Monday, May 28, 2007

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

I like to think that I avoid lying, even little white ones. Personally, I hate being accused of lying when it may be that the accuser just doesn't have the brain capacity to understand what I'm saying. Worse still is being silently accused of lying without the possibility of explanation.

People can jump to some pretty extraordinary conclusions, I've found.

Now it may seem that with all the forms I've described above that I have extensive experience as a liar. No, that's not it. What's the matter with you?

People lie. They lie all the time. "Hey, how are you?" "Oh, fine, good!" C'mon! Your son is cheating on his wife and she's pregnant, your boss keeps hinting that your division might see big cuts this year, your spouse suddenly treats you to flowers, candy and lots of oral, especially after those weekend-long fishing trips with "the guys from work" whom "you don't really know them" and "you know the cell phone doesn't work out on the lake." So: fine, good?

No, of course not. But you know that the first lie, the proffer of care through polite questions such as these, have a social expectation of the answer as a lie. Imagine you answer, "My world is falling apart, Bill, and I haven't gotten laid in six months." Yeah, you're probably not going to get more than a confused half-chuckle and "Sorry to hear that" which is also a lie because it really means, "Oh, God, I always suspected you were troubled and insane but please don't unload your mental shotgun in my cubicle. Please?"

Love lies are my favorite as I have studied them with great vigor. I only have sort of half a girlfriend at the moment because I ain't gonna lie. To her. If she asks me whether her ass is too round, I intend to answer honestly (by the way, it is definitely fi-yi-yi-yi-ine, so, no worries there, mate) and probably get kicked to the proverbial curb.

When is a lie not a lie but a compromise?