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Gazette journalist gets liar’s award

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
December 28, 2007
— Even Greg Peck admits it’s a bit ironic that someone whose goal as a journalist is to seek the truth would win an award for telling a lie.

But Peck’s tall tale won him the title of World Champion Liar of 2007—a title bestowed by the Burlington Liars Club.


Peck, who has worked at the Gazette for 20 years and has been editorial editor for more than four, said he joked to his boss that he might have to resign now that he’s a known liar.


“I guess I just enjoy a good joke,” Peck said. “There’s enough crime and drudgery in life. You gotta have a little fun and a little humor … to keep things going.”


The club, which has been awarding prizes for the best lies for more than 50 years, received entries from 13 states and Canada. The contest often gets national attention.


Peck’s award was an unframed certificate that arrived by mail.


His award-winning whopper is:


“The Wisconsin River was so low this year that the local government started taxing us for more property on our riverfront lot.”


Peck figures it probably struck a chord with the judges because of concerns about rising property taxes and because of recent weather extremes that many believe are brought on by global warming.


“I thought it was a pretty good joke,” said Peck, who also submitted a joke in 2001 that didn’t win.


Peck really does own a lot on the Wisconsin River near Muscoda, where he and his wife, Cheryl, hope to build a home someday. But the water is often so low that it’s difficult to get a boat in and out of the river to fish. (Peck’s first try at the Burlington award, not surprisingly, involved a fishy story.)


Peck, who likes to use a little levity at times to get points across in his editorials, is also the author of the book, “Death in the Willows.”


That book, though, was painstakingly researched. Peck didn’t stretch the truth even a little bit in that one.


These tall tales won 2007 honorable mentions from the Burlington Liars Club:

“I’m so lonely I drive down one-way streets the wrong way, just to get someone to wave to me.”—David Laing, Milwaukee.


“I had so many divots this past summer, the government named three golf courses federal disaster areas.”—Mardy Nersesian, Racine.


“A full moon and a hot summer night prompted me to take my boat out on the Fox River to go cat fishing. Bam! A hit right away. I could hardly hold onto my pole. He took the line out, pulling me and my boat behind him. He then circled my boat, spinning it around and around. Snap! He went under my boat, breaking the line, but not before I got a glimpse of a 60-pound catfish with so many lures attached to him that I could hear him clanging through the water as he swam away.”—Dusty Thew, Wind Lake.


“At the Packers spring mini-camp this year, two back-up quarterbacks were playing catch using a clock instead of a football. When a coach asked them what they were doing, one replied, ‘Well, with Favre around, we were just passing time.’”



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