Thursday, January 05, 2006

He Speaks With Forked,
Spooned and Knived Tongue

"It is not corn. It is maize."
Tonight I was asked to call someone that my brother and I have known for some time. An older gentleman. I had been told he was in the hospital with ongoing respiratory ailments and could use some cheering up. The person in question has a longstanding history of being a pathological liar, someone I have learned to distrust over time, so what followed did not surprise me. While discussing his current health concerns, his nurse came in to check on his various "levels," and I was asked to stay on the phone and wait until this was done, despite the fact that it was a long-distance phone call, so I waited and listened.

Cherokee Alphabet Written in Syllabary Form

I heard him say to the nurse, "My grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian." (That part is true). Then I heard him say, "She taught me how to speak Cherokee, and I am one of the few men who know how." THAT part...not true. I sat during this exchange, just baffled, wondering what makes people offer these things up to strangers when there is no necessity to do so, other than it's pathological and not really within their control. If I had been that nurse, I think I would have forced the issue by stating, "Say something, then." Instead, I sat on my end in pained silence.

Chief Sequoya
Inventor of the Written
Cherokee Language

Chief Seqoya of the Cherokee tribe (1760-1843) is credited with the invention of the Cherokee written language, or as it is has been referred t
o by the Cherokees, "talking leaves."

How do we spell "asshole"?

When I got off the telephone with Cherokee Nation, I called my brother t
o tell him I had fulfilled the request. I told him what had transpired and he said to me, "How do you say "asshole" in Cherokee?" I went to a Cherokee-English dictionary online and couldn't find "ass" or "asshole," but I did find "buttocks". That word is "ti." Forked tongue, or liar, is "di-gu-tsu-gi," and the word for disgusted is "o-si-nv-ye-lv-s-gv-na," which I am.



Blogger Barbara said...

It's unfortunate that calling someone's bluff doesn't cure pathological lying. Think it's genetic or learned behavior?

10:38 PM  
Blogger Velvet said...

Again, hilarious. You are a riot.

Was he a pathological liar as a younger man too, or did this start as he became elderly?

11:51 PM  
Blogger I-66 said...

Helluva long word for "disgusted", yesno?

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Mataz said...

Any idea how you actually pronounce some of those syllables, either individually or strung together?

For instance, how does one go about actually saying the syllable "nv" or lv" or the word for disgusted?

8:32 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Barbara: Dunno. It could be one or the other or even contain elements of both.

Velvet: Dunno. I didn't know him as a young man.

I-66: Yes. It is. I found it interesting the word for liar looks very similar to the English word disgusted.

Mataz: I haven't a clue. I only started learning about the Cherokee language when I went to Google last night. There is a Cherokee Cultural Museum online where they will aid you in learning the language via e-mail in some capacity. The Cherokee language is called "Tsalagi," by the way.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Smash said...

I find myself just freeing myself from a relationship with a pathological liar. The way their minds work is fascinating in the most painful way. It all seems so pointless--but, they find it impossible to stop. Amazing.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Hammer said...

It's nice to see that photo of the teacher and know that centuries ago, the proud people of the Cherokee nation were doing the "YMCA" long before white people claimed it as their own in the 1970's.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Would "assmaize" be appropriate here?

2:10 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

It's actually quite loving of you to call, then to have the manners to wait while the old guy lied to his nurse.

Liars get into the habit, I think, but it also seems to me that you've gotta have some pretty serious self esteem issues to get into the habit of lying seriously.

Both my exes lied their asses off at all times. Both of them were so bad, they didn't even try to hide their lying from me - they would say one thing in one social group, another in a second group, all with me standing by listening while they did it!

What the hell was I doing with my exes anyway? Jeez.

4:58 PM  
Blogger playfulinnc said...

And that is why I often lie about what I do for a living. See? I am lying so that people will not worry that I am "acting."

Now that is sick.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I was that nurse, I would have said, "I lived on an Cherokee Indian reservation for 10 years abd can speak fluently." And then I would have proceeded in speaking to him to call his bluff.

Assmaize indeed!

5:37 PM  
Anonymous new p said...

I knew a guy who would lie about the color of his socks and the dumbest stuff just because...most of the time though it was because he believed the other party would be impressed or think more of him.

his mother allowed him to do it as a child when others would pick on him and she used to back his lies and come to his defense.

i think it is learned and then becomes like a security blanket.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Chairborne Stranger said...

I know some people that lie just to lie-you always have to check out their stories! Sucks

That picture at the end was nice!

5:34 PM  
Blogger Bobby said...

I am going to steal this story and go around telling people it happened to me.

7:04 AM  
Blogger cuff said...

I am related by marriage to such a pathological liar, one who makes up the most ridiculous lies both big and small -- and it really doesn't matter how often you catch him in these lies. They just keep coming.

Personally, I don't understand it. You'd think the need for self-aggrandizement would work hand-in-hand with the need to not get called on bullshit, but some people are all id.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Momentary Academic said...

You've done a wonderful job of telling us not to lie and teaching some Cheerokee to boot.


11:05 AM  
Blogger DC Cookie said...

Is he friends with James Frey?

10:38 AM  
Blogger Stef said...

I worked for a pathological liar for a year. He would lie about everything from whether he had seen a movie or not to whether he had completed MAJOR work projects. He could be a fun person to hang out with, but I am oh-so-glad I don't work for him and have to cover his a@@ anymore. In watching it, though, it really seemed like a sickness.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Namaste said...


9:14 AM  
Blogger bryc3 said...

i found this particularly relevant because i'm also the guy that provides completely random, generally useless information about myself to total strangers. i feel compelled to do it, and i have no idea why.

unfortunately, the information i provide is typically embarrassing and intensely personal, leading to very awkward moments.

maybe i should try out this lying thing. i certainly couldn't come across as any more ridiculous.

12:42 PM  

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