There isn't a child around who doesn't have at least one friend who swears that they know (or know someone who knows) how to kill someone with a single touch. Whether it's a kick to the sternum, a sensual caress of the collarbone, or simply reaching in and tearing out the heart, there's one badass on every playground who swears it can be done.
"Was it pigtail yank first, then chin poke, or was it ... STOP CRYING."
Brockway touched on this before, and he summarized it perfectly: These lies are essentially the nuclear-deterrent strategy of playground confrontations. When confronted by such a claim, a bully has to ask himself, "He's probably lying. But what if he isn't? Is this Fruit Roll-Up really worth my life?"
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"Actually, yes. A Fruit Roll-Up is worth it. This is my hill to die on."
"My Uncle Works at Nintendo"
The most powerful of all children's lies, the one lie that binds and rules them all. It hinges on one immutable fact: A child who knows more about video games is a superior child.
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"Yeah, I got all 151 Pokemon, plus the seven secret PokeMEN, so you guys should probably start anointing my feet."
And every time a kid told a lie about a video game, it was backed up by his "uncle who worked for Nintendo." By now you'll see the pattern: It's just plausible enough, and it's hard to quickly disprove. Who knows what anyone's uncle does? While you might be able to find out what a friend's dad does, there's no feasible way to find out anything about their uncle. He could be a farmer or an astronaut or a public drunk. But he never was. He always worked for Nintendo.
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"Nephew, I can't keep risking my job to impress some 7-year-olds, and ... oh, what the hell. Man, do I have a weird need to seek the approval of 7-year-old boys. What's that? No, just thinking aloud. That's not the code. Don't tell anyone I said that."
He was a mysterious and distant genius who knew how to unlock every secret character, how to access every hidden level, and even the secret incantations necessary to turn any character, from Lara Croft to Samus Aran to Kirby, completely nude.
"No, this is the last time, nephew. I was not supposed to put that in the game. I have a serious problem, and you calling me every day is not helping. Goodbye forever. Well, yes. Forever until Thanksgiving."
Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and, although this is going to sound really unlikely now, does actually have an uncle who works for Nintendo. Join him on Facebook or Twitter, where he'll share the secret Metroid code that lets you take Samus on a coffee date in which she's visibly uncomfortable the entire time.