I introduce the first in a series of myths. These are events from our history that do have a basis in fact, but over almost twenty-five years of Gary's embellishments they've grown to mythological proportions. I begin with the factual details from years ago, then I ask you to compare it with the current version.
Today's Myth: The Tale of Noah's Ark.
Background: Years ago, there was a restaurant outside Saint Louis named Noah's Ark. I always remember it as a fancy place only adults were allowed to eat. When we were kids, it was the place parents went on a date and came back with giraffe-shaped swizzle sticks :
It also convinced generations of children that every restaurant should look like an ark and be filled with examples of giant taxidermy. I'm sure you have an ark restaurant in your town.
The Factual Basis for the Myth:
Gary and I grew up and thought it would be fun to eat at the Ark. And here are the facts: I went up to the buffet, I picked up a small bowl full of whipped butter, and I dropped it. It landed butter-side down on the carpet. I walked back to our table. After I sat down I alerted the waiter there had been a butter accident. We were the only people in the place.
The Myth As Gary Tells It:
(Usually he tells this story at any gathering that involves butter and strangers. Or, he could see a large animal, segue to Noah's Ark, and work it in.)
"I remember once Ellen and I went to eat at Noah's Ark. She was getting this enormous bowl of butter off the buffet, kind of hefting it up onto her shoulders, and suddenly it flipped out of her hands and went sailing up into the air, then this big ball of butter came crashing down on her. She's lucky she wasn't crushed. She dodged the butter but it ... it ... exploded on the carpet. Butter everywhere! Butter on the walls! Then, what did she do? She ran, she ran like a dog back to our table. When the waiter came by he looked at the butter, and he looked at Ellen, and Ellen was all "Doo dee doo, la la la, what butter?"
What the Future Holds:
Noah's Ark was just recently razed to the ground, so I am sure that in the next re-telling the butter-stained carpet will be the reason given for the restaurant's decline. By the time I am seventy I imagine the crashing impact of the mountain of butter "...caused an earthquake! The Ark slid into the river! We barely escaped with our lives!"
Moral: Children, do not screw up during your early marriage, and if you do, always cop to it.