Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why is it.....

that some people just get such a thrill out of embellishing facts? I've seen enough examples of it to know that its considered part of human nature, but it mystifies me. I think....sadly....its just another form of control and makes people with low self-esteem feel important.

Case in point. Two days ago I received a call from my daughter. I was at work. Now, her subdivision sits nestled between two pretty well-traveled roads. She has four exits/entrances in her sub; three of them onto one road and one on the other. She often takes the exit that is least used and that's the one that is the only one out onto one of the roadways. When she tried to go that way, the road was closed; completely blocked off by police and other emergency vehicles. She turned around and went back home and questioned some of her neighbors as to what was wrong. The story she got was varied but it basically came down to this. There had been a horrible accident. A cement truck had tried to take the curve too fast, flipped over and landed on a car filled with teenagers and killed them all.

Filled with dread and concern, she thought maybe I could find out more info at work but the only thing I could find out was....yes, the road was closed due to some sort of accident. Usually they close the roadways when there is a fatality and so that part of the story made sense. The more information she sought, the more horrible it became. Thankfully, she knew where her own son was....he was with her. But he has so many friends who drive and he was only able to get in touch with a couple of them. One of them claimed he had gotten "close" to the accident scene before being turned away and that he saw three bodies laying on the roadway covered up. Anyone who has teenagers or knows anyone who has teenagers were all worried. The end result of this ended up to be.....yes, a cement truck did lose its load on the roadway and made a horrible mess. But no one was hurt. The road had to be blocked in order to start clean-up procedures. The so-called bodies laying alongside the roadway was nothing more than globs of cement.

While I'm very thankful that it was nothing more than this.....I am appalled that this story got so far out of hand. Someone had to have started it and what kind of satisfaction did they get out of making so many people worry? Did your elementary school teacher ever play that game in your class where she tells the first kid in class something and they pass it on.....from kid to kid this information is whispered and at the end....after being told approximately 30 times, the end story comes out so different its ridiculous. She did this as an example for us to not always believe what we hear and I'm reminded of that class exercise more often than I like to admit.

I guess for some people there isn't enough heartache and drama in the world and they have to create more. I really do try not to pass on gossip but I admit....sometimes I have. But I have never embellished or added to it. Of course just by repeating it, I guess I'm nearly as guilty as the embellishers. Note to self: Work on that. Hey, out there....remember to keep smilin'!

14 comments:

Coffeypot said...

I'm always smiling...I think it's gas.

That is a fun game to play, too. It would be a hoot to do that in a jury. Sart off with on fact and have the guy hung by the time it came out of the 12th juror's mouth.

ain't for city gals said...

It's amazing how a story can become fact and then some...just in my own family!! lol...I think it has to do with people's ego..The book A New Earth deals with this...most every thing we say has to do with our ego (or lack of)...In reality most people don't even listen to what you are saying...they are too busy thinking what they are going to say next or what they can say to top what you are talking about...sad but true...Uusally when I am with a group of people I don't say much...just sit back and listen...cracks me up most of the time...

My Aimless Infatuation said...

I'm with you Val,people are nuts. I also remember that game in school,loved it and have never forgotten it. I do my best to live by the old saying "believe only half of what you see and none of what you hear",works for me. I have never figured out the "drama queens"(I try to avoid them) in my life. Maybe it's my age but I try to keep myself and everyone around me calm in any event. Oh my,I have begun to ramble so it's time for me get off of here. Have a great day Val,hopefully without anymore drama.

Jenny said...

Great post! I completely forgot about that game and its so true people do embellish the facts!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I notice that if I suggest a POSSIBLE reason for something, the next person may repeat it as fact. So I try not to do that out loud any more!

Happyone :-) said...

Funny you should mention what we called the telephone game. I thought of that right away when I was reading your post. I too think of that often.
Thank goodness no one was hurt.
I'm smiling! :-)

ordinaryjanet said...

I'm glad no one was hurt, but I hope that taught your daughter not to believe everything people tell her. I remember that "telephone game" from school, too.

Jamie said...

What a great post...and a very good reminder to all of us. You are so right, it's easy to get wrapped up in embellishing...so many do it.

How are you, friend? How is your week going?

Big hugs. :)

Peruby said...

Wikipedia even has an article on it, though they call it "Chinese Whispers". I (erroneously) thought it was called "rigamarole" (or rigmarole). Close but a different game.

gayle said...

It is so odd how this happens all the time!!

Sarah said...

Ah yes, the game of Telephone...it never ceased to amaze me what was said at the end versus what was actually said. As for the embellishment, I don't know...I guess in that case it might have been better just not to say anything until the truth came out. But then, someone saw something, and assumed it was bodies and off goes the story. It sounds to me like this was a misperception but instead of finding out the truth, someone spread the rumor until every one else was worried. It's a horrible thing, especially when it involves lives...

Linda Medrano said...

It's weird because I don't even think people do this on purpose. It's selective listening. For example, Alex is Navajo. He was born at a military hospital in San Diego. Alex's dad was a Marine. My daughter in law has told her friends that Alex is "right off the Reservation" and how cool is that? She's not lying, she just knows we go to the Rez every year or so to see family, But Alex never LIVED there!

Mama Llama said...

I'm smiling! I've earned it :)

Yeah, the "embellishment" of reality is really common, isn't it? I think we all are guilty of that practice, depending on the circumstance...but for what effect is where the difference is noted.

Be well, Val.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Yep, it is like that old game 'Telephone.' By the time a story comes back to you...it's nothing like it started out as. Although I agree....some people just live for the dramatic and embellish situations just to get a reaction...this was not a good time to do that.