Thursday, 18 March 2010

She wouldn't let it lie ...

Though I might tell many a story (Did you know that Miss Edna Gussett, inventor of the elasticated haversack was born in my house in 1862?) I cannot tell lies. By lie, I mean something opposite to the truth and not something that was clearly untrue from the get-go. (Are you following this?) For such inventions, as Elvis once said to me, are just the edge of reality. (Don't read too much into his lyrics; he was having a bad day.)

On the rare occasions I find it politic to lie, I blush, stammer and develop a fixed expression. My mouth twitches, too, which is a bit of a giveaway. (As if all the other numerous tics weren't.) The silver lining in this cloud is that I cannot, therefore, be a psychopath, which is a relief as I'd always wondered ...

But it's also why I've never beaten Daniel Craig at Baccarat. Sigh.

Is there a difference between a fib and a lie? Confused, I asked The Pope. One of his minions emailed back: A fib is a lie with good intentions; a lie is a lie with bad intentions. See, even The Church doesn't get too hung up on honesty these days.

Nietzsche was very big on truth - and if that's not enough to make you go and tell the biggest porkies, then I don't know what is - but even he concluded What in us really wants Truth? How much more fun to believe in the Elasticated Haversack! (I said that last bit, not Nietzsche, in case you were wondering.)

Mark Twain - never a man short of pithy quotations, and here's another one - went for the cliched blah-blah-blah is the best blah-blah-blah approach: If you tell the truth then you don't have to remember anything. And Abraham Lincoln, equally moral: No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.

I bet they were a barrel of laughs. "Does my bum look big in this, Abe?" "Yes, it looks enormous. The fabric highlights the cellulite rippling across your buttocks. But let's face it, your bum would look big in anything."

I'm not going to tell you what Mark said - except that truthfulness shows a distinct lack of imagination.

Oddly, when I'm meant to blush (Are you still following this?) I don't. Not at nudity, rudity or prudery. Hmm, I might have to investigate this psychopath thing further ...

For example, most people who found themselves accidentally tied up by the gasman (by candlelight, with drawn curtains - before lunch - wearing a nightdress, coat and padded boots) might find this a highly embarrassing position to be in. In such circumstances, a certain degree of flushing, blushing, and reddening is to be expected, no? You'd be covered in embarrassment and very little else - apart from, obviously, the nightdress, coat and padded boots.

I'll leave you to work out the parts of this post which are true and the parts which are false.

Stealing shamelessly from Hilary Mantel - A rough guide: anything that seems particularly unlikely is probably true.


  1. Throughout my strange and varied working past (that's not to say I've stopped working - I'm referring to employment here) the most interesting colleagues and acquaintances have been the yarn-spinners. Unfortunately, yarn-spinners are largely absent in academia, unless you are at the very top of the pile. The stories that issue from those lofty heights really are highly implausible, and have been known to reduce the lower orders to hysterical laughter.

    Today, your word verification is BURSTS

  2. this post is great - truth or lie?
    Why haven't I come across you before? Your bare bottom probably put me off - too much cellulite.

    Telling lies to others is fine by me - I do it all the time. The thing gets problematic, if you tell yourself lies and when you start to believe them.
    Not good.

  3. @ Martin - I know of what you speak. Many a time have I been reduced to a puddle of chuckles by a missive from the VC

    @ Friko - Very, very good point. Be honest to the point of ruthlessness with oneself. As for my bottom - it is perfect PEACH of a bottom. If you'd like to admire my matching gladiator, you'll have to scroll right back to one of my earliest posts ...