I'm a fanatic compulsive liar. Even before I knew what a lie was, I lied. I've lied about everything from being a runaway orphan to robbing a bank down in Texas. But, of all my outrageous fibs, one stands out from the rest.
It was the summer of 1985. My poor, unsuspecting family and I were vacationing in the quaint town of Clairville, Vermont. It was magnificent there. The trees shimmered with a radiant green and the gentle summer breeze ruffled through my hair. I was the mere age of eight, but already bursting with ambition. A miniscule voice within me said this would be a summer I'd never forget, but why ... I didn't know. At least I didn't know until the lies started.
One morning I skipped out to this lake about a mile from our hotel to attempt to catch frogs. Arriving there I spotted a portly girl around my age, knee-deep in mud with a frog trying to squirm through her chubby fingers. Her name was Mel, short for Melissa, which in an indescribable way, suited her perfectly. I introduced myself and within a couple of hours we were laughing like old buddies.
Then it started. I revealed to Mel a cockamamie falsity about my parents being spies from Cambodia and that we had come to Clairville to set up a secret communications station to convey messages to our all-powerful leader. Our mission: to brainwash the people of Clairville and convert everyone to loyal Cambodians. We'd slowly move throughout the town, no, throughout the state, no, throughout the whole world until everyone was under our power!
Now, this lie would've ended right there, but, you see, Mel was a fanatic compulsive liar too! In a short time my cute, innocent lie turned into one heck of a mess! Before I knew what happened, Mel swept me into town, convinced that she could fool at least one person in the gullible town of Clairville. Little did I know that Mel was as good a liar as I was, if not better! She had actually convinced the town sheriff that my parents were really Cambodian spies and they were immediately thrown in jail. The whole episode was like a combination of the Andy Griffith and the I Love Lucy shows.
As suppertime arrived, the whole oblivious town was in a chaotic uproar. The scrawny deputy guarded my pleading parents with his toy-like pistol while the mayor tried to contact the President!
This was definitely one of the biggest lies I had ever started. How did Mel and I end all this madness? Well, I don't know ... I lied about the whole story. There was no Mel, no sheriff, no deputy, or even a mayor. Heck, I don't even think there's a Clairville! But, the worst part is ... I lied ... I'm not really a compulsive liar! 1
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.