Afternoon Inquisition

Afternoon Inquisition 2.17

Have you ever had to suffer through the hell-on-Earth that is “team building”?  If so, you probably have war stories of your own, having to to with “trust circles” and falling backwards, etc.   (My worst team building effort ever was trying to build a fire on Brigantine Beach in New Jersey, officially the Windiest Beach in the U.S.  It was as awful as you might imagine, and they were dumb enough to give us fire. It did not go well.  We built zero fires and zero teams that day.)

The only “team building” thing I ever really dug that wasn’t just a happy hour (which are rad)  was a variation on the task I’m about to give you:

Please list three outrageous secrets about yourself.  Two should be lies, one should be true.

Now, I don’t want to know which is which.  I just want them to be OUTRAGEOUS.   Once we’re done, we’ll all be a much closer team, no doubt.


A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a publishing company she co-founded with critical thinker and fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She's a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn't like chocolate all that much.

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  1. I have seventeen cats, all named after Broadway divas from the 1940s to the 1980s.

    In March last year, I went on a parabolic flight and experienced microgravity.

    I’m gay and had drunken sex with a lesbian in the vestibule of a Methodist church.

  2. 1. I’m a genius.
    2. I’m a Bible-thumping Christian.
    3. I’m unaccountably still alive at 53.

    That should be easy.

  3. 1) I was born with six toes on my left foot

    2) I once went naked bungie-jumping

    3) I secretly enjoy Britney Spears’ music

  4. I detest work trainings and seminars with team trust building exercises. Been to dozens and have never found a single one helpful or that was not the object of constant derision and joking by the participants. Drinks afterward are always a good thing.

    But here goes…

    1. I golfed with Tiger Woods and kicked his ass.
    2. I’ve engaged in criminal sexual activities in two different states.
    3. I’ve written six novels and have fifty four publisher rejection letters.

  5. 1. I have an expired fork lift driver’s license.

    2. When the doctors went it to take out my appendix they found that I actually had two of them.

    3. I hate every single piece of music that was composed or performed in the 80s.

  6. Ya know, I was all geared up to do this until I realized that I’m an extremely boring man.

    Seriously. There is nothing salacious, depraved, or wanton in my past, nor do I have quirks that would provide an interesting truth to go with the myriad clever ideas I could create use for the two lies.

    A lot of the fun in this comes from how tough it is to tell the difference between truth and fiction. Sadly, for me, the difference would be plain as day :(

  7. 1: I served in the French Foreign Legion for 6 months before being tossed out for breaking a leg on a parachute jump.
    2: I worked in Kenya for 2 years as a safari guide.
    3: I did 2 chicks at once in Australia.

  8. 1) I once kicked a mentally challenged girls wheelchair in highschool because she held me up at the door.

    2) My first sexual experience was a handjob from a fellow preschooler during nap time when I was 4 years old.

    3) I once sold psychedelic Mushrooms to a 12 year old kid and followed him around town laughing at him.

  9. 1. I was once in the Argentine version of Deal or No Deal and I won.

    2. I have a patent for a new kind of display for cell phones, MP3 players and the like that will hit the market in a few years.

    3. I built my own car.

  10. Oh man. I once got roped into one of those things. I then sabotaged it. But, to tell this story, I must play by the rules of this afternoon inquisition. Said tale is quite evil, so if you are pure of heart, head on down to the next posting.

    1. I own the complete series of ‘Joanie Loves Chachi’ on laserdisc.

    2. I have a tattoo of the entire cast of Wacky Races on the inside of my upper lip.

    3. My supervisor got the wonderful idea to play a game similar to what was described above, only that you had to guess which factoid was about which employee. She wanted to this as part of a Survivor style game over two months. Despite the fact I was a temp there, leaving in a couple weeks, and the prize was a family waterpark pass (sure to bring the force of Chris Hansen down upon me when I, as a childless, single guy showed up), I got guilted into playing.

    We were supposed to write a couple factoids about ourselves down, place them in the hat, and then guess the employee. No fake facts, but I decided to throw in a couple of slightly unique, but normal (and still a lie) ones. My third was the one that would raise the ruckus. After sitting through way too much crud, including one of my 100 percent fake ones (My grandpa gave me a piece of the Berlin Wall, which I keep by my bed), they got my extra special one.

    “I fear intimacy, because of what Uncle Jim did to me when I was 6.”

    After a few minutes of absolute silence, the game was called off, and Office Survivor was ended by email later that day.

  11. 1) One Halloween, I spent over a thousand dollars destroying pumpkins.

    2) I ate a 10lb hamburger on a dare, then stole some of my friend’s fries when he went to the bathroom.

    3) I once spent two hours talking to a woman at a party, having mistaken her for my wife of eight years.

  12. 1. While working security at a hospital in the early 80s, I tried to throw out this weird guy who was hanging around the lobby. Turned out to be Paul Williams.
    2. In the summer before my senior year in high school, I worked in a motel/strip club to make extra cash. Made a few interesting friends that summer.
    3. A couple years ago, I was kicked out of the Sahara casino for counting cards. I was actually just having a ridiculously long run of luck.

  13. 1. I can write with both hands and both feet.
    2. My husband and I are contemplating a divorce in the hopes that it will save us money.
    3. I have a secret man-crush on George Hrab.

  14. 1. My first words after losing my virginity were “I’ve had better.”
    2. I’ve fired an Uzi.
    3. I went scuba diving off the coast of Maui.

    (This should actually be slightly difficult, even for my friends. My lies are very plausible. ;))

  15. 1. In college I once partied backstage with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band. He let me play his Fender guitar from the cover of Born to Run.

    2. Last year James Randi took me aside and taught me the secret to one of his signature card tricks, an innovation he hadn’t yet shared with The Magic Circle in London.

    3. As a kid I played hockey with Wayne Gretzky and his brothers on a rink his dad made behind their house. I still keep in touch, and had dinner with him last time the Coyotes played a game here.

  16. 1. I rigged my town’s mayoral election when I was in high school. No one had a clue.

    2. I once had a package accidentally sent to me. The package contained about $5400 in cash. I thought about going to the police, but I decided not to. I used the money to pay the month’s mortgage then donated the rest to a charity as an anonymous donor.

    3. The Illinois Department of Corrections thinks I am a 5’2″ Asian woman.

  17. #1.) Locals in Ireland took my family to a peat collection shack and told us it was the abandoned family homestead -damn the blight. Explore your roots!
    #2.) I once called the police on a resident of the flea bag hotel I worked in in order to coerce him to give me his heroine.
    #3.) Working as a painting contractor, I encountered a singing cowboy carpenter who would requisition my radio and reset it to the local country station. I preferred NPR but he sang that ‘friends in low places’ song pretty well!

  18. Nope, sorry. I only have one outrageous secret that I can think of, and I’m not comfortable posting it here. I’ve tried to surround it with plausible sounding alternatives, but I can still tell which is which.

  19. I got shot with a salt pellet for cutting through a golf course on my way home from school in 5th grade. The more I thought about it that evening the madder I got, so I snuck out of my house, grabbed some friends, and we set one of their sheds on fire.

    For kicks at a cookout my housemates and I were throwing for approximately 300 mostly vegan hipsters, I rented a cow for a day to tether to a hay bale not terribly far from the non-veggie grills — accidentally causing a smallish riot.

    In the seventh grade I won first place at the school science fair for my project on infectious diseases and epidemics. Three days later I had to give my blue ribbon to a kid with the nicest looking of the 75+ volcano projects due to “ethics violations” after everyone in my younger brother’s kindergarten class got the chickenpox.

  20. 1. It’s one of my main goals in life to have cause to fight a bear with a knife.

    2. I’m known around town as “Naked Kate”

    3. I once accidentally hit an alligator with my car.

  21. 1. I went to the first Lollapallooza show in Raleigh, while tripping on mushrooms.

    2. I have the periodic table tattooed across my back.

    3. I once thought it would be a super idea to drink 3 whole pots of coffee, stay up all night, and then take a music history final. Yeah. Super idea.

  22. 1. When I was 16 and saw The Wall the first time, I shaved every single hair off my body because I thought it looked cool.

    2. When I was a kid I accidentally started a huge brush fire on the eastern New Mexico plains by playing with firecrackers in a long drought.

    3. I’m fluent in Russian, though I have zero Russian ancestry.

  23. 1. A lady once asked me to help her remove 13 people from her apartment. She explained that all of them were armed with knives. When I asked if she knew these people she explained that it was Jesus Christ and his gang of 12 and they were following her and would not leave her alone.
    2. A lady called my employer about once a month for over a year and complained that I was living in her attic and she wanted me to get out. (I was not, in fact, living there)
    3. I have been photographed naked with the band Barenaked Ladies. Twice.

  24. 1. I once hitchhiked from Copenhagen to Hamburg in one day, thanks to a lesbian woman who lived in her van.

    2. I once rolled 19 sixes in a row during a late night game of Risk.

    3. I once ate a deep fried snickers bar at a cabin in an avalanche hazard zone in the Himalayas

  25. 1. I am a hopeless romantic

    2. I was tossed out of the Mormon religion for consistantly ridiculing it.

    3. I am the all being master of space and time.

  26. 1. I’ve always wanted to have screw someone with a strap-on in the middle of a zoo.

    2. I am a genetically colorblind female, which is actually fairly rare on the whole.

    3. Reading this thread has made me believe in God again.

  27. 1. I once found an image of the Virgin Mary in cat vomit I was cleaning up.

    2. I’ve always wanted to be screwed with a strap-on in the middle of a zoo

    3. One year I gave up Catholicism for Lent.

  28. 1. After my college girlfriend dumped me, I had sex with her mother in the dorm room of the guy my ex had been cheating on me with.

    2. I worked for almost two years as the producer of a conservative talk radio show.

    3. I also used to work for an adult video website, and we used to make new employees watch French scat porn as an initiation.

  29. @JamesFox: I agree. “Team building” is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever been forced to participate in. Where do these HR weenies come up this this crap?

    I once had to stick my arms past my elbows into a full lavatory cart in an attempt to find a passenger’s diamond ring. After trying to find it, she found it herself on her person.

    I secretly lust for Ann Coulter.

    A group of us, including moi, once sang the “Lollipop Guild” song from the Wizard of Oz over the PA system to a terminal full of bemused passengers while breathing helium.

  30. @Expatria: This is similar to my life, I am utterly dull, but I’m gonna give it a shot.

    1. I am a former covert operative from Homeland Security, dealing in internet piracy.

    2. I have had the opportunity to fire an AK-47

    3. I own the complete brady bunch series on VHS

  31. 1. I once lit a fire on a beach after 2 solid days of rain using only 1 paper match and only the matchbook cover for dry tinder.

    2. I once fell out of a hot air balloon, about 25 or 30 feet onto a trampoline. No one was hurt.

    3. I was born on another planet, but I can’t tell you which one, because I was kidnapped by nonaliens and brought to Earth as a small childling.

  32. are you allowed to make all three ture? no?

    1. the girl of my dreams said, after the first time we made out, that it was kissing her brother yet proceeded to try it several more times that day and continued to date me for the next two years.

    2. i was involved in a head-on collision where both cars were traveling at least 40 mph and no one got any injury worse than a bruise.

    3. i used to work as a gay phone sex operator.

  33. I once ran a team/leadership building course. This is not one of my three; it is true. A week long, and it was awesome. It was for boyscouts age 15-18. Yes, I did lie on the ‘religion’ box of the application.

    1. I once twisted my ankle three days away from civilization while high on shrooms.
    2. I once blew past a cop going 120 on the highway, but, thanks to the truck, he didn’t see me take the ramp off the highway.
    3. I once believed the bible to be the inerrent word of an all powerful, all loving god.

  34. ah ha i’ll make more than one post!!

    1. in high school i dated a “girl” who was really a hermaphrodite.

    2. before i was old enough to go to school i once pushed my best friend backward into a thorn bush at the side of my driveway because he said something that pissed me off and i didn’t feel one ounce of remorse.

    3. i created the caption to one of the highest rated lolcat pics.

  35. I’ve decided to make all of mine work related.

    One summer, while my boss was on vacation, a package was delivered to the independent gift store I worked in. I assumed it was new stock and opened it. It contained a large vibrator and a big bottle of lube.

    I once chased a homeless man out of the Starbucks I worked in for peeing on the floor in front of the espresso machine.

    I used to work in a bakery where the staff included a convicted murderer (on parole), two transsexuals (one MTF and one FTM) and a guy who smoked pot in the walk-in fridge.

  36. 1) I appeared in an episode of Battlestar Galactia
    2) I was arrested for criminal trespassing
    3) I quit a job after my supervisor made racist comments about Native Americans

  37. 1) Despite previous claims, I don’t actually have a beard
    2) I like to crossdress
    3) I read a suicide note in front of my class claiming it was my late friend’s. I faked it myself.

  38. 1) I used to own every recording by Hanson including all the different CD singles.

    2) I am not entirely sure how many people I’ve had sex with.

    3) I used to have a Barbie porn show set up in the corner of my living room.

  39. 1. I was suspended from high school for impersonating the student council VP while hanging from a noose, twice.

    2. I have blown up (as in exploded) too many cars to count.

    3. I have performed emergency minor abdominal surgery even though I’ve never studied medicine.

  40. 1. I once threw a party so outrageous it resulted in my very own FBI file.

    2. I have been an extra in each TV version of Star Trek.

    3. I am the ‘after’ model in a couple of penis enlargement ads.

  41. Hmmm, I believe this works out, logically (but most likely not socially…):

    1. I look fantastic and Adonis-like wearing a Skepchick Thong
    2. I covet “Skepchick A’s” Thong
    3. I secretly covet “Skepchick A’s” Thong


  42. @James Fox: Actually, there is a “reality” connection. They’re all basically true, with only a minor exaggeration.

    1. It was actually the dorm room of a friend of the guy my ex was sleeping with.

    2. It was closer to 18 months.

    3. We didn’t actually make them watch it, but we did show them the cover of the DVD, which was plenty gross. We didn’t actually carry scat films, but it was sort of a “if you can not puke at this, you can handle anything you’ll see here” situation.

  43. Huh. Where I work, team building usually consists of playing video games together or shooting some pool. What’s this ‘trust circle’ and falling backwards business?

  44. @wb4: Yeah, I don’t know about this stuff. I usually call in with the measles/ the mumps and rubella when we’re supposed to do team building.

  45. I had trouble deciding what to write about.. So I changed the rules a bit. Only one of these is false:

    1. I once entered a contract marriage with a lesbian but had to divorce her because she fell in love with me and started making trouble for my girlfriend.

    2. While serving in the Army in Baghdad, I had a weekend tryst with the daughter of a high-ranking Iraqi dignitary. When it was discovered, my unit transfered me to avoid a diplomatic ‘incident’.

    3. I once picked up a girl from a bar and went home with her. Promptly after coital mergings she pulled out a silver crucifix and – still naked – proceed to perform a full on Catholic exorcism on me sans priest.

  46. 1. I have skydived nude.
    2. I once was involved in an orgy with 2 women and 2 other men.
    3. I was married to another man for 6 months in the Netherlands once.

  47. I’ll delurk and participate in this fun.

    1. On a hunting trip when I was 16, I ‘accidentally’ shot my brother in the leg.

    2. When I was 9 I was an accomplice in committing arson.

    3. I once had an affair with a married woman. Her husband thinks he is the father of their only child.

  48. 1. As far as I know, no one has yet discovered the body.

    2. I’m a former U.S. Marine, and I’ve never had a tattoo.

    3. I once won an award for coming up with the three least OUTRAGEOUS secrets.

  49. 1. I graffitied the Great Wall of China.

    2. After an accident involving a glass door and the headlong crash into said door, I witnessed the veins poking out from the gashes on the undersides of my arms.

    3. I own eight swords.

  50. 1) I wrote a tretise on pre-scientific thought called “From Newton to Paracelsus” when I was a grad student. It had a print run of about 2,000

    2) I Rick-rolled the audience of a joust (a few hundred people) at a well known rennaissance faire.

    3) I have attended every Mardi Gras in New Orleans since 1965.

  51. 1) I know pi to 5000 places
    2)My cousin on my father’s side is the president of a major record label.
    3) I am one of the top 1000 jugglers in the world.

  52. 1) I framed two of my friends so they went to jail for something we all did. Fortunately, they never spilled the beans about me.

    2) I stole explosives from a construction site to blow my high school building. I never figured out how to detonate them, though.

    3) I infiltrated a criminal group to spy. To gain their trust, I offered food to a beggar downtown, then beat him openly for stealing it.

  53. Long time reader, first time commenter.

    1. Once, while high on cocaine, I correctly predicted the number and suit of randomly drawn cards from a deck three times in a row.

    2. I was once asked out by a guy who turned out to be a serial killer.

    3. I have had sex with only one person in my entire life and I’m 43 years old.

  54. 1). I have secretly written a guide to world domination as I thought it could best be carried out when I was in High School. I always intended to pass it on to my future children if I failed to follow through.

    2). I dated the son of the guy who murdered one of my best friends. We were 13 when she died, and I dated him two years later and didn’t find out until we had been together several months.

    3). I once got really drunk and thew up a penny.

  55. 1. Christmas eve last year my brother and I caused £250,000 worth of industrial sabotage for shits ‘n’ giggles.

    2. I’m a clinically registered psychopath, but because disclosure laws keep that kinda thing private, I am still your child’s teacher.

    3. As a matter of habit I spoil other peoples unattended food.

  56. 1) Cheney shot me in the arse while I was mooning him from my ‘ barely’ concealed spot in the bushes.

    2 ) The painter Alice Neel suddenly kissed me full on the lips while we were sitting in the back of her taxi speeding up to her Upper West Side NYC studio.

    3) I loaned my video camera to Geraldo Rivera so he could film the contents of the jewelry box given to my grandmother who was great friends with Al Capone.

  57. 1. I was once cured of cancer by an Indian mystic healer.

    2. I once stabbed a friend for no good reason.

    3, I was once killed in a freak accident involving herring and lemon custard. We don’t talk much about that.

  58. 1. I went to an Adam Ant concert and have absolutely no memory of it, nor am I an Adam Ant fan.

    2. I once elbowed Jesse Jackson in the gut when he came up behind me putting his hand on my shoulder.

    3. I had a part in a play for a three week run, about the Stonewall riots where I was a man playing a (excuse the term) “Diesel Dike”.

  59. 1)While working as a small market tv reporter, Walter Mondale came to give a speech in Lovejoy. Once it was over my photographer and I went around behind the stage and into an unmonitored area. We met Mr Mondale with questions and camera. Secret Service was surprised…and the our larger market colleagues too. We got the interview and didn’t get shot.
    2) I have the only surviving video of Macon, Georgia’s former mayor Ronnie Thompson, using a (military tank to thwart Civil Rights marchers in the 60s)
    3) Even though I’m a mother and pet lover, small children and animals scare me.

  60. 1) I am personally responsible for overthrowing a government. ( can’t tell you wich I’m in hiding )

    2) Myself and several friends once felled a large maple tree using M80s’ and model rocket igniters.

    3) I was forced to kill another person in self defense.

  61. 1. My first sexual experience was with two lesbians.

    2. I spent 3 months working at a cigar store that was used as a front for a drug dealer to smuggle drugs in from Honduras.

    3 I hosted a late-night radio show until I was fired by the program director I helped get the job and replaced with programing from the local college that I suggested they add to help save the station

  62. 1. When I was a kid I performed medical experiments on my cat

    2. In college I once put a pin hole through a randomly chosen condom out of a box in my housemate’s room.

    3. I once indirectly caused a three car accident and didn’t stop.

  63. 1.) A fish rammed into my leg when I was walking in a lake at a Art Bible Camp as a young child, and have not gone into a lake since.

    2.) Am scared of clowns because in elementary school Ronald MacDonald did a recycling rap to me that freaked me the f*ck out.

    3.) In elementary school I made my acting debut as an evil chef that killed and cooked the students and teachers into the daily lunches.

  64. 1. I don’t own any curtains. I rent with an option to buy.

    2. My real name is spelled with an exclamation point and the number 6.

    3. Each of my multiple personalities lives a double life. I invented cinnamon. I once won a puppy in a poker game, but it died in a grease fire. I have the strength of 10 men. And I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.

  65. 1) I once bungee jumped 7 times in one day!

    2) I have trichotillomania, an obsessive-compulsive hair pulling disorder!

    3) I have a birthmark on the top of my foot that’s shaped like Che Guevara!

  66. (1) I have four x wives and am friends with all of them to this day

    (2) I am not allowed in several casinos because I can keep track of four decks of cards

    (3) I have a named scholarship at The University of Chicago

  67. 1) I can correctly quote the first fifty digits of pi.

    2) I once had sex on a toilet in a psychiatric hospital.

    3) I did the concept art for the several creatures on Guild Wars.

  68. @Wendy:

    I actually did have that for a few months in 6th grade, but I didn’t know what it was as for me

    I’m going to switch it up too, only one of these is false
    1. I’ve met real pirates
    2. I’ve been to Every Continent on the planet except Antarctica
    3. Even though I’ve lived outside of Philly my entire life I’ve never had a cheesesteak

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