True…? or False…?

game, true or falseHere’s a “game” I dare you to play with me. Read the three small stories, below. Two of them are true. One is false. In the comment section, guess which one is the False story (and the reason you think it never happened). The one with the right answer and the most clever reason of why the story must be false, wins a copy of my romantic thriller, The Right Wrong Man, in paperback. (Thank you, Vanessa-Jane Chapman, for the idea!)

When my parents lived in Oklahoma City, I flew out to visit and join them forLBJ Library, Austin TX a week-long road trip through Oklahoma into Texas. Our destination was San Antonio, and we marveled at the geography, so different from New Jersey and the East Coast, where they (and I) had lived our entire lives. The bat caves fascinated us the most, until we ran into a different kind of creature the next day. After walking in the dark through all that guano, we drove to Austin and, by surprise, found the newly opened LBJ Library. We entered the beautiful foyer, amazed that no one else was there. The rooms were spanking brand new, the replications of the Oval Office and the Blue Room, spectacular. As we entered another hallway, my dad pointed to a wax human-sized replica and said, “Pammy, say hi to Lady Bird Johnson.” I approached the wax figure with a smile, a proffered hand, and said joyfully, “Hiya! My name is Pamela Wight.” The figure moved, smiled, and then I was surrounded by five black-suited men. They were secret service agents. The wax figure was real, and Lady Bird Johnson was on a tour of the (whoops, not opened-for-the-public) library. We were escorted out none-too-gently, and Lady Bird never did shake hands with me.

bar, sitting at the barLast Friday night my guy and I decided to have a ‘date night’ at a local bar. The restaurant is fancy, but we prefer to sneak into a smaller back room, decorated in old pine with a curving bar and a half dozen small round tables strewn about for seating. We always just cozy up on a barstool and talk with the bartender, who pours our glasses of wine as soon as we enter the room. This evening, as we walked straight to “our” seats at the end of the bar, I noticed a nice-looking man hunched over a Kindle, sipping on a beer as he concentrated on what he was reading. Thinking nothing of it, I sat down, took a dainty sip of my wine, but then suddenly the  Kindle was plopped down in front of me, and the man said, “Pam Wight? Look what I’m reading.” He was on the third chapter of my book, The Right Wrong Man.

Growing up in New Jersey, I was raised on the legend of the “New JerseyNew Jersey Devil, New Jersey, Jersey beaches Devil.” He preyed on teenagers and lived in the Pine Barrens, a heavily forested area of coastal plain that leads to the ocean. Even though we teens were well aware that we had to drive through the Barrens to reach the beach – our most popular destination on a summer’s day – we did it weekly. One August, three of us spent too long sunning ourselves, so we didn’t begin our hour-long journey back home until after dark. Jonathan, our designated driver, cried out “uh oh’”about 20 minutes into the ride – his old orange Rambler was almost out of gas. The 2-lane country road we traveled was dark as sin, no street lights, and the sky was starless. As the engine began to thump thump thump, Jonathan pulled his car onto a long dark driveway and said, “Pam, you and Skip go knock on the door of that house and ask if they have a can of gas.” Young and stupid, we agreed. As we held hands and tiptoed across the pebbled road, we heard a screeching roar, and two humungous golden horns gleamed as the moon suddenly appeared from the clouds. We screamed so loudly we both lost our voices, ran back, pounding on the car doors until Jonathan unlocked them. The lights of the house blinked on; the police were called. They scoured the neighborhood and ran into two rutting male deer, who were fighting over a doe.


65 thoughts on “True…? or False…?

  1. OK Pam, you’re a good writer,I really dickered between story 1 and story 3 as being the false one.At first I decided they were all plausible and you were just putting us off with the story that one tale was a fabriction, then I decided you wouldn’t do that. In the end I settled for the last story as being the wrong one.I couldn’t see Jonathan running out of gas with two females along, it would only work with one (see Thriller) and though the story of the rutting stags is good I don’t see the horns as humongous or golden.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • YOU are golden. How wonderful that you never even considered that #2 could be an untrue story? I’m sending you a big hug for that. And the answer to what are the false stories, and which one is true, will be told on Friday. xoxoxoxhugethankyouhugxoxoxoxo

  2. Hmmm….I pondered this! I think number 3 is fiction because, I believe, deer rut in the fall not the summer! Therefore, I think #3 is a “story” or maybe you saw the real Jersey Devil! My best friend’s grandfather was a preacher in So Jersey and told THE best Jersey Devil stories! 😈

  3. Sorry to jump on board with everyone else but I believe #3 to be the false story, too, Pam. I believe the legend of the New Jersey Devil is true, we had a similar legend in the remote part of town I grew up in. I believe a young guy would send a young woman out into the dark (sadly). I think you spun a great story with these truths to create a nice piece of fiction.

    BTW – love #2…awesome timing!

  4. I question both 1 and 3. If the library was empty (no mention of cars), why would Lady Bird Johnson be there with 5 secret service and posing as herself. Surely there would have been company cars. And, I though only one-two sercret service detail are assigned to a former president and spouse.

    But, the last story made me wonder. Why would a boy not have enough gas for the car, run out in a creepy area, send two girls knowing on a door,etc. And yes, rutting season doesn’t occurs in October and November, not summer. The story is dramatic and sounds like pure fiction.

  5. I think it’s number three as well, but with your talent around a story I can’t be 100% certain. Number three it is, though.
    “…two rutting male deer, who were fighting over a doe?” What? No candles and no flowers to speak of? I bet the doe was ticked off and left so who knew a female was the reason for the sparring? 😀 😀 😀

  6. What fun! I, too, questioned #1 because I couldn’t imagine how they let you get in there in the first place, so I’ll go with that one. My first thought about #3 was that it was too deliciously detailed to have been made up, but then I forgot who the writer was… :-). I’ll still stick with #1 as the false story just to be contrary.

    • YOU are never contrary. I think you go with your instincts, and your instinct is that the LBJ Library would have been off limits. Hmmm, you’ll find out how good your instincts are, on Friday. ❤

  7. Hmm… this one was a bit difficult but I have to agree with almost everyone else. It is #3 because of the deer. Mating season is not in the summer. And I agree also that your friend would not send you into the dark to get help.
    Number 1 sounds very plausible. Someone just wasn’t paying attention 🙂

  8. #2 ~ if he was engrossed in the story, he wouldn’t have connected the dots to recognize you sitting at the bar just moments after you arrived.

    And if he wasn’t engrossed in the story, he would have pretended not to recognize you.

  9. I agree with all the above reasoning, but number two, which if true, could not happen since your picture wasn’t available for him to see while reading a kindle unlike a book. Are you going to share which is true and false?

  10. I think #1 is the false one. If you flew out to visit your parents to do the trip with them you would have been living on your own someplace else, so that would make you a young adult. But LBJ wasn’t president after 1969, so at that time, you would have been too young to be asking to shake Lady Bird’s hand at that time.

  11. I have to go with Nr 2 because I don’t think the kindle has a picture of the author, although I am not sure. As for Nr 3 , years ago my then young husband ran out of gas on the way to Los Angeles with three girls in the car ( I was one of them) . The poor guy had to walk some miles before he returned with some gasoline. I also could br Nr 1 because wouldn’t lady Bird want shake the hand of a young girl.

  12. You are a wonderful writer and stories number 1 and 3 have the feel of stories that are true and told over and over again. They are strange enough to be true and provide fodder for many a laugh when “story-swap” time is upon you.

    Number 2…that one is a story I wish I could tell as a writer and, for your sake, I hope it’s true. I just don’t think it is. You present him as someone you don’t know (“a nice-looking man”). He’s reading a Kindle, so how would a stranger recognize you (no author photo on the cover of a Kindle book)? Finally, he appears to be fascinated with the story (as I’m sure I would be with such a well-written romantic thriller–my favorite genre and apparently his, too because he is reading a Kindle in a bar by himself and he’s nice-looking–something wrong with that picture right there!), so why would he notice you when you were so unobtrusive? Yup. #2 is false.

  13. Well, I must say that you are clever but here are my reasons for thinking that No 1 is false. First of all the LBJ library opened in 1971 and and at that time I don’t think you were flying at a young age and living on youer own. I think you are about 60 years old and I’m almost 20 years older. About that time you would have been roughly 15 years old and still living with your parents. It’s also possible that you are younger than I believe so please forgive me. 🙂

    The second thing I noted is that you walked in “all that guano” which is bat manure and can be quite dangerous. I don’t believe tourists are permitted to walk in bat droppings due to possibility of inhaling histoplasmosis spores which can be a deadly and difficult fungal disease to treat. There is also the possibility of acquiring rabies by inhalation and that has happened here in one Texas cave.

    But if No 1 is true then you and your folks sure took a chance by walking in bat manure and maybe that part of the story was the only part not true.

    Third the museum would not have an open door for anyone to enter if it had not yet been opened to the public.

    Your last story sounds fictitious but you later admitted that that it was two bucks fighting but it is also possible that the deer were in rut if it was late August. The golden horns could have merely been a hysterical reaction by two girls who were scared out of their wits.

    All in all each story seems to have some loop holes and that is why I say you are quite clever. I have to look up rutting bucks which usually rut in the Fall. Now but I’ve already made my comment and I have no idea how to save all these words. 🙂

    • Can you hear me smiling? I’m glad you think I’m clever; I actually don’t think I was trying to be clever when I wrote these. After all, two of them actually happened! But your guesses of what seemed false are very clever. 🙂

  14. I think it is story number 2. As writers we would all love this to happen, but it only happens in our dreams. It is unlikely a man would be reading a Kindle in a bar while having a beer, and how would he know who you were. All the stories are great. I love this game!!

  15. Number one is false. The biggest hesitation here is how you would come up with this story if it was false. Who thinks about a visit to the LBJ Library unless they were actually there? Maybe, afer everything Lady Bird had been through wtih LBJ, she appeared like a wax figure, but there’s something that doesn’t fit. So there. Number one is false.

  16. I think that #2 is false, only because it seems too real! I HOPE it was true, though.
    The first one was an amazing story which is so bizarre it MUST be real, Pam!
    The last one is also crazy but possible, so I think it should be turned into an extended short story.

    • I’d love to write an extended short story about the New Jersey Devil! Oh how we teenagers came up with some truly scary stuff around him/it. Thanks for hoping that #2 is real. You can find out in my Friday post.

  17. I’m guessing #3 is false because American Motors didn’t make an orange Rambler! Since I already have a copy of your book (and have read it of course!) you can give the prize to the runner-up. Look forward to the answer next week!

    • Ah, you think like I do. Whatever is fantastical must be real. I like it!! And I LOVE that you think it’s quite possible for a good-looking man to be reading my romantic suspense in a bar. The truth appears on Friday…

  18. This is so fun. I enjoyed this game on Vanessa’s blog, too. I want #2 to be true (that would be amazing!), so I’m going with #1 — I’m not sure how you could have gotten into the building in the first place if it was closed to the public, or that you’d have wandered around for that much before anyone “nabbed” you.

  19. Pingback: The Strange Undeniable Truth | roughwighting

  20. FINALLY I’ve made it here! Thank you for giving me a shout out at the start! I managed to come straight here without reading your answer post because I wanted to actually play (Even though I know I’m too late for the prize!). I’ve also avoided reading the other comments in this thread too so as not to be swayed! It’s tricky because all three of the stories are written well, they all sound generally believable, but all three also have a bit in them which doesn’t quite ring true for me! I’m going to settle on the first one as being the untrue one though, I just don’t quite buy that they would be standing so still, and alone, right up until after you approached, extended your hand and spoke, especially considering your Dad had said something first which would have elicited some reaction I feel.

    Now, off to read the answer…

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