Tall Tales

The shooting community seems to have a lot of people who spin them. I’m wondering if this is something unique about our community, or whether it happens in other communities. If it is unique, why? I mean, I suppose there are car buff yarn spinners who talk about the time they got into a stoplight confrontation with Richard Petty and totally smoked him, but are they so numerous?

14 Responses to “Tall Tales”

  1. Exurbankevin says:

    “Back when I was picking beans in Guatemala, we used to make fresh coffee, right off the trees I mean. That was good. I used to be in a barbershop quartet in Skokie, Illinois. The baritone was this guy named Kip Diskin, big fat guy, I mean, like, orca fat. He was so stressed in the morning…”

    • Weer'd Beard says:

      great quote, man!

      As a teen I knew a few guys who were just compulsive liars. They’d say whatever that they were or did whatever you thought was cool.

      I imagine that every car forum has a few guys with vintage Ferraris and Lamborghinis that they’re “in the process of restoring” and pix will be forthcoming. And Every martial arts forum has a few dudes who used the ten-finger exploding heart technique on a bunch of tweakers one night.

      The world is filled with sad, sad people who have given up ever becoming anything in their eyes and are resorting to becoming false heroes in others eyes

  2. Andy B. says:

    One thing I’ve observed is that if a topic becomes traditionally infused with BS, anyone who does not embellish their stories with BS (i.e., tells the truth) is regarded as highly suspect.

    This may not be the best analogy in the world, but I served in Germany in the mid-’60s, and frankly it sucked. The area (Hesse District, a bit north of Franfurt) was so boring that we GIs had a saying that “The Germans want to rotate out of here more than we do.” But when I got back home, America was still operating on the frauleins-chocolates-and-nylons mythologies of the immediate post-war period, 20 years earlier — which I’m not sure ever really existed to the levels of the mythology. So when I said that Germany sucked, and that I had been bored stiff, everyone thought there had to be something wrong with me. Shortly I started making up frauleins-chocolates-and-nylons stories, so people wouldn’t think I was weird.

    But to be more serious, what worries me most about BS stories like that of the subject is, it is a pretty scary mind that is fantasizing such stuff, and who thinks such a story would enhance their status. Even more scary if it is the mind of someone actually connected with law enforcement.

  3. I don’t think this is unique to the shooting community, or there wouldn’t have been a Stolen Valor Act. B.S. artists are everywhere! For example, I’ve met a woman that claimed her dad invented the jet airplane and a guy who claimed his street-legal Civic could run a 4.5 second 1/4 mile. I think they desperately want attention, and some of the time, they get to impress people.

    • Weer'd Beard says:

      My Father-in-Law represented a conman in Vermont who had conned investors into the age-old “Magic Carburetor” scam. He claimed to have a 1970s F-150 pickup that got like 70MPG, and further embellished his tale to anybody who would listen about assassination plots from the Oil Companies and the Detroit Auto Makers who didn’t want his invention to see the light of day.

      My Mother-in-Law knew him from town, and believed it all. Until my Father-in-Law set her straight when I asked him about it, and given that this fellow is now long dead.

  4. Dannytheman says:

    No one is just a Search and Rescue trained Coast Guard guy. Every wantabe vet is a SEAL, Special Forces or “worse”! Make me laugh every time.

    The come into the VFW occasionally and tell tall tales. Some of the guys call their friends (Who are real deal)to come up and they do, and things then get interesting.

    I was truly interested in getting that law passed where these guys masquerading as more than they are, would be prosecuted for something.
    I am happy to be who I am, with all my flaws, but I never want to lie.

    • Andy B. says:

      “law passed where these guys masquerading as more than they are, would be prosecuted for something.”

      I was going to suggest “hypocrisy”, but if you outlawed that our society would be decimated and our churches empty.

      People masquerading as more than they are may irk the hell out of me, but unless they’re using it to commit some material form of fraud, I don’t really think it deserves the attention of law. What irks me most is when someone uses their hero-masquesrade to place themselves and their opinions in a position of moral superiority to the rest of us.

      • mikee says:

        I immediately thought of our next Secretary of State, John Kerry, who, in case you did not know, served in Vietnam!

  5. J says:

    I posted over at Tam’s about a guy I met that claimed to have made the jump into Baghdad with the 101st and also went to jump school at Fort Bragg. Good times. Since I’ve gotten out of the Army I’ve heard all kinds of whoppers. It is especially amusing in these parts as I have heard (probably apocryphal) that this area has one of the higher densities of retired Army folks in the States. If you’re spinning a yarn around here there is a good chance someone who actually did that stuff will hear you.

    I managed to fool my girlfriend into wasting her time with me well after I got out. As a result she had no experience living the life and, thus, no experience picking out the BS artists. I gave her this rule of thumb: < 10% of the Army is actual trigger pullers, everyone else is in support. In other words, when you meet someone that claims to have been infantry (or something more) they were probably actually a truck driver, medic, cook or postal clerk. I have also found that the height of the story being told is inversely proportional to the actual cool factor of the job that person actually had.

    No crap HSLD operators that operate in operations have no need to brag.

    • Exurbankevin says:

      No crap HSLD operators that operate in operations have no need to brag.
      I’ve have the privilege to know a few “Tier One” types. They are, to a man, quiet, unassuming and precise.

    • mikee says:

      Back in the 70’s, my older brother joined the Army in a delusional belief he might get on the Golden Knights parachute team. His tryout consisted of one jump followed by application of an entrenching tool to the drop site, for opening his chute lower than he was instructed.

      He used to tell the story this way: “I jumped with the Golden Knights, but had to quit after making a big hole in the drop zone when I had a bad jump.”

      Fake but accurate is what Dan Rather would call it.

  6. BobG says:

    I’ve heard the same bullshit from computer people. I remember some guy I ran across a few years ago that (to hear him tell it) helped write DOS, and gave Torvalds the idea to write Linux. He also knew both Gates and Jobs, just ask him…

  7. Where do you think the phrase “fish stories” comes from? Not from people with guns.

  8. McThag says:

    I was a mere tank crewman. I got put with SF guys and all they had to say to me was, “Jesus, what gets you to be quiet?!”

    I guess I’m not laconic enough for SF!

    I did know a metric buttload more about tanks than they did, thus the pairing. They went there and did that, I took some blurry pictures.


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