It's Not You, It's Me. And the Alpacas. By Andy Thompson

I hate confrontation. I’d rather tell a ridiculous lie than get into a verbal skirmish. As everyone knows, cancelling a gym contract can be a prolonged and exasperating battle. I went through this process several years ago. When I told the orange woman at the front counter of the gym my intentions she frowned and one of the managers, a pony-tailed lady with a thousand-watt smile, came bounding out of the office.

So, Andy. You’d like to terminate your contract with us

Uh, yes.

Any particular reason?

Here was the point where I was should have been honest.

Yes, I’m moving and won’t be able to come into this gym and there aren’t any of your gyms near my house.

That’s what I should have said. Instead, I stammered, uh…yeah. I’m moving to Argentina.

Why? Why did I say that? Of course, now that I started the lie, I couldn’t leave it at that. I had to embellish it. I had to add to the lie until it was a snowballing jumble of words and falsehoods.

Yes, I’m moving there to research the sustainability of alpaca farming. Also, I met a lady over there. Her name is Maria and she has a son called Jose and I’m going to live with her.

And the alpacas?

Huh? Yes. The alpacas. Amazing animals… I trailed off.

I’ve been to Argentina twice. Where are you going to live?

Shit. She raised a solitary manicured eyebrow.

Buenos Aires. They’re, uh, urban alpacas. Are we done?

Mm-hmm. Enjoy Argentina, Andy, she said with a smirk.

I think I got away with it.


in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 540

What Andy looks like.

I tell jokes for cash, manly hugs and free drinks. I’ll tell you which way the water flows for free. Comedian, engineer, writer and husky man-about-town.

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