How To Lie Good

A little bit of information is needed before I tell this story. Unless of course, you’ve been to The Lift, and you’ve looked at the bar clock, to see how much time you got, to finish off that beer.

You’re standing in the bar area. You need to get something from the back. There is a small room back there. We store bar odds and ends. The ice machine is back there. Etcetera etcetera.

You take a step up, then another step, then you walk through the curtain to the back. On the landing, before you go in the back, is a large cheap clock with Roman numerals that hangs precariously upon a rusty nail on a beam head high. If you’re tall, let’s say 6′ 6 up, you better bow your head down if you don’t want to thunk your head on the cheap clock.

There. That’s the info you need for the story.

It’s been a busy night, but everybody is gone by 1:35am. I bust ass, start cleaning up the place. Clean glasses…wipe tables…yada yada yada.

I count the register. Good night for the bar. Last thing I do is mop. The mop stuff is in the back room. I go to the back room, turn on the water, get it in the bucket, put some soap in it.

I wheel the mop bucket onto the landing. I put the mop in, get it wet, ring it out, I have the mop in my hand, I take the step down, and



I just look at the smashed cheap plastic clock on the ground. The AA batteries are scattered around the clock. It’s just DESTROYED.

I know my fellow service industry people can relate to this. You’re almost done with the close, you have one more thing to do, and BAM. Shit hits the fan.

Ok. That sucks. I pick up the pieces. Now, what should I do with it?  First instinct, I put the pieces in the back room, send a text to my manager, saying, I broke the bar clock. Knocked it down with the mop handle. Then I think,


What if I just throw it away, and forget about it?

I rationalize. What do you expect?  That’s the WORST PLACE to put a clock. And it was just hanging there on a single nail for dear life. Nope. Not my fault.

I take the clock, throw it in the trash, mop the bar, then take the evidence to the dumpster outside.

I go home, I forget about it.

Tonight bar manager comes in, sets a new clock down on the bar. I say, oh!  A new clock. Did something happen to the old one?

I look back where the clock should be. Huh.

Not there.

I wonder why?

I turn back to him, say, do you know what happened to the clock?  He says, not really. I just realized it was gone two days ago.

I say, huh.

I’m doing some serious Oscar winning acting here. I’m literally erasing the memory of me breaking the clock. I focus. How would an innocent person act in this situation?  

I say, that’s weird. Do you think someone broke it?

Playing it “dumb” is always a good option. You have to get this blank expression on your face, as if you’re trying to figure out what had happened.

Yeah, he says. I think someone broke it. You wouldn’t know anything about it, would you?

I say, me?  Oh um…no, I mean, I haven’t heard anything about it. I worked on Saturday, I don’t remember seeing…

I just fucking bust out laughing.

-Clint Curtis


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