A couple of years back I decided that I was going to send in a submission to FHM Magazine's "True Stories". The idea of the section was that readers would send in their stories that were so embarrassing, that they had to be true. If your story got published, you would win $50. I didn't have a "True Story" so I made one up and sent this story in. Unfortunately FHM magazine no longer exists in the US, but it doesn't change this story at all
To celebrate the birthday of a female friend, we gathered with about 20 people at one of those trendy, (family style, lots of hanging crap on the walls, waiters dressed up silly) restaurants. After having cocktails on an empty stomach, I realized that I was sitting across from my arch nemesis Ken.
Ken delights in telling these ridiculously exaggerated stories about himself to attempt to impress the ladies. In return, I delight in taking every opportunity to belittle Ken in front of said ladies to maintain my precarious position above him on the pecking order.
While ordering another drink for the birthday girl (to try to get her drunk enough to let me take her home), I realized Ken was well into another one of his captivating stories and that it had been at least 15 minutes since my last jab at him. I decided it was time to make my move.
I had missed the beginning of his story and only caught the tail end of his tale. I heard him delivering his smug closing line “…so I’m going to be spending all day tomorrow at the mall with a 15 year old girl, buying her everything she wants from any store with my platinum card and fulfilling her every wish.” Seizing the opportunity, I quipped in a loud voice, “Gee Ken, isn’t there an easier way to get a 15 year old girl to make out with you? and isn’t pedophilia still illegal?”
Suddenly, all eyes were on me, and an eerie silence ensued. The shocked and darkened faces of everyone at the table made clear that I had obviously crossed into a horribly bad place.
I later found out the beginning of his story that I missed. It turns out he had been volunteering for the “Make a Wish Foundation”. Ken had been selected as the person who was to accompany a 15 year old girl to the mall as she got to fulfill her dying wish. Plus, he got to take the birthday girl home! I think I dropped a few rungs on the pecking order that day.
In reality, there actually was a tiny bit of truth behind the story. The event was Noreen's 27th birthday (the female friend). My arch nemesis was Ben, but I changed his name to Ken for the story. Also he is not, nor has he every been my arch nemesis, but he does like to tell random and strange stories. Oh yeah, and I definitely was not trying to take Noreen home with me. So basically the story is complete crap. The published version was heavily edited by FHM, but I still got the $50. When I uncover the magazine I'll post the final published version to go with this. Oh yeah, one final little bit. At the time I sent in the story I was taking an Online English course at the Junior College I was at. The Professor had announced that if anyone in the class got something published, they would automatically get an A in the class. I showed him the magazine and the $50 and check. I got my A, but not for the story. The story of how I got my A in the class is a much longer story that I might tell some other time.
So for no apparent reason I punched my name "Dan Delcollo" into a google search window to see what popped up. I have done this before and usually find a few things relating to me, but usually not before finding a ton of stuff about a "Dan Delcollo" that is an electrician that owns Delcollo Electrical Services. To my surprise, today I found a link to my original FHM True Story. Here it is as it was published.
One night a group of us gathered to celebrate the birthday of a female friend. Included was my arch nemesis, Ken, who delights in telling ridiculous stories about himself to try to impress the ladies. Meanwhile, I delight in belittling Ken in front of said ladies to try to maintain my precarious position above him in the pecking order.
After fetching another drink for the birthday girl (hoping she’d get drunk enough to let me take her home), I returned to find Ken finishing up one of his captivating tales. I only heard his smug closing line, “So I’m going to spend tomorrow at the mall with a 15-year-old girl, buying her whatever she wants and fulfilling her every desire.” Seizing the opportunity, I said loudly, “Gee, Ken, isn’t there an easier way to get a 15-year-old girl to make out with you?”
Suddenly, all eyes were on me. The shocked looks made it clear I had stumbled into a very, very bad place. I soon found out that the beginning of Ken’s story explained how he was volunteering for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and would accompany a young girl to the mall to fulfill part of her wish. I haven’t had a shot at the birthday girl since that night—the night Ken took her home.
Dan Delcollo, via e-mail
Now here's the interesting part. The place I found this on the FHM website listed it as an incoming new submission for the May 2006 issue. Think I can win another $50 and get it published again? Probably not, esspecially since I didn't submit it, but hey, it's interesting to see what crazy stuff floats out there in cyberspace and surfaces every once in a while.