Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Will Prevaricate To Prove A Point

This one’s going to be a bit weird, and may not make a whole lot of sense. I apologize in advance. However, since I’ve sort of glided by on a string of very small posts for most of the last few entries, I figured I’d give my lovely readership a bit of something more substantial to digest. As it were.

The scene is… some sort of event, many years ago. I was a young’un, not yet a teenager even. It may have been a county fair. There’s a chance it was a boat show at the Expo Center. I’m fairly certain that the venue was covered, but don’t hold me to that. The point is that there were various things to see and do, and my family was seeing and doing. Mostly seeing.

The cast consists of myself and… well, probably Sis and maybe Mom and I kind of think that her mother was with us, but I can’t be sure. We were a small group, maybe four or five of us, so maybe step-grandpa was with us, or maybe one out of the string of men in Mom’s life. Maybe it was random other people.

Yes, I’m filing this under “Memories.” Yes, my memory really is this hazy for much of my early life. Deal with it.

At this event we came across a handwriting analysis booth. That’s right, the deal was that if you write a sentence (very likely the best-known of the pangrams, “The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.”), they’ll tell you what kind of person you are. I was young, bored and gullible, so I gave it a shot. This is back when I could still more-or-less write in cursive.

I don’t remember what else was on the analysis sheet they gave me, though I’m sure it included concepts like “too snarky for his own good” and “probably needs to get out more.” What statement I found interesting was, “will prevaricate to prove a point.” I thought that was an awfully nice thing to say about me. Hey, it sounded good. A big word like that must mean something bold and positive, right?

The elders with whom I traveled finally set me straight. “Prevaricate means lie, Karel.”


Looking back, I probably took it to mean something like “persevere.” Ah, well. I was young.

I wasn’t too young to recognize the truth of it, though. There’s always been a part of me willing to sacrifice a bit of truth to convince people of something. Even in my darker days I didn’t really lie all that much about what I had or hadn’t actually done. It’s more a matter of being in a debate and exaggerating my chosen example which illustrates why I’m right. (Of course I’m right. Right?)

And thanks to that handwriting analysis, I keep this fact in the back of my head as often as possible so I don’t let that impulse run away with me. At least, not any more than I can catch myself doing…


  1. Lil

    That’s probably a way more interesting childhood memory than any of mine. (Except for maybe the one where a bald eagle tried to swoop down on and take away my baby sister in Alaska. That one was pretty cool. *grin*)

  2. Belle

    I did the same handwriting analysis thing, at about the same age. I think it was a boat show.

    Other than that, I can’t remember a thing about it, except that my writing style indicated that I’d be happiest on a houseboat.

    Um, ok….

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