Fibbing for Fame and Folly

This illustration by John Schmelzer appeared in the December 1986 issue of Ford Times.

This illustration by John Schmelzer appeared in the December 1986 issue of Ford Times.

Otis Hulett, who was famous around Burlington for his various pranks and escapades, concocted a news story. Between Christmas and New Years, it is a really slow time news-wise, and the old-timers concocted a story saying the Burlington Chief of Police, Frank Beller, policemen, and firemen sat around the station New Year’s Day seeing who could tell the biggest lie. The winner that year was told by police chief who said he had never told a lie in his life. The story made some of the newspapers, and the following year, Associated Press called and wanted to know if they were going to pick a liar again.

The lies continued to pour in each year. Hulett formed a club, incorporated it, and expanded the contest to a national level, and eventually a world wide contest with lies coming in with international addresses. The only requirement to become a card carrying member was to send in a lie and a dime. Inflation has raised the one-time fee to a dollar. It was Hulett’s perserverance that kept the club going the first fifty years. He read every lie and responded to every request for membership. This practice is continued today by the current officers of the Club.