Liar, liar, pants on fire…if it wasn’t for the fact I always get caught, there would be a lot more than my pants on fire – in the blazing furnace of Hell!
It seems when it comes to lying I’m fated to work out my karma almost immediately.
LIES, LIES AND MORE LIES
I have never told a successful lie, though that could be untrue.
With a mixture of shame and amusement, I recall the childhood fabrications that backfired.
Caught out so regularly by my mother, I became convinced she was psychic – I’m still not sure.
In hindsight, I guess the story of the little old man who was dying and desperately wanted me to look after his baby duck (the one I really bought at Paddy’s Markets in Sydney) was a bit lame.
Children have a talent for making mothers feel clever as their lies are so obvious, at least when they’re young.
With their faces covered in chocolate icing, they can look you straight in the eye and reply ‘nothing’ when asked, “What have you been eating?”
Teachers must have a goldmine full of wonderful homework excuses but the best I’ve heard is the Japanese student who broke his bedroom window and set his computer on fire, telling his teacher someone broke in and wrecked his computer so he couldn’t hand in his assignment. The police soon exposed that outrageous fabrication.
It is a truth, I think, that most children fib, but my biggest whoppers are often because of my children.
Years ago I decided to give my youngest a break from his music lesson to attend a party.
Instead of taking the easy option when I heard the music school’s answering machine and saying my son couldn’t make the lesson, I went into great detail about the cold he was suffering and how he couldn’t play his instrument.
As I hung up the phone my son jumped up and down gleefully, singing, “I’ve got a cold, I’ve got a cold” to which I replied; “I can’t believe the lies I tell for you kids”.
It was only then I discovered I had not actually hung up the phone properly and our whole conversation was being taped on the answering machine.
A COSTLY LIE
This is probably only marginally worse than my friend Jenny, who was cancelling her son’s maths tutor. She left a message for the tutor to call and when he did phone back Jenny didn’t have her excuse ready so pretended to be her sister (she doesn’t even have a sister). The difference between Jenny and me is that she doesn’t get caught, although it can end up costing her.
When her kids were young she bought one of them a pair of mice for his birthday.
They were supposed to be female, but the male didn’t realise this and four weeks later Jenny had 12 mice.
Her son wanted to keep the babies so she told him the pet shop would pay him for them – one dollar per mouse. Naturally thoughts of all the goodies he could get with that money soon lessened the blow of giving up the babies.
Of course, the pet shop made no such promise so Jenny forked out the money herself, then gave the animals to the pet shop.
It ended up costing her about $100 before a mysterious disease killed the energetic parents.
I once tried to replace, without the children’s knowledge, a budgie that had died.
I took the tiny body to the pet shop with me to ensure I would get the closest possible ‘twin’.
My joy at finding the perfect replica was destroyed when my middle son came home from school and within five minutes spotted the replacement.
“What happened to Basil Mum? He asked.
“Basil’s in his cage,” was my guileless reply.
“No, he’s not.
“Basil is a boy. This is a girl. You can tell by the beak you know”.
If you read my post-Crazy Crabs – The Day I Got Crabs, you’ll know I’ve learned nothing through the years.
Music teachers used to bring out the worst in me.
I once told a piano teacher that we had to leave her because my husband had been retrenched and we were moving to Queensland.
What I wanted to say was that she was too expensive and I didn’t like her style of teaching.
Every time I ran into her at the shops she would say: ”so you’re still here”.
“Of course”, I’d reply, wondering what the hell she was talking about.
Ah, the tangled web we weave…the problem with lying is that you need a really good memory.
Another teacher really threw me when I told her my son wouldn’t make his lesson because he had hurt his hand at school.
“He has two hands, doesn’t he?” she asked.
Not very good at lying on my feet, or straight in bed for that matter, I sent him to that lesson with strict instructions to pretend his hand was really sore.
You know you’ve reached rock bottom when you make your children act out your lies.
Reminds me of the 1997 comedy film Liar, Liar, starring Jim Carrey as the lawyer Fletcher Reede, who cannot lie for 24 hours because of his son’s birthday wish.
In court, the judge warns him if he speaks again he will hold Reede in contempt.
“I hold myself in contempt! Why should you be any different?” Reede replies.
The crazy thing is I’m usually an honest person (would I lie to you?). I’ve walked kilometres (would you believe metres) out of my way to return unpaid for items slipped into the pram bag by children.
If there’s an honesty box I always put money in it.
Yet when it comes to excuses I’d give Pinocchio a run for his money.
If visions of burning pants and a really long nose aren’t sufficient to scare me into truthfulness you’d think I could at least improve on my deceit, but the sad truth is, even my pets lie better than I do.
When renting a unit in Bondi years ago, I assured the owner I had no pets, yet never even considered hiding the cat when he came to the door.
Lucky for me the clever puss had the sense to hide whenever he arrived, a tactic she used for no other visitors.
Are you a liar? If the answer is no, come back Friday and find out about all the different kinds of lies there are (you may have to revise your answer).
If your answer is yes then come back anyway for tips on being a better liar and more funny stories – you’ll be glad you did… I’ll ask once more, would I lie to you?
Wishing you a truthful and gleeful week, Tamuria