll let her explain how it works: Inspired by a book called Not Quite What I Was Planning, and originally devised by BookBabie, this meme asks you to write a SIX WORD memoir. I know. Six words? Seriously. No consideration for those among us who suffer from […]

Easter Weekend Scraptacular

Since I didn’t do the regular “scraps” thing last week because of my Blogoversary observation, this week’s collection is a bit longer and more rambling than usual. New in Google ReaderSurrender, Dorothy, via BlogHer (the post that finally prompted me to subscribe is one of this week’s links) – and her sister’s blog, Tales from Clark StreetBetter Than Marriage (or is it? we’ll see…the chronicle of an unconventional relationship)Mid-Century Modern Moms (new to almost everyone, […]

Perfect timing: the “Birth Month” meme

Since this is my birth month, I can’t help but do this meme. Feel free to do it yourself, and let me know; I am not following rule #5, as usual. Thanks to Susan at West of Mars for posting it, so that I could steal it from her. 1. Mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them.2. Copy-paste the traits for all the twelve months (see below).3. Pick your […]

“Just pick one already” – a variation

randomness…feed your mind and your blogweek of March 16 Would you rather…(I’ll underline my answers) 1. sky dive or bungee jump? (Note that this choice is made under strong protest, since I really have no desire to do either one!)2. eat a hissing cockroach or eat a slug? (No hard shell, for one thing…and if you salt it first, it’ll curl right up and pop right into your mouth! But again, totally under protest, because…eeewww!)3. […]

Weekend double – BTT + FFI

Weekend double – BTT + FFI

Since Booking Through Thursday doesn’t post the prompts in advance, it can be really hard for me to get them done and posted on Thursdays – so they’ll be showing up on Fridays, partnered with the week’s Friday Fill-ins. Yeah, I’ve actually been doing this for a couple of weeks already, but I’m now declaring it to be official policy. Booking Through Thursday 3-20: “The End” You’ve just reached the end of a book . […]

If you can’t say something nice…

Being curious about how other book bloggers handle posting negative reviews, Dewey at The Hidden Side of a Leaf decided to create a meme to find out how some of them deal with books they didn’t like. Please consider yourself tagged if you feel like answering the questions yourself. 1. When you dislike a book, do you say so in your blog? Why or why not? Yes, as long as I’ve actually read the entire […]