The urban dictionary defines the action or verb to “CRAWFISH” as:
To back up, move backwards, retreat from a position, to deny a statement, to go back on your word – generally a southern term. “He crawfished on the bet.”
Otherwise called “backtracking”, “saving face, or changing your story.
“Uh, I didn’t mean to…well, what I meant was, um, well, uh…that wasn’t exactly what I said, I think. What I was trying to say was, uh…”
You’ve all been there…well, when someone else “crawfished” on you, of course! I personally have NEVER had to “crawfish”. Ahem, well…okay, okay, none of us are immune to having to do that once in a while, I guess. (You see what I just did there?)
I’ve referred to this type of event as “putting my foot in my mouth”. Following this proverbial “foot-to-mouth” comes being “called on the carpet” by who caught you.
After that we have the famous “hat-in-hand” stance, followed by the ever-so-familiar “eating crow”.
How is that for quoting almost every line from the slang dictionary? I’m all over it today, folks! But anyway, you get the picture.
I can tell you that in my travels, most of the people that I experienced crawfishing, weren’t doing it to necessarily cover up a hurtful statement or action, but more along the lines of not being able to back up a boastful statement/s. I can also be 99% sure that almost all of the PSI boys can make that same statement concerning their experiences. Crawfishing NOT necessary, ‘cuz you know it’s true!
Yeah, you know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Show up on a job site and you always have that one guy who can’t help himself but tell outlandish stories of glory and conquering that we know can’t be true. This is also referred to as the “One-Up Guy”. No matter what you say or did, he did it better, or longer, or more of them. It wouldn’t matter what it was, he’ll always try to “One-Up” you.
I can tell a quick anecdotal story as an example, but my favorite experiences usually involve a Texan as being THAT guy, and now I feel bad telling a story that puts down my part-time Texas kin, so I’m vexed with myself.
Wait…Saved! I remember a story that has a Californian in it! Whew, that was close!
Braggers Gonna’ Brag: “The Story of Jimmy”
I was an assistant tech working in SLC for awhile and had to fly to California for some work north of San Fran. We were to meet a guy by the name of Jimmy. Jimmy would pick us up and take us to the shop where we’d take the supervisor’s truck to the job 3 hours north of the shop. I’m traveling with Barry Robison, who at that time was a 8 year Lead Tech. I had a few months under my belt and was definitely NOT in charge. Well, now we meet Jimmy.
Jimmy is about 45-ish, wide as he is tall, mostly bald with what’s left pulled back into a mini-pony. Kind of an italian-greek looking guy. He smoked like a chimney and smelled like an ashtray.
Now, on our 3-hour drive, Jimmy starts talking about how he’s a long-time tech and is “supposed” to be a Tech II, and how he’s been held down by the system, and about all of the great things Jimmy can do. Yes, he referred to himself in 3rd party quite a few times. He goes on about his hot tap experience, all the jobs he’s ran in that branch, all the high pressure he’s been on and how “he showed the boys in that branch a thing or two about pressure seals”. Wow! Really? Ole Jimmy must be the man!
We got off in a bad way to start, because when we got to our job, “Jimmy” stands up and decides to inform Barry that he’s going to need the keys to the truck now. HE (Jimmy) was supposed to be driving, since this was his branch, the supervisor put him in charge, and he was “Lead Man” and we were only here to help HIM. And, that Jimmy let Barry drive as a courtesy. (BTW-Barry didn’t ask when we all took off north, he just took the keys and told us two to “get in”, so we did.) They banter a little bit, and Jimmy pounds his chest a little bit more, again talking about who he is, how he’s indispensable to the branch and the supervisor etc…We are, including Barry, just “guns for hire”, and answer to him.
Here’s the first of many “keeping it real” moments on that trip with “Jimmy”. Barry says “stay here” to Jimmy and me. He gets his cell phone and starts to make a call. Jimmy asks, “who are you calling?” Barry says, “just hang on, you’ll find out in a minute.”
Well, I’m pretty sure he’s calling that same supervisor we are working for…and as it turns out, he was!…right in front of Jimmy and me. Barry says, “Hey Greg, how are you?” and basically lays out the previous conversations with Jimmy and then asks him “what’s the story, then”? There’s a few “yeah, uhuh and okays” by Barry and he says, “yeah, Jimmy’s right here”, then hands the phone to Jimmy.
Jimmy’s nodding his head and now he’s saying “yeah, okay” and a lot of “yes sir’s”. Hangs up the phone, hands it to Barry and just walks away. Doesn’t say a thing.
I ask Barry, “So, what’d he say?”
Barry says, “he apologized, told me he’s been trying to help Jimmy out as a favor to his sister and that he knew Jimmy TALKS. Also told me if Jimmy gives me any more trouble, put him on a bus and ship him back to San Francisco.” He puts the phone in his pocket, smiles at me and asks, “you want a beer?”
Whooh! That’s textbook “One-Up” guy having to “Crawfish” after getting “Called On the Carpet” by a real Lead Man. Something tells me “Jimmy” does himself a whole lot of “Crawfishing” in his lifetime. Don’t you think? Yes, yes, he does!!!
Would you be surprised if I told you I had at least 3 or 4 more “Jimmy” stories from that trip? Honest to god. If I’m lying, I’m dying. Jimmy was a piece of work, let me tell ya’.
What Do You Do With Crawfishers:
Hmmm? Well, I used to engage them because I just couldn’t help myself. They annoyed me soooo much! The still do, but I just walk away now.
Braggarts not only have braggadociousness in them, mixed with a cup of insecurity, but also have a huge helping of “needy” all rolled up into one giant annoying, walking, talking mouthpiece. Throw in a little bit of ignorance along with belligerence and “poof”…instant asshole! You can’t negotiate with assholes. True story.
Some Braggarts/storytellers can be fun-loving, jovial, and even a little bit entertaining, but if you let them get out of hand, you are messing with fire, for certain!
I guess my best piece of advice is to “Approach With Caution”. If you know what you are dealing with, then you are better equipped at handling whatever sh8t comes out of their mouth.
Now, I’m not sure if you were expecting more…in the form of real advice, or not, but c’mon, I’m not a psychologist! And, I DID NOT sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so y’all are out of luck! Anyway, I hope I was able to “lighten” the mood and provide everyone with a few laughs with this month’s subject. Lord knows we all need a little bit of that.
Thank you to Sean for providing me with this month’s subject. I’m always open to anyone’s ideas to write about. Feel free to email them to me and I’ll try to do my best job with them.
Disclaimer: If you send a topic or subject you’d like me to research and write about, you have to specify if this is a “serious, real” subject that you want addressed, or if you just want to see what my stance is on it and let it go where ever it takes us. Because if you don’t specify, who knows what you’ll get! LOL!
Please take a minute, go out and do something with the ones you love this weekend. Life is precious and short, so take a minute if you need one.
Gather yourself and when it’s time, “Wake Up, Kick Ass, Repeat”!