If there's one thing I've learned about life, it's that things rarely go according to plan. You have to expect to take a few knocks here and there. That's why I've developed a way to cope with life's pitfalls. When things don't go right, I just stick my chin out, turn my frown upside down, and lie to everyone about what actually happened.

Even if you're extremely talented, it's impossible to win every time. But telling people that you won takes no effort at all, and you can always fall back on it. Try it the next time you get turned down for a date. Instead of shrugging it off and telling yourself there are other fish in the sea, tell your friends that the chick was hot for you, but you passed on her because she was giving off a psycho vibe or her teeth were bad.

Take what happened last month: I went to Atlantic City and lost $400 on slots, but at work Monday, I told everyone I'd won $170 at the tables. I'd have said I won more, but then they would've expected me to bring in donuts. Anyway, it's not like my gambling win was a total lie. I did make $55 at the tables at my friend's bachelor party in 1988, and yesterday, I won $5 on scratch-off tickets.

Okay, I didn't really win on the scratch-off. I lost $2. But for a few seconds, you were with me, weren't you?

If life hands you lemons, throw them out, pile some old newspapers on top of them so no one sees them in your garbage can, and then tell everyone you had lemonade. Really go into detail. Tell your friends how sweet it was, and how you served it up in a big tall glass, nice and cold, and talk at length about how great it is that life keeps bringing you delicious lemonade in beautiful glasses. They'll be too busy envying your lemonade to notice that you're a lying, losing, lonely bastard.

Okay, so you blew an important meeting at work and now you're saying "better luck next time," and vowing to work harder. What kind of attitude is that? Why not claim to have worked hard this time, you ponce? Say your boss fucked everything up. If you get fired, tell everyone you got a promotion, didn't like working with the pricks upstairs, and quit to field better offers. It's so simple. I can't stand a person with a negative attitude. When the road of life gets a little bumpy, go to the nearest airport and fly home. Once home, talk at length about how your epic journey across America via the nation's historic one-lane highways changed your life.

Who likes a winner? Everyone. Who likes a loser? Exactly. It doesn't matter if you're a good loser or the worst loser ever. As far as everyone else is concerned, you can still be a winner. The only way people will know you're a loser is if you tell them what your life is actually like. Why would you do that?

Let's say you're late meeting a friend for dinner. There are all sorts of ways to get out of this one without losing face or being truthful. You can say you locked your keys in your house and had to call the locksmith, but then you'd still look like a flake. Instead, tell them that you ran into the mayor and had a long discussion about your idea for a multicultural peace park. Make the most out of a bad experience. If you put your mind to it, you could come up with literally hundreds of ways to spin your sad-sack life into 24-karat gold.

So, the next time you're down on your luck, take a look at the man in the mirror and tell him how great everything is going. If you can't fool yourself, how are you going to fool everyone else?

If you get the crap knocked out of you in a fight, say "You should see the other guy." If you get thrown out of a bar, tell everyone you were sick of the losers hanging out in the place. If you're house-sitting for someone, and their cat runs away because you forgot to close the door, stage a break-in and tell the cat's owners the burglars let it out, but you came just in time to save their possessions. If you're diagnosed with cancer, tell people you're moving to Hawaii. When they don't see you around anymore, they'll think you're sitting under a palm tree, drinking a piña colada. See? You won!