May 212018

Let’s have a little experiment today. I’m going to tell you three things and write a short paragraph about each of them. Only one of those things is true. It’s up to you to decide which one it is. Okay, ready to play?

1) I seldom play the lottery because the odds of winning are pretty slim. But every once in a while when I’m in a convenience store paying for something and I have a buck or so in change coming, I’ll buy one of those scratch off tickets. Yesterday I bought gas at the local stop and rob and my credit card wouldn’t work at the pump so I had to go inside to pay. Just for the heck of it, I bought a lottery ticket. Back in the Explorer, I scratched the little squares off and I won $5,000. Hey, it’s not a fortune, but it will pay for a nice cruise!

2) Terry is a cat person and I’m a dog person, but we thought we had reached the point in our lives where we didn’t want the responsibility of a pet anymore. All that changed the other day when I saw an ad online for German Shepherd puppies. If you know me, you know I love German shepherds, so we went to take a look, “just for the heck of it.” Now we’ve got a lovable little bundle of fur peeing on newspapers and chewing on our shoes.

3) We thought our RVing days were over when we bought the house and sold our Winnebago diesel pusher, but as it turns out hitch itch is a disease you can’t get over very easily. We will never go fulltime again, but we still want to travel, so we are the proud new owners of this beautiful 2010 Pleasure Way Class B motorhome.

Okay, which one of those three is true? Think about it before you answer. Did we come into some unexpected money. Hey, it could happen! Do I have a new puppy to love? You all know how much I love getting a puppy fix. Or do we have a motorhome parked in our driveway. Think about. Which is it?

The answer is, none of them are true! What? Wait a minute, didn’t I say one of those three things are true? Yeah, I did. Guess what? I lied.

Can you believe it? People actually lie on the Internet. You’re kidding me, right? It was on the Internet so it has to be true. They can’t put things on there that aren’t true. Everybody knows that.

Yeah, people do put stuff on the Internet that they make up. Why do they do it? I don’t know. I think sometimes they just want to stir up trouble. Or maybe they just want to see how many people will actually believe the BS they’re throwing down. Or, they may be idiots who really believe what they say even if there’s no basis in fact. But don’t worry, if you put it out there, people are going to pick it up and start spreading it around.

A case in point is the current flap over Pilot and Flying J truck stops. According to some clown who posted something online, he is a professional truck driver and he pulled into a Flying J somewhere and they were taking down the American flag. He claims when he asked why, an employee told him it was because the company does not want to offend foreigners. That’s all it took. His nonsense went viral and Flying J started getting flooded with emails from irate people saying they will never do business with such an anti-American company again.

I help moderate a large (52,000+ member) RVing group on Facebook and I can’t tell you how many times myself and the other administrators have taken down links or stories about this. Yesterday alone I received 14 emails from people wanting me to help spread the word and put those traitors out of business. And that doesn’t count all the instant messages I got on Facebook saying the same thing!

Okay, here’s the real story. First of all, Flying J is an American business started by a Korean War veteran 60 years ago. Here is their statement about this issue, right from the horse’s mouth: Our current policy is that an American flag can only be displayed at our locations if it can be flown according to military protocol. What many may not know is there are very specific rules and protocols to properly fly a flag; everything from how it’s raised and flown, to how it’s lit at night. Our goal is to ensure we show the flag the respect it deserves at our locations that fly the red, white, and blue. We are currently working to ensure that the flag poles at the locations that have a flag pole are repaired and in proper working condition to do so.

Flying J is very RV friendly and a popular fuel stop for RVers. Many of their locations include RV fuel islands, designated RV parking lanes where you can overnight for free, and RV dump stations. Pilot/Flying J is also a contributor to many charitable organizations that benefit veterans, including Bunker Labs, Fisher House Foundation, Operation Honor Guard, Special Operations Wounded Warrior, and Wreaths Across America.

Folks, if you get this nonsense forwarded to you, just delete it. Don’t add to the problem by blindly forwarding it on to everybody in your mailing list. What if I had written something online saying that your business or the company that you work for is un-American? How might that impact you personally? What if I wrote something online that said you were a pedophile, or a deadbeat who didn’t pay your bills? How would you feel about that?

You don’t have to be the person who originally starts an Internet myth, but you are part of the problem if you forward it on. It takes all of two minutes to do some quick online fact checking before you click send or share on something. If you’re too lazy to do that, please do me a favor and unfriend me on Facebook and take me off your e-mail list.

Congratulations Dave Tousseau, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake Honeymoon, the seventh book in my Big Lake mystery series. We had 93 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.

Thought For The Day – My people skills are just fine. It’s my tolerance for idiots that needs work.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  12 Responses to “You Decide What’s True”

  1. Oh Man, Nick! I was hoping that you would say that you had lied again, and that you & Miss Terry had actually bought that Pleasure Way!

  2. Ethics is a hard one but I am going for the dog.

  3. Thank you for explaining how easy it is for folks with bad intentions to spread conflict and lies. Given how many news stories have included articles about how easy it is to get one group to hate another, it is even possible for foreign operators to start something like this in an attempt to destroy the American economy. The sad part is it is easier to spread the lies than it is to spread the truth to correct the error!

  4. You are spot on. I do not forward anything that I can’t independently verify as true. FWIW I forward very little!

  5. Thank you for this post!!! It drives me nuts when people post things without even taking a minute to find out if it’s true.

  6. You are too funny, Nick. Although that Pleasure Way looks pretty interesting. I just might have to go for that one when I retire mine!

    Yup I got the same emails about Flying J. It’s fascinating how fast something like that gets around nowadays. It sure can ruin a good reputation in a hurry!! Thanks for setting the record straight.

  7. So true and lies are everywhere. Remember the saying “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see” or something like that.


    Socrates on Gossiping…

    Keep this philosophy in mind the next time you either hear or are about to repeat a rumor. In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC) Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?” “Wait a moment,” Socrates replied.

    “Before you tell me, I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.” “Triple filter?” “That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to filter what you’re going to say.

    The first filter is truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you to tell me is true?” “No,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…” “All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not.

    Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?” “No, on the contrary…” “So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, even though you’re not certain it’s true?” The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

    Socrates continued. “You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter – the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?” “No, not really”

    “Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor Useful, why tell it to me at all?” The man was defeated and ashamed. This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

    It also explains why he never found out that Plato was sleeping with his wife.

  8. Yep, one of my pet peeves, how fast people spread this crap. It is as if critical thinking is nonexistent these days. SMH.

  9. Excellent blog today concerning Pilot/Flying J. Thanks, Bob

  10. Right on! A business or a person’s life can be destroyed by this carelessness. Stop already people!

  11. Thank you for writing this…I myself got this from 2 friends yesterday…both of whom are not dummies. I fact check all stuff like this…then I sent them messages asking them to do the same before they pass on these inflammatory posts.

  12. I haven’t known you long, but I didn’t think it was the puppy. You don’t seem like a lottery person to me- even for kicks. Considered the RV, but you just bought a boat. Even you probably have spending limits.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.