I’ve encountered all variety of people.
From human angels to murderers and much between, I’ve engaged with a wide array of remarkable and memorable characters in my 60 years (and growing).
But a pathological liar was not on the list — not that I’m aware of — until recently.
Joe’s a regular Costco customer and a daily visitor at the food samplings, according to the food-demo gals.
He’s a short, middle-aged New York Jew. He has dark bushy thinning unkept hair, thick-framed spectacles and the self-centered, aggressive, know-it-all brashness characteristic of New Yorkers.
Joe enjoys a sport.
The sport of telling lies.
Fantastical lies that have no footing in reality. Lies that are easily disproved — if one takes the time to play detective and do the legwork.
Stationed at their stainless-steel rolling carts, Costco demo gals are a captive audience. A confined audience.
The type of audience perhaps that would satisfy a pathological liar.
I was made aware of Joe’s Policy of Lying last year when he told food-demo gal Maria that there’d been a big accident that morning. Some 7 cars on a major 2-lane thoroughfare, the sole road through the area.
When asked for details, Maria could provide none, saying only that she’d heard the news from Joe.
Inquisitive intelligent minds need to know — ‘specially when the news is that big, that impactful. So with Maria nearby, I investigated.
I googled it. I’m a superb, thorough researcher.
I checked the local paper online for late-breaking news and updates.
I called the police.
I checked the state’s Department of Transportation, which posts incidences, closures, etc.
Same result each effort. Zip. Zero. Nada. Not a shred of evidence about an accident.
My suspicions about Joe’s credibility soared.
As they did about Maria’s intelligence — for despite all evidence to the contrary — FROM AUTHORITIES WHO’D KNOW ABOUT ANY MULTIVEHICLE ACCIDENT — Maria persisted in believing Joe.
I can’t do stupid. That’s when I ended friendly ties with her.
And saw Joe for who he is. A fibber.
A man who makes sport of telling lies, some outrageous — like the massive accident — others simple — like an inch of snow has just fallen or it’s raining — when it’s bone dry and clear.
It’s no skin off my teeth, his lying.
Plus I’m not easily scammed — not by a long shot! I’m proud to write that in my 60 years, I’ve never had the wool pulled over my eyes, though once someone came close.
I’ve disproved Joe’s lies numerous times. He doesn’t care. Clearly he’s about grandiosity, not skillfully covering his tracks, which makes him a pathetic liar, or a lazy one, or both.
It’s not for me I’m concerned when he circulates his lies. It’s the others, the food-demo gals, the Costco customers.
They believe him. Why shouldn’t they? On the outside, he appears normal.
They see a frequent Costco customer and daily visitor at the food demos.
They a man named Joe. They see a middle-aged, short, loud New York Jew with dark-rimmed spectacles and a proclivity for proclaiming.
They don’t see the pathological liar. The man with an incessant and probably compulsive need to devise and circulate fibs.
This is frightening.
More frightening, however, is how he tells them. Completely straight-faced. Dead serious. Not a quiver in the voice or twitch in the eye.
He proclaims his falsehoods as matter-of-factly as you reciting your address for a tax form at the workplace.
Joe’s dangerous — not as much for the content of his lies but his believability.
But he doesn’t fool me. He can’t.
He’s been found out. Spirit and karma will take care of it.
Now that he’s found out, if I’m chatting with a food-demo gal and Joe appears, he’ll vomit some lie about how it’s raining or snowing or whatever.
He’s a waste of my time and I waste no time leaving immediately.
However, like a cat with a mouse, I may play it differently next time he proclaims a lie for us all.
Saaaaay, he announces it’s raining.
“Rain?!” I exclaim.
“Why, that’s hardly rain! That’s a monsoon! Watch out for the cats ‘n’ poodles!”
Just to see what a liar does when given a spoonful of his own medicine. His own psychotic pathetic poison.
His response, one can’t predict.
But this much is certain: You can play in humor. Make light of a darkness — a darkness that is not yours and is not yours to fix.
That, my personal lifelong lesson, continues …