Five Truths and a Lie Podcast

The crowd was wowed, touched, and laughing uproariously Saturday night in the Hilton Grand Ballroom West for the Five Truths and a Lie Podcast.

Hosted by Five Truths and a Lie creators and podcasters Audrey Kearns and Brian Bradley, the premise of the game is that for a specified theme, five storytellers recount an event from their lives and the sixth tells a good old fashioned fib, all based on an assigned theme.

Participants’ names were drawn at random and the contestants were asked to speak on the topic: Good and evil and/or a hero in your life.

Brad Bell spoke of four of his tumultuous teen years during which his mother tried—through therapy, an exorcism, and other interventions—to make him “not gay.” And although the concept was negative, her actions spoke of his mother’s love and concern for her son.

James Urbaniak told a story from the early ‘80s when he and a friend took a bus from New Jersey to New York City and were harassed by a bully. The friend devised a “scheme” to set the offending young man straight and the results had the audience in stitches.

After two weeks of constant chest pain, Veronica Belmont decided to see a doctor. Tests revealed that she had tuberculosis. (The drugs for which gave her orange tears and what looked like a case of consumption. Really? What century was that?) She named her doctor the hero of the story, for saving her life and helping her to lose a few pounds in the process.

During Joseph Scrimshaw’s time in Catholic grade school, he was bullied during kickball. Frustrated, he swore at the boy and the principal (head nun) yanked him aside to remind him that “God does not approve of swearing. Period. But God does not approve of violence. Usually.” Taking this advice as permission, Scrimshaw showed the bully who was boss.

Phil LaMarr once volunteered to supervise his six-year-old son’s field trip to a museum. On the drive back, one of the fathers played a DVD he had purchased on the trip. During the World War II exhibit section of the DVD, the troublemaker kid in the van of kids and parents said, “I like Hitler.” LaMarr spent the duration of the drive feeling as though he should respond but never figuring out what to say.

Jane Espenson claimed she had always been the “good girl” growing up, never wanting to drink or do drugs or listen to “that rock and roll music” from artists like KISS or Tom Petty. Years later, when she worked in Hollywood on sitcoms, she and her fellow screenwriters walked past The Tonight Show studio and glimpsed who she thought had been Penny Marshall. Later, in a room full of her peers, she learned it had been Tom Petty!

The audience voted on which story they believed was the lie via the classic applause-o-meter. After several clap-offs, Kearns and Bradley declared the contest a tie between Scrimshaw’s and LaMarr’s stories.

To find out who was really telling the lie, check out their podcast.

Author of the article

When Suzanne Church isn't chasing characters through other realms, she's hanging with her two children. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, On Spec, and Cicada and in several anthologies including Urban Green Man and When the Hero Comes Home 2. Her collection Elements: A Collection of Speculative Fiction is due out in spring 2014 from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. She is a three time finalist and 2012 winner of the Prix Aurora Award in the Short Fiction category.

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