When life gets hard, embarrassing or boring, there is one reaction genuinely human: lying.
That’s why we invented the “big fish story.” For those not familiar with the concept, it’s when you exaggerate a story to make it exciting.
For example, catching a 13″ walleye that gets bigger every time you tell the story until it doesn’t fit in the net. If there’s one thing men are good at, it’s claiming things are bigger than they are.
Today, I’m going to recommend a more applicable application. We’ve all hurt ourselves in ways were not necessarily proud of. I knew a guy who screwed up his ankle playing badminton.
There is no remotely manly way to say you hurt yourself in badminton. Christ, it’s barely a notch above ping-pong, and beer-pong is way better then the less popular beerminton.
Enter: the big fish story.
Maybe instead of badminton, it’s more along the lines of a bar fight. Surrounded by fire. With bears. Bears that are on fire.
Morale of the story is, you need to make sure it’s got the flavor.
Say you burned your hand. You can go for something like dropping your pan and catching it midair, saving the omelet you were making that literally cures cancer.
You can also make it something less to do with you, but more of a crazy situation you stumbled into. Toss out something along the lines of a homeless man holding a car antenna under a lighter and using it like a switch.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Grant that sounds a bit excessive, also have you been working out?”
Well, thank you for noticing, I’ve started actually opening doors rather than hitting the handicap button.
And yes, it is excessive, but it has to be. No one’s going to believe you were assailed by fire bears. Whatever you say, they’re going to know the story is more boring than that.
If you say, “I got shoved by some dude,” the story in their head is going to be on par with badminton. Shoot for fire bears; it gets downgraded to “twisted my ankle stepping off the bus.” Not great, but oh so much better than badminton.