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Thursday, March 11, 2004

Curriculum Fraudium

(“Curriculum of Lies”)

Objective: To obtain and secure a book deal, like Jayson Blair (liar and author of Burning Down My Masters’ House), and have my life story made into a feature film, like Stephen Glass (liar and subject of Shattered Glass).

(Suggested titles: “The Lesser Man,” or “The Lesser Is Too Evil”)

Birth - Columbus, OH, January 20, 1980

  • Born a bouncing baby boy, eight pounds, six ounces, instead of an eight-pound girl, as my precociously altered ultrasound had indicated.
  • Tricked doctor into delivering me two days early.
  • Tricked mother into giving birth to a twin, who does not exist.
“Blocks in the closet” - KinderCareCenter, August, 1984
  • Asked by playmate Jonathan, “Where are the blocks?”
  • Replied, “In closet, behind shoes.”
  • Blocks not in closet behind shoes.
“I like you, Susie Dimple” - Ms. Penny’s First-Grade Class, March-May, 1986
  • Told classmate Susie that I liked her.
  • Hit her to “prove” it.
  • Didn’t actually like Susie, just wanted to hit her.
How Old Am I? - Belleville, NJ, February 5, 1987
  • Convinced great-uncle I was six years old. In reality, I was seven.
  • Convinced elderly, confused man—not my great-uncle—that I was his grand-nephew. Then told him my true age. Then convinced him that he was seven, and that I was his great-uncle.
What the Score Was - Little League playoffs, June 3-9, 1990
  • Deceived opponent Bobby Clements through all four games of the championship playoffs; at the end of the ninth inning, he thought his team was up three points.
  • Explained to tearful Bobby that the reason he lost was because he was such a crybaby.
“Truth”-Telling Award - Columbus, OH/ Anaheim, CA, October, 1993
  • Told parents I was being honored with the “Lamp of Diogenes Award” from the “Truth-Telling Society” in Berkeley, California, for being “world’s most honest boy.”
  • Actually received the “Nose of Pinocchio Award” from the “Lie-Telling Coven” in Anaheim, California, for being “world’s biggest liar.” For once, the Lie-Telling Coven was telling the truth.
Chair of Prom Committee - Lincoln H.S./Rome, Italy, Winter, 1997
  • Announced the committee had chosen “Rome Before the Fall” for that year’s prom theme. They hadn’t. (!)
  • On class trip to Rome that year, fell. Previously, had lied to classmates about being incapable of falling.
Writer for The Herald - Roosevelt University, Roosevelt Island, NY 1999-2001
  • Didn’t actually write for school newspaper.
  • Pretended I did.
  • Arranged interviews with school officials and visiting lecturers. Arrived twenty minutes late for meetings, apologized profusely (though disingenuously), wasted administrator’s time. Once, President Hay asked me to play something back on my tape; faked asthma attack to hide the fact that tape recorder was actually my fist, painted silver.
Marriage to Maggie Blanket - Queens, NY, June 15, 2002
  • Married Maggie Lesser (née Blanket).
  • Had marriage certificate annulled without Maggie’s knowledge.
  • Faked death. “Widow” Maggie has since remarried.
Marriage to Midge Blanket - Staten Island, NY, August 17, 2002
  • Married Maggie’s estranged sister Midge Lesser (née Blanket).
  • Still married to Midge, but I don’t love her; marriage is therefore a lie.
Time - Subway platform, Union Sq. Station, October 8, 4:30 p.m.
  • Told a stranger it was “a quarter to four.”
My “Resume of Truth”
  • Still all lies.
  • Claim to have written for the following publications that do not exist:
    • “The New Standard”
    • “Weekly Nation”
    • “Live! Politics!”
“The Fabulist” - Simon & Schuster, May, 2003
  • Ghostwrote “The Fabulist,” Stephen Glass’s fictionalized autobiography.
Lead role, “Bliar!” - Off-Broadway, NY August, 2003-Present
  • Currently starring as “Jayson” in the off-Broadway smash-hit musical “Bliar!”
“Pretty Good” - Brooklyn, NY, October 16, 2003
  • Replied, “Pretty good,” when a friend asked, “How’s it going?” In all honestly, things have not been going so well.
  • I guess my lies have finally caught up to me. I’ve been lying to everyone, especially to myself. Oh, what a foul snowball am I, crumbling at the bottom of my steep and slippery slope of deceit. That portrait in the attic, Dorian? No portrait that, but a mirror!—a mirror into a false soul. I am bereft of truth—a husk! Empty. Shattered.
  • Lying. I feel great!

Frank Lesser does things sometimes and goes places often. He lives somewhere that's sort of like somewhere else he's lived, though really, it's nothing like it at all. Maybe it's like some place from a dream? Only--he doesn't dream. Why can't he dream, God? In his waking hours, he writes, sometimes for Jest magazine, other times--O.K., "time"--here, for Y.P.R.