#267 – Name That Festival

Poor Ron! His chief competition at the office just won “the promotion of a lifetime” which should’ve been his. Naturally, my friend is spitting mad, but more at himself than at the kiss-ass to whom he’ll now report. As he freely admits, if anyone’s to blame for this reversal of fortune, it’s the man in the mirror.

In our conversation this morning, my friend traced his downfall back to February 18. That Saturday was the day his boss had invited him, his kiss-ass competitor, and two other employees to join her at the Fox Theatre’s matinee presentation of the “Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.”

Ron isn’t what one might call “a lover of the dance.” Just the opposite, he says he’d sooner enjoy a colonoscopy than “watch a bunch of guys prancing around in tights on stage” (his words, not mine). Consequently, although he’d originally intended to endure the afternoon of agony, he reconsidered his options at the eleventh hour. The long and the short of it – he didn’t show.

Late that afternoon, before Ron had a chance to flesh out an acceptable excuse, he received a telephone inquiry from his boss concerning his whereabouts. Knowing her soft spot for children and her belief in parents putting their offspring first (even ahead of work responsibilities), Ron blurted the first palatable explanation which came to mind. He sheepishly admitted having forgotten about the dance show in his excitement at taking his kids to a fair in Cumming that afternoon. 

My friend subscribes to the philosophy of the big lie. When only a falsity will do, he starts with a grain of truth and embellishes his fabrication with excessive details, the more outlandish the better. In his estimation, people telling whoppers rarely get caught.

Cumming, the seat of Forsyth County, does in fact host an annual fair suitable for children. Although Ron himself hasn’t previously attended, he figured he’d previously visited enough county fairs to craft a convincing tale. And since he’d heard mention of the festival taking place in Cumming that day, he felt sure he could build a world-class whopper from said germ of truth.

Consequently, when the boss asked how his children had enjoyed the fair, Ron waxed poetic over the thrilling rides they’d enjoyed, the kettle corn and cotton candy they’d scarfed down, and the stuffed animals he’d won for them playing games of skill and chance.

My friend’s tale unfortunately suffered from one significant shortfall. While a festival of sorts did take place in Cumming that afternoon, it wasn’t the annual fair he’d presumed. So he learned from his boss – who apparently knew more about the town’s weekend calendar than Ron – when she responded to his oration: “Wow Ron! The organizers certainly changed things up for this year’s ‘Forsyth Senior Expo,’ didn’t they?”

And the dancer isn’t even wearing tights!

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