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"Our Rogues Gallery: The Liar"
The first time you meet George and spend a few minutes with him, you come away with
several conflicting impressions:
He's brilliant. He's almost got sincerity down pat. He talks big money, but he has scotch
tape holding his glasses together. He knows a lot about everything. He has some good
sounding ideas. He can create excitement and mistrust at the same time, and the oddest
part is, you kinda like him.
His idea the day we met him was a chain of restaurants called "Misty and Jack's Family
Picnic". We had the name value at that time and had been loking around for a way to
exploit it. Of course George had that all figured out ahead of time. He knew what buttons
The decor would have white trellises with artificial climbing vines, picket fences,
flowers, etc. He told us the seats should just be comfortable enough, but not so
comfortable that people would sit around all day taking up tables. He had invented a way
to make pizza in a microwave and have it come out just like oven baked.
Naturally I came up with my usual type of suggestion, like a chicken place called "Chicken
In A Casket". We could serve them on their backs in black cardboard caskets with a red
lining. We could have plastic toothpicks made in the shape of little white crosses, and
stick them in the top of the chicken for decoration. Unlike most mental cases, George had
a sense of humor. He got the jokes.
He had us set up a dinner party at our house to meet a potential investor, who just by
accident was a psychiatrist. A high profile local shrink. The psychiatrist was nuts, too.
All through dinner he psychoanalyzed me in front of everybody. He told me everything he
thought I did wrong in my life, and why. He ruined the party showing off his shrink
ability at my expense. I kept my cool for the sake of everybody else, but as the guests
were filing out the door, I said to him: "I bet you don't get invited back to many
He was shocked, and asked me why I would say something like that. I told him how he had
behaved, and he said a real shrink thing to me. He said: "You handle your hostilities
well." I felt like pulling his lower lip up over his head.
George was one of those loud talkers. He'd be sitting with us at a restaurant table,
conversing at a level that could reach everybody in the room. He was an actor playing to
the back row. He used a lot of phrases like: My people... My people are loyal... We've
leased the entire top floor of our offices, etc. His office was a twenty year old Chevy.
There was a recently divorced waitress working in our club, who talked a lot about
marrying a rich guy. She was going to find one, you just watch. Goldie was money hungry
a little more than most of us. She could hear George talking about his people and his
big deals all the time. A month later they were married and moved into the most
expensive penthouse in town. The marriage lasted about a month, until Goldie and the
landlord realized that the rent check was going to bounce.
George could discuss any subject like an expert. I'm sure his IQ was off the chart, but
his IQ wasn't running the show. I wanted brochures: He knew the name of every fancy
type font. He sent what he called a rough contract to me in Nashville. I took it to a
friend who was a law professor at Vanderbilt. He said the contract was excellent legal
We didn't see George for a few years and then one night he was on the Channel 9 News.
They interviewed him as a scientist who had invented a coffee substitute. I said to
Misty, "I think that's Postum."
Another year or two and there he was being interviewed on Channel 9 again. He was
wearing a white lab coat, and was introduced as a local scientist who had broken new
ground by discovering a particle smaller than an atom! They asked him how he had
done it when nobody else could, and he said something so stupid I thought a hook would
come out and pull him off. He said: "Nobody else was looking for anything that small."
The reporter said, "That's amazing."
I ran into that psychiatrist a while later and asked if he knew what George was up to
lately, and he said: "He's a pathological liar."
Yeah, but we liked the liar better than we liked the doctor.
Copyright © February 21, 2001 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.