Magazine October 19, 2020, Issue

Fantastic Fibs and Where to Find Them

Women dressed as handmaids promote Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Austin, Tex., 2017. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

Back when I was a kid — envision a quiet country neighborhood, rolling hills, children tooling around on bikes — I had a few friends who were more than a bit truth-challenged. Whether it was on the local baseball diamonds, in the halls of school, or on the various sets of mildly dangerous 1980s-style metal playground equipment we frequented, if there was a tall tale to be spun, they could roll it out in high style.

Picture a kid — we’ll call him “Carl McFibs” — holding court, a few other neighborhood kids gathered around, jaws agape. Did you know, for

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