Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Orientation 101: Two Truths And A Lie, The Inside Scoop!

Two Truths And A Lie is a popular orientation game where each person says three things about him or herself, two true, and one made up. The key to the game is coming up with strange enough truths that people guess the lie incorrectly.

Most people commonly make the mistake of coming up with lies that are so outside the realm of possibility, that the game is no fun at all. For example:

1. I'm allergic to shellfish
2. My middle name is Jennifer
3. I have no pancreas

See, that's no fun at all. Another problem with the game is when people just use it as an excuse to trumpet their accomplishments. To wit:

1. My team finished first at the Moot Court championships in Cyprus
2. I got a 1600 on the SAT
3. I once got a question wrong on a spelling test in 3rd grade

"Number 3 is a lie. I never got any questions wrong on the spelling tests in 3rd grade. Ha!" This is clearly obnoxious. A third problem is when people say things that are so specific no one could possibly know, nor possibly care. To illustrate:

1. I had a fish named Scooter when I was six years old
2. I had a dog named Spot when I was nine years old
3. I had a cat named Betsy when I was twelve years old

Who cares?!? A final problem is when people reveal awkward facts about themselves that are way too personal for people they've just met. Like:

1. I have gonorrhea
2. I have syphillis
3. I have genital warts

On the other hand, answers like these make it very clear if anyone slept with the person the previous evening. "Two of those are true? Aw, damn. I'm in deep trouble now."

A winning set of statements should be insightful, yet amusing; challenging, yet accessible; personal, yet universal. Or, alternatively, you can try sarcasm:

1. I hate this game
2. I strongly dislike this game
3. I love this game more than life itself!