What is it with men and story telling? For many years I’ve listened to my hubby tell a story. The most interesting elements of the story (for me at least) are the ones he changes for his audience. It might start out as being “85 degrees” outside but the next time he tells the story it’s “102 degrees”. A task might start as taking him “2 hours” but eventually it took him “8 hours”. I might have made him stop at 3 stores while we were shopping but in the re-telling I made him stop at a dozen.
I’ve never understood this male habit of embellishing a story for dramatic effect. And sometimes it’s all I can do to sit there quietly after I’ve heard him re-tell the same story so many times, that it no longer even sounds like the same story. I have no idea how it gets away from him but it does s – l – o – w – l – y migrate into something that’s somewhat unrecognizable. Yes, he’s a good story-teller but holy crap hubby, reel yourself back in!
So, I’d like to share with you the tale of the fish.
The first time the story is told:
“I caught a pretty big fish last weekend. I cast my line and, although it took about an hour or so, I hooked one and reeled it in pretty easily. It was probably about 2 1/2 feet long. We had the guys on the boat filet it for us then and we came home and grilled it for dinner. It wasn’t really all that tasty – even after a ton of seasoning”
The 2nd time this story is told:
“I caught a pretty big fish last weekend. The second I put my line in the water it grabbed on. I wrestled with it for 20 mins and finally got that bastard into the boat. It had to have been 4 feet long. I gutted that thing myself and grilled it up for dinner…. I even seasoned it myself.. it was pretty good!”
The 3rd time the story is told:
“I went on an exclusive fishing trip last weekend with some of the top fisherman around. We probably traveled 500 miles off shore. The fish I caught was humongous… easily 5 feet long and much bigger than anything caught by anyone else. The guys on the boat said they’d never seen anyone reel in something so big, so quickly. There was so much fish, I sent most of it home with a bunch of the guys to eat. They’ve been calling ever since to tell me how good it was.”
The 4th time the story is told:
“Last weekend we travelled almost to Nova Scotia and I caught the largest fish the Captain of the boat had ever seen. It towered over me and I’d estimate it at about 7 feet. I hooked it pretty early in the day and reeled it in all by myself. They couldn’t believe that I wasn’t a professional fisherman. Then I proceeded to catch 4 more fish while we were out! We docked at a 5 star restaurant a few hours away and had them grill it for lunch. It was the best fish I’ve ever tasted. It just so happened that there was a private party going on and the chef shared my story and some of my fish with them. They said it was so good that they had to meet me. And, the next thing I knew, I was shaking hands with Christopher Walken, Natalie Portman, and George Washington” (oh wait…. did I go too far???).
Just for the record… this is a TOTALLY fictional story. Hubby doesn’t even fish… but we’ve all heard the story of the “big fish” so I thought it would best illustrate my point. And, in order for me to re-tell one of hubby’s actual stories, I’d need to have a notepad with me to write it all down since catching all those changing details is a big challenge!!
What’s the tallest tale you’ve heard your guy tell his friends?