Most of you who’ve read a lot of my work probably understand how my brain works when I come up with an idea for a story. But for those of you who don’t, imagine playing toss and fetch with your dog.
I toss the idea out, my brain brings it back, I toss it out, it brings it back, out, in, out, in.
Vi-o-la, the story appears.
Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.
For you cat lovers out there I’m afraid you’re just out of luck. I don’t think you can ever accomplish the same with a cat.
Most times, if you do toss something out, a cat will pounce on it, glare at you, then simply walk off with their prey (your idea) and you’ll never see it again.
Well, that’s not entirely true.
It’s a sure bet they intend to eat whatever it is and later hack it up on your favorite, and most expensive throw rug.
So as I pondered my life as a child, a young man and now an old codger, I got to thinking about the consequence of telling a lie being beaten into me.
I don’t mean “beaten” as in an ethereally metaphorical example of positive reinforcement. I mean “beaten” as in getting the living daylights pounded out of my ass by a razor strap, spatula, shoe, or whatever was handy.
Lies were bad. Truth was good. Pretty simple shit right?
But stop to think about this for a minute. We’ve spent our formulative years, and most of our adult years allowing life to train us how to lie.
This morning when I was thinking about lies (dog kept bringing this thought back) I decided to do a little research. What I discovered was astounding.
Who in the hell knew telling a lie was such an art form?
Let’s first establish what a lie really is.
Simply put, it’s a statement believed to be true when it’s not.
I know you folks are thinking, “Wow P.G. glad you cleared that shit up for us.”
Okay, okay. Don’t get snarky.
Although the description of a lie is simplistic, the type of lie and reasoning for telling a specific type of lie is almost as complex as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
Did you know there are twenty eight different types of lies?
Yeah, twenty eight. It’s an exhaustive list really. So many I’m just going to highlight a few.
The Big Lie
This lie is one of such epic proportions the person hearing it begins to believe it.
Even if they possess evidence to the contrary.
The train of thought is the recipient of the lie tells themselves no one would ever think of concocting that huge of a lie. So it may actually be true.
There’s no such thing as global warming right?
For all you poker players out there the bluff is a lie, but completely acceptable in Texas Hold ’Em, Five Card Draw, and…Old Maid.
Well, maybe not Old Maid, but the bluff is acceptable in sports as well. The trick is to promote a lie you have in your hand what you don’t, or you’re going to run or throw in one direction and you don’t.
Ah, one of my favorites. You know the old saying about not bullshitting a bullshitter right? Yup, don’t try it on this old Texas dog. I been slinging bullshit since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I’ve bullshitted my way into fortunes most people have never even thought about. I’m the king of bullshitting. Matter of fact, Harry Truman used to call me right after I was born just so I could tell him from my crib how to bullshit his way around congress.
And that my friends is of course…bullshit.
The Cover Up
This lie is probably on all of our hit lists. I’ll give you three examples. Watergate, Russiagate and…Roswell.
Telling a lie in order to harm the reputation of someone or something. This lie is usually prompted when the lie teller learns their opponent has either revealed damaging information or is about to reveal it.
It then becomes necessary to shoot first, ask questions later, or shoot first and keep shooting until they’re dead or run away.
I suggest you contact Number 45 on this one. By all accounts he seems to be the subject matter expert on fake news. If you have data which presents a view differing from his take on things, then according to him you are fake news.
A half truth is misleading because the statement may be completely true, but only represents a portion of the entire story. The person telling the truth finds a way to assuage their conscience, but in doing so manages to deflect the rest of the situation. Take for instance someone tells you they haven’t had a speeding ticket in over thirty years.
Pretty awesome driving record right?
What they didn’t tell you was they just got their driver’s license last week.
When your partner asks you, “do you think these jeans make me look fat?”
Trust me on this one folks, in this case no good deed goes unpunished.
These are lies spoken in jest. Storytellers (myself included) often insist the yarn they’re dishing out is the Truth So Help Me God, but everyone knows the storyteller is spinning a pack of lies.
Believe it or not, they have contests in various parts of the globe to determine who can concoct the biggest lie. There’s the Crick Crack Club in London where professional liars compete for the coveted Hodja Cup and the Burlington Liar’s Club where lie spinners vie for the title “World Champion Liar.”
Lies To Children
This is the art of dumbing down theoretical or technical complexities to laypeople. It does however bring about certain misconceptions which often set the recipient up for an extended walk along the path of confusion.
It wasn’t until I was twelve I realized storks didn’t bring babies to your doorstep.
Lies by Omission
A lie by omission is where most of the information you’re told is the truth however, certain things are left out which completely change the story.
Think Ford Pinto.
The Pinto was the very first subcompact car marketed by Ford in America. Ford touted it’s dependability and versatility and of course during the seventies and eighties, the wonderful MPG.
Unfortunately, Ford left out the part about the Pinto exploding into a fireball from a moderate speed rear impact.
Hey, you’ll get great mileage with this puppy just try not to get rear ended…unless you’re trying to save on the cost of cremation.
I know, my bad. I’ll try to do better.
In his book 1984 Mr. Orwell writes about memory holes where inconvenient or embarrassing documents of truth were systematically funneled into chutes and burned by enormous furnaces somewhere in the bowels of the Ministry of Truth.
Stop to think about this one folks. Heinrich Himmler was probably the first to use memory holes.
Interesting fact is that 1984 was published in 1949, five years after the end of WWII.
Hmmm, maybe that’s where Mr. Orwell got the idea.
Wow, this one really floored me. A noble lie is often referred to as a strategic untruth. That’s right a strategic untruth. It’s not a lie.
But it is. It’s still deceit, but it’s okay because if the truth were actually discovered it would create civil discord, unrest and even wide-scale panic.
Uh yeah, of course this noble lie offers some benefit to the liar, but the lie could be potentially beneficial to the public and assist in maintaining an orderly society.
Think about that last alien invasion we experienced.
What? You heard it was the Canadian Olympic hockey team just paying us a visit?
We all subscribe to this lie from time to time. Oh, it’s just me? Don’t think so sports fans. You’re at the office and it’s Friday Miller Time and your co-workers invite you out for a couple of drinks at their favorite watering hole.
You may have such an extreme desire to get wasted this Friday, mostly because you despise your co-workers and they’ve driven you to drink. More times than not, you’ve spent the entire week putting up with the assholes and you just want a little down time either with your significant or on your own.
You can’t because you have to wash your hair, you’ve got company coming in from out of town, or you’ve just been told your grandmother’s, brother’s cousin, thrice removed just died…
White and Black Lies
A white lie is a minor lie that’s often told to spare someone’s feelings, especially when said someone not knowing the truth becomes a harmless situation or outcome.
A black lie is the most grievous type of lie. Everybody and their dog (or cat, or iguana) knows it’s a lie and knows its only intent is to hurt something or someone.
What Jim Crow MF came up with these labels?
First off, why do these types of lies have to be white or black? Is it because some racist, plantation owning MF way back when got to choose?
White lies were okay because they’re white and white is good? Black lies weren’t okay because they’re black and black is bad?
Fuck that shit.
Why not oh, I don’t know, chartreuse or some other kind of fucking Easter egg pastel colors?
No sooner said than done.
No blue is not a pastel color, but yes blue is a pastel color. Blue lies are not white lies nor are they black lies. Blue lies are in the middle of pro-social and anti-social behavior.
A blue lie is intended to help one’s own group, while at the same time hurt other groups. So if you’re standing on my side of the fence and I tell a blue lie it’s okay? I mean, It helps you and I both out right?
You can color this bad boy lie all you want, but it still sounds more like a political affiliation to me.
Bringing it home.
So when it comes to lies, you gotta believe me, I didn’t make this shit up. They’re all documented facts. There are a TON of ways to tell a lie and life has been a good teacher for all of us.
No matter how polite they are, or noble they are or even what freaking color they are, they’re all still lies. And yes, in my humble opinion honesty should always be the best policy.
Unless you sell Ford Pintos, or are thinking about getting into the insurance racket or becoming a lawyer.
Let’s keep in touch: email@example.com