7/29/2005

Honesty is the best fallacy

Anybody who says “honesty is the best policy” has never been married. Did you know honesty and the divorce rate are directly proportional? It’s true. So if you love your spouse, then it's time to fall in love with the art of lying.

I shouldn’t pick on marriage. Many things in life necessitate lying. It all starts when you're a kid and your mom brings you to the movie theater that offers a discount to children under 8 years. I remember standing in line for E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial. My mom had been coaching me for how things would go down at the box office: “If they ask you how old you are, remember you're 7, almost 8.” “OK, mom. But do you think we'll have a problem with the fact that I'm 6 feet tall and almost out of high school? You know, I really should have shaved before we pulled this caper.”

I was the biggest 7-year-old on the planet. Look it up in The Guinness Book of World's Records, under the “oldest kid to trying to scam child admission prices at a movie theater.”

What about the doctor's office questionnaire that asks how many alcoholic beverages you drink per day? There’s a lie looking for a place to happen! “Three sounds reasonable. I'll put ‘three.’ That’ll make me sound honest without drawing too much suspicion. Three’s good. Three 64-ounce margaritas.”

I think they should have an alternate question where you get to check a box if you're sober right now. That should count for something. Why should it matter if I was drunk 4 nights last week when all I need are some pills for the uncontrollable shakes I'm having right now? Nosey bastards.

Job applications will get even the most honest person to embellish: “List all employers within the last 7 years and your reason for leaving.

I usually leave out that summer I was Ricky Martin's personal ball-washer. I don't want them to think I'm a job-hopper. And why else would we leave other than “my previous employer became such an unbearable jerk I finally decided to get the hell out of there.”

Here‘s a common interview question: “What did you like best about your last employer?

“The fact that they didn’t audit the time clock very closely nor remember to lock the petty cash box.”

Do you have any conditions which would prevent you from performing your assigned duties?

“Does contempt for authority count? How about the sudden urge I feel to throw my boss down the elevator shaft? Oh, I do have a compulsion to take a dump in my co-workers cubicles, but my psychologists is confident he can control it with the right medication.”

Should your lying succeed and you land the job, you must immediately become an even bigger liar. Now you have to convince your new employers that you give a damn (about something more than the paycheck and free dental). What an exhausting task that is: pretending you give a crap. Oh, golly gee whiz! You say I didn’t use form AX-473b to document our annual widget budget expenditure? I violated protocol? Well, right after I jump off a cliff, I’ll dust myself off and get right to work on filling out the right form, because I truly give a good goddamn. You can’t count on me, sir.”

I loath myself when I’m on the job because I’m perpetually full of crap. We all are. As if we’d really wear pressed shirts, slacks and neckties if left to our own devices. I’d come to work in a wife-beater tee and soiled boxers if I had any integrity. But the pussy-boy in me insists that I “look the part.”

And how about these customers? They actually expect us to give shit about their problems. I don’t even give a shit about my own problems most of the time. “The customer’s always right.” That’s what they tell me. Well, if that’s the case, why did the customer chose me? I don‘t give a damn. And even if I did I wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to help. This place confuses me. The only things I’m sure of are where the cafeteria is and where to pick up my paycheck. The very fact that a customer expects me to give a damn is proof that they can be wrong.

First dates are a liar’s haven. Ladies, did you ever notice how many kick boxers and marathon runners who had to “hit the gym for a workout” before your date? Oh, and they’re all on a partnership track at their firm and write poetry in their spare time. And by the way, what you do for a living is terribly fascinating. Please, tell me more about it.

It’s standard first-date stuff.

Stopped by the police, you’re obliged to lie. “Do you have any idea how fast you were going?” You know it was close to mach 2, but you're not going to confess to anything on the off-chance he didn't hear the sonic boom. “Nah. My speedometer's broke.”

Do you know what the speed limit is here, sir?

“I'm not exactly sure, officer. It's been a while since drivers-ed but I'm pretty sure it's 85 in a school zone. Right?”

Did you ever “thank” an officer for pulling you over? That’s a heart-felt appreciation. Thanks for being a busy-body jerk with no manners. And thanks especially for choosing me instead of the thousand other pricks driving recklessly at this very moment. Don’t you have a wife to get home to and abuse?

Do you have any outstanding warrants for your arrest, sir?

“No. Do you have any citizen complaints on your Internal Affairs Record? I figured I’d ask seems how we’re nosing around in each other’s business.”

But we don’t say that. We say “thank you, officer.”

Honesty is the best fallacy.

1 comment:

Pavel said...

Hello,

I don't know if you'll see this since you wrote this about a year ago, but I just wanted to thank you for a good laugh.

How did I find this? I wrote a post about lying a few days ago and a great blogger (http://greenteapot.blogspot.com/) recommended that I read your post on lying.

Just wanted to say thank you!

Pavel (http://tobeperfectlyclear.blogspot.com)