Alone, and away from the crowd, they would finely hone their craft, twisting plots and culling characters, manipulating the bones and meat of their stories, stories that would ripple and change over time until the perfect form of their telling was realised, and the most emotion and fervour could be drawn from them.
The largest chair by the fire was always reserved for the grandest of storytellers.
On the 142 bus route (the route Manchester claims is the busiest in Europe), there's a Canadian guy. At least, I think he's Canadian. He speaks with a Canadian accent and refers to Canada as home, but I can't be too sure. Roughly once a week he climbs aboard the top deck of a particularly full bus, and with sorrowful eyes wishes God's blessing on us all. He then recounts his story of how he found himself in hospital due to accident or injury. Sometimes he has bronchitis. Sometimes he's broken an ankle or lost the sight in one eye. Sometimes he was mugged by persons nowhere near as kind as yourselves, God bless you.
It caused him to miss the flight to his homeland, which is of course Canada. Then into the tale comes a fair maiden, a sickly old lady or a meek and wretched child. Our Canadian friend gives up his bed for the newcomer, and wishes them well. Unfortunately the same can not be said of himself, for he now finds himself with nowhere to sleep, and in desperate need of funds to either get him to the airport in time, transfer him to a different flight, or put him up for the night. Supplicating himself to those travelling on the 142 route (the busiest bus route in Europe) he asks for donations to help him on his way, showering both those who refuse and indulge him with God's blessings.
Our unfortunate Canadian fellow never makes it home however, and within a week has broken his ankle, face, coccyx or stride once more, and the poor state of the NHS has once again driven him from his bed. His story is a little different, a little more refined. Less believable elements are now missing and the more compassion-inducing, sympathetic tropes are exaggerated, based on how successful they were the week before.
The most copious spare change is always reserved for the grandest of bullshitters.