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.
CHILDREN AND LIES
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.
THE HONEST TRUTH
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.
EVEN PETS LIE
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. It didn’t occur to me to hide 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, read Warning! This Could Be a Lie 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 read it anyway for 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
A.J. SeftonJanuary 12, 2016 at 7:37 pm
Funny! Naughty but funny. Thank you for sharing.
tamuriaJanuary 14, 2016 at 7:36 am
I’m glad it made you smile. 🙂
Katy KozeeJanuary 13, 2016 at 12:34 am
This reminds me of the time my children’s aggressively nocturnal and just plain aggressive hamsters accidentally escaped their cage – because I left the door open and then shooed them out when they still wouldn’t leave after an hour! Fortunately no one is still the wiser – I don’t think! I’ll be interested to see your next post.
tamuriaJanuary 14, 2016 at 7:44 am
Hahaha, that made me laugh. The things we do! Looks like you have better luck then I do in this regard. 🙂
Leanne@crestingthehillJanuary 13, 2016 at 4:21 pm
I’m not a great liar – I think it always comes back to bite you! I have told white lies to save my children’s feeling when they were little but now they get the truth (a little glossed over at times though!) thanks for sharing at our #OverTheMoon link up ~ Leanne 🙂
tamuriaJanuary 14, 2016 at 7:46 am
Oh yes, I’ve been bitten quite a few times. These days I just don’t have the energy for lies, and having to remember them! I enjoyed being part of OverTheMoon link up.:)
Vatsala ShuklaJanuary 14, 2016 at 8:52 pm
I gave up trying to lie a long back as a kid because people always guessed that I was lying and in any case, my role model parents were too truthful, except the one time when Mummy lied through her teeth to make sure I didn’t have to drink cold milk at school because I didn’t like the smell of Buffalo Milk. Thank God Daddy played along 🙂
In a way it was a good thing because I have the confidence to speak the truth and while it may not always be appreciated, it is respected.
I’m thinking about what all you went through for your sons, Tami. If that is not a true Mother’s Love, then I don’t know what is. Though they really should create a guide for parents who have to do strange things for their kids. LOL
tamuriaJanuary 15, 2016 at 6:49 am
I love the story about the buffalo milk Vatsala – sounds like something I’d do. You’d think I would have learned with my karma thing and obvious transparency, but I do believe being truthful and having good self-confidence are linked. I have a lot more confidence these days so am more apt to tell the truth. A guide for parents who have to do strange things for their kids is an awesome idea. 🙂
rozbeadsJanuary 15, 2016 at 3:11 am
Tamuria- I want you to be my next best friend. I just love the topics you write on & the stories you tell. A girlfriend in her 60’s is going thru an upset about a ‘lie’ her suitor told her. We have many conversations about this & I keep telling her we all lie. Some are harmless, some seem harmless & some have consequences. Looking forward to all your future blogs.
tamuriaJanuary 15, 2016 at 6:52 am
Roz, thank you so much for your lovely words of encouragement! It’s true, we all lie, but none of us like being lied to. I hope your friend finds some peace on this issue. I’m pretty sure most of my lies have been in the harmless category – they are usually told to spare someone’s feelings. 🙂
Delia RusuJanuary 15, 2016 at 7:28 am
Oh, the fibs I used to tell as a kid and strongly believed that nobody will know! Not only to my mom, but also friends… What was I thinking?
I guess it was part of the development process and a child, I don’t know.
As usual, a wonderful piece to read Tami, and really written from the heart – I can tell 🙂
tamuriaJanuary 16, 2016 at 7:11 am
I think it’s all part of testing our limits and seeing what we can get away with when we’re kids, Delia. As we get older it’s more about a lack of confidence and wanting to spare other people’s feelings – for most of us.Thank you for the kind words. 🙂
Beverley GoldenJanuary 16, 2016 at 5:29 am
Fun post Tami, on a sometimes serious topic! 🙂 This post reminded me of my “requests” of my mother when I was young to cover my ass when it came to phys ed days in public school. Being the least athletic child ever, the days when we had the equipment, (balance beam and pummel horse etc.) would send me into panic at my lack of physical prowess. So I asked my mother to write a note “excusing” me from the class. The reason is forgotten. My mother was always willing to tell little white lies for me, and yet, I don’t remember doing the same for my daughter. I probably did though.
As I am quick at thinking on my feet, I confess I have manipulated the truth a time or two, yet interestingly, I never saw them as “lies”. As I have learned, we have to live with ourselves if we lie. Very few people can get an outright lie passed me. My intuition and logic combined are a right-on barometer. My daughter learned very early on that she could never put anything over on me, so hopefully, she learned lying just doesn’t pay off. 😉
tamuriaJanuary 16, 2016 at 7:22 am
My mother used to sometimes make excuses for me to get out of things when I was a kid too Beverley and I’m grateful as it confirmed to me she was on my side and had my back. She, like you, could spot a lie a mile away, whereas I tend to be much more gullible. My sons got away with so much because I couldn’t take off my rose coloured glasses long enough to consider they would actually lie to me – even though I had lied many times to my mother. They seem to be reasonably honest and delightful men now, so I guess it did no harm in the scheme of things. Sometimes, when we’re all together, the brothers will have a joke about some crazy thing they did and when I act shocked they explain they couldn’t tell me at the time as it would have caused me too much stress. I love and hate their protective/patronising attitude all at once and I hate to admit it but, they could have a point – about the stress.
K. Lee BanksJanuary 16, 2016 at 3:06 pm
Thought-provoking examples of why it’s always better to tell the truth – partly so you don’t have to remember all the lies, but also so you can be a good example and role model.
tamuriaJanuary 17, 2016 at 9:51 am
Yes, it really is better to tell the truth. Some of us have to learn that lesson the hard way. 🙂
Ariel @ Keys to My LifeJanuary 18, 2016 at 7:45 am
Lies are such a heavy topic. I work at a daycare and am constantly telling my children that lying isn’t okay – yet they still seem to do it! Where do we learn this from? It’s an interesting question.
tamuriaJanuary 18, 2016 at 6:02 pm
I think for kids it’s a way of testing what they can get away with – exploring their boundaries. Most of us lie less as we get older unless we can justify it by claiming to be saving someone else’s hurt feelings.