Story Police

Is there anything more annoying than someone playing story police? I don’t care if I’m telling one or listening to one, the chances that anyone seriously cares that Aunt Martha’s 1976 Thunderbird is actually red, not blue, are infitesimally small. Now, it’s one thing if the correction actually has something to do with the basic point or the punchline, but otherwise, please, people, shut up!

The worst is when the storyteller and the story police get in an argument and everyone has to sit around and pretend that it’s not happening. Look, if someone is telling a story, it’s their story. Stay out of it. No one cares about the details and it’s impossible not to look like an ass when you jump in and start correcting somebody. Men do this, women do this, it’s equally unpalatable in either case. Unless the person telling the story is wired up to a lie detector or under oath, do leave it alone.

I don’t know if story policing in Emily Post or not, but it boggles my mind that people who would never dream of saying “pull my finger” and letting it rip at a cocktail party will do this sort of thing at the first opportunity. It’s much ruder than that.