For years my entire (very large) family conspired together to convince me that he moon followed me around personally like a happy little puppy. It sounds ridiculous to type now that I’m in my 30’s, but 5 year old me didn’t think to question something my family so calmly presented as fact. That didn’t change until I was almost ten, but shush – kids trust their families.
What I’m saying is I have no experience pulling a long con, but I can assure you the secret to delivering one is to never, ever waiver and to master the art of keeping a straight face.
I promise I’ve totally since forgiven my family for being a traitorous pack of liars. One Reddit user asked:
What’s your “long con”?
Here’s a list of long-term liars who were able to pull off some long cons that even I have to begrudgingly admit are kind of useful and maybe a little funny. Some have been edited for clarity or language.
Gaslighting Dizzy Izzy
I used to work with a young lady named Isobel. We called her Dizzy Izzy because she was a whirlwind of disorganization. My boss at the time and I decided she needed to be more organized.
Every time she did something disorganized we would say, “Isobel, that’s so unlike you! Usually you are so organized!” Being organized started becoming part of how she viewed herself. She started to hate it when she was disorganized.
I think we made a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Change The Sheets
A few years ago, I realized that my husband always wanted to have sex whenever I had changed the sheets. I don’t think he’s ever put two and two together, but when I want some action, I change the sheets! It’s a sure thing and has been going on for 7 years now!
Allergic To Koalas
I convinced my neighbor kid he is allergic to koalas. It started out when I caught him sneezing outside and I casually mentioned it was due to the koala migration. It just built from there.
It’s of note we don’t reside in Australia.
Getting In Good With Our Future Robot Overlords
I make it a point to occasionally post pro-robot comments on multiple websites. This is to account for the future when robots rule the Earth and are able to trace comments on the internet back to individuals.
The only thing they will have on me is that I am 100% on their side. All hail our future cyber overlords!
I have an eight year old daughter. Ever since she was a toddler any time she, or anyone else mentioned milkshakes I would say something like “careful, they’ll bring all the boys to the yard.”
When she was a toddler she used to check the yard for boys if we ever made milkshakes. As she got older she started rolling her eyes at me and saying “That’s just one of your jokes, and it’s not even funny!”
To my knowledge she has never heard the song and my hope is that someday when she does it’ll be the longest payoff of any joke I’ve ever told or played.
Cursed Family Portrait
My roommate and I found a picture of this white family we didn’t know in one of our tool sheds. I made a joke that it was some cursed picture or something. He threw it away, and later on I got it out of the trash and put it in one of his old photo albums. One day he’ll find it and have no clue how it got there.
For some reason, I find that hilarious.
Winston, My Imaginary Cat
My coworkers think I have a cat. His name is Winston.
I use him as an excuse to get out of awkward work related social events: “I’d love to go to happy hour, thanks, but I have to get home and feed the cat.”
I even have a photograph of some random cat on my phone in case anyone asks to see Winston.
I don’t have a cat. And I occasionally chuckle to myself at the thought of Winston, my imaginary cat.
Half An Inch
Every day after work my favorite colleague and I would go to our other colleagues desk and move everything half an inch and would sit in his chair and slightly adjust it. It was the best thing ever watching him come in each morning and try figure out wtf happened.
I hide bottle caps around the house for my wife to stumble upon. In her pillowcase, purse, random drawers, anywhere unexpected really. If we ever move out of this house the new owners will be finding them for years.
The best are when I can plant one on her without her noticing, like in her pockets or gently placing it on her head when she’s preoccupied.
The Keyzer Soze
I once was tasked with remotely managing a few departments across several stores for the company I worked for and on occasion meeting with them in person and also auditing them. They had some issues that needed resolved and nothing had worked so far. Each store was like the wild west with nothing being the exactly the same between stores. Coupled with poor oversight from corporate, it was a hot mess.
Being significantly younger than those I would be managing, I decided to get creative in the event their may be some resistance. I was proven correct. Luckily the president of the company was on board with my idea.
In the beginning for every interaction over the phone I would act disorganized and kind of slow. When we met in person, I would walk with a bad limp. When they visited my office it would look terribly disorganized. When we spoke, I would never lead the conversation unless I had to and would ask lousy questions. I also spoke low and soft. I kept this up for 4 months. The goal was to get them to think I was a poor fit and borderline incompetent for the job. In other words I was “small” and therefore off their radar.
What they did not realize is while I was doing this, I was actually learning how their store conducted business and finding issues and weak spots. Every audit’s results were going into the master file. All the issues were being listed and solutions being considered.
Once they thought I was weak/dumb, they became less guarded and did not consider me a threat. They allowed me proper unfettered access to their records (which I should have had anyway) because they though I couldn’t understand them. At the end of the four months we had a managers meeting. I walked to the podium, without the limp, spoke in a projected and commanding voice, with authority, explained my credentials, and spent the next hour covering the issues that were found, how we were going to move forward, and laid down the consequences for non-compliance.
It achieved the desired results and they were very surprised they had been duped. Some were angry, more due to the fact their days of doing what they wanted were over. Some quit soon after but departments improved and numbers went up.
My office is next to the floor’s bathroom. People pass all the time. People want to stop and visit because I don’t know why.
I started to, when I hear footsteps approach, put on an angry face and act all concentrated at whatever it is I’m currently doing on the computer. Usually this is various forms of reddit.
Intended effect: people stop stopping by and interrupt my reddit.
Unintended effect: people think I’m a diligent worker and really give it my all.
I’ve started to act more angry at things at work. Instead of zoning out during boring presentations I stare at that powerpoint like a Wild West Showdown at High Noon.
Today I did about two hours of work, but honest to god my boss just passed to the bathroom (stop working angry face), and passed back (angry face at the news on tv), and he stopped, knocked on my door and said:
“hey don’t burn yourself out”.
Right. Yes boss. Sigh. Relax. Rub my eyes a bit. “Whats going on what do you need?”
“Nothing, you’re doing good work.”
I’ve been here 18 months. I am the best at my job. I only do about 2 hours of work a day.
In sophomore year of high school I asked my friend to borrow his phone to text my mom. I went to his setting and changed “haha” to auto correct to “SHUT UP!!” (lame, I know.)
Anyways during my freshman year of college we were texting and catching up and he sends me “SHUT UP!!” then followed it up with “sorry my phone has done that forever. Idk how to make it stop”.
I completely forgot about my little prank but damn it made me laugh to see he never fixed it.
I had a friend in college who left his phone out unsupervised a lot. I eventually learned his password by watching him unlock his phone (it was one of those 9 dot passwords.) I set a few alarms on his phone to go off on Saturday morning at 4am. I set them up for months or years ahead and would include a message like, “Remember, (my name) loves you”.
We were in the same program, so we shared classes for five years. Having him come into class annoyed at me was always hilarious since I had forgotten about them by that time. The fun went away when he got a new phone. Haha
Fruit Loops And Cancer
I told a 6 year old that his favorite cereal, Fruit Loops, would give him cancer because of all the red dye in it. 14 years later at 20 years old he still won’t touch them for this reason.
The Ultimate Rick Roll
My sister has drop tile ceilings in her basement. I have put a cheap burner cell phone in that ceiling, so it’s under her main floor. I downloaded never gonna give you up as the ring tone and every once in a while I call it. When I visit, I take the phone out and charge it and then put it back. I hope she never figures it out.
Pancake Mold Is Beautiful
I convinced a couple of friends that I collected pancakes. I do collect things, but not that!
Nevertheless, they were riding home from a party with me and both were feeling extremely bummed out by something that had happened there. So I started talking about my pancake collection: how I kept the interesting ones whenever I was served pancakes and took them home and kept them in trunks. I would take them out from time to time to admire them, I told them, especially the pretty colors and patterns in the mold.
Let’s just say they stopped thinking about themselves. But they didn’t call me on it, and I never broke character or ever mentioned it was a joke.
Months down the line I started a relationship with one of them and she confessed, long after, that at one time she’d searched my apartment for the trunks. 😉
The Scottish Reveal
I spent an entire semester in college pretending to be Scottish, but only in my theater class. It was the last class in my block for that semester, so on the first couple days I studied the faces of all my classmates to be sure no one was in both my theater class and any other. I told everyone I was from Dundee, Scotland (a city I’ve been to a couple times/ my old exchange student lives there) and spent a lot of time practicing the accent. On the last day of class before the exam we gave group presentations. I made sure my group was last, and after we gave our presentation I followed up with my reveal.
I only did it to see if I could, and I did.
The Red Dot
My cats don’t know that I control the red dot.
My senior year of high school I had the whole school convinced I was color blind. Not red/green color blind or anything like that, like 100% black and white was all I saw. Nobody could prove me wrong and it just kinda became my identity as “the color blind guy.” Then on the last day of school I told everyone, and they were all so mad.
Then I did it again when I started working at my current job. Got transferred recently and told everyone at my old store on my last day, same reaction. Kept that one up for about 2 years. Absolutely worth it both times.
Every year when I get my property tax bill for the vehicles, I set up an auto-withdraw weekly for that amount divided by 52, headed to an online savings account. I never notice the $17/week gone, and the next year’s property tax is lower as the value decreases. Come December when I get the next bill, I suddenly have $200 extra.
Yeah, I’m conning myself into saving for Christmas, but whatever works.