Tacoma City Council members reveal truths and fibs during annual retreat


By John Larson


Can you say two true things and one lie and fool people close to you? It depends how close they are to you, as well as how good you are at lying. Tacoma City Council took on this challenge during their annual retreat at the University of Puget Sound on Feb. 15.

Staff led the council through an exercise in which they revealed two facts about themselves, something their colleagues may not know about. They were also asked to tell one lie, then the other eight people guessed which were the two true statements and which one was false.

Lillian Hunter once backpacked along the Artic Circle and slept in a tent on the tundra. She spent an evening with actor Don Johnson, star of the popular police dramas “Miami Vice” and “Nash Bridges.” She weighs now what she weighed in high school. The third item was her lie.

Conor McCarthy said he earned a degree in political science. He once punched a neo-Nazi in the face. While living in Paris, he made a model of Mt. Rainier with a French volcanologist. The first item was his lie. Asked what his major was, he replied that it is a long story. McCarthy also noted that the incident with the neo-Nazi was an act of self-defense.

Catherine Ushka has never been a triathlete. She plays the flute poorly. The longest bike ride she has ever gone on was 600 miles along Cape Hatteras. She lied about the latter, noting it was only 500 miles.

Ryan Mello said he learned to surf in Hawaii. He plays the clarinet. He speaks enough Japanese to get by. Mello lied about knowing how to surf, although he did grow up in Hawaii.

Robert Thoms loves to cook. He said learned to surf in Hawaii and that he does not have ADD. He lied about the second item.

Chris Beale said he has climbed Mt. Rainier. He has a phobia of cotton balls. And he has been robbed at gunpoint. He lied about the first item, noting he has climbed Mt. St. Helens five times, but never Rainier.

Victoria Woodards said she bought political activist Cornel West his first latte. She said she joined the Army before graduating from high school, and that she dated a famous professional basketball player. The mayor lied about the latter, pointing out she went on one date with a basketball player, but was not dating him.

Keith Blocker said he was the strongest person in his high school. He said the he attended five elementary schools and that he is an excellent swimmer. He lied about the second, having only attended three. Weighing 135 pounds in high school, he could bench press 235, thus earning the title of strongest student.

Anders Ibsen said he majored in sociology at The Evergreen State College, that he played in a heavy-metal band in high school and that he is the third- youngest council member in Tacoma history. He lied about college, noting that Evergreen does not have majors.

Members were asked to guess which items were true and which were false. Uskha, Thoms and Hunter finished in a three-way tie for first place.

How about you, dear readers? How well can you lie? Try this same exercise out with your relatives, friends, your boss, a minister…perhaps even a politician.

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