Monday, 14 December 2009

I Cannot Tell a Lie.

Bruce Burgess carries out the lie detector tests on The Jeremy Kyle Show. He recently received a suspended jail sentence for lying regarding the driving of his car when involved in a speeding offence. Which got me thinking about lying in general. (And the title of Kyle's new book? 'I'm Only Being Honest'. Honest!)
Lie. A false statement or piece of information deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.
And there seems to be a lot of it about.
Many Members of Parliament have been found guilty of lying, there's no other word for it, to gain extra cash to add to their not inconsiderable salaries, perks and pensions. Some Irish Catholic priests have been found to be living sordid perverted lives, a lying existence that must be horrific to live with. Footballers cheat in all sorts of ways and indignantly deny their lies when presented with the evidence. Cheats, and cheating involves lying and goes on at all levels. Perhaps it has always been so. A common response by some, though not all schoolchildren when accused of misdemeanours is 'Prove it.' Note, not 'I didn't do it' but simply 'prove it.'
I once gave evidence in court. I could not believe the lies told by one particular witness under oath. Boy, was I naive. There is no doubt many perjure themselves in British Courts on a daily basis, seldom found out. Perhaps they are thinking in terms of 'white lies'.
White lie. Minor lies which could be considered to be harmless or even beneficial in the long term. Maybe there is such a thing. I try not to lie. (see blog dated 29th June 2008 Tell a Lie and Find the Truth. Spanish Proverb.) But maybe, just maybe white lies are acceptable.
Our American friends have the heart lifting story of George to put them on the straight and narrow should they wish to stray from the truth. Boy George, not the English Boy George, silly, became the proud owner of a brand new hatchet. He used it to cut down father's favourite cherry tree. Father was not best pleased. 'Did you do that, son?' asked father. George thought of lying, but he was a well brought up child. Plus the chopper was sticking out from under his vest. His answer is well documented. 'I cannot tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet.'
'Well done, George' said father. George, George Washington that is, went on to become the American President.
Less well known is the story of Tony, a mischievous boy brought up in the wilds of northern England. Left to his own devices one day, he thought it great fun to push the family privy into the nearby river. (All northern families have privies to this day, a fact seldom mentioned in polite circles.) The family were not amused, there were cross words and crossed legs. 'Did you do that, our Tony?' asked dad sternly but kindly. Tony did think of saying 'prove it,' but it were a long time ago. Plus he thought of George Washington, telling the truth hadn't done him any harm, and he finished up in politics.
'Yes dad, it were me' said Tony proudly. And his dad gave him a right good hiding. Poor Tony howled and enquired, with tears running down his ruddy red cheeks, 'What did you do that for? George didn't get a good hiding.'
'Very true,' said dad, 'but there again George's dad wasn't up the cherry tree!'
But the incident taught young Tony one thing. Sometimes it pays to be economical with the truth. I wonder whatever happened to him.


gayle said...

Brought a smile to my face!! What really bugs me is when people lie for no reason!!

Sueann said...

Hahahaha!! Good one!! In today's society, I see people lie all the time. It has become a pastime of sorts! Like it is expected to occur! Interesting!?!

Kath said...

I don't have a good memory, so lying is not something I am good at. Even with a "white lie" I always think the guilt it's written all over my face, so it's not really worth it :D "Tell the truth and sleep at night" in my opinion.

Robert said...

Great story!

And that's not a lie!

Unknown said...

Great one Ken!!!

Lying = politics, at least on this side of the pond.

cheshire wife said...

I think that you have identified two problems. One is that a lot of people are not very observant and do not remember what they see and two is that there are are number of individuals who do not know the difference between the truth and a lie.

Frogdancer said...

"Crossed legs".

heh heh

Gill - That British Woman said...

I think everyone tells a little white lie every now and then......if you say you don't well then you're lying...LOL

Gill in Canada

Dumdad said...

Tony, great story!

I try not to lie as it seems to make life easier (for me). But lying is part of the human condition. Bill Clinton took it to new levels and then there's Tiger Woods - how many times did he lie to his wife?! ("Can't get back tonight, honey, I have post-tournament commitments.")

Word veri: tellthetruth

(Okay, I lied about the word verification).

Molly Potter said...

I play a game with people I train (an 'energiser') where I get them to write two truths and one lie about themselves, sellotape them to their front and we mingle, guessing each others' lies. It's amazing how easy it is to guess the lies - most people just haven't practiced deviousness enough!!!

I spent my childhood lying and exaggerating...probably because I thought the real me wasn't impressive enough!!!!

I'm an honest Joe now though!!!

The bike shed said...

Nice story - is it true? Ha ha.

ADDY said...

This wouldn't be Tony Blair by any chance?

Sniffles and Smiles said...

This is simply hilarious!!!! Poor Tony!!! AND...Hello, Ken!!! I read about you at Eddie's when you were roasted, and have been promising myself a good visit for some time...You are a wonderful story-teller!!! I hope you won't mind my following you ;-) I love to make new friends...and am particularly partial to my British buddies since, although I am an American, I lived a number of years in Surrey, England...Also, I see we have a number of mutual friends!!! And so I am delighted to finally make your acquaintance! Merry Christmas to you, my new, witty friend!!! Hugs, Janine

Anita said...

If I can keep my skeletons in the closet, and live the rest of my life decently with noting to hide, there is no reason to lie. Although, a little embellishment makes things more "colorful" and fun. :)

Stop by my blog, if you'd like to, and tell me what your passion(s) is(are). Post titled "Passion."

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Is it habit or is it innate in some people I wonder.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Thanks. But do they know they are lying?

Grumpy Old Ken said...

But I wonder if some liars also sleep well. I suspect they do.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Thanks as always!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

And over here I'm afraid!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

cheshire wife
Sadly I think you are right.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Thanks, like me you are easily amused!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Well observed!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Very deep! I have a friend who used to kiss his wife on the station platform from his train and have a lady waiting for him at the end of the journey. I couldn't cope!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Molly Potter
How very honest of you to admit your past. We all grow up eventually. No, not all when I think about it.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

You witty old devil, you!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Now what makes you think that!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Thanks and welcome. Have visited your blog and will be back.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Welcome. Have visited your blog and will be back.

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