Pants on fire

Reading time: 2 mins

I lie.

I have lied.

I do lie.

I will lie again in the future.

Lying is, of course, a terrible thing to do. Awful. Lowest of the low.

And I always feel bad when I do it.

Heh. I just did it again. I don’t always feel bad when I do it, but I rarely feel good when I do it, but that’s not my fault. That’s the fault of guilt, and that’s not the topic of discussion today.

I don’t feel bad when I lie to telephone sales people — Sorry, we’ve JUST had a new kitchen put in… — I don’t feel bad when I lie to tin-rattling charity people — Sorry, just been to the bank, no change.. — and I have good reasons not to feel bad about those lies.

Then there is lying by omission. Good or bad? Black or white? Or perhaps it’s just an odd shade of grey?

But the lies that annoy me the most aren’t the cold and calculating, pre-meditated and hurtful ones. Those lies don’t annoy me, they haunt me. Those lies burrow deep into my soul and rip me apart slowly, day by day, piece by piece, and one day they may surface. But this isn’t the place (or time) for those lies. Not yet.

No, the lies that annoy me the most are the quick and easy ones, the ones that slip from your lips without pause. They are the instant, swift and merciful little lies that we all utter from time to time. You know the type, they are usually short and are accompanied by a little half smile:

“that’s ok”
“yes, everything’s fine”
“it’s no problem really”

Lies, lies, lies. No sex, no videotape just small murmurings and the inability to tell the truth.

“that’s ok” becomes “you should be sorry, and please watch where you dump your heavy bag in future”

“yes, everything’s fine” becomes “the pasta was overcooked slightly, and the sauce far too salty”

“it’s no problem really” becomes “I do mind. Could you get your manager to sort it out please”

But no. We lie our lives away, seething and boiling under the surface, day after day after day.

Oh yes, lies are awful things, for many and varied reasons.

Except those nice white lies, they’re OK.