Let’s Play the Lying Game!

I am such a good liar!

…or am I?

As a writer, I’ve got a good imagination so I like to make stuff up. I’ve been known to elaborate a little when I remember a past story from my life. If I were to give a rough estimate, I’d say about 99.99% of my posts are complete BS. Yep, I made it all up.

Nah, I’m kidding! It was all true! See how good I am at lying?

So do you think you can spot a lie? Time for the misremembering game that’s sweeping our nation –


I lied. It’s really time for three truths and a lie. Damn, I’m good.

The following are a few short stories about things that really happened in my life. Really, I swear!

Your job is to figure out which one of the following tales is a lie. Give your answer in the comments. I’ll reveal the lie one week from today.  If you get it right you’ll have a chance to win a signed copy of Stephen King’s latest book Revival!

I lied again.  (Sorry but I’m not on speaking terms with good ol’ Steve-o anymore, ahem.) But you WILL win the right to sing “liar liar pants on fire” at the computer screen — just as good, amirite?

OK, fine — I’ll randomly pick from the winning guesses (who reside in the US, preferably within 5 miles of the nearest snowmobile trail) and mail that lucky person a copy of Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please.* (and yes, I’m being serious now)


One foggy summer night back in 1997, I was driving home from work on a desolate country road. Suddenly a voice sliced through my thoughts:


I sat straight up in my seat, the hairs on the back of my neck prickling. I switched off the radio.


I peered out at the road, my headlights illuminating a blur of dark pine trees racing past as I zipped along the curves of route 136. Before I had a chance to process why I was hallucinating, another demand:


Without questioning, I did as I was instructed.  While rounding a sharp corner, I braked and slowed down to 50 mph. Suddenly a dark mass filled my windshield. I slammed on the brakes, my car skidding for several yards into the oncoming lane.  But it was too late, the sudden impact crushed the front of my little Ford Fiesta. I violently slammed forward then backward in my seat, severely twisting my back and neck.

I had hit a moose.

Somehow I managed to drive a short distance to find a phone and call the police (I didn’t have a cell phone back then). Sadly, the moose didn’t survive. But everyone from the cops to the mechanics to the insurance agent told me I was lucky to be alive at all because most people are killed instantly when the moose sails through the windshield. If I were going any faster, I wouldn’t be here right now telling you this story.

Was the voice I thought I heard my own intuition? Or God? A guardian angel? Whatever or whoever it was, there’s no doubt it saved my life.


Our current house was haunted for a time. Lights would turn off and on, TV channels would change by themselves. I’d put something down in the kitchen only to turn around and find it missing. Once my entire family watched as a glass bowl slid straight off the kitchen counter by itself and onto the floor, shattering into pieces.

Sometimes at night I’d feel the faint sensation of someone sitting on the edge of my bed. Once while I was still wide awake,  someone tapped my feet. I thought it was one of my kids so I sat up to peer into the darkness only to find no one was there.

I decided to ask a psychic friend of mine to “channel” the spirit for me. According to her, he was an old farmer who had lived in the 1950s near the very spot where our house now stood. She said he was searching for his tools because he used to fix tractors out in his shed, and this is why we’d find things misplaced. Why did he insist on haunting us? Apparently while alive he wasn’t a spiritual man and therefore wasn’t accepting he was truly dead.

She suggested I politely tell the ghost to “go outside because his tools weren’t in our house”. As silly as it sounds, I did this several times out loud. “Hey, farmer man!” I yelled in between giggles to the empty room. “Sorry, but your tools aren’t here! You can go outside now! Oh — and go towards the light! Thanks and good luck!”

A few days later it seemed to have worked. The air was clearer, no longer heavy with a spirit’s presence. The strange electricity occurrences and creepy nighttime visits disappeared. Our farmer was gone. Maybe he finally found his tractor tools outside in the shed? I chuckled to myself.

The following week my mom who lives right next door called me on the phone. “It’s the oddest thing,” she said. “I think my house is haunted. Someone moved all of the utensils around in the kitchen and the lights keep going on and off!”



Back in my 20s, I used to hike at Wolfe Neck State Park off the coast of Freeport, Maine. One overcast day, I invited my mother to come along. We parked our car and started down a long winding trail in the woods that led to the ocean.

We heard a car pulling in, so I glanced behind me and noticed a man jogging in our direction. As he passed us further on down the trail, he took off his shirt and disappeared around the bend. An unsettling feeling washed over me but I shook it off. My mother and I continued our walk, admiring the stillness of the forest and the soft crashing of the waves in the distance.

We rounded a corner and there was the man again. Only this time he was holding his clothes in his hands — all of them. Standing there completely naked, he held up his hands, revealing a very sad and direct view of his nether regions.

“Do you ladies know the time?” he asked, like it was perfectly normal question.

My blood ran cold. I panicked, unsure of what to do next. Was this really happening? Is he going to do something else now? Should I scream or run?

Thankfully, I didn’t have time to figure out my next move because my mom disarmed the entire situation by bursting into incredulous laughter. “Time? TIME?” she yelled.  “I think time is the least of your worries, buddy!”

Suddenly appearing embarrassed, the man covered himself up and looked down at the ground.

My mother and I hustled down the path past him unsure of what to do next. When he was out of sight, we quickly make our way back to the parking lot using another path which turned out to be the longest hike of my life. We immediately told the park gatekeeper what happened.  A police officer soon arrived to take down our names and all the details.

“Can you describe the suspect?” he asked.

“Well, we sure as hell weren’t looking at his face, if that’s what your asking!” my mom sneered in disgust.

A few days later, I opened the local newspaper and gasped. Apparently, The Mid Coast Flasher was nabbed, his reign of terror finally over. For months he’d successfully flashed several other women at various spots up and down the coast. His signature move? Asking for the time.  Studying his mug shot, I had only one thought.:

Oh, so THAT’S what he looks like!


image: completelycoastal.com

Around 1998, the movie “Message in a Bottle” starring Paul Newman, Kevin Costner and Robin Wright was filmed off the coast of Maine at Popham Beach, not far from where I lived in the tourist trap outlet town of Freeport.

My house was right next to L.L.Bean’s main retail store,  so most summer nights my younger brother, Chris and I would sit on a park bench downtown to eat a Ben & Jerry’s cone and people watch.

One muggy night in August, we bought our cones and sat down on the bench next to an old man wearing a NY Yankees baseball hat. He responded to our presence by grunting under his breath and pulling the cap down over his eyes.

Minutes ticked by as Chris and I giggled and chatted, both of us noticing the tourist growing more agitated by our conversation.

“Holy shit!” the old man suddenly growled. “Isn’t there anything to do in this godforsaken town but sit and eat goddamn ice cream? Jesus!”

I turned my head and looked straight into a pair of unmistakable baby blue eyes now glaring back at me from underneath the baseball cap.

No, it couldn’t be him! …could it?

Before we had a chance to respond, another man walked up holding two cones. “Beautiful night, isn’t it?” he smiled at us.

“Um….y-yeah….” I stuttered.

The man then turned his attention to the crabby codger on the bench. “Chunky Monkey, right, Paul?”

“Just give it to me for chrissakes,” he grumbled, grabbing his cone. We watched in disbelief as the two men strolled off into the night.

And that was the day I met both Kevin Costner and Paul Newman.


Okay! Wow. I’ve lived quite the exciting life, huh?

So what’s the lie? Is it

1) The Voice Saves Darla
2) Ghost Farmer Relocates
3) Flasher Needs A Watch
4) Paul Newman Was One Grumpy Chunky Monkey

If you guys all guess correctly, well then…maybe I should practice lying more?


*If no one guesses correctly I reserve the right to read Amy’s book myself while gloating about how I’m such a good liar.

118 thoughts on “Let’s Play the Lying Game!

  1. Darla, I’m guessing it was Paul and Kevin. Paul Newman lived in my hometown of Westport for many years. He was always out and about and he was never crabby. Not even with his daughter when she dropped an ice cream cone on my foot at Baskin’ Robbins.

  2. You are waaaaay too good at lying, Darla. I don’t even believe you live in Maine anymore. I think they could all have happened. I’ve seen ghosts and they’ve done all kinds of shenanigans in my house. I’ve met celebrities. I’ve hit rabbits while driving, but my brother and dad both hit deer. Naked guys hang out in parks and that sounded just like your mom.
    I’m going to guess #2.

  3. I’m guessing #1, as I have been told you won’t survive hitting a moose head on, but I believe in “guardians” so could be totally true…therefore I have no idea. You’re good!

  4. Kim

    I am wavering between 2 stories. I will pick…. #4. The best “stories” have bits of truth in them… that’s what makes this so hard!

    1. Paul seems like he would have been such a sweet guy, but then I know some actors do this “method acting” where they continue to be like their characters even off-set. Or maybe he was just pissed they didn’t have Chubby Hubby flavor? Hmmm…..

  5. You ARE a fantastic liar, which is just one of the things I love about you.

    And apparently I DON’T know you TOO well cuz I don’t know which one isn’t true like Jules. Awkward.

    So I’ll guess #4, ‘K?

  6. Renee Rants

    I’m just going to be wacky here and say #1, I live in Northern Canada and those damn things can get hit by a train and keep walking.

    1. Good reasoning. Except this moose did survive, but had to be tragically put out of her misery. I wasn’t there when this happened, but the cops told me. I can barely handle killing a fly let alone a moose, so I was pretty hysterical.

  7. #2. It might be partially true, but it’s just too perfect of a story to be 100% true. Or maybe not. I don’t even know anymore!! All I know is that I want that book!

      1. No, that I believe. That’s why I said partially true. A good lie always has elements of truth. So, you’ve definety had ghosts, but I don’t believe you magically sent him downstairs to your mom. Or do I?

  8. Hmm…all great stories, Darla. I believe every one of them, but since you’ve told me one is a lie and we’re guessing here…oh, I’d say story #2 is the lie. The farmer’s story! Am I right? Am I right?!!

  9. Darla, I sure hope your not living a lie, that way I’m bound to get three correct. Speaking of number #1. The rear ender is true. #2. I think this… is… maybe the lie. But if it shows up on Zack’s “Ghost Adventures” I might come and haunt you. #3. Gotta be true, its too funny not to be! #4. I know you’d never speak ill of the dead, but, although Paul was usually calm in real life—or at least he appeared to be—everyone has their bad days… until they get their ice cream cone. So number #2 is the lie.

  10. I’m going with #2, the ghost farmer, because your mom would have been aware of your ghost situation and when he moved to her place, she would have been angry at you for sending him her way – not surprised at things being misplaced. I’ll be talking to you next week when you need my address for sending the book 🙂

  11. Masterful piece of writing. Sadly, I’m not eligible to vote.

    Because I’M IN ITALY!

    Or am I?

    But I will tune in next week for the big reveal.

    Or will I?

    *two sides of BD’s brain fight for the right to maybe show up)

    1. You’re in ITALY???!!!! (gasp) But that’s on my bucket list! (when I say bucket list, I mean the list I keep in a bucket of the places I’d like to go one day once I hit the lottery)

  12. What a fun game! Women have an unfair advantage because they’re all excellent liars. (Braces for impact.)

    You probably don’t know this, but I’m a low-level rare book dealer. I collect signed first editions. Your first lie gave me a cheap thrill. Thanks for nothing, little liar.

    A telepathic moose?! I don’t think so. It’s a lie.

    Did your “psychic” friend ask for money? Because THAT I’d believe.

    Flasher stories are a dime a dozen on the subways. That’s true.

    You should’ve assaulted Paul Newman and Kevin Costner. It’s not like that’ll come up again.

    Is the prize a gently used copy or brand-new? Is it signed? And I don’t mean by you.

    1. You leave the best comments, they should Freshly Press you just for that.

      So you don’t believe I can survive a moose collision at 50 mph driving my Ford Fiesta aka Can of Spam on Wheels? Or that my intuition saved me? Don’t blame you, it really is a fantastical story. But then my life has been like that from day one.

      1. Yes…I give good comment.

        I’m always highly suspicious of the ‘voices in my head’ scenario. It’s very dangerous to take people like that seriously, don’t you agree?

        What about the shiny brass ring? The book? Is that really in the offering or is that just another of your well-crafted fibs?

      2. You need to give more comment. The more comment you give, the better you get at it. That’s how I got so good! I give good comment to pretty much anyone who asks for it.

        I think I just busted the needle on the metaphor meter.

  13. singleworkingmomswm

    This is great! So glad I had a moment to be able to read these. I’m going with #4, only because I totally believe the moose-ass story, and the flasher story, and I KNOW you’ve told ghost stories that are true in the past. #4, #4, #4! But, oh, how I would that one to be true, too. Maybe they ARE all true, and that’s the lie! 😉 Fun times! XOXO-Kasey

  14. #2 is fake. My logic? Although you certainly could have exaggerated any of these, I know you’ve hit a moose, I know you lived right next to LL Bean and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find some naked guy running around in the woods of Maine!!! Plus farmers don’t haunt houses, its mostly just women and creepy little kids.

  15. #2 I think you ripped off too much from Poltergeist, but not enough to be cover your tracks.

    But my second choice #3, just because after putting down the above I could remember the basics of all the stories except #3.

  16. Im guessing it’s the voice that saves you from the moose though every scenario seems plausible. Was about to Google the Flasher and quickly thought better not…

  17. All of these sound convincing to me, Darla. But, I’ll go with story # 2. Only because it sounds the most like the type of punch line joke email I’m likely to get from a friend when I’m bored out of my brains while held hostage at my desk at The Grind.

  18. Okay, Darla. I think you’re yanking us around and they’re all lies. And if we fall for these, then you know in the future that you can tell us ANYTHING and we’ll eat it up.
    Maybe they’re all true..????
    Either way, I think you should read the book. Underline the funny parts (and the lies) before sending it out.

    1. Now why didn’t I think of that? I could have made them all up! mwa ha haaaa!
      I must hurry up and read Amy’s book this week so I can send it out to the winner. Who doesn’t like a worn dog-eared book? And by the way, what is your guess?

  19. I love this game. As a teacher, I always use it as an ice breaker at the start of the school year. What a brilliant way to get the kids to realise you are real, not just a robot sent to educate!


    1. I suspect this is why he was in such a bad mood, the terrible ice cream. Or more plausible — Kevin Costner was driving him up a wall with all his cheerful “aw, shucks” goofiness crap.

  20. I’m going with #4, because all the others are completely legit. You have spoken of a bad back in the past, which obviously occurred in the #1 accident. Why wouldn’t a ghost hang with your family, you are freaking hilarious and #3 did seem a little shady, only because I can’t imagine your snarky mom wanting to hike, but then again she does seem to have an adventurous side. For god sakes the woman still drinks Sanka, so # 4 it is due to process of elimination.

  21. So, what else is there to do in your town besides eat ice cream? Ice cream is all that matters, duh! Hmmmmm. I am going to say that # 2 is the lie. That farmer sounded like a tool! 🙂

  22. Hmmm, I suspect you of being tricksy, so I will say the 1st story is the lie. But I think you didn’t hit a moose. It was probably just a deer or something else. Is that it???

    I just really want the Paul Newman story to be true. Like an old pissed off about ice cream. That’s just classy.

  23. Hm…I’ll choose “Flasher Needs A Watch,” because your comment at the end made me laugh too hard. Nothing that you EVER write makes me laugh, so that’s got to be it.


    I always found that the truth has this to recommend it: you don’t have to think too much about it. And you don’t need a well-functioning memory either because the thing about lying, even badly or carelessly, is that it takes effort. That really doesn’t suit me.

    1. A good lie takes up so much time and effort, you’re right. Then if people catch you in a lie you have to backtrack and make up even more lies to support the bigger lie and suddenly NBC Nightly News is making you take an involuntary extended vacation.


        The solution to this perennial dilemma obviously is: never allow reality to catch you backing down. I, for one, simply can’t stand too much actuality – it happens to disagree with my mental digestion.

  25. 1) The Voice Saves Darla — my brother told my parents this same story–minus the moose–when he came home way past curfew. “I was driving as fast as I could to get home on time, and a Voice told me to slow down right before a TRUCK ALMOST HIT ME HEAD ON. I think GOD SAVED ME!” My parents were visibly shaken and my brother got off the hook. I think that voice really gets around.
    2) Ghost Farmer Relocates — also a story that my grandmother told us when she lived next door to her sister. That farmer also really gets around
    3) Flasher Needs A Watch — My friend and I were bike riding in the woods and I think we got flashed by the same guy. She laughed hysterically. He was not amused.
    4) Paul Newman Was One Grumpy Chunky Monkey — he made a mean salad dressing. How can he be crabby?

    I’m going with #4, because I like the number 4. Thanks for a very funny post.


  26. Pingback: Liar Liar … is it getting hot in here? | She's a Maineiac

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