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Ben and Susannah find obstacles in a path to happiness.
Both of these types have their purpose, and preference to one does not destroy the value of the other. My stories seem to lean more toward the documentary. Hopefully the reader or listener will find some entertainment while reading, but I refuse to sacrifice facts to gain that amusement value.
I truly believe that the very best advice I ever received was when I was about 18 or 19 years old. A casual friend and I were together at a local car race track. We did not go there together, but somehow ended up together as we were trying to pick up 2 girls that had come together. In trying to impress these girls, I made a statement concerning running the track on foot as opposed to running it in an automobile. I mentioned I had run "track" in high school and then asked a question that exposed my lack of understanding for what I had just claimed. This other guy looked at me and called me by my name before continuing by saying, "--- if you are going lye, at least know what you are lying about!" So many times since then, I have heard someone tell a story trying to bring attention to themselves, only to destroy the authentication of the story by using inaccurate statements. I almost always remember this advice from so many years ago.
One of the best examples of this involves a bar room tall tale, that was told for the truth and not as part of a joke. I was working in a small southern town for several months. My standard hang-out in that town was the bar area, in a well-known nationwide chain restaurant. It was one of the town's most popular happy hour locations and there was almost a "Cheers" type crowd. Not exactly the same people every day as at Cheers, but if you went several days in a row, you would see many of the same people, multiple times. I was actually dating a lady who worked as one of the bartenders there; so sometimes I would go in at lunch or mid-afternoon when the crowd was sparse.
One of those afternoons, I sat around the corner from a guy I had seen maybe 3 or 4 times previous. At some point, maybe that same day I learned his name was Jimmy. He was always talking loud, mostly on his cell phone discussing his business which seemed to be some sort of specialized painting. The bartender I dated was pouring a simple drink using "Jack Daniel's" whiskey.
That prompted Jimmy to tell a story that seemed to grow as it progressed. He said a friend of his had bought "one of those wooden Jack Daniel's whiskey barrels"--- and when he got it home it had "about 15 gallons of whiskey left in it"--- and it turned out to be "that Gentleman Jack." He went on to say, "And we really did party until all that was gone!"
Now Jimmy didn't say exactly where his friend had been located when he bought the barrel, but at the time of his story, we were situated several hundred miles from Lynchburg, Tennessee. The only reason I mention location is; the further away from the distillery the barrel got, the more unbelievable the story got. I never said anything to Jimmy, but in that single story, he destroyed 100% of his credibility with me.
A couple of days later I was talking to the girlfriend/bartender and asked her what she knew about "Jimmy?"
She said he came in pretty regularly and he seemed like a nice enough guy.
I asked her what she thought about his "Jack Daniels barrel story?"
She said it was interesting.
I asked her if she believed the story.
She said she had no reason not to.
Because she and I knew each other much better than either of us knew Jimmy and also because we had shared numerous philosophical conversations, I told her why I did not believe his story. I started by saying, "Well I have taken time to research a couple of the smaller details of his story, to confirm what I remembered to be exactly correct."
I said, "First of all, I spent a lot of time in Nashville and middle Tennessee from 1986 until 1995.