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The Liar Changarin

Sometimes small mistakes have unintended consequences.

As we are
El changarín mentiroso

Did you hear about the liar changarin? I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, but just in case I'll sum them up: an unemployed person from Nogoyá, Entre Ríosprovince, leaked to the media (you should see how he did it, his skill at this point is striking) that he had found a suitcase with 500 thousand dollars and had returned it to the owner. The owner, who already gave the money for lost (who walks with 500 green lucks in a suitcase on the street?) , seeing the honesty of the humble changarin, offered him silver and even an apartment. Our hero (nothing anonymous, by the way), declined honors and reward offer and asked only one thing: a blank job for his family to access a social work.

So far, a fairy tale. Music for the ears of national progress that says that “from here you get working” but does not want to pay the monotribute. A role model, someone to vindicate. But the changarin made a mistake. A terrible one.

Invited to a radio show to tell what had happened and repeat for the umpteenth time his humble request (which by the way had not been satisfied, the clueless businessman turned out to be an unscrupulous), he became emboldened. And when a liar becomes brave he risks: suddenly he is so sure that his version is true that he starts to stop worrying about the likelihood. And consider, wrong, very wrong, that if you add details to the story, you're going to be more credible. In fiction it works (Roland Barthes calls it “reality effect”), but in the common lie the proliferation of details is dangerous (more loose ends remain). The changarin fell into this trap.

Embolted on the radio, then he added a detail that I didn't explain why or why he added it: he said there was a gun in the suitcase. And he gave details of the van that was supposed to be driving by the clueless businessman. And when he put a gun into the story, and this story was transmitted by a media outlet, he forced a prosecutor to intervene ex officio: carrying weapons without permission is a crime. And the DA didn't take more than 48 hours to determine that there was no briefcase, no pickup truck, no gun or anything. The changarin can lie to the media but cannot lie to justice: that is also a crime.

And this is how the poor changarin went from being a hero to being a liar that no one can trust, let alone give him a blank job that includes a social work among his benefits. And so went the Argentinian way of saying that “more people like the changarín are needed” to say “they are all the same, this country has no solution”. But above all, this is how a desperate guy went through a job of being able to choose the one he liked best to see his dreams every day a little farther away.

Publication Date: 17/04/2019

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