Thursday, April 14, 2011

Today's fortune: April 14, 2011

Today's fortune: You have a flair for adding a fanciful dimension to any story.

Never before today did I feel like a fortune was written specifically with Matthew J. Kelsey in mind.

Because what this fortune is really saying is, "You're full of shit."

I truly am full of shit. Although I'm usually fairly truthful and straightforward to friends, co-workers and strangers, I am a legendary spinner of the tall tale among my family. And, Mom and Dad, I come by it honest.

I've been known to embellish a story or fudge a fact here and there. Hell, half this blog is made up. (Just kidding.) When I was younger, if somebody asked a technical question or if something needed further explanation, I would say, "Wellll..." then deliver a purely bullshit answer. My family caught on pretty quick. Even after I stopped saying "Wellll..." they still had a way of knowing when I was flinging falsehoods.

Just the other day I tried to pull one. We were at my brother's house, eating a lovely Sunday lunch on his back patio, when an airplane flew low overhead. The plane had a strange crossbar on its nose. "That's an SR567-X," I said. "You can tell by that distinctive crossbar on its nose, also known as the forward navigational flange." Totally fake. And every single member of my family knew it.

My tendency to embellish goes even farther. I'll give you an example: I can produce an audible and visible cringe from any member of my family by uttering three simple words: Old German church.

There's this joke I tell. The original version of the joke can be told in about two minutes. My version takes a half hour.

Here's the short version: There's this old German church in an old German town. The church has a tall bell tower, and every Sunday a man rings the bell. Well, one day the old bell ringer dies. The next day a stranger shows up in town and says, "I hear you're looking for a bell ringer." "Why yes," the surprised priest says. "We suddenly have an opening." The priest takes the stranger up to the bell tower and says, "Give it a try," handing the man the mallot the old bell ringer had used to ring the bell. "I don't need it," the stranger said. All of a sudden he sprints toward the bell and smashes into it with his face. The most glorious sound rings out across the town. "You're hired," the priest says.

The next Sunday as the parishioners gather outside church, the priest gives the new bell ringer the signal to ring the bell. The stranger sprints toward the bell but he misses, and falls out of the bell tower to his death. The parishioners gather around and shout, "Father, who was that man?" And the priest said, "His face rings a bell."

That's not the end of the joke. The next day, another stranger, who looks exactly like the last stranger, shows up to audition for the open job. Again, the priest takes him to the bell tower, and again the stranger smashes into the bell with his face. He's hired on the spot. On Sunday as the parishioners gather, the priest gives the signal, and again the new stranger misses the bell and falls to his death. "Father," the parishioners shout, "Isn't that the same man who died here last week?" To which the priest replies, "He's a dead ringer."

It's not a very funny joke. But it's all in the delivery. And I can by god deliver. In my version of the joke, I give the priest, the bell ringers and even some of the parishioners intricate back stories. Sometimes I'll even throw in a nationwide casting call for bell ringers. I have a lot of fun with it.

Too bad nobody in my family appreciates the joke.

But whenever any of them call me a bullshitter in the future, I'll gladly point out their mistake. "I'm not a bullshitter," I'll say. "I just have a flair for adding a fanciful dimension to any story."


  1. You once pointed out to me that I should not use capital letters on facebook or otherwise, because it was like a form of yelling. Personally, I think you made that up, but read on.
    PLEASE PLEASE, NOT THE OLD GERMAN CHURCH AGAIN. None of us are ready for that. This fortune was perfect for you.

  2. I think that joke is quite funny. Especially when I imagine you telling it "Matthew-J.-Kelsey-style".

    --Number One