Jan 24, 2011

It's All in How You Spin It

by Tracy Astle

Let me introduce you to my husband.
     Arms carrier
     Drug money courier
     Money launderer
     Skipped the country last week
     Tax evader

All true.

Wait. Let me reintroduce you. We have been best friends since high school and have two binders full of letters we wrote to each other while I attended BYU Provo and he served in the Queensland Brisbane Mission. He has been active in the Church all his life and has never been without a current temple recommend since he was endowed just over thiry years ago. (Cue theme to the Superman movie.)

Also, all true.

So, how can all these things be accurate? Well, it's all in how you spin it. In our job as storytellers we need to be sure of exactly how we want to spin the details of the stories we choose to tell. Which details do we include? Which do we leave out? Which words do we choose to describe a character, a setting or a situation? All these decisions hinge on what mood we want to create, what theme we want to present, on what is at the heart of the story we are telling and who our target audience is.

With an audience like this one of LDS women writers it's likely that you either didn't believe my first introduction, or at least figured there was more to the story than I was telling. And you would be right.

Just to be nice and get my husband off the hook, I'll fill in some little bits I may have left out.
     Arms carrier - He has a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
     Drug money courier -  We recently sold a gold coin and a few of the bills he brought home (couried) from the coin shop had on them a sticky, black residue with a disgusting stench. Apparently it was marijuana resin. (Totally had to be drug money, right?)
     Money launderer - He carefully cleaned the foul bills with rubbing alcohol.
     Skipped the country last week - We went on a cruise to Mexico, Belize and Grand Cayman.
     Tax evader - He bought a few things at duty free shops. (No taxes to be paid when we brought them back into the country.)
I think he still deserves the Superman theme, don't you?

Wanna play? It's always more fun when lots of us come out and play. So now it's your turn. Spin those facts. Tell us the most sordid thing you or a loved has ever done. (And then tell us the 'real' story, of course. We don't want to get anyone in trouble, now do we?)

P.S. - Bonus points if you make us laugh. If you get enough bonus points I may have to reward you with chocolate chip cookies.


  1. This is a great entry! I am still trying to thing of my twists..... How can I make my husband out to Connery's version of James Bond???

  2. Oh, this is great! I have a few stories to spin on my own hubby, and maybe a couple on myself--but it's almost 2 am now, so I'll have to get back to ya during the day. I'm setting this to remind me of posts in my email so I don't forget!

  3. Love this, Tracy! How fun! I've been a drug runner a couple of times and I launder money almost weekly. oh, and I've collected gambling debts for Richie the Banker.

    My Dad used to make trips to Mexico for medications and I would go with him so that we could get enough supplies for a number of people who couldn't get there themselves...all legal and upright. I promise.
    The kids are always leaving money in their pockets...which I claim as my own after it goes through the washer and dryer.
    My parents used to own race horses and my dad still likes to hang out at the track. When he was ill this past summer, he asked if I would meet one of his buddies to pick up some money he owed him. Dad's name is Richard and he told me to tell his friend that Richie the Banker sent me.

  4. Some things few know about me:
    Have various legal aliases
    Change my disguise and persona on a monthly basis
    Had a friend bleed to death in my arms
    Involved in a fist-fight in Tijuana


    My name changed when I married, then added a middle name when I divorced, now married a second time (happily this time)

    I'm an actress so I often change my appearance as I take on a new role.

    In college my first year a friend and I slid down an icy hill where she cracked her head open. She died in my arms (for a minute) but the ambulance came in time to revive her and she's just fine now. Scary, yes.

    Went to Tijuana one year with a friend and some guys tried to convince me to get out of my truck so they could "take a picture of the pretty girls". I didn't buy it. One guy reached into the passenger side to grab my friend. He grabbed her in the chest and she went ballistic. She punched his lights out and I peeled out of there quick. I never actually threw a punch.

  5. My hubby is an unemployed freeloader who regularly beats people up. And I'm a fowl-mouthed, wanted criminal who practices witchcraft.

    The real story is that my husband has applied for unemployment to support us until he finds a new job. He's also a black belt with his own karate school.

    I deliberately misspelled "fowl" because I have a little parrot who likes to stick her beak in my mouth and steal food when I'm eating.

    Recently I got a ticket, and because I'd forgotten to put my insurance card in my car, I had to go to the courthouse to prove we had insurance. I got the date wrong, and ended up going to the courthouse 4 days late. I don't know for sure, but they probably register warrants for people who don't show up on their court date! But it's all cleared up now and I didn't even get a late fine.

    Lastly, because I'm a Harry Potter freak, I frequently wave a stick around and shout, "Wingardium leviosa!" and "Scourgify!" to help me with my housework, but sadly it never works.

  6. Oh--not that I eat with my mouth open, though. She'll sneak bites either when I'm taking a bite, or she'll grab my lip and try to force my mouth open. That earns her a time-out. Hahaha

  7. I was regularly beaten as a child.

    (Except it was just by my brothers, and I use the punches they gave me on my shoulder interchangably with "beaten" because it sounds better.)


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