I was just reading a survey, one of the deals that goes around on MySpace. You know what I'm talking about. The women's magazine-type surveys that people pass around on the MySpace bulletin board.
I gotta come clean - I love those things.
It's not so much the "getting to know your friends" vibe that attracts me to them. I know my friends. My friends are a bunch of smartasses. They're not alone. I too am a smartass. AND given that I like to lie, those things are just too good to pass up.
The best question on this survey (and the best question of any survey I've seen in quite a while) was, "Have you ever been Hornswaggled?" This, then, is the complete fabrication of the last time someone attempted to hornswaggle me.
I was in Utah, where I didn't want to be in the first place. Utah is not the state for me. They have to make special, lower alcohol content beer to sell in Utah. If you want anything worth drinking you have to drive clear to freaking Wyoming. Yet there I was nonetheless.
The reason I was lingering in Utah is because my car was missing, presumably stolen. I told the police it was stolen, but to be honest I just parked it somewhere that I thought no one would come across it for a very long time, walked through the seediest part of Salt Lake City (it was seedy because there was a news stand there that sold Cosmopolitan), then took a cab to the police station. They ask a hella lot of questions in a Utah police station, a disconcerting number of which concern whether or not you've accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior and, if not, why, but I persevered. Eventually they bought my story; I told them I was going to California to become an actor. If you're ever in a Utah police station, tell them exactly that. That you are going to California to become an actor. When you tell them that, they can't wait to get rid of you.
So anyway after I reported my car stolen I had to wait around a few days. It actually turned out to be about a month, because I wanted to wait out the insurance company for a check. I stayed in the seediest hotel I could find, which turned out to be a Howard Johnson.
Here's where the attempted Hornswaggle came in.
I decided one night, after finishing the last of the booze I'd smuggled into the state, to go out on the town. The HoJo was a good ways from anything that might be even a little fun, and I was running short on cash, so I decided to hitchhike. I don't advocate hitchhiking, but I was in Utah and wasn't an unmarried 16 year old girl, so I felt pretty safe.
Anyway, after a while this dude picked me up. I say "dude" instead of "guy" because of his jacket. His bedazzled denim jacket. The one jackass in the state with a bedazzled Confederate flag on the back of a Wrangler denim jacket - that's who stops to pick me up. Son of a bitch.
When you're hitchhiking you have to talk to whoever picks you up. If you don't they freak out, think you're a serial killer, and jump out of the car. So I start talking to this guy about my "stolen" car, waiting for the insurance check, and just wanting to get out on the town after being cooped up for a month.
"Well hell," he says. "I can sell ya a truck!"
Oh boy. The conventions of hitchhiking mandate that I have to hear him out. I bite.
"Oh yeah? What kind?" I thought this was a good, fairly noncommittal question.
"A Henweigh!" he replies.
Now, I didn't fall off the back of a Utah bible truck the day before this happened. I knew what this dude was up to. He wanted me to ask what a Henweigh was so he could yell, "About six pounds!" Nevermind that he should have said he would sell me a truck that had a Henweigh. (That's how the joke works. The mark is supposed to say, "What's a Henweigh?")
I decided right then, and I remember these words running through my head verbatim, "uh uh, baby". I countered.
"First thing's first-does it have a Five'cross?" I asked this with a completely straight face, a trick I learned from Bob Newhart.
"A five'cross?" He's still smiling, just wanting to get through this "five'cross" jazz I threw at him so he could deliver his punchline.
"That's right, baby. Five'cross yo lip!" POW. Old bedazzled jacket never saw it coming.
I didn't wait to see what he'd do. I jumped out of the truck, which was whizzing down the highway at a pretty good clip. I figured he'd be less apt to give me any static if he thought I was some sort of maniac. He kept right on driving.
And THAT, people, is what happens when someone tries to hornswaggle me.
Checks and Balances
10 months ago