The Journal of Prevarication
Free while supplies last
by Jim Cook
Official State Liar of Arizona
It seemed like a snappy idea for public service. The Wickenburg Institute for Factual Diversity, which has been slacking lately, would proclaim May Awareness Month.
“Awareness of what?” Miss Ellie asked.
“Just awareness,” I said.
That did not sit well with Ellie, who likes her world structured. She said, “It’s not Motor Scooter Awareness Month? Alzheimer’s Awareness Month? An awareness month has to be about something.”
“I’m talking about awareness in a general way,” I replied. “I want to raise people’s consciousness.”
“Consciousness of what?”
I was getting a little irritated. “Consciousness of the sun, the wind, the sound of your lover arguing endlessly. Consciousness of steel wool, and the sounds of demin pants legs rubbing together. Awareness of the cactus that are blooming now. The rhythms of nature…”
I became aware that I was going to be conscious of tension in the air that evening.
I had about the same luck when I shopped the idea around down at the coffee shop. Max asked, “What’s awareness?”
Lloyd, who’s very political and very conservative, said, “You should make it Treason Awareness Month. Get the United States out of the U.N., and out of General Motors.”
Max said, “I owned a Cadillac once. Gas hog, but it was a classy ride.”
Ken said, “Is it like National Cheesecake Month, or Find A Cure For Osteopsoriasis Month?”
“No,” I said. “It’s just awareness month. To encourage people to be more aware, you know?”
Max asked, “What’s May got to be aware about? Now August, that’s a month to beware of. Hot and sticky, and big thunderstorms.”
“Look, fellas,” I said, “your lives will be richer if you’re more in tune with the world around you. Notice things. Admire yourself in the mirror. Daydream about cheap travel offers. Learn things you didn’t know about other people…”
Max cut in, “Boy, I’d like to learn more about Ken’s wife. Is there a prize?”
“…and guys,” I continued, “please don’t cross the street in the middle of the block.”