I have this six inch scar down my back.
It's not often that I wear clothes revealing enough to show it off, but when I do, it gives me a perfect setup. Especially when I'm headed to the beach with friends who don't know everything about me. In honor of Shark Week, I will re-enact the conversation for you here.
Friend: Wow, how'd you get that scar?
Me (casually): Oh, this? Shark attack.
Friend (disbelieving): No way!
Me (nods convincingly): Yeah, believe it or not, I was snorkeling off the coast of Acapulco in high school when a shark bit me.
Friend: You're joking with me, right?
Me (smiles sadly): No, I wish I was. I didn't get a good look at the shark, but it wasn't big or anything. I mean, I don't think it was a great white or something. I'd probably be dead if it was. [I shudder.]
Friend (trying to find a hole in my story): How'd you get away?
Me (looks far away; as if reliving a painful memory): I don't remember all that well, it was kind of traumatic, you know? I think I was able to walk out of the water pretty easily; I wasn't swimming far offshore or anything.
At this point, my friend is trying to convince themselves how I am lying. But I've thrown in enough believable details that it is turning the tide. I've given them location and that the shark was small, not like a scene out of Jaws. And don't forget, at the end of the day, I do have a giant scar down my back.
Friend (incredulous, but starting to believe): Wow, you are lucky to be alive, huh?
Me (laughing): Hah! I got you so good. I didn't get attacked by a shark, silly. That scar is from cancer!
I always get a good laugh out of people with that one.