Have you ever encountered people who are compulsive braggers, individuals who talk boastfully? They can top any story you tell; they had more rainfall, grew bigger tomatoes or could drink more beer. We hear a lot about bragging rights. In fact, Guinness has a record book devoted to braggers. Researchers have found that talking about ourselves — whether it be in personal conversation or through social media — triggers the same sensation in the brain as food or money. We will even give up money to talk about ourselves. Bragging is considered a vice in nearly every religion, but that doesn't hold us back. Proverbs 18:2 reads. "A fool has no delight in understanding, but expresses his own heart." In my research, I even ran across an article that tells how to brag without being arrogant. Now let's meet some real life braggers.
"Dizzy" Dean, star pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals' Gas House Gang of the 1930s, was a big bragger, but he had an explanation for his boastfulness. According to "Diz," if you can do it, it ain't bragging." Jim Frey, one-time manager of the Kansas City Royals, was known to brag about George Brett, their Hall of Fame hitter. Frey said Brett was such a good batter that he could hit buckshot with baling wire. Wilt Chamberlain claimed to have had sex with 1,000 women. Considering his lifestyle, maybe he wasn't bragging. Presidential candidates score high on the bragging scale. During the campaign, they seem to have a plan to solve all of our problems. Four years later, all we hear are excuses. Undoubtedly, the biggest bragger in the universe was Kim Jong Il, Supreme Leader of North Korea. According to reports, he surpassed virtually every athletic record in existence. Understandably, no one in that society would step up to challenge his claims. Neosho may be guilty of a little exaggeration with our claim to have the World's Largest Flowerbox, but until someone challenges us, keep on preaching.
It's hard to talk about bragging and not mention Texas. Some contend that Texas and bragging are synonymous.
It's hard to impress a Texan. They always have something bigger and better. This Texas bragger was taken to a volcano. Looking down at the molten lava, he was told "I bet you don't have anything like that in Texas." The Texan agreed, but said, "We have a fire department in Houston that could put it out in 10 minutes!" You may remember this story from the 1950s about Joe Smith from Texas who knew all those famous people. When he claimed to know President Eisenhower, his friend called his hand. "Ike is playing golf in Gettysburg tomorrow, so we will find out." The next morning as they approached the green, Ike waved and said "Hello Joe, how is everything in Texas?" When Joe claimed to know the Pope, his friend said, "Now you have gone too far." They booked passage to Rome. In the throngs of people in Vatican Square, Joe and his friend became separated. As the pre-Easter services were about to begin, Joe's friend asked this Italian, "Who is that guy on the balcony wearing the white robe and funny hat?" The Italian said "I don't know, but the guy standing next to him is Joe Smith from Texas."
Page 2 of 2 - The literary club invited the smartest man in the world to address their group, but was turned down. Then they asked the most handsome man to speak, but he declined. In desperation, they extended an invitation to the sexiest man in the world, and I accepted. I just couldn't turn them down three times.
Roy Shaver writes a weekly column for the Daily News.