Every once in a while I feel I should tell a personal story, so that you know that I am, shall we say, a person and not, for example, a well-trained hermit crab. So here is a story.
The strangest thing that happened to me at my high school reunion was a conversation we had at dinner. We ended up sitting with a random high school classmate who had not been a particular friend of mine back in the day, but who was putting on a certain amount of charm for the occasion. Somehow the conversation worked its way around to the Live 8 concert and how my classmate claimed to have met Bob Geldolf in person and, indeed, to have tuned Paul McCartney's guitar.
I was having a hard time believing this. I don't like name droppers, for one thing; it seems almost in bad taste to mention that one is friends with celebrities, should that be the case, even in such desperate circumstances as a high school reunion. Besides, Paul and Bob are not exactly in our demographic. It seemed to me that this person was perhaps a) making this up out of the whole cloth, b) high or c) nuts. I almost hoped the answer was A, because being a fabulist probably requires a certain amount of resourcefulness and imagination that might make for interesting conversation, at least for an evening.
Then we somehow worked our way around to talking about Bloomington, and scarily enough, this same classmate claimed to know that city very well, including the names of several favorite restaurants and their proprieters. (This part, at least, is easily checked, but I haven't verified that any of these people actually know him, because the story is so tortuous.)
Shortly after this the dinner broke up, and we never saw this person again. And yet months later this conversation still gives me pause. Which parts were true, if any? I suppose there is really nothing that can be done to convince me one way or the other at this juncture, unless Bob Geldof shows up at our next reunion as a guest, say, or perhaps a member of the reunion committee.Posted at March 14, 2006 07:03 PM