Sep 1, 2023
My wife and I were headed to a cocktail reception where we knew no one. "This is an opportunity," I said.
My wife and I were driving to a short cocktail reception full of people we’d never met. Most of them knew one another. Us? Not a soul. This is an opportunity, I said. Let’s run with it.
I proposed that she and I create a story for ourselves. Pick a personality and a background and a job. We’ll create something bordering on sensational and come up with a few very specific details that will make whomever we talk to truly wonder. About us. About whether we’re telling the truth. They don’t know us. It’s a short event. Let’s see if we can pull this off. Nothing to lose. I used to do this on blind dates back in the day and I got pretty good at telling long haul truck driver stories.
A glance at my wife in the passenger seat and I saw what I’ve come to expect. A roll of her eyes. A shake of her head.
“I think I’ll go with having invented the direction North,” I said. Prior to my invention, no one knew where anything was. People were getting lost in round rooms. I gave them direction. Today I get small commission every time a new compass is printed. And this younger generation today - they use Waze and Google Maps and Apple Maps all the time and North is usually on every screen. I only get a fraction of a cent each time that happens but the money ads up. Each day I spend a lot of time promoting North as very popular direction and I feature it in a lot of my social media. Two other guys came up with East and West and we split commissions on directions when we collaborate. And I have a new direction being released soon but nondisclosure documents prevent me from talking too much about it right now.
Sideways glance. Silence from the passenger seat.
How about I was the original voice artist for the beeps trucks make when they back up. Today they’re electronic, but in the good ole days when they beeped, that’s me. Age has made it hard to recreate that sound any more but… beep beep beep. Can’t you hear it? The recording came down to me and this little pre-pubescent teenaged girl, but she suffered an awful blow to the throat by a masked man outside the studio after her audition. They called me back because I was the only candidate remaining. I’m not exactly famous, but you’ve probably heard me.
Nothing. Time to go for it.
How about we’re royalty from a small principality in Europe called Genovia. People won’t remember the Princess Diaries movies. They’ll have heard of Genovia and maybe think it’s a real place. We’ll tell them it’s similar Lichtenstein but smaller. And near the edge of Austria. Our citizens there are not known as Genovians, by the way. To us Genovian royalty, they’re actually known as our Genotail…
“STOP,” she said. “Just stop. Who we are is plenty. It’s actually more than enough.”
I’m Cam Marston and I’m just trying to Keep it Real.