Campfire Tales: Misdirection

Part of the enjoyment of the almost nightly campfire is the telling of stories. Stories of one’s day, past relatable experiences, and just made-up BS. In Geoffrey’s case, his stories have been heard by everyone at least two dozen times, as his memory is slowly slipping away from him, and they more resemble classroom lectures in order for him to demonstrate his undeniable brilliance on a multitude of subjects to all who might be present.

In the case of Geoffrey’s oft-repeated stories, if it’s about one of his kids or another subject which might be overly sensitive to him, then he’ll be allowed to continue unchallenged while all in the group pretend to listen and nod as if they care and are hearing the story for the first time. If the story is about anything else, or if it appears that it might resemble a lecture, then quick and evasive maneuvers are taken to redirect the course of the discussion, and to prevent Geoffrey from getting in a further word.

The undisputed Master of Redirection when it comes to Geoffrey’s bombastic tirades is George, with Jim and Larry tied for a close second. Larry, a retired CIA field operative temporarily couch surfing on the dining room sofa, was always eager to join the group at the nightly campfire, as he had proven himself to be a great wit and an interesting storyteller. Much of his work with the CIA had been in Eastern Europe during the Cold War, and in the Middle East and Southwest Asia thereafter. Everyone likes to hear spy stories, and Larry had plenty to tell. He also had a pretty refined bullshit detector, and rest assured it was registering red alerts almost every time Geoffrey would start to pontificate and elaborate on whatever subject he was trying to impress everyone with. Jim was also retired, an aspiring stand-up comedian, and, unknown the group, had recently published a tell-all memoir under an assumed name. He welcomed the free entertainment and potential fodder for his next book.

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