…don’t believe that person, because it might be me.

I am a terrible liar. Unless I’m not trying to lie. In which case, I’m an exemplary liar.

More than once, Lauren and I have weighed the idea of chucking our jobs and going on the road to become grifters. Not hipster grifters. The real kind; the ones who lift diplomats’ wallets and palm diamonds and drive off in your ’38 Talbot Lago.* I do love that idea.

Anyhow, yesterday I spent a lot of time wrangling fruitlessly with my mangled databases and whatnot and today I planned to spend on my thesis, but instead I decided to go to the Pit Stop with N to drink Lillet and watch petanque. As the afternoon wore on and players departed, however, I was dragooned into actually participating in this French pastime (and for those unfamiliar, it involves standing in a pile of dirt and throwing a series of dirty, leaden balls into another pile of dirt ten feet away and then arguing about how far apart the balls are) and you know what? I’m not so bad. That’s one of my secrets. I’m not actually as maladroit as I lead people to believe. (I’m saving this bit of knowledge for my grifting gig.)

So, as I squatted and pretended to look at the lay of the petanque court, the filthy, filthy metal boule in my hand, one of my teammates was describing to me–somewhat helpfully, I should add–the precise trajectory the boule should take so that we might snatch victory from the rather large and powerful jaws of defeat. And being a wiseass, I replied, “Don’t worry, I’m very precise. I have to be–I’m a neurosurgeon.”

How many fucking neurosurgeons have you met? If someone told you that she was a neurosurgeon, and she wasn’t wearing green scrubs and a mask, would you believe her? And yet, despite the fact that I’m a drunk with uneven and dirty fingernails, my teammate BELIEVED ME. In fact, after we were trounced, he said, What kind of neurosurgeon are you? And I said, I’m not a neurosurgeon, I’m a technical writer. And he looked so disappointed.

So then N (part of the winning team) and I left, coated in grime. Grime bothers me. Grime on my PERSON. I hopped in the shower when I got home and rivulets of gray water ran down my legs. (And I ask: What’s the harm in pissing in the shower when your urine’s cleaner than your feet?)

I am so glad that no one had a heart attack or an aneurysm or even a splinter at the Pit Stop. Everyone would’ve looked at me and been like DO SOMETHING YOU NEUROSURGEON.

*If I could compile a chronological list of all the various items I’ve become obsessed with over the years, I think the Talbot Lago sports car would be about number 178 out of 1,900 (and counting), roughly circa 1988, when I came across a rare autos auction catalog.
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One Response to If someone tells you they’re a neurosurgeon

  1. Marco says:

    So how much do you charge for minor brain surgery?
    I pee in the shower all the time and lately the bathroom sink too. The sink’s out for you unless you are very athletic. Saves water, the shortage of = The Next Big Fucking Disaster.