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ADMIT IT - TELLING TALL TALE IS TEMPTING

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Advertisers never know when a TV phrase will become so popular, the public will snap up a phrase and make it a part of their vocabulary.

When "Get Smart" was at its peak, we all peppered our conversation with, "Would you believe. . . ." People worked "Where's the beef?" into a sentence whether it fit or not.The phrase of the '90s is, "Yes, I am." It comes from the lips of a phony in a commercial. He hooks a ride in a limousine from the airport by pretending to be a doctor whose name he can't even pronounce. When asked if he is indeed the doctor, he stares the driver in the eye and says confidently, "Yes, I am." As he raids the bar for a beer and plays with the electric windows, the suspicious driver asks if he's ever been in a limousine before. He counters, "Not one this small."

In our hearts we know this is a sleazy opportunist who lives by his wits. We know that one day when he says, "Yes, I am," someone tougher will answer, "No, you're not." And yet - there's a little bit of the character in all of us. We may not give in to it, but it's there.

Say you're at a restaurant where the waiting list looks like a novel and you have no reservations. The hostess called the Frounk party and no one moves. The Frounks have either given up or starved to death. Aren't you tempted to present yourself and say, "We're the Frounks"?

Or you have seats at a concert that are so far back from the stage, you have a different ZIP code. The performers look like punctuation marks. For more than an hour you have been eyeballing two seats in the fifth row - empty. Tell me you have never fought the desire to slide into them and smile at the people on either side and say, "The traffic is horrendous."

It's something Eddie Haskell would do.

I've always wondered what it would be like to arrive at an airport looking like a pack mule and hand all the luggage to a limo driver. Then I would sink into the leather seat, kick off my shoes, sip something bubbly and listen to soft music.

I'd probably end up like Jerry Seinfeld. He and George lied to a limo driver at the airport and ended up being delivered to a Nazi rally where the protesters were ready to tear them apart.

Am I ashamed of myself for even thinking of being dishonest? Yes, I am.