The Robinson Family is known as a group of storytellers. Sitting around the campfire at the annual family campout in Pawnee, OK, one will hear fish stories, huntin’ stories, tall tales, whoppers, and more than a few lies. We exaggerate, embellish, fill in missing details, and lie, sometimes for pride and prestige, but mostly for entertainment. In honor of this year’s campout, which Sarah and I will unfortunately miss for the third year straight, I am putting together some of my favorite Robinson stories in a series of blog posts.
Uncle Fred Crowned Best Liar
The whole family—some 30 or 40 Robinsons—was sitting around the fire at suppertime, watching the cooks prepare burgers, hot dogs, and Uncle Leon’s favorite fried taters. Some were beginning to ease their way closer, so as to be the first in line. Others were content to sit in their chairs and wait, knowing that the first food to come off the griddle was never as good as later, when the cooks had a better feel for how hot to keep the fire. Everyone talked. The dominant conversation was the Robinsons’ penchant for telling whoppers, and various lies were told and recalled.
All the old folks participated in the exchange of stories.
Grandpa Jack: “Norton (his favorite beagle) was on that rabbit’s trail for an hour…”
Uncle Carney: “…caught a 10 pound largemouth last week…”
They talked and talked, even ranking each other in their propensity to fib. While most agreed that Uncle Wilbur was the best story-teller, there was unanimous consensus that Uncle Fred was the best liar. As the discussion unfolded, Uncle Fred sat back in his folding chair, looking rather pleased with his title.
He listened, satisfied that his relatives recognized him as the best liar. From across the campfire, Steve said, “Well, how ‘bout it? Show us how it’s done. Tell us a lie, Freddie!”
Uncle Fred casually folded his arms over his overalls and said with an ornery grin, “Oh, no, I couldn’t do that. I gave up lying years ago.”