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The Wildest Lie You Told as a Child

Illustration for article titled The Wildest Lie You Told as a Child
Image: Chris Ware/Keystone Features (Getty Images)

When I was in elementary school, I told everyone I was related to Mario (like, the Nintendo character) because our first names were similar. Even when I was confronted about my absurdity, I continued the lie, because it was fun to believe that somewhere in my family lineage was a princess-saving, dinosaur-riding, mustache-wearing, courageous, animated Italian plumber. It didn’t make any sense. But I was confident. And stupid.

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For this week’s Pissing Contest, I want to hear all about the most obvious, insane lie you told as a child. Where were you, and who were you lying to? Do you remember why you chose to lie? It’s time to get honest in the comments below.

But first, let’s take a gander at last week’s winners. These are your most spectacular home improvement disasters.

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TheOtherBoloneyGirl, absolutely not:

My parents bought a haunted house in the country from my grandpa because we couldn’t afford in-town taxes anymore. He bought the farmland the house was on and since we weren’t going to take that away from him, everybody wins, right? Except we were CHILDREN and when we were digging up the dirt-floor basement to pour concrete (because this fucking house was falling down and we needed to strengthen the foundation) we found a tombstone. I was in first grade and it was dusk when the shovel clinked against the stone.

jjdebenedictis, this is gross, but you already knew that:

Not so much a renovation disaster as an attempt to renovate a disaster:

My cousin and her husband bought a, ahem, fixer-upper from a lady (and her pets) who had clearly lost her ability to keep up the maintenance on her property (and her pets) about a decade before she gave up and actually sold the house (but not the pets).

When Cousin and Cousin-In-Law were re-doing the kitchen, they had decided to rip out the cupboards and replace them.

Once they got the cupboards out, however, they noticed the wall behind them was...kind of funny shaped. Specifically, it was bulging outward. And there were a LOT of mouse droppings.

Which meant the wall had to come out too, not just the cupboards. So they braced themselves for untold horrors and tore out the wall, to discover...

...dog food. Dried dog food.

The mice had been stealing it from the dog dish and stockpiling it in the walls for yeeeeeears.

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stubblyhead, yikes:

In my previous house I was putting in new vinyl flooring in my bathroom. It comes in long strips that stick to each other, but not the subfloor, so you can either caulk or put in trim to hide the edge.

It’s pretty easy to work with, you just score it with a utility knife and snap the excess off. So I’m making pretty decent progress, and get to the point where I need to start cutting pieces to fit around the base of the toilet. This is a little trickier because it’s a curve, but the flooring is only about 1/8" thick so it’s not too bad.

My first pass on one piece left a little too much to fit right, so I had to trim another quarter inch or so in a couple places. So I’m sitting on the edge of the tub, and I’m holding the piece vertically resting on my leg as I start shaving a little more off the curve. No sooner do I think to myself, “wow, this is really dumb, I’m probably going to cut myself” than the utility knife slips through the flooring, and plunges straight into the meat of my other thigh. My wife had just left to run some errands literally about 5-10 minutes beforehand, so I have to wrap it up as best I can with an old t-shirt, wrangle the dog into her kennel so she doesn’t destroy the house as she was wont to do, and drive myself to urgent care to get half a dozen stitches. It was a couple years before I had full sensation below the cut, and ten years on I still have a scar.

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Snide-O-Mite, this is horrifying, is your dad still renting? Because...:

When my cheapskate dad gets an idea in his head, there’s no way to get it out.

My parents are landlords. They bought a shitty ranch style house with the intention of gutting and renting. The deadline was the day the tenant was supposed to move in: September 1. Dumb idea.

This contractor did what all contractors do: they started the project and left. My parents had to stalk these guys to come back. They worked sporadically over the summer.

Around August 15, I stop by. There’s no ceiling. Wires are hanging in midair. Electrical outlets are exposed. The new toilet is still in the plastic, sitting in the shower. There’s no refrigerator. It was like a Property Brothers episode at the bottom of the hour.

I turn to my parents and say, “You need to call Tenant ASAP and find him a new place to live. Give him back his deposit today.” My dad goes ballistic. How dare I tell him what to do? He runs this business. I don’t! I should be thanking him because he gave me food and shelter and this is how he did that. Whatever.

My dad insists the guy moves in. It’s shelter. He can live there so no deposit back and rent is due. Then my dad turns around and tries to recoup costs from the contractor. The tenant says hell no. For months, my dad tries to hang onto the deposit and insist this guy pay rent while chasing down the contractor for money for an unfinished job.

Their attorney explained that legally the house is inhabitable, and he was better off suing the contractor. My dad says no that he wants money from both. Lawyer says no judge will allow it. My mom secretly returned deposit money to Tenant without my dad knowing because she didn’t want to get sued.

My dad saw the returned check later and never “forgave” her.

Share your lies below. I won’t tell your parents, pinkie promise.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

snide-o-mite
Snide-O-Mite

As you all saw in my previous story, my dad was and is a cheapskate. He was always trying to get out of paying for anything. He constantly bitched that public school should cover everything so why did he have to pay for school supplies and lunch and trips? He also used to send me to events with no money because he figured the adult in charge would feel bad and pay for me instead. (That’s not quite what happened.)

I don’t when I started doing this, but I told people we were on welfare. It was easier than telling people my dad just didn’t want to pay for me. A lot of people surprisingly believed that because my family acted so poor. What teacher would ever understand why a parent would refuse to pay for his child’s lunch ticket? They wouldn’t, and I didn’t know how to explain that anyway.

My mom was f u r i o u s with me and still is.

But my parents were civil servants in white collar jobs. Their salaries were published in our local newspaper every year. My dad amassed a lot of real estate and was constantly advertising for tenants. Every time he took out a mortgage, the bank would ask him to advertise that he did on the properties with big signs! I mean... everyone saw our last name on all these properties. My hometown wasn’t that big!

I say, if you really believed my family was on welfare, you dumb!