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Obfuscation: The Blog Game

Here are my three stories. Two are true and one is false. I will warn you that I have a reputation for being quite good at this sort of thing, although when I've done it as an icebreaker it's usually a factoid rather than a story.

You may pick which you think is the true FALSE (oops - forgot to change that when I changed from 2F/1T to 2T/1F) story, leaving your guess in the comments. If you'd like, I'd also be interested to know why you think one or the other is true or false. On Monday I'll post the correct response.

Eligibility: My family and close friends may guess as long as they don't influence anyone else's guess by announcing that they know for sure which is the correct answer. If you sound like you're not quite sure, but you think it might be #X, I probably won't have to kill you. But don't all agree or anything. If you would like me to know that you know but don't want to ruin it for everyone else, you may whisper it quietly in my ear or email me.

Story #1: My parents and I went to England in 1982 and I ended up spending my second birthday there. We were there for a wedding, but we also used the trip as a chance for my dad to familiarise his wife and young daughter with his mother's native country (which he had often visited growing up). Sometimes I think they would have preferred to leave the daughter at home, although she did provide them with some interesting stories.

We went to the Tower of London and I was not very interested in the tour. I was, however, quite interested in the ravens.

"LOOK, DADDY," I exclaimed, "BIG BLACK BIRDS. WHAT ARE THE BIG BLACK BIRDS DOING HERE, DADDY? WHY AREN'T THE BIG BLACK BIRDS FLYING AWAY, DADDY?" Apparently I was loud and annoying enough that the beefeater actually stopped his speech and walked over to me.

"Do you know," he said, bending over me and trying to exude an air of authority and respectability as I grinned up at him, "what we do to little American girls who can't be quiet and listen to the nice beefeater's talk?" I shook my head, still smiling and not realizing I was doing anything wrong by asking my dad about those fascinating birds. The beefeater continued: "We CUT OFF THEIR HEADS!"

My eyes widened at the death threat. I went and hid behind my mother and apparently didn't speak another word for the rest of the day.

Another of our tourist excursions was to Salisbury Cathedral, which was undergoing some construction restoration. As my parents listened politely to the tour guide and observed the beauty of the cathedral, little srah got antsy again and squirmed away. When they caught up with me, I had ducked under some construction tape and barriers and was dancing on the high altar. My mother didn't want to cross the barrier herself, so she had to call to me and cajole me into coming back and behaving myself.

Story #2: I tried out for College Jeopardy over the Spring Break of my freshman year in college. The tryouts were in Ann Arbor, so I decided to give it a shot. I went to Pierpont Commons and took the first level quiz. I don't know if they were actually basing anything on these answers, or if they were just to let people know what kind of questions they would be facing later. I must have passed, because I was given a time slot to return for the next part of the tryout.

When I came back, I was in a classroom full of student desk/chairs. Growing nervous, when asked if there were any questions, I asked if we were ineligible if we weren't U-M students. Everyone in the room turned to look at me like I was some kind of mutant. They said that it was fine as long as I was a college student somewhere.

We took the written test and got our results back almost immediately. The top scorers were asked to stay and advance to the next round. It could have been my imagination, but I felt like there was some "She isn't even from Michigan" grumbling going on when my name was called.

This round consisted of a quick-answer competition. We took turns coming up to the buzzer and practicing ringing in and answering. I did pretty well, but my problem came when they did a mock-interview thing.

Clearly they were looking for people with sparkling personalities who would look good and be interesting on TV. I, unfortunately, fell short there. I couldn't come up with any interesting mini-facts about myself (not that that stops anyone on TV - their factoids are usually so stupid and pointless that I want to hit them, like "My boyfriend calls me Boo" or some crap like that) and I was so nervous and tense it was making me nauseous. So, needless to say, I was not the one they called back. And the one who was called back got severely trounced, so it made me feel better.

Little tiny Albion did get its day to shine the next year, though, when my friend Kurt managed to make it to the show and twice build up a lead and lose it all in Final Jeopardy.

Story #3: When CKane and I were very new to Grenoble, we decided to go to the movies. Grenoble's Petit Bulletin listed the movie theatres in town and the films that were playing in them, as well as giving the cinemas' addresses, but we were new to town and didn't know where we were going.

In the Mood for Love was playing at Le Club, so we looked at our map to find the street that the cinema was on. Makes sense so far, right? We took the tram to that area of town, got off, and headed in the direction of the cinema.

Straight ahead of us, we saw a cinema so we went in. "Une place pour In the Mood for Love, s'il vous plaît," I asked.

He looked at us funny and informed me that they didn't have that movie.

"C'est le cinéma?" I asked. He confirmed that it was.

"Je voudrais un billet pour IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE," I tried repeating it, thinking that he hadn't understood my American pronunciation. He repeated that they didn't have that film. Cheryl and I looked at each other, confused. Maybe the movie was no longer playing here.

"Mais ici c'est un cinéma? Donc vous avez quel film?"

He leaned over the counter and over-enunciated the words for our obviously confused foreign ears, "Ici, SEX films. P0RN0?"

Our sheltered Albion eyes opened wide and we hightailed it out of there. Turns out Le Club was hidden away down the alleyway, not nearly as well-advertised. The big red X on the front probably should have clued us in.

srah - Friday, 22 August 2003 - 10:08 AM
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Comments (31)

gravatar Kim - August 22, 2003 - 1:56 PM -


gravatar Dae - August 22, 2003 - 2:47 PM -

Wow! You gave us some hard choices, missy. I'll go with #1.

gravatar Jez - August 22, 2003 - 3:29 PM -

I reckon number one is false too. I suppose it's against the rules to put my reasoning down, as that may influence others.

Number two: why not? I presume College Jeopardy is a TV quiz show.

Number three: There is no reason why this has to be true. I just want it to be true.

gravatar patricia - August 22, 2003 - 4:20 PM -

i was ready to vote say #1 is true till i read the construction part. i don't know. something about that doesn't ring true. although, that probably means my guess is wrong.

gravatar srah - August 22, 2003 - 4:35 PM -

Let's say "restoration". I don't know - work. Work with tape up.

gravatar alfie - August 22, 2003 - 5:38 PM -

These are good ones. Sadly, not good enough for me not to know the answer. Alas, I must be quiet until Monday.

gravatar srah - August 22, 2003 - 5:43 PM -

Are you suuuuuuuuure you know the answer? :)

gravatar melanie - August 22, 2003 - 5:50 PM -

LOL @ 3, but I'm guessing 2. No idea why. That's just my guess :)

gravatar alfie - August 22, 2003 - 6:06 PM -


gravatar otto - August 22, 2003 - 6:12 PM -

Hi Srah. I've played this game as well; quite fun. Your stories are all so much more interesting than mine however. Oh, I'm voting for #1 because I should hope that kind of thing didn't really happen. I shall return to see which story is not true.

gravatar srah - August 22, 2003 - 6:18 PM -

Jez - I'd be interested to hear your reasoning, but if you think it will spoil it for others, you can tell me on Monday. :)

gravatar srah - August 22, 2003 - 6:28 PM -

I've decided that you're all going to hate me when I tell you the answer.

gravatar alfie - August 22, 2003 - 6:39 PM -

I won't have any changed feelings for you, what-so-ever.

gravatar granni39 - August 22, 2003 - 7:26 PM -

I'm saying number 1 is a lie... has something to do with certain 'facts' that i don't quite believe... maybe the blackbirds? or....??? ;-) You're one darned good writer, though!

gravatar Mer - August 22, 2003 - 9:52 PM -

I was going to say #1 because I think Salisbury Cathedral was having restoration work done when I was there, and that wasn't in 1982. But now... with you correcting yourself (construction, restoration), I think that's actually probably makes it true.

So, I'm going to reason that number 3 is false. Getting snotty treatment from U of M students (cough, cough) seems all too true.

gravatar doghaus - August 23, 2003 - 1:15 AM -

I'll go with #3.

It's a complete guess, but if I had to manufacture some kind of logical validation for my choice, it would be that the porno theater was on the main street and the regular cinema was hidden in the back alley.

gravatar daintily dirty - August 23, 2003 - 1:17 AM -

I think #3 is false.

gravatar rockinronnie - August 23, 2003 - 1:34 AM -

I'm going with #3 as pride yourself on speaking French well, I don't think you would've made that they even have pRon theatres in France?

gravatar dan - August 23, 2003 - 4:44 AM -

hey srah this is a good little anthology you've got here. I'm guessing 3 is false: the Tower is full of both ravens and attitude so I can believe that part; and the interview is critical in getting on jeopardy - that story didn't have anything in it that I *couldn't* believe. But to go to a pron show and not know... I just imagine you picking up on those details....

gravatar Ivette01 - August 23, 2003 - 9:28 AM -

No. 3 :)

gravatar Jen - August 23, 2003 - 9:43 AM -

I would say...#1 sounds like it's false. It's hard to tell. You're really good at telling stories! LOL

gravatar gish - August 23, 2003 - 12:01 PM -

it's difficult, but i think #1 is false. (i just don't want to believe that someone would be so mean to a child. ;_;)

gravatar windy - August 23, 2003 - 3:41 PM -

Hi! Good stories! I'm picking #1. No real reason. I think it would have been pretty cool if you had gotten on Jeopardy. If you feel like reading more, you can check out my stories on my link! Nice job!

gravatar Jules - August 24, 2003 - 12:33 AM -

I want # 2 to be false because I want you to have gotten on there and kicked ass.

gravatar Anonymous - August 24, 2003 - 3:36 PM -

Hmmm. #3 is false? Yeah, I'll go with that, even though it sounds just crazy enough to be true =)

gravatar sheri - August 24, 2003 - 3:38 PM -

(um hi, that was me with the comment above there! What I get for talking on the phone while trying to type...)

gravatar Caitlin - August 24, 2003 - 3:53 PM -

I'm voting #2 as false. & thanks for looking at my own truths & lies!

gravatar Heather - August 24, 2003 - 9:34 PM -

I think #1 is false.

gravatar rockinronnie - August 25, 2003 - 2:26 AM -

ooops, I have trouble with concepts......Which one is trueeeeeeee..ok, now I get
#2 is true

gravatar srah - August 25, 2003 - 6:40 AM -

It should be which is false.

gravatar richard - August 25, 2003 - 9:00 AM -

I don't believe #2, the Jeopardy story.

My reason: The other 2 stories are much more charming. I want to believe them.

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