Donnie (yours truly), age 29: "The French Lieutenant's Woman."
25C: "Oh, that was a wonderful read!"
Enthused Donnie to 35ish Future Boss: "Did you read it?"
Future Boss: "Yes."
Donnie, to Chick and Future Boss: "Which ending did you prefer?"
Lying Future Boss: "What do you mean which ending? How many endings can a book have?"
Amused Donnie: "Wrong book to lie about reading."
Disgusted Chick to Donnie: "Let's go get something to eat."
In defense of my future boss, Jack, he couldn't help it - his lying was pathological. Seriously, it was. (I've only met one other pathological liar, a young woman whom I loved - from a distance - for her entertainment value.)
During the six or seven years that I knew him, Jack made the following claims:
- He was seduced by a nun at age eleven.
- He had been a member of the Italian Olympic Skeet Shooting Team.
- He had participated in voodoo rites in Jamaica.
- He had been kicked out of medical school in his senior year for punching a professor.
- He and Dustin Hoffman had shared an apartment in Boston.
There were many others, but there's little chance I'll remember them all. I once made a written list of them, and it came to a double digit number.
At one time I thought that he came to believe the lies he told, and that may have been the case with some of them. But it was certainly not the case with all the lies. One day, for no discernible reason, he reintroduced the subject of Dustin Hoffman, this time saying that he and Hoffman were good friends, " . . . to the point that when he was in town he would stay at my apartment."
I silently noted the transition from sharing an apartment to visiting, and wondered what caused it. It turned out that Jack was a Playboy subscriber, and he knew what was coming. Not long thereafter I was in a drug store and when I walked by the magazine rack I saw Dustin Hoffman's name on the Playboy cover. Jack's conversational tidbit popped into my mind and I snagged the magazine and later read the interview. Sure enough, there was sufficient detail about Hoffman's life that the "sharing an apartment" lie wouldn't stand up. Jack had begun covering his tracks in case anyone read the article and put two and two together.