Bullshitting the Lie Detector

Infiltrator cooks up a criminal past. A PAX TV show absolves him of it. Ain't it a great country?

Then comes a photomontage, accompanied by generic speed metal music, that uses photos I sent in from what I perceive to be I, who-is-on-parole's life. These include random jpegs I found on the Web, among them a little kid playing the flute, some guy's back with the word "Santana" tattooed across it, and a street gang. (The gang members are of an ethnic group that does not include me.)

I also sent:

a photo of the real me, taken when I infiltrated and wrestled with someone in the Christian Wrestling Federation;

a photo of a random Christian wrestler;

a photo of me, wearing a stocking cap and gangsta shades, holding an Uzi and firing an AK-47, during a machine gun convention I infiltrated in rural Kentucky.

"If you were looking to fill the role of party boy, some might say Hank looks straight out of central casting," Watts says in voice-over, and the screen cuts to a shot of me walking in slow motion, in the style Dateline uses to make people look really sinister. It gets even better. There's a re-enactment. (The word "Re-enactment" is posted across the screen, in case the situation isn't clear.)

"Hank tried to play the part of peacemaker when a fight broke out at a party. The police mistook him for the instigator. They discovered drugs in the trunk of his car."

The re-enactment is beautiful. Lie Detectoractually hired an actor, who looks slightly like me, to portray me. (Try to think this one through: I provided work for a struggling actor -- who most likely had to go through an audition process to get the part -- who played me, all while I am portraying a guy on parole.) Another re-enactment: Hank hits someone in the head with Courtney Love's flashlight.

More cutting to shots of me looking extremely psycho, as if I might eat babies, while I'm being hooked into the lie detector. Then an extreme close-up on my mission statement: "I want to prove to my parole officer that I wasn't doing it. And lastly, I just want to prove it to myself!"

One-on-One With Rolonda

The Lie Detector set is basically two chairs and a table on a sound stage. My goal is to look as crazed as possible during the entire taping, never cracking a smile and keeping a psychotic, intense look in my eye, all while surrounded by the entire production crew, under hot studio lights.

Rolonda goes back to a mocking tone, commenting on my fictional arrest: "I'm sure police hear this all the time, 'They're not mine. It wasn't me.'"

"Uh-huh," I grunt, looking like I want to bite Rolonda's head off. "Yeah, I had to take a drug test, and it come back negative."

From off camera, the executive producer halts the taping and shouts, "Don't you mean positive? When you flunk a drug test, it comes back positive."

This is one of the numerous holes in my story. I clarify: "What I meant was, it was negative for me, because I ended up back in jail!"

Maybe the less I say the better.

"Here you were, having spent eight months for the original offense," Rolonda says with a concerned look. "Now you have to spend 20 more days. What was that like for you?"

"It was like, 'Here we go again,'" I reply, trying to look especially psycho while, at the same time, suggesting that I am trying to be spiritual nowadays by gesturing to my Jesus T-shirt.

"What's the worst part about being in jail?" Rolonda asks.

[Pause] "It's just, like, really boring."

"It gives you a lot of time to think," she adds, coming to her own conclusions. "What did you think about?"

I subtly gesture again to my Jesus T-shirt. "I just thought about re-evaluating my life and my spirituality," I say.

"You got an epiphany when you were in jail," she says with a pleased smile.

"Yeah, I got a little more spiritual," I agree and then start talking about my pillar of strength-- my fictional girlfriend, Rochelle. "I couldn't have gotten through this without her and her support."

To illustrate my fictional girlfriend, I sent the producer a jpeg from a Google image search that used the words "big booty."

"Rochelle is my pillar of strength!" I repeat, hoping they'd flash the image of this large African-American woman posing in a manner that shows off her best assets. Sadly, my talk of fictional Rochelle and her big booty didn't make the final cut.

Before meeting the lie detector, I get to plead my case. "I was at a party where they were doing the drugs. So that could have been the thing," I explain. "And I forgot to mention, I was getting dental work, and I was on a pain pill."

Rolonda turns sarcastic, noting, "But a pain pill wouldn't come back reading marijuana."

"I don't know. I was thinking maybe it was secondhand smoke," I add with hesitation.

"What happens if you flunk this test today?" she asks, as if it would be the worst thing in the world.

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