Posts Tagged ‘lying’

The Gecko who wasn’t

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

For years, I used to play this game which I called “Plane Nun” which draws its name from a story I think I remember my uncle telling when I was a kid. The story goes like this:

He would travel frequently and got bored telling the same stories from flight to flight and so he decided to just make something up. He starts to tell some guy he’s sitting next to he’s a brain surgeon* but soon realizes that he’s sitting next to an actual brain surgeon so he confesses the ruse. The brain surgeon loves the game and so they start fresh with new personalities and play the whole flight.

The brain surgeon was a minor league short stop and my uncle was a nun. Purportedly, when they exited the plane the flight attendant says to my uncle “Take care, sister”

I have played this game on and off for a while. My favorite instance was when I told a pipe-fitter from Akron that I was the  guitar player from 90’s band “Filter” .  At the end of the flight he asked me for my autograph for his daughter. My ruse was believable enough for several reasons, Filter was from Cleveland, so it makes sense that I would be flying to Pittsburgh especially around the holidays, Filter wasn’t famous enough to be recognized and he was a 50 something pipe-fitter. My guess is that since Filter fell off the earth right after that and his daughter was 14 that the autograph was probably a prized possession. I was even enough of a band dork to know the right name to sign (Richard Patrick) I mean, how would she check that? So she had a theoretical autograph from a semi-famous guy and Filter probably got an  album sale that they wouldn’t have.

Anyway, so I have just figured out that the game was played on me.

Here’s the ruse:

I’m on a chairlift at Homewood last season and I’m riding with an older guy who has a sort of Aussie accent. We do the standard “what do you do” conversation and he tells me he’s a voice actor. I say “Wow, that’s neat! Would I have heard you?”

He spins a yarn about how he’s the Gieco Gecko. Tells me a whole story about how they fly him down to L.A. once or twice a month to record new spots. He lives in Tahoe year round on the retainer they pay him. It’s believable and just like the guitar player for Filter, it’s just unfamous enough that why would I check on that?

I have been telling folks for the past year about how I met the Gecko and blah blah blah.

Yesterday I’m trying to find out whether I can get the series “Red Dwarf”** from Greencine and I’m following around some links on the web and I find a link to “Jake Wood, British Soap Actor and Voice of the Gieco Gecko”. So I check into his info on Wikipedia and IMDB. First of all, the unassuming middle aged aussie fellow is not a mid-thirties British soap actor and second of all he doesn’t live in London with his wife and two children.

I guess that’s fair. I mean, I’ve been duping people for years, why wouldn’t somebody have duped me? It actually makes me happy that there’s someone else out there playing the game. Sort of gives the universe more certainty.

* Uncle Jay worked for Westinghouse, I think he did some kinda project management before he retired a few years ago, so…not a brain surgeon.

**Late 80’s British sci-fi sit com in the vein of Doctor Who***

***Yes I know, I’m a big dork. Shut up. Go ask Jody about which Star Wars is the worst and why or ask Ivy why light sabers are certain colors for certain characters.