High school can be boring, it’s important to know how to make it fun. I’ve found one fun and easy thing to do is lie to people. I don’t do it for any pathological reasons, nor do I do it to make people feel better about themselves or to gossip. I just do it to have fun. By the end of the year, I want people to leave with a totally false perception of who I am, and remember me by stories that are totally made up. I find that funny. I am constantly changing my nationality. Every time someone asks, I say something different. For a lot of the year I was South African; I am currently Norwegian. My favorite form of lying is to tell an extraordinary story, pushing the border of impossibility, and seeing if my victim believes it. They always do.
The story I use is a Hemmingway-esque adventure story about a trip to Africa I took in 8th grade. The following story is totally fictitious. Note the impossible scenario, medical inaccuracies, incorrect use of the word “safari” and excessive use of the word “majestic”. It should also be read aloud in an overly dramatic voice.
In 8th grade, I was one of the top science students at my school. I was selected into an exclusive group of the top 20 students in California to help a group of scientists who are part of the Scientific research center to go overseas to Africa to study the hair follicles of a rare zebra. They flew me out to a small remote African village named Rotaka-Manigro. It was very frightening landing there because there were no landing strips or air traffic controllers signaling to our safety. We landed on a rocky dirt road, the wings of the plane scraped the tops of the African huts, or as they call them “xiutxs”. We were greeted by the tribe leader with a grand feather headdress who showed us around the village. They stationed us at the scientific research headquarters. The next day, we went to work. They sent the kids out separately, one by one, alone as a sort of spiritual experience to become one with Mother Earth, or as the villagers called her “Mandu-Ka.” I wandered out into the majestic African safari with only a cape on my back. The small fragile African children ran after me, until I reached the village limits, yelling, “Unduko! Unduko!” which means good luck in Sawattii.
I wandered through the majestic African safari, the sun gave me a sun burn. I thought I had malaria because my skin was turning red. No spiritual things happened even though I was chanting the African chant which channels the majestic Sawattii gods. The sun began to set and I began to search for shelter. I was surrounded by miles and miles of majestic African wheatgrass. No shelter in sight. The sun has set by now and the earth beneath my feet became icy cold. I needed to warm up quickly or surely I would perish. Then suddenly I heard a summoning wind from the south blowing me toward a clearing in the wheatgrass. In the clearing lay a zebra. Its insides were eaten out probably by a lion or a majestic tigress. I followed the trail of blood up to the zebras head. I felt her body, it was still warm. My only hope of survival was to sleep inside the carcass. I crawled inside. It was warm. It smelled like KFC, it reminded me of home.
I began to drift off to sleep when I heard a moaning sound coming from the east. I followed the sound and found another clearing where a majestic female lion was writhing on the ground. I approached it cautiously and found its stomach was moving. It was giving birth. Usually the male is suppose to help it give birth but the male was dead beside the mother. “Tragic,” I said under my breath. I knew I had to help. So I went back to the zebra and took two of its ribs off. I brought them back to the mother lion, put them inside her and used them like chopsticks to remove the baby lion. The mother thanked me with nod of her head. “You’re welcome,” I replied. I needed to keep the babies alive with warmth. I put them inside the zebra with me. So there I was inside a zebra carcass holding two baby lionettes staring up into the starry sky through the gashes in the zebra and that is when I finally found peace with Mandu-Ka and the Sawattii spirits.
I woke up the next morning to find the lionettes dead in my arms. I was ok, because I knew they died with the blessing of the Mandula spirits. I headed back to the village with a sample of fur from the zebra. Turns out that was the very fur they were looking for. My group returned home a week later. We even had a blurb about us written in Science Magazine, the top magazine in the country. The scientific experience was great, but that night in the African safari was an experience I would remember forever.
Art by Molly