When I said that I had done a tour in Iraq at the opening of the war, I misspoke: I meant to say that I had been on tour in a rock band opening for War. You know, the group who did “Low Rider”? Nice guys.
When I said I had been caught in the middle of a vicious firefight, I could have been clearer: The “Fire fight” was actually a dispute between my rotten children over who was next to use our family’s Kindle Fire. You know, the tablet made by Amazon? Stupid kids love that thing.
When I said that I had once served in an active and dangerous war zone, I was speaking metaphorically: the “war zone” was in fact a Thanksgiving Day dispute between my in-laws during which voices were raised, insults were slung, and feelings were hurt. And I did serve there: I served cranberry sauce.
When I said that I had once rescued a photographer who was under duress, I slurred my words: This was a reference to my brother’s wedding ceremony, where the photographer he’d hired showed up underdressed. I made him put on a tie and tuck in his shirt. He looked fine after that.
When I said that I had been horrified by some of the things I had seen in the theater of war, I should have expanded: I was discussing a truly awful performance of the musical “Miss Saigon” at the community church. Just dreadful, from the dopey choreography to the garish costumes.
When I said I had once witnessed bullets whizzing right past me, I made an error in capitalization: I was referencing courtside seats I had at a Bullets basketball game, in Washington D.C., at the old Capital Center. Man, Bernard King and Tom Gugliotta could really run the floor, couldn’t they?
When I said that I had arrived home one day to find a masked man telling me I wasn’t safe, I was referencing an old riddle: We were playing baseball, the masked man was the umpire, and I had been tagged out at home plate. I apologize if you got the impression I was in any danger.
When I said that my chopper had come under enemy attack, I should have clarified: I was talking about a nasty incident that occurred when I tried to put my Slap Chop in the dishwasher. I call the Slap Chop my “chopper,” and I have long considered the dishwasher my enemy.
When I said my convoy had narrowly avoided a bomb, I was speaking in Hollywood jargon: The fellows and I were on our way to the movie theater to watch “Mortdecai,” but I convinced everyone to go to see “Hunger Games” instead. Also, my men’s frisbee team has long been called “The Convoy.”
When I said that I had been fired on the day I landed in Argentina by militants, I realized that I could have been clearer with my punctuation: At an old job in South America, my contract was terminated my first day in the field. “I had been fired, on the day I landed in Argentina. Bye, Militants!”
When I said I had never lied about my experience covering the war, that everything I had ever said about it was true, and that anyone suggesting otherwise was either jealous, stupid, or a vindictive little weasel: That’s something I stand by. Because if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that you’ve got to keep your cool and remain strong even when everything’s going against you. War taught me that.
I’m talking about the band again. Nice guys. Full of great advice. Everyone could learn a lot from War!