[True Story] Everything Jack Grisham Tells You Is a Lie

Categories: True Story

Jack Grisham
[Editor's Note: Jack Grisham is an author, hypnotherapist, T.S.O.L. front man and all-around troublemaker. This column is his weekly excuse to tell you a story that may or may actually not be true, with characters who may or may not be real.]

By: Jack Grisham
I've never not told stories. I was a burglar when I was 5, an arsonist by the age of 6. My father was killed in a house fire. My mother abandoned me on a carnival midway of woe. I carry the circus in my head--freaks, animals and oddities whispering nighttime stories through gray, monotone walls. I was in the third grade when I met my first counselor--a child psychologist.

"Do you like games?" she asked.

What child doesn't like games? I played along. "No," I answered, "I don't like games."

I guess I misunderstood her question; I thought she wanted to play.

They don't teach lying in school, but they do force it, putting children in positions in which the truth isn't good enough, in which only a lie will suit them and a world of escape is eagerly sought by twisting truth through small, sweaty-handed ringers. My natural ability flourished under their guidance. I'm a master of looking you in the eye and reading what you want to hear.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by this paper and asked if I'd like to write a column for a bit. My friend Exene Cervenka had been giving advice, and she's perfect for it--gentle and intelligent, charming with just a touch of left-handed wit. But I'm more of a talk-you-into-a-dangerous-corner guy who'll see how long it takes for you to get out. I wouldn't take advice from me.

"I'm sorry," I replied. "As much as I love to entertain, I don't give advice, but I do lie--how about that? How about a weekly story instead, or a cliff-hanging tale that weaves its way through an issue or two."

"Well," was the response, "that sounds interesting, but what would you write about?"

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