Liar, liar, pants on fire …

Oh yes, it’s another meme. I wouldn’t have thought I’d be so amused by these things, but clearly there’s still more I can learn about myself. This one made me laugh because it’s a classic big-meeting-at-work-and-we-need-an-icebreaker activity. I’ve used or participated in this icebreaker numerous times. And it always works well, and we always learn something surprising, and it’s fun … but … why? Why icebreakers, why this icebreaker, just … why?

A couple of years ago I was feeling truly icebreaker-ed out and I had a week of trainings to plan for and no desire to do any of the opening activities I’d ever done before. I actually went so far as to purchase two books that were chock full of team building and getting to know you activities. Yeah. Spent my company’s hard earned money to have some random stranger tell me how to get to know my staff. One of the books was a little interesting, I’ll admit. With some careful adjusting for intelligence, many of the activities were usable. The other book, the team building book, was something I imagine Ricky Gervais would have a lot of fun with. The activities include a lot of physical contact that seems pretty inappropriate to engage in with co-workers — piggyback rides, wrapping people like mummies, the whole group laying hands on one person and kind of collectively squeezing (um… ewww, ok?), some shoving, some questionable patting. And there were many activities that involve getting a cup of water thrown in your face or poured over your head. I’m not kidding. WTF?! How long would you stay working at a company that brought you into its ‘team’ this way? Feh.

And so, the ‘liar-liar-pants-on-fire’ meme. I found this over at Halushki. I’m sure everyone I tag will have done this icebreaker at least once, so all the pumps are primed. The rules:

  • List six things (yes, in the icebreaker it’s only three … we’re more expansive here) about yourself.
  • One of the things must be a lie, the other five must be true
  • Your readers have to guess the lie
  • After some length of time has passed, you post the facts with mini explanatory anecdotes (not ‘antidotes‘ as I heard a new caster say the other day!)

Simple, yes? So here we go:

  1. I make excellent mayonnaise
  2. I spent an afternoon hanging out with James Baldwin in Paris.
  3. I once threw a big party in Budapest to which I invited strangers off the street.
  4. I was once almost blown up by a gas water heater.
  5. I appeared in a video for the underground Czech band “Laura and Her Tigers.”
  6. I grew up in Rotterdam, but don’t speak a word of Dutch.

And this one I’m not going to pass along to anyone. Take it up if you like, don’t if you don’t. But can you guess my lie?

3 thoughts on “Liar, liar, pants on fire …

  1. O.K. I’ll bite.

    #1 (because it’s so prosaic)

    As for those getting to met you things that happen at seminars etc. My number one pet hate is when a speaker asks everyone to stand up and greet/shake hands or introduce oneself to the people on either side of them.


  2. aka Mopsy

    OK – so knowing GiGri as I do, I know at least 2 of the truths – at least I think I do, since do you ever really know anyone? Interesting that 4 of the 6 involve some kind of European theme, which makes me tempted to also go with the Mayonaise one – #1. But I’m going to say it’s #3 that’s the lie since GiGri has never invited me to any party that she’s thrown…


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