Truth vs. Real

Shit happens. You get sick, fall down, lose stuff, experience life. Without friends and family, the odd incident would merely pass, unmentioned. Inevitably, your partner comes home, a friend calls to check in, you go to a meeting, drinks or an event. They ask that question, and you are faced with a decision: are you going to tell the Truth, or the Real Story? 

Facing this dilemma, I often leave it up to the interrogator, but they nearly always choose the Truth. Big mistake. The Real Story is always more entertaining, and often contains clever life lessons to direct your steps. 

I discovered The Real Story when quizzed by Eric Simpson’s kid at a party shortly after the ventricular fibrillation that killed me in May 2010. She asked about the death experience. I told her the Truth: I was completely unaware – no bioflick flashing before my eyes, no glowing light. Here one moment, gone the next. I kind of regretted not having a better experience to share.

A few weeks later, the Mason family were at the house. As they were leaving, Leah asked the same question. I was ready.

Now, Randy Newman recorded a similar story, and so I am pretty sure The Real Story has validity.

I was in a meeting at esd&associates and I heard, “Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh” in perfect harmony. Three French Algerian backup singers stood before me, grabbed me outta my chair and we whooshed away.

We landed in a musky old. garage studio, complete with cardboard egg cartons. Looked like Lubbock to me. Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix and Craig Wiley sat on stools in front of Keith Moon’s drums. The guitars were locked away in some sort of A minor jam. John Entwistle was in the opposite corner – I was on the right side, standing behind a Hammond B-3 with twin wood Leslie cabinets whirring away. I fell into a full-chorded rhythm and Keith yelled, “gary! We been waitin’! We need some pad under the guitars.” 

I looked around the room, did my best to keep up, did pretty good. Jerry passed a segue to me, and I launched into a winding solo. I took one chorus, but passed on the next, sending it on to Craig. Finally, we wound it down. “Nice,” Entwistle said. 

I was suddenly struck by the players. “Aw fellas,” I said in a moment of doubt, “I need a lot more woodshed before I play this garage.” The whoosh came back and I woke up in the hospital. Dude, you can’t sing and doubt at the same time. If you get a chance, take it and play. Heaven is no place for cowards.

So, as you can see, don’t let your friends choose between Truth and Real. On Friday, June 2, I tripped and rammed my forehead into a wall. There was no lasting damage, but I sported a racoon face for a few weeks. That kind of cosmetic prompt calls the question again. Both Terry and I had good Real Stories to explain the bruising.

Terry: “I told him and told him, don’t EVER say that again.”

The Real Story, written by Adonis Yoda: “Sittin round, passin one with da boyz. Tyson was just about passed out, and stopped the flow with a loooong Bogart. I told an old hippie joke: “Hey Mike, you know what body part was most discussed in the Sixties?” Tyson looked up and said “What?” I took the roach from his hand, took a toke, passed it back to him. “‘Ere'” I said. I had no idea he was so sensitive about that…”

You got your own Real Stories. Next time I check in, don’t waste The Truth on me.

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