Friday, September 23, 2011
An entrenched attribute of our popular culture, it's enveloping our world with greater frequency every day.
The New York football Giants are the most recent purveyors of this behavior. Last Monday night, in an attempt to sidetrack the St. Louis Rams' no-huddle, "hurry up" offense, the Giants' Deon Grant feigned injury, lying prone on the field and thereby interrupting play to be attended by trainers and allowing his team to regroup.
St. Louis cried foul, claiming that New York's dishonest behavior circumvented the spirit and integrity of the game.
Professional soccer players have used the phantom flop for decades, enabling their non-writhing teammates to enjoy a cappuccino and smoke on the sideline while securing a post game dalliance among the babes in the lower bleachers.
Apparently, however, enough is enough when it comes to America's number one gladiator spectacle. We love our bloodsport.
But no one likes a fake.
Bernie Madoff, Milli Vanilli, John Boehner's tan—we're so repulsed, we feel so betrayed when these scandals finally expose themselves to the light of day. And here's the rub:
We're all fakes. Sometimes, anyway.
When I first began dating my future wife, I tried my darnedest to make her think I was the bee's knees. I was still me, I suppose, but more like "Tim with Techron." You know how, when you fill your car up, you choose octane level 87, 89 or 91? I was totally 91 for at least the first six months, then 89 for about a year.
I've been Unleaded 87 for the past twenty.
How about job interviews? Is that the real you? Do you naturally sit forward, back rigid, maintaining laser eye contact while mentally minimizing galvanic skin response to avoid sweating through your wool trousers and spotting the interview chair?
Once you're hired for that job, and you start asking people for stuff, do you end your request with "That would be great!"?
That's fake. An India Pale Ale which also burns fat would be great. Rick Perry losing bladder control on national television would be great. Emailing someone a jpeg of a logo? Nice, but not great.
Naturally, we can't say exactly what's an our minds when dealing with someone we don't like, especially on the job. Not saying something like, "I'd rather lick the beater batter while the Kitchen Aid is still running than talk to you right now," isn't necessarily disingenuous, it's merely prudent.
There are also instances when fake is fine. Even though many artificial substances are acceptable or even preferable, the word "fake" is never used as the preceding adjective. It's "field turf," not fake turf. "Faux fur" sounds so much more luxurious than "fake fur" and certainly, "toupee" holds greater appeal than "fake follicle fez."
If you're not one hundred percent yourself with one hundred percent of the people with whom you must deal, don't worry about it; it's a dauntingly tall order.
And if you hate this post, please—just be fake.