Honestly, This Part of England Has the World’s Biggest Liars – WSJ.com
SANTON BRIDGE, England—In this tiny village last week, Glen Boylan came to spin stories in a local pub, as the English are wont to do. On a rain-lashed night, Mr. Boylan’s tale involved being offered a mayonnaise and peanut butter sandwich by a good Samaritan—Prince Charles—who happened to be passing through.
This was no ordinary night of pub banter, however. At the Bridge Inn, Mr. Boylan was competing in the World’s Biggest Liar competition, the village’s annual celebration of dishonesty. Competitors’ tall tales are judged on imagination, presentation and sheer chutzpah.
But in recent years, the contest’s popularity has attracted more competitors from outside the area to Cumbria, in northwest England, one of the country’s most remote regions. That has exposed an ugly truth for Cumbrians: The best fibbers are increasingly coming from other parts of Britain, and even other parts of the world.
“Anyone from anywhere is welcome at the contest—enter and spin a yarn—they are just not welcome to win it,” said Mark Samson, an unemployed construction worker who had come to cheer on the local lad, Mr. Boylan, a 46-year-old worker at a nearby nuclear-power plant.
Cumbria isn’t alone in trying to protect its local rituals from the outside world. Few countries celebrate eccentricity like the British, who in various places hold contests for snail racing, bog snorkeling, toe wrestling and a World Gurning Championship, in which contestants compete to contort their faces into the most grotesque expressions.
Strange Random Liar Quote:
“It is always good policy to tell the truth unless of course you are an exceptionally good liar.” – Jerome K. Jerome
- Enchanted Woodland | Crunch 2011 | The World’s Biggest Liar Competition (guardian.co.uk)
- Explore England by cave (travelnews.britishairways.com)
- Driving for the Stars: Britain’s three highest roads (netcars.com)
- Now Cumbria comes up with Viking silver (guardian.co.uk)