You may know a bit about me from the stories I’ve shared in these blogs. If you know me in real life, you’ll know that I’m also a storyteller in person. I’ll talk your head off.
The one person who hears my storytelling the most is my daughter Jules. She doesn’t seem to mind at all, and even seems to get into it. She follows along, and then likes to blurt out my punchlines or story endings. I’ll see her start to grin towards the end of the story, and right as I’m about to deliver the ending, she’ll stand up and interrupt “So then Daddy says, that’s not even my dog!” (followed by her wild kid laughter).
So lately, when I see her listening and starting to grin, I’ll just point at her to finish the story. She stands up and clears her throat…. “So then Daddy says, hey wait,at our house EVERY burger is a Sriracha burger! Hahahahahaha!” That sort of thing. A little storyteller in training.
Just because I enjoy sharing stories with people in real life doesn’t mean I’m very good at it. I end up retelling stories so often, I’ve forgotten which folks have heard them. I sometimes get the “Yes Jeff, I’ve heard this one 5 times. You tried to straddle the wheels around the possum in the road with Mike the Greek’s car and he jumped up at the last second and exploded.”
Or, friends will cut me off and go “Yeah, I read this one on the blog. Your dad ran into the burning trailer when he heard crying children, but they were just kittens.” I read that like 5 years ago.
Or even worse, they go “Dammit man, I was there too. I was literally standing right next to you and saw and heard all the same stuff.”
Some of my friends are brilliant storytellers, much better than I am. My best friend Dre is a master orator. He can really capture an audience, and his way of describing events makes you feel like you were there. But if you know him as well as I do, you sometimes have to quickly stifle a laugh when he gets to parts that you know didn’t happen, like when he casually (and brilliantly) peppers in subtle details like the time he went to truckdriving school.
To counter this, Dre refers to all of my stories as “Jeffsploitations.” As I get to the end of a tale, he’ll do some quick fact-sharing with the audience. “Hey everybody, there weren’t fifty goats in the road, I was there. There were like twelve of them. And none of them were wearing a sombrero.”
I was recently talking to a new group of friends, and when we got to the “so what do you do?” part of the discussion, I casually mentioned that I’m a cat chiropractor and then quickly changed the subject. So right now there’s a small group of people who (1) think that’s a real thing and (2) think I make my living that way. I changed my occupation on Facebook to reflect the same details. I imagine there’s some guy in a fancy office who runs your card for $85, and then takes Mittens into the back room to pet him while he watches Bob’s Burgers for an hour.
But here’s the thing – the joke was on me. I looked it up and cat chiropractors are a real thing. I need to update my cat chiropractor-focused resume and make this thing happen.